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A lost art: Conserving ice.


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I was looking for a fun winter project under the cover. We're spending more time onboard in season. How often we need to replenish things is on my mind.

Coastal sailing is a feast underway, for us. We like to prepare and eat fresh food along the way. Naturally my first thought is the icebox.

22 seasons use, I haven't done a thing to it, thanks to Aldens solid design and building. 

 But I have melted hundreds of pounds of ice in it.

It has a separate sump in the bilge that holds about a gallon of waste water. There is a hand pump under the counter that pumps that out via a T on the galley sink drain.  

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In less than two hours yesterday - thanks to good old fashioned 'stick building', I managed a full commitment to improving it.

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No surprise, it is insulated, sort of,... with the 50's -60's polystyrene. The stuff is flying all over the saloon now. 

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There's a full 2" all around the SS liner. The liner is suspended from the counter(a lip is screwed into the perimeter of the curb for the 2" lid.

I expected to remove the countertop (I'd love to replace the '61 formica but Mary Ann loves it's retro look,(it matches the plastic-ware - oh well). But I see I don't have to as I can slide new insulation into place all around. 

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Right out of the gate I could achieve a near double the R value by using polyisocyanurate material.

There has been a lot of condensation over the years around the copper outlet pipe (lower left of box). Hmmm. I'm thinking of encasing that in foam somehow, and perhaps insulating the hose that connects to it and leads to the sump.

Not sure a raised loop would help that much but might hinder drainage. Always going to be a loss but the system works so well I can't un-improve that. A shut-off would likely mean flooded food. 

What about spray foams? I'm familiar with the products. There's guns and hoses that can get into crannies and maybe help seal areas around corners? I even thought about a hybrid system; say 1 1/2" iso and then a foam envelope between that and the SS box? 

After the product, the installation will be the most important. I'm thinking of trying a better air sealing envelope than the one I found. Plus I could use a bit of expanding foam to press the foam board against the SS box. 

I'm only expecting to reduce our time between adding ice. Ice is cheap and plentiful in our cruising ground but more time between would be nice.

Our typical icebox underway is packed full with fresh food, most locally picked along the way (half the fun) and has to have space for an average of 40 pounds of ice blocks. 

So what can I do to get the most out of this meager 2" space around the box? 

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Now that we are a 3 sailboat family, I expect the icebox is going into overdrive in the coming seasons (think raft-ups). Xmas brunch 2021. 

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I know this is not what you want to hear but given the improvements in refrigerator tech and insulation, it seems to me that the time and effort you are putting in would far better be served in upgrading.

I mean, the reason why there were iceboxes in the first place was bc the Sawafuji compressor nor Aerogel nor solar nor LFP had been invented.

consider also those dinghy rides and the ice melting on the trips as part of your equation. And resale values too, come to think.

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Whatever is easiest between polyiso and spray foam.   If it were me, I would go with Polyiso, just for simplicity and tidiness’ sake.   Rvalue per inch is about as good as you can get, and it will be dramatically better than your current foam as you already well know.  
 

I’m doing a reefer upgrade this winter too.  Taking out the old belt drive sea frost and putting in a newer DC unit.  With the lithium bank I put in last summer and my 100watts of solar, I should be able to run the fridge nonstop while I’m cruising. I can’t wait!

My oldest daughter is now old enough to forage for raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries so I’m excited to have a little helper to fill the fridge with. 

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9 minutes ago, Max Rockatansky said:

I know this is not what you want to hear but given the improvements in refrigerator tech and insulation, it seems to me that the time and effort you are putting in would far better be served in upgrading.

I mean, the reason why there were iceboxes in the first place was bc the Sawafuji compressor nor Aerogel nor solar nor LFP had been invented.

consider also those dinghy rides and the ice melting on the trips as part of your equation. And resale values too, come to think.

As the thread title suggests, some people are just fine with a block of ice!  Knowing where to get ice and when is all part of the cruising experience.  

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That depends heavily on where you are cruising. In the remote areas I prefer, it may take all day and quite a bit of money (rent a car, f.ex.) to procure any ice, and block ice is unlikely.

You may note I didn’t speak in absolutes, but I do speak from experience.

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7 minutes ago, eliboat said:

Whatever is easiest between polyiso and spray foam.   If it were me, I would go with Polyiso, just for simplicity and tidiness’ sake.   Rvalue per inch is about as good as you can get, and it will be dramatically better than your current foam as you already well know.  
 

I’m doing a reefer upgrade this winter too.  Taking out the old belt drive sea frost and putting in a newer DC unit.  With the lithium bank I put in last summer and my 100watts of solar, I should be able to run the fridge nonstop while I’m cruising. I can’t wait!

My oldest daughter is now old enough to forage for raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries so I’m excited to have a little helper to fill the fridge with. 

I like the tidiness. A little foam I can handle but the stuff is tricky in large amounts. I'm always thinking of limiting air infiltration in homes. I know this is different but I wonder the effect of leaky joints in foam board. No access to tape so I was wondering about foam. Maybe not worth the effort in this application. The new super coolers (Yeti) seem based on air tightness as many are just 2" insulated, with better products than polystyrene. 

 

My daughter and I spent many many hours picking berries. That's the best of times. 

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20 minutes ago, Max Rockatansky said:

I know this is not what you want to hear but given the improvements in refrigerator tech and insulation, it seems to me that the time and effort you are putting in would far better be served in upgrading.

I mean, the reason why there were iceboxes in the first place was bc the Sawafuji compressor nor Aerogel nor solar nor LFP had been invented.

consider also those dinghy rides and the ice melting on the trips as part of your equation. And resale values too, come to think.

Thanks, I did give that a thought. But I have before and that would only start with ripping the box out and building a new one with 4" around, sealing lid, etc.

Then; increase battery bank (we live lavishly with 2 GRP 27 bank), then increase alternator(we have a 70 Amp that keeps the bank full on light engine use), then re-design the alternator engine belting, then find a place for something larger (at least 100 watt or be a floating diesel generator) than our 20 watt solar panel, which completely has us free of using the engine for days on end of sailing. 

Sometimes it's a hassle to find block ice, even in Maine (it gets tougher going south). If I can prolong the stuff, that hassle will diminish. 

 

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13 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

I like the tidiness. A little foam I can handle but the stuff is tricky in large amounts. I'm always thinking of limiting air infiltration in homes. I know this is different but I wonder the effect of leaky joints in foam board. No access to tape so I was wondering about foam. Maybe not worth the effort in this application. The new super coolers (Yeti) seem based on air tightness as many are just 2" insulated, with better products than polystyrene. 

 

My daughter and I spent many many hours picking berries. That's the best of times. 

I find that lockTite polyurethane cement caulk works really well to seal joints and make polyiso boards tight.  My house is all 2x4 construction, and I’ve been slowly going wall by wall and filling the bays with polyiso.  I’ve used all kinds of different caulks and sealants to make it all tight, and to be honest they all have performed well.  I like the cement stuff in part because it’s probably the cheapest, and it remains quite flexible while also being tough as hell.  I imagine you could also use exterior sheathing tapes as well to help with this task, and they would likely work well.  

