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Icebox conversion kit for '79 C30

Dec 28, 2016
Catalina 30 Midway Utah
I'm 1100 miles from our '79 Catalina 30, which is on the hard in San Carlos, MX. Does anyone have rough dimensions of the icebox and total Cu ft? Also recommendations on brand? Tips? Horror stories?
Feb 2, 2014
Catalina 30 mkII Pasadena, MD
Last summer I converted our ice box to a frig in our 87 Catalina 30. I don't know if the dimensions are the same or not between a 79 and an 87, but I can recommend a frig kit. I installed this:
Isotherm 2010-SX Compact Air Cooled Refrigeration Component System with ISEC*

So far I really like it, it is very quiet and it works. The Isotherm Smart Energy Control (ISEC) adds smarts to it so it doesn't run down your batteries below a certain point.

Here is a YouTube video of a guy with a Catalina 30 installing the same frig minus the ISEC.
Dec 28, 2016
Catalina 30 Midway Utah
Thank you Mike. We were looking at the Norcold unit. I think you saved us some trouble and an extra 8 hr trip to the West Marine in Phoenix.
May 7, 2011
Catalina 30 Lake Lanier
We have the Norcold unit in our 1985 Catalina 30. It is auto-sensing dual voltage, so it can run on 110v or 12v. For our '85 we used the 'L' shape plate. We have the bi-fold teak cooler doors and they leak a lot of air. I added a strip of insulation along the hinge and also a thinner strip around the perimeter. It really helps reduce the frosting on the cold plate.

You can order things from West Marine on-line and they will ship it to your home for free if it is over (IIRC) $50.
Dec 28, 2016
Catalina 30 Midway Utah
Thanks Chris!
We are still researching. The Isotherm model we are looking at doesn't have dual voltage. Something I think we want(?)
Also, tips on insulation material would be helpful. Last season I added 1" foam to the outside of the icebox and to the inside of the teak bifold lid. The icebox on our Catalina shares a wall with the outer hull so we need to insulate on the inside of the cooler. We can see condensation on the outside of the boat on a hot day, so it would definitely help.
About West Marine's free shipping, they don't ship to Mexico so we end up driving 8 hrs to Phoenix for in-store pickup/exchange.


Jun 3, 2012
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
While plugged into shore power you will be running off of your battery charger. With the engine running you will be running off of your engine alternator. I do not think you need the dual voltage item. While at anchor or under sail you will be running off of your batteries. There you will probably discover you need to upgrade your battery capacity and your shore power battery charger as well. After that you might start looking at solar panels. The fridge is just the starting place. Cold beer is worth the trouble, however.