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Neat thread, cool project >rimshot<

Vacuum insulated panels will have the highest R-value per inch of anything and are available from some of the yacht fridge places as well as through industrial sources.  Or you can salvage them from RV fridges.  If you can get them in sizes that fit your space and then spray in two-part foam around them, that will give you the best thermal performance that can be reasonably achieved.  You can use a mixture of vacuum panels and blocks of polyisocyanate foam to better fit the space and control costs.

You will want to be sure the stainless or aluminum liner (I can't tell from the photos) is reliably water-tight so that the foam and panels do not become contaminated with food residue.

Condensation is a problem too, consider an outer continuous membrane of polyethylene in "heavy duty garbage bag" thickness.  This will help keep the insulation dry and free of mold etc.

The lid and seal can contribute disproportionately to heat ingress.

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There is one additional step that could be taken: The 2, 1" foam pieces that slide under the box, ride on the fiberglass ribs that were moulded into the hull. It would be easy to inject lightly expanding foam in space between the hull and foam board. I don't think that should be a problem(?) Is it worth it? Maybe, that would put 3" on the bottom. 

These are the ribs and they run beneath the box (they disappear under the sole). 

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I had the "advantage" of building the refrigerator/freezer from scratch on my last boat. SeaFrost did all the equipment design, based on a holding plate spillover system from the freezer to the adjacent refrigerator via a thermo-damper and an open air passage at the top of the insulated partition between the two boxes.

The insulation was a mix of sheet poly iso foam and spray foam, with spray foam used to fill voids where fitting of sheet foam inevitably left small voids. You can trim off the excess foam with a serrated knife.

This was probably the most complicated single system to build in the entire boat, but it also worked unbelievably well.

Poly iso foam is a serious skin irritant. I learned the hard way that you should wear a Tyvek suit and gloves, with the arms of the suit and the gloves taped together to keep the dust away from your skin. It actually triggered a major allergic reaction, and I had to stop working on it at one point for several weeks while waiting for the drugs the dermatologist prescribed to calm things down.

You should also wear a vented N-95 respirator.

Incidentally, most poly-iso foam sheets you buy already have a vapor barrier applied as part of the manufacturing process. I use this stuff today as wall insulation in concrete block house construction in FL.

These pictures show the box without the top insulation in place for the most part. Top insulation was 4" of poly iso.

Today, I would build the liner to this box out of prefabricated sheets of G10 glass, with all corner joints radiused and taped. Back then, I used thin ply sheets, epoxy coated and glassed over, with corner joints filleted with epoxy and taped over. Finishing this smoothly was a major chore that would be simplified using G10 sheets.

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freezer4.jpg

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8 minutes ago, accnick said:

I had the "advantage" of building the refrigerator/freezer from scratch on my last boat. SeaFrost did all the equipment design, based on a holding plate spillover system from the freezer to the adjacent refrigerator via a thermo-damper and an open air passage at the top of the insulated partition between the two boxes.

The insulation was a mix of sheet poly iso foam and spray foam, with spray foam used to fill voids where fitting of sheet foam inevitably left small voids. You can trim off the excess foam with a serrated knife.

This was probably the most complicated single system to build in the entire boat, but it also worked unbelievably well.

Poly iso foam is a serious skin irritant. I learned the hard way that you should wear a Tyvek suit and gloves, with the arms of the suit and the gloves taped together to keep the dust away from your skin. It actually triggered a major allergic reaction, and I had to stop working on it at one point for several weeks while waiting for the drugs the dermatologist prescribed to calm things down.

You should also wear a vented N-95 respirator.

These pictures show the box without the top insulation in place for the most part. Top insulation was 4" of poly iso.

freezer5.jpg

freezer3.jpg

Photo_2022-01-01_093300 (2).jpg

freezer4.jpg

Wow! That's an efficient cooler. We'd save space eliminating ice bulk but still our volume needs would be about 80% of our near 3'X2'X1.5' box, like 5-6 cu ft. I may find an efficient cooler (Yeti or similar) that slides into a cockpit locker. That could, perhaps, hold a couple blocks longer to throw into the inefficient - often opened - ice box? 

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4 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

Wow! That's an efficient cooler. We'd save space eliminating ice bulk but still our volume needs would be about 80% of our near 3'X2'X1.5' box, like 5-6 cu ft. I may find an efficient cooler (Yeti or similar) that slides into a cockpit locker. That could, perhaps, hold a couple blocks longer to throw into the inefficient - often opened - ice box? 

The sheer volume of block ice cuts your usable volume considerably. The two holding plates I used in the freezer were together maybe the volume of a block of ice. The same holding plates today would be much thinner and more efficient.

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Cheap long-reach alternative to buying a commercial squirt foam wand: buy some 18"-24" lengths of tubing of the same diameter as the Hot Stuff (etc) straw. Polyethylene is stiffer and easier to point; vinyl (Tygon) is snakier and can reach behind things. For soft Tygon, maybe get one size smaller so it doesn't pop off. Best to warm either sort before slipping over can nipple. Be aware some squirt foam is more closed-cell than others, and that many will oxidize & break down over time.

Our Albin Ballad was deffo a cold-climate inshore boat; the FRP icebox, while cavernous, had only 1/16" of Ensolite wraped around the sides, and no insulation at all on the bottom (!!). I guess in Sweden, you put things in the fridge to keep them warm. ;) Luckily, the builders did leave quite a bit of space around the box for insulation, And I could not foresee needing all that interior room. So our strategy was to add insulation both outside and inside the cooler. 2" of foil-face polyiso on the outside, with an extra layer of silver bubble radiant barrier along the hull curvature; three interlaced layers of 1/2" blue polystyrene inside, with glass over it.

 

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The flange on the top is original to the FRP box, so you can see by the 45° bevel how much foam was added to the inside. The formica was glued on using epoxy, as something of a flame barrier. Won't save the box from an established fire, but it buys time and prevents a minor spark from catching in unshielded foam.

Installed pic:

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I'll be replacing the laminate tops with (probably) Corian. Not satisfied with the lammy.

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Dump the block ice, and get some square milk containers.  Drink them, and then clean them out.  Fill them with water, then freeze water IN them.  You will get your block ice, but also save space because you'll have them for clean drinking water.  It also helps keep your icebox dry and mold-free.

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2 hours ago, Diarmuid said:

Cheap long-reach alternative to buying a commercial squirt foam wand: buy some 18"-24" lengths of tubing of the same diameter as the Hot Stuff (etc) straw. Polyethylene is stiffer and easier to point; vinyl (Tygon) is snakier and can reach behind things. For soft Tygon, maybe get one size smaller so it doesn't pop off. Best to warm either sort before slipping over can nipple. Be aware some squirt foam is more closed-cell than others, and that many will oxidize & break down over time.

Our Albin Ballad was deffo a cold-climate inshore boat; the FRP icebox, while cavernous, had only 1/16" of Ensolite wraped around the sides, and no insulation at all on the bottom (!!). I guess in Sweden, you put things in the fridge to keep them warm. ;) Luckily, the builders did leave quite a bit of space around the box for insulation, And I could not foresee needing all that interior room. So our strategy was to add insulation both outside and inside the cooler. 2" of foil-face polyiso on the outside, with an extra layer of silver bubble radiant barrier along the hull curvature; three interlaced layers of 1/2" blue polystyrene inside, with glass over it.

 

icebox.JPG.5f44881c206c7a94a0e6ad229ad98652.JPG

 

 

icebox2.JPG.60a12c4016fdfba6228d572fa91a5099.JPG

The flange on the top is original to the FRP box, so you can see by the 45° bevel how much foam was added to the inside. The formica was glued on using epoxy, as something of a flame barrier. Won't save the box from an established fire, but it buys time and prevents a minor spark from catching in unshielded foam.

Installed pic:

g2.JPG.3e7048a6ed5a9ca1deaba60621e28ca5.JPG

I'll be replacing the laminate tops with (probably) Corian. Not satisfied with the lammy.

That's good to know you can extend the pipes on those cans. That would solve much of the access problem. 

Nice job on your cold box! It's tempting to rip out the 60 year old SS liner and start from scratch. 4" of insulation space would still leave us enough of a box, about 6 cu ft., that we need for our use.

We need more of a produce cooler than most sailors. We maybe eat one dry box of pasta in a season. The only canned food we have onboard are tomatoes and maybe a tin or two of sardines. The rest is mostly produce, some fresh protein -  fish, chicken and a bit of red meat(only I eat that).

The rest is greens or fruits and drinks, prepared foods that we preserve for the next few days, and ice water (1-2 gallons), plus the ice to put in those drinks. 

These boxes make me realize, we could trade the labor intensive side of using ice in our big box, for doubling our search time for fresh foods, with an efficient small box. :)

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1 hour ago, Grrr... said:

Dump the block ice, and get some square milk containers.  Drink them, and then clean them out.  Fill them with water, then freeze water IN them.  You will get your block ice, but also save space because you'll have them for clean drinking water.  It also helps keep your icebox dry and mold-free.

Fer sure.  Been doing this too for years...  Also keeps the icebox drier and cleaner...

Cheers!

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15 minutes ago, CriticalPath said:

Fer sure.  Been doing this too for years...  Also keeps the icebox drier and cleaner...

Cheers!

This would be the best way but we don't have the freezer space at home. I thought about getting a freezer (partially for this task) but we're the same at home and pick up fresh food several times a week. 

Most of our ice comes from the yard in our harbor. I usually row by on the way to our boat and pick up one or two blocks for a few days. They send me a bill once a month. With the cost of ice still around $2 a block, this bill is a bit of a joke when we get it in the mail.

Another handy thing about the sump is you take the top right off and put and blast the liner with a hose at the docks. You have to keep it clean and rinsed or ice boxes get rank. And my last boat had the icebox drain into the bilge. That's a very bad idea.  

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8 minutes ago, random. said:

 

  1. first week the icebox works fine and the food volume is reducing.
  2. second week start up the fridge to look after what's left till the next port.

Worked well for me as we were only coastal and rarely had to use the fridge for more than a day or so till we got back.  Battery bank is a lot smaller and generation demands way down.

A great idea I've not heard of. There are small electric coolers that might do that for us for a couple days. Couple days insurance would be great. 

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43 minutes ago, random. said:

Small 12V portables work well for backup.  They do not require cabinets to be built and if you are going out for less than a week, leave it at home.  Easily replaced or upgraded if it fails.

Oh and they can be used to store more ice until it fits into the icebox!

 

2 minutes ago, Beer fueled Mayhem said:

I have one of those Dometic freezer/fridges. It is brilliant!  Doesn’t use much power either. I have the 50 liter version. 
You can buy the Chinese knock off version for pretty damn cheap…the Dometic version ain’t cheap. 
AEC24AB8-DE3C-4ED7-A9CF-AC12B81B5E57.thumb.png.b286b85aa6c7676dbb8134a245bdb8a3.png

 

I was just looking at a few of those. There's tons of sizes and details. Several would easily fit in a cockpit locker. The idea of using it to extend the icebox is brilliant, in our use. 

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

This would be the best way but we don't have the freezer space at home. I thought about getting a freezer (partially for this task) but we're the same at home and pick up fresh food several times a week. 

Most of our ice comes from the yard in our harbor. I usually row by on the way to our boat and pick up one or two blocks for a few days. They send me a bill once a month. With the cost of ice still around $2 a block, this bill is a bit of a joke when we get it in the mail.

Another handy thing about the sump is you take the top right off and put and blast the liner with a hose at the docks. You have to keep it clean and rinsed or ice boxes get rank. And my last boat had the icebox drain into the bilge. That's a very bad idea.  

Making ice was one of our primary reasons to buy a small chest freezer.  Like you, we buy fresh food several times a week (well, at least we used to in non COVID-19 times!).

A sump sure sounds sweet.  Our previous boat's icebox drained to a T fitting in the galley sink drain.  We bought the boat in November (out of water) so it was an unexpected "treat" when we launched the next spring and found the bottom 2" of icebox were below the waterline...  At least that explained the amateurish clear plexi grate at the bottom of the box...

Cleaning out a closed icebox from the top with 2" of miscellaneous (mostly) liquid substances and no way to drain it is an unfriendly task that quickly led to our adopting the contained frozen blocks of drinking water!

Cheers!

815883015_20170102Icebox01.thumb.jpg.868256afddd0697f1e731f59ed2dde94.jpg1118648314_20170102Icebox02.thumb.jpg.ff7822a1d6389430eb7f42f26203c62a.jpg1271331395_20170102Icebox03.thumb.jpg.7df5072205a4866532d85bc752d1cba9.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

I'm stumped. Clue us in. 

The getting started in boats section is a guide to refrigeration aboard. 
 

covers ice boxes, compressors, portable ice chests and food prep and placement. 
 

I assume Rockport Marine just gives issues away, especially this one (there’s a picture of Temple rowing his peapod on page 30)

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

I'm stumped. Clue us in. 

I expect it is this:

  • Getting Started in Boats: The Ice Age A guide to refrigeration aboard — Tear-out supplement by Jan Adkins

 

Oops, MGS just beat me to it.

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1 hour ago, Beer fueled Mayhem said:

I have one of those Dometic freezer/fridges. It is brilliant!  Doesn’t use much power either. I have the 50 liter version. 
You can buy the Chinese knock off version for pretty damn cheap…the Dometic version ain’t cheap. 
AEC24AB8-DE3C-4ED7-A9CF-AC12B81B5E57.thumb.png.b286b85aa6c7676dbb8134a245bdb8a3.png

 

When buying that did you look at other units like the Engels? 

In other news my fridge compressor, I think, is the OE units from 1984. I'm hoping that a new unit will cut down the astounding amp consumption. 

Also, how was the insulation in your Wauquiez? Any good? 

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4 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

That's good to know you can extend the pipes on those cans. That would solve much of the access problem. 

Nice job on your cold box! It's tempting to rip out the 60 year old SS liner and start from scratch. 4" of insulation space would still leave us enough of a box, about 6 cu ft., that we need for our use.

We need more of a produce cooler than most sailors. We maybe eat one dry box of pasta in a season. The only canned food we have onboard are tomatoes and maybe a tin or two of sardines. The rest is mostly produce, some fresh protein -  fish, chicken and a bit of red meat(only I eat that).

The rest is greens or fruits and drinks, prepared foods that we preserve for the next few days, and ice water (1-2 gallons), plus the ice to put in those drinks. 

These boxes make me realize, we could trade the labor intensive side of using ice in our big box, for doubling our search time for fresh foods, with an efficient small box. :)

Instead of spray foam, I would look to 2 part pour foams for some of the areas you're looking at, especially down the back to the underneath.  I would pour in stages not try for the whole volume in one shot, you can pick from a variety of densities, in your case I would go lower density because you don't need it to be structural and the high density is more likely to create problems if you screw up, it seems to me to put much more pressure on the surfaces if you overfill.  

Could either go with sheet foam, but it's a fair bit of cutting and fitting.  I like the 2 part froth pack spray foam kits.  Look like a pair of propane tanks in a cardboard box. Far higher quality foam and easier to control application.  I only use the cans when I need a soft hose and access to somewhere weird.

Reducing the inside volume of the icebox will help.  either by insulating the inside and skinning it smaller, I have had good luck with the 1/8" FRP plastic panels, cheap, durable and cleanable.   Note that they do not seem to bond well with polyester resin, but solvent washed, sanded and then epoxy filleted seem to work well enough, not well enough I'd build a deck box out of it unfortunately but well enough when reasonably supported.  

Alternatively, making yourself some rectangular DIY Eutectic plates that you freeze at home and put in the boat could reduce volume and provide longer cooling.   You can order them here: https://www.frigolab.eu/gb/125-ice-packs-or-eutectic-plates and pick the target cold release temperature you want, and a preparation temperature that matches your home freezer's abilities to charge them.  

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5 hours ago, Grrr... said:

Dump the block ice, and get some square milk containers.  Drink them, and then clean them out.  Fill them with water, then freeze water IN them.  You will get your block ice, but also save space because you'll have them for clean drinking water.  It also helps keep your icebox dry and mold-free.

ok, y'all have to talk me out of this:  the PO purchased an Engle cooling unit (c.1993) but never installed it.  Now our Mirage 25 has a nice size box that is nothing but a glass moulding as part of the galley liner.  I assume that he wasn't up for the task of insulating the box and neither am i.  we use that box for storage of drinks an produce as its cooler than ambient as a rule.  the crazy idea is getting the engel up and running and built it into a cooler in our dock box.  get a 100 amp battery and hook it to a 165 watt solar panel i have and then freeze water jugs and cool packs and use them to feed my cooler.  It really hurts me that that engel isn't in service.

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2 hours ago, chester said:

ok, y'all have to talk me out of this:  the PO purchased an Engle cooling unit (c.1993) but never installed it.  Now our Mirage 25 has a nice size box that is nothing but a glass moulding as part of the galley liner.  I assume that he wasn't up for the task of insulating the box and neither am i.  we use that box for storage of drinks an produce as its cooler than ambient as a rule.  the crazy idea is getting the engel up and running and built it into a cooler in our dock box.  get a 100 amp battery and hook it to a 165 watt solar panel i have and then freeze water jugs and cool packs and use them to feed my cooler.  It really hurts me that that engel isn't in service.

Why not just put it in another cabinet on board instead of duplicating systems you could use to upgrade the boat like solar?  Find somewhere you can fit cooler, even if it's just on a flat drawer that pulls out, fit engel to cooler, wire to existing wiring and install.  

Sailing Uma has one video I quite liked going through their interior layout retrofit, and include an example of this off the shelf.  Or alternatively, sell the Engle to someone who wants to build it in like me and then buy a all in one box.  

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34 minutes ago, Startracker said:

Why not just put it in another cabinet on board instead of duplicating systems you could use to upgrade the boat like solar?  Find somewhere you can fit cooler, even if it's just on a flat drawer that pulls out, fit engel to cooler, wire to existing wiring and install.  

Sailing Uma has one video I quite liked going through their interior layout retrofit, and include an example of this off the shelf.  Or alternatively, sell the Engle to someone who wants to build it in like me and then buy a all in one box.  

there is no room for another cabinet anywhere.  the only real solution for ths unit is to adapt it to the existing box which would require the insulation AND take up a significant chunk of existing galley storage. i have definately considered buying a modern chest style engel or similar and strapping it to the head of the port settee.  thae settee rarely gets used as a berth or as a settee for that matter.  When I get back from Vallarta in February I'm going to invest a bit in a technician i know to see if it can work properly and then decide what to do with it.  Maybe I'll snap a pic tomorrow and post it.

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12 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

Vacuum insulated panels will have the highest R-value per inch of anything

+1 for vacuum panels - that’s what I used when I built my fridge box.  You can get them built to a custom size.  Cheap?  Of course not! :-). 

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6 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

 

I was just looking at a few of those. There's tons of sizes and details. Several would easily fit in a cockpit locker. The idea of using it to extend the icebox is brilliant, in our use. 

I have one of the Chinese AlpiCool ones and have had good results for the two years I've had it.  12/24v, set it to any temperature you want down to -4F.  I'm told that they use more electricity than a properly insulated boat fridge of the same size, but it was perfect for what I was doing.

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6 hours ago, CriticalPath said:

Cleaning out a closed icebox from the top with 2" of miscellaneous (mostly) liquid substances and no way to drain it is an unfriendly task that quickly led to our adopting the contained frozen blocks of drinking water!

 

18v battery powered Milwaukee shop vac. 

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18 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:

Has anyone plumbed a hand pump to their icebox that empties into the sink? Seems like a half dozen pumps per day would remove any meltwater.

best manual I've seen uses a foot pump in the galley, and was T'd into the sink drain line right below the sink bowl.  

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

+1 for vacuum panels - that’s what I used when I built my fridge box.  You can get them built to a custom size.  Cheap?  Of course not! :-). 

I kinda don't want to know, but also how much?  If I end up not being able to patch my Novakool reefer back to working, I might remove the whole mess out of spite at them not selling the control box needed and start over from the hull there.  

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26 minutes ago, Startracker said:

I kinda don't want to know, but also how much?  If I end up not being able to patch my Novakool reefer back to working, I might remove the whole mess out of spite at them not selling the control box needed and start over from the hull there.  

I don’t recall exactly (or even closely).  I had only one possible space to build the boxes (fridge and freezer) in my 33’ boat, just aft of the galley on the starboard side (in what was formerly a sail locker for all the hank-on sails), in a space that is against the hull curve (one of the hull side panels, to be precise, being a hard-chine hull).  I did some research, saw an ad for rparts.com in Latitude 38 mag...I measured, ordered, was aghast at the bill, but went ahead with it...sheet foam wasn’t an option for the limited space I had (since the equivalent R value would be many more inches thick)...they seem to be working fine, over a decade (actually, probably nearly 15 years) later...I also bought their pre-made fridge/freezer doors with vacuum panels (top loading)...probably why it ness all so expensive.  All costs, for sure, but works well.

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42 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:

Has anyone plumbed a hand pump to their icebox that empties into the sink? Seems like a half dozen pumps per day would remove any meltwater.

We have a general purpose electric suction pump permanently rigged complete with long hose. Primarily for the drying the shallow bilges when sporty sailing gets fun. Pumps into the galley basin drain. Poke it down into the deep corner of the fridge box as needed. Quickly cleans food spills inside the fridge or in any cubby hole. Reaches the engine box and fore peak, too. Quite handy.

Eliminates the problematic drain on the fridge box. 

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30 minutes ago, Diarmuid said:

Has anyone plumbed a hand pump to their icebox that empties into the sink? Seems like a half dozen pumps per day would remove any meltwater.

That’s how mine is set up. The foot pump at the sink is plumbed either  to the fresh water tank to use if you don’t want to turn on the water pressure, or you you can switch it at the y valve which then routes to the bottom of the ice box. There is a separate small faucet for the foot pump plumbing. I generally leave the foot pump switched to the icebox and use pressurized water pump for freshwater.

As the pump is currently clogged or in need of repair...having to drain the ice box/fridge manually from the top this season made me realize how convenient the foot pump actually is...gotta get on that in the spring...

 

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2 hours ago, Diarmuid said:

Has anyone plumbed a hand pump to their icebox that empties into the sink? Seems like a half dozen pumps per day would remove any meltwater.

Standard kit on C&Cs in the mid 70s.  My parents’ 27 and 38 both had a small hand pump plumbed in and mounted in the cabinet below the sink.  It had a thin walled hose on the exhaust side you’d snake into the sink to pump out.  Nice setup but wasn’t a particularly high quality pump, I recall both leaked like sieves when in use.

Cheers!

 

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The Alden ice box sump is built into the keel aft of the fuel tanks. 50 pound ice blocks were common then. This is the cover plate removed a few years ago. I thought it would be full of junk. The bolts for the top are threaded into the 1/2" FRP. 

464514562_Sumptopremoved.thumb.jpg.e9f554181721e7b4eb6c07315ce9afc4.jpg

The thing that saves it is the inlet is 1/2" and the standpipe pump-out line is 3/4". What ever fits, in will go out. 

1280421734_Sumptopinstalled.thumb.jpg.7e626a38bf1f611c3e290881c01994b8.jpg

I'm on the second hand pump which is the typical dinghy bilge pump. We usually pump it once a day when out long term. If you forget, you'll see the melt water in the bottom of the box. Nothing gets wet as it is deep at the drain.

A big plus is that the galley sink often gets clogged or slowed at the seacock outlet. All you do is screw down the galley sink drain and then pump the sump. That clears it out every time. A little thing but after struggling with clogged ice box drains, clogged sinks, in other boats, this is a relief. 

 

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7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I don’t recall exactly (or even closely).  I had only one possible space to build the boxes (fridge and freezer) in my 33’ boat, just aft of the galley on the starboard side (in what was formerly a sail locker for all the hank-on sails), in a space that is against the hull curve (one of the hull side panels, to be precise, being a hard-chine hull).  I did some research, saw an ad for rparts.com in Latitude 38 mag...I measured, ordered, was aghast at the bill, but went ahead with it...sheet foam wasn’t an option for the limited space I had (since the equivalent R value would be many more inches thick)...they seem to be working fine, over a decade (actually, probably nearly 15 years) later...I also bought their pre-made fridge/freezer doors with vacuum panels (top loading)...probably why it ness all so expensive.  All costs, for sure, but works well.

That sounds great but how do you connect/seal the edges? Can it be done in a situation where they can't be accessed? And then I wonder how I would treat the top around the built in lid curb. Small pieces here and there. 

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15 hours ago, Beer fueled Mayhem said:

I have one of those Dometic freezer/fridges. It is brilliant!  Doesn’t use much power either. I have the 50 liter version. 
You can buy the Chinese knock off version for pretty damn cheap…the Dometic version ain’t cheap. 
AEC24AB8-DE3C-4ED7-A9CF-AC12B81B5E57.thumb.png.b286b85aa6c7676dbb8134a245bdb8a3.png

 

I found several that would easily fit in a cockpit locker. One had a wattage and would pull 4.5 amps. But being so small, the cool down time was impressive; like 15 minutes to go from 80 to freezing.

As mentioned, the volume in the box goes down as food and ice dissaapear. Then you have a small amount of perishables that could go into one of these  to be 'charged' as needed for a day or several. 

That would make our type of cruising more flexible taking the pressure off replenishing plus I could more easily watch our small battery bank. There are times when charging time is plentiful (like last season when the wind seemed to be on a different schedule than we were). 

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If you are going to use ice, it seems a shame to waste all the thermal mass of cold water resulting from melting ice.  Maybe ideally you would have the ice resting on a grate raised above the bottom of the box, with a grate above that to support the food you want to chill. There is probably some ideal point at which you pump the meltwater out, but I'm not sure what that is. Probably when it reaches 40+ F.

The normal household refrigerator temperature is 37F/3c.

Maybe there is someone here with some expertise in thermodynamics who can address this.

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53 minutes ago, accnick said:

If you are going to use ice, it seems a shame to waste all the thermal mass of cold water resulting from melting ice.  Maybe ideally you would have the ice resting on a grate raised above the bottom of the box, with a grate above that to support the food you want to chill. There is probably some ideal point at which you pump the meltwater out, but I'm not sure what that is. Probably when it reaches 40+ F.

The normal household refrigerator temperature is 37F/3c.

Maybe there is someone here with some expertise in thermodynamics who can address this.

We're just lazy coastal sailors who eat and drink a lot. I'm just looking to improve our 'range' on fresh food. 

 I thought of you when I saw this photo. Checked the date and sure enough we were in NEH on a mooring. That's always a provision stop and of course we know the Pine Tree tax applies, and gladly pay it. There is usually a great farmers market as well but last year due to covid, I don't remember if it happened? 

This is what we left with in the cooler. We likely stuffed 5-6, 10 pound blocks into the box as well. 

976194050_Iceboxfull.thumb.jpeg.f0c28901d4dafe99b5a1ae0f0e01a871.jpeg

The one thing I know about ice; the more you got, the better it performs. It's about 3' long end to end and 2' across the top. 

1712319707_Iceboxfull(1).thumb.jpeg.134e7b36386f319fbfdb14ebba5f8508.jpeg

(I plan to look at fitting a gasket on the door as well). After 5 days in NEH and no engine time we had nearly fully charged bank with just our 20 amp panel. That sits on the house in front of the dodger, out of the way. 

From there we went up Somes Sound, sailed and spent a couple days in there. A day or two at Frenchboro, which has no provisions. Then onto Merchant Islands (on our way home). Then a day or two later we did stop into Stonington for provisions, which means, we were desperate. 

It's not always easy to find fresh food along the coast, I've found (done it all, twice). This isn't a problem is you provision with dried and canned foods. We just like fresh, local food. Stonington 'Super Market', you can find some canned goods, lots of processed stuff in bags, but nothing fresh, and nothing green. We were forced into the 5 year old box of pasta (which I love) as I recall. Fresh food goes fast, refrigeration or not. 

And I could have happily run refrigeration on this 3+ week cruise last season as we ran the engine for double normal hours. Plus, engine time is the enemy of ice with the added heat. 

Next island over, we get topped off. Turners Farm on North Haven, a favorite anchorage of ours. 

1682357106_TurnersFarmstand.thumb.jpeg.25b95b4c92accdf377d1f1f5b4831f02.jpeg

I doubt we'll make many more treks south but Southern NE is more challenging than the Penobscot Bay region when it comes to provisions, I can attest. Anything we do to prolong our provisions will make life easier. 

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Grrr... said:

Dump the block ice, and get some square milk containers.  Drink them, and then clean them out.  Fill them with water, then freeze water IN them.  You will get your block ice, but also save space because you'll have them for clean drinking water.  It also helps keep your icebox dry and mold-free.

You can also freeze sauces such as pasta sauce. They too, will act as an ice block for awhile.

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8 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I don’t recall exactly (or even closely).  I had only one possible space to build the boxes (fridge and freezer) in my 33’ boat, just aft of the galley on the starboard side (in what was formerly a sail locker for all the hank-on sails), in a space that is against the hull curve (one of the hull side panels, to be precise, being a hard-chine hull).  I did some research, saw an ad for rparts.com in Latitude 38 mag...I measured, ordered, was aghast at the bill, but went ahead with it...sheet foam wasn’t an option for the limited space I had (since the equivalent R value would be many more inches thick)...they seem to be working fine, over a decade (actually, probably nearly 15 years) later...I also bought their pre-made fridge/freezer doors with vacuum panels (top loading)...probably why it ness all so expensive.  All costs, for sure, but works well.

 

9 hours ago, Startracker said:

I kinda don't want to know, but also how much?  If I end up not being able to patch my Novakool reefer back to working, I might remove the whole mess out of spite at them not selling the control box needed and start over from the hull there.  

the "rparts.com" sit jud mentioned sells box kits (4 vip panels with a cutout for lid) that you have to epoxy together...the 4cuft box kit is $1,100.00

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Here are my very amateur thoughts on this:

  • The design of your boat might make adding a compressor and plumbing refrigerant lines a real nightmare, sacrificing space that you'd really rather not give up.
  • Foam panels would allow cleaner, easier disassembly in the future if it were required. Spray or pour-in foams are permanent and would require hacking out. Very messy.
  • Line the existing icebox with the highest R-value, solid panel foams available and supplement the icebox with the Dometic portable refrigerated coolers shown upthread.
  • Supplemental ice should be frozen in clean containers for additional potable water as described upthread.

If you do opt to install a refrigeration system, I recommend this water cooled Isotherm system: Isotherm

It taps into your galley sink drain so that you don't have to cut a hole in the hull for the heat exchanger. The icy cold waters of Maine will be very efficient for keeping your food cold for the least amount of electrical power.

I know this:  Even adding rough cut, pink foam panels into my cooler has virtually eliminated the need for supplemental ice during hot, Chesapeake summers as long as there's enough sun to keep my batteries charged. When I sailed to Maine where the peak temp was 76F instead of 96F, the electrical draw was negligible.

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

We're just lazy coastal sailors who eat and drink a lot. I'm just looking to improve our 'range' on fresh food. 

 I thought of you when I saw this photo. Checked the date and sure enough we were in NEH on a mooring. That's always a provision stop and of course we know the Pine Tree tax applies, and gladly pay it. There is usually a great farmers market as well but last year due to covid, I don't remember if it happened? 

This is what we left with in the cooler. We likely stuffed 5-6, 10 pound blocks into the box as well. 

976194050_Iceboxfull.thumb.jpeg.f0c28901d4dafe99b5a1ae0f0e01a871.jpeg

The one thing I know about ice; the more you got, the better it performs. It's about 3' long end to end and 2' across the top. 

1712319707_Iceboxfull(1).thumb.jpeg.134e7b36386f319fbfdb14ebba5f8508.jpeg

(I plan to look at fitting a gasket on the door as well). After 5 days in NEH and no engine time we had nearly fully charged bank with just our 20 amp panel. That sits on the house in front of the dodger, out of the way. 

From there we went up Somes Sound, sailed and spent a couple days in there. A day or two at Frenchboro, which has no provisions. Then onto Merchant Islands (on our way home). Then a day or two later we did stop into Stonington for provisions, which means, we were desperate. 

It's not always easy to find fresh food along the coast, I've found (done it all, twice). This isn't a problem is you provision with dried and canned foods. We just like fresh, local food. Stonington 'Super Market', you can find some canned goods, lots of processed stuff in bags, but nothing fresh, and nothing green. We were forced into the 5 year old box of pasta (which I love) as I recall. Fresh food goes fast, refrigeration or not. 

And I could have happily run refrigeration on this 3+ week cruise last season as we ran the engine for double normal hours. Plus, engine time is the enemy of ice with the added heat. 

Next island over, we get topped off. Turners Farm on North Haven, a favorite anchorage of ours. 

1682357106_TurnersFarmstand.thumb.jpeg.25b95b4c92accdf377d1f1f5b4831f02.jpeg

I doubt we'll make many more treks south but Southern NE is more challenging than the Penobscot Bay region when it comes to provisions, I can attest. Anything we do to prolong our provisions will make life easier. 

 

 

 

 

The farmer's market in NE Harbor is superb, and was on every Thursday morning last summer as normal. It was even open in the summer of 2020, with everyone masked up. Opens at 0900 sharp, and people are standing in line. There are lots of very upscale summer people in line, as well as the chefs from larger yachts that come into the harbor.

Lots of Muffys and Buffys talking about their winters in Palm Beach and skiing in Colorado. It can be entertaining.

The meat and cheese guy, who has the goat farm and makes unbelievable cheese, said this past summer may be his last. He had a stroke last year, is in poor health, and struggled to get help this year. The regular baker lady was also not there--could not get help.

Farmers' markets and Co-Ops are a big deal in coastal Maine.

The Co-op in Belfast is, good, and in easy walking range of the harbor. Stonington also has a very good co-op, but it's at least 1.5 miles from the main dock downtown, maybe a bit more. Billings Diesel loaned us their truck to go food shopping when we were stuck there for 10 days waiting for a mechanic this past summer.

Our relatively small 34 ft downeaster has a massive amount of storage. In the cockpit, there is a huge (five cu ft) Frigibar reefer/freezer, but we just use it as a pantry because it is poorly insulated and only runs off 110v. Fortunately, our stackable "milk crate" system fits in there nicely, so that locker probably holds up to six weeks of staples.

Likewise, one locker under the port settee holds three more large "milk crates" full of staples. There is also a fair amount of storage in the galley itself.

The refrigerator/freezer in the galley is an undercounter AC/DC thing with a small freezer--about .36 cu ft of freezer, by measurement--but I have learned to pack it very efficiently, so the little freezer holds at least a three-four week supply of frozen meat/fish. We buy fresh fish and scallops when we can find good stuff at a rational price, and some of that sometimes gets frozen. My wife pre-packages scallops in two-serving freezer bags, which we stack carefully so they stow in the freezer in a space-efficient manner when frozen.

You can easily buy lobsters off the boat almost anywhere, but don't expect the type of deals we got just a few years ago. 

We do a major provisioning at the really nice Tradewinds supermarket in Blue Hill just before launching  in early summer. It's a 20-minute drive from our boatyard in Brooklin. We generally stop back in the boatyard overnight when bound E or W through Eggemoggin Reach once during the summer for another provisioning run, but that one is relatively small.

We get fresh vegetables when and where we can. There is a real "Pine Tree Market" tax in NE Harbor, but if all you are doing is buying veggies, it is not so painful.

Lyman Morse in Camden has a courtesy car you can use for two hours if you are on one of their moorings or floats. We generally go into Camden for a few days in early fall, and take advantage of that car to make a grocery run to the Hannaford's just outside of town if we need to top up.

We were on the boat in Maine full-time from mid-June through early October this past year, which is typical for us these days.

Six years of full-time cruising taught us a lot about provisioning. Our days of ocean crossing in our own boat may be over, but we tend to provision as if we will never see another supermarket again.

That's one reason we raised the waterline an inch this fall.

 

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I can get a quick visual guesstimate of how hard my compressor is working or how well it’s doing to reach/maintain its target temperature in a variety of ambient conditions by looking at the cold plate. 
 

Somewhere around say 35C or above ambient temperature I’ll notice frost or ice accumulation on the plate begin to dwindle. 
 

Lazily, one very hot summer day I interrupted some crucial enjoyment of a suitably cold beverage and got up and covered the top loading door with a couple of folded towels to see if it would make any difference.

Low and behold, it did. I’ve yet to pursue this line of experimentation further, but came away with the notion that if there’s a quick budget friendly approach to the art of conserving ice, even just a little further, a $10 rubberized bar mat that covers the whole top loading door when not in use probably deserves a look.

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3 hours ago, accnick said:

If you are going to use ice, it seems a shame to waste all the thermal mass of cold water resulting from melting ice.  Maybe ideally you would have the ice resting on a grate raised above the bottom of the box, with a grate above that to support the food you want to chill. There is probably some ideal point at which you pump the meltwater out, but I'm not sure what that is. Probably when it reaches 40+ F.

The normal household refrigerator temperature is 37F/3c.

Maybe there is someone here with some expertise in thermodynamics who can address this.

Yes, the residual cool of meltwater stil has a job to do, IF you can keep it away from the ice. Water is quite good at melting ice -- its heat transfer coefficient is 50-100 times greater than air in natural convection (where q=h(ΔT)). Once the meltwater temp gets above ~40°F, as you note, even in a grated setup your deltas water/air/ice become pretty steep and you want that water out of there.

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54 minutes ago, accnick said:

The farmer's market in NE Harbor is superb, and was on every Thursday morning last summer as normal. It was even open in the summer of 2020, with everyone masked up. Opens at 0900 sharp, and people are standing in line. There are lots of very upscale summer people in line, as well as the chefs from larger yachts that come into the harbor.

Lots of Muffys and Buffys talking about their winters in Palm Beach and skiing in Colorado. It can be entertaining.

The meat and cheese guy, who has the goat farm and makes unbelievable cheese, said this past summer may be his last. He had a stroke last year, is in poor health, and struggled to get help this year. The regular baker lady was also not there--could not get help.

Farmers' markets and Co-Ops are a big deal in coastal Maine.

The Co-op in Belfast is, good, and in easy walking range of the harbor. Stonington also has a very good co-op, but it's at least 1.5 miles from the main dock downtown, maybe a bit more. Billings Diesel loaned us their truck to go food shopping when we were stuck there for 10 days waiting for a mechanic this past summer.

Our relatively small 34 ft downeaster has a massive amount of storage. In the cockpit, there is a huge (five cu ft) Frigibar reefer/freezer, but we just use it as a pantry because it is poorly insulated and only runs off 110v. Fortunately, our stackable "milk crate" system fits in there nicely, so that locker probably holds up to six weeks of staples.

Likewise, one locker under the port settee holds three more large "milk crates" full of staples. There is also a fair amount of storage in the galley itself.

The refrigerator/freezer in the galley is an undercounter AC/DC thing with a small freezer--about .36 cu ft of freezer, by measurement--but I have learned to pack it very efficiently, so the little freezer holds at least a three-four week supply of frozen meat/fish. We buy fresh fish and scallops when we can find good stuff at a rational price, and some of that sometimes gets frozen. My wife pre-packages scallops in two-serving freezer bags, which we stack carefully so they stow in the freezer in a space-efficient manner when frozen.

You can easily buy lobsters off the boat almost anywhere, but don't expect the type of deals we got just a few years ago. 

We do a major provisioning at the really nice Tradewinds supermarket in Blue Hill just before launching  in early summer. It's a 20-minute drive from our boatyard in Brooklin. We generally stop back in the boatyard overnight when bound E or W through Eggemoggin Reach once during the summer for another provisioning run, but that one is relatively small.

We get fresh vegetables when and where we can. There is a real "Pine Tree Market" tax in NE Harbor, but if all you are doing is buying veggies, it is not so painful.

Lyman Morse in Camden has a courtesy car you can use for two hours if you are on one of their moorings or floats. We generally go into Camden for a few days in early fall, and take advantage of that car to make a grocery run to the Hannaford's just outside of town if we need to top up.

We were on the boat in Maine full-time from mid-June through early October this past year, which is typical for us these days.

Six years of full-time cruising taught us a lot about provisioning. Our days of ocean crossing in our own boat may be over, but we tend to provision as if we will never see another supermarket again.

That's one reason we raised the waterline an inch this fall.

 

Great info. We may have missed the Thursday in 2021. We love that farmers market. NEH is a 100% cruiser stop harbor, has it all. 

 

I was sorry to see the Co-op move out of Blue Hill. I was a certain provision stop when we anchor in the inner harbor for a few days. The new location is car only (we've been there on the road),  so it's a cruiser loss. The Hinckley market is just ok for 'good food', fine for dry and can goods. 

 

I see the Lyman car often tooling around. They're doing a great job I think. I can't wait for their renovation. French and Brawn, the market right in Camden is a gem. One of the last true village 'grocery stores' along the coast. Some of the same people that worked there 23 years ago when we lived in downtown Camden, are still there.

Very good food, fresh produce, good local selection. You pay a little more but we use it often and I direct cruisers to Camden. Another 100% cruiser stop. 

Another FM is in Rockland and very good. My wife goes weekly for the greens and the farmer has a green house. He drops off Arugula that is out of this world every week at our door in Rockport. The farm movement is strong here and we support them. 

 

I don't think our provision habits will every give us much range,...The provisioner is in local stores and markets at least every other day, and we have refrigeration here. :)

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The food-processing plant where I used to work during college breaks ran for fifty years or more on blocks of ice.  Processes that required ice water would be fed from a pool that was literally cooled by floating ice.  A semi-truck load would arrive every morning full of 100-pound blocks.  There were all kinds of paraphernalia (and jobs) for handling and storing ice.  Then they actually hired a full-time plant engineer.  Within a year we had our own chiller plant and the whole ice-handling culture was lost to the past.  

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10 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

Another FM is in Rockland and very good. My wife goes weekly for the greens and the farmer has a green house. He drops off Arugula that is out of this world every week at our door in Rockport. The farm movement is strong here and we support them.

We frequent this one as well. The Atlantic Bakery is nice as well.  The fancy Hannefords in Damarascotta takes care of a lot of things and the Rising Tide Co-op does the obscure stuff.    

My daughter loved to stop in Camden, so we would at least once a Summer.  It's a bit too busy in the Summer for the rest of us, so one day suffices. 

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42 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

Great info. We may have missed the Thursday in 2021. We love that farmers market. NEH is a 100% cruiser stop harbor, has it all. 

 

I was sorry to see the Co-op move out of Blue Hill. I was a certain provision stop when we anchor in the inner harbor for a few days. The new location is car only (we've been there on the road),  so it's a cruiser loss. The Hinckley market is just ok for 'good food', fine for dry and can goods. 

 

I see the Lyman car often tooling around. They're doing a great job I think. I can't wait for their renovation. French and Brawn, the market right in Camden is a gem. One of the last true village 'grocery stores' along the coast. Some of the same people that worked there 23 years ago when we lived in downtown Camden, are still there.

Very good food, fresh produce, good local selection. You pay a little more but we use it often and I direct cruisers to Camden. Another 100% cruiser stop. 

Another FM is in Rockland and very good. My wife goes weekly for the greens and the farmer has a green house. He drops off Arugula that is out of this world every week at our door in Rockport. The farm movement is strong here and we support them. 

 

I don't think our provision habits will every give us much range,...The provisioner is in local stores and markets at least every other day, and we have refrigeration here. :)

French and Brawn in Camden is really good for veggies, baked goods, and meat. If we don't need major provisions in Camden, F&B is our go-to place.

The Co-op in Blue Hill is now up at the top of the hill across from Tradewinds. The new building is outstanding--probably at least five times as big as the old one in town--and is largely solar-powered. It also has parking, which was a problem at the co-op when it was in town.

Maine farmers' markets are a treasure:

Home Page - Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets (mainefarmersmarkets.org)

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29 minutes ago, Elegua said:

We frequent this one as well. The Atlantic Bakery is nice as well.  The fancy Hannefords in Damarascotta takes care of a lot of things and the Rising Tide Co-op does the obscure stuff.    

My daughter loved to stop in Camden, so we would at least once a Summer.  It's a bit too busy in the Summer for the rest of us, so one day suffices. 

We usually go into Camden after Labor Day for a few days. In fact, we don't typically go west of Eggemoggin Reach until after Labor Day.

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8 minutes ago, accnick said:

We usually go into Camden after Labor Day for a few days. In fact, we don't typically go west of Eggemoggin Reach until after Labor Day.

That makes a lot of sense.  I find if I stay away from moorings and the more "popular" anchorages, we are often alone.  

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14 hours ago, Diarmuid said:

Has anyone plumbed a hand pump to their icebox that empties into the sink? Seems like a half dozen pumps per day would remove any meltwater.

When we got our boat the PO had plumbed the icebox drain to the foot pump for the sink that originally pumped from a thru-hull. It’s a handy set up for coastal cruising.

On another note, lots of folks around here use dry ice at the bottom of the ice box to extend the range of the ice blocks. Obviously it only works for the first few days.

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2 hours ago, fufkin said:

I can get a quick visual guesstimate of how hard my compressor is working or how well it’s doing to reach/maintain its target temperature in a variety of ambient conditions by looking at the cold plate. 
 

Somewhere around say 35C or above ambient temperature I’ll notice frost or ice accumulation on the plate begin to dwindle. 
 

Lazily, one very hot summer day I interrupted some crucial enjoyment of a suitably cold beverage and got up and covered the top loading door with a couple of folded towels to see if it would make any difference.

Low and behold, it did. I’ve yet to pursue this line of experimentation further, but came away with the notion that if there’s a quick budget friendly approach to the art of conserving ice, even just a little further, a $10 rubberized bar mat that covers the whole top loading door when not in use probably deserves a look.

We have been using a heavy bubble-wrap "blanket" on top of the whole fridge compartment for years. Cuts down the cycling immensely.

 

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5 hours ago, chester said:

 

the "rparts.com" sit jud mentioned sells box kits (4 vip panels with a cutout for lid) that you have to epoxy together...the 4cuft box kit is $1,100.00

I see.  So about 2x what I'd guesstimate you'd need in a spray/pour foam scenario for 1 froth pak and 2-3 2 gal pour kits and shop supplies.  

 

 

38 minutes ago, Grizz said:

When we got our boat the PO had plumbed the icebox drain to the foot pump for the sink that originally pumped from a thru-hull. It’s a handy set up for coastal cruising.

On another note, lots of folks around here use dry ice at the bottom of the ice box to extend the range of the ice blocks. Obviously it only works for the first few days.

I'm curious about the eutectic plates I linked above.  Not as silly expensive as the "marine" ones I found elsewhere and you can pick a charging cold range suitable for your home freezer, then top with ice as you go until they're melted then re use next time.  

The other thing they do around here instead of dry ice is saltwater ice.  It's frozen much colder and lasts much longer.  Fishing towns have it.

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

It's not reliably cold enough to make organic today. Too bad. Carbon neutral as well. 

image.png.1a5e44e8caf6557444598193063faed2.png

Horse farts=methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

:lol:

My great grandfather used to cut ice in Pennsylvania. Also rode around on a township truck, shoveling coal cinders onto icy roads, and he laid dry stone walls in summer.

Anything for drinks money, really.

Not one member of the crew was sober, and accidents were commonplace.

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1981, i'm working a summer job for the Crop Development Centre.  While sending the hydralic 2" soil probe in just as kicked the last of the field trash away from the target spot...ooops. the probe puts a 2 " slice into the top of the toe of my vasque hiking boot.  i take it the shoe repair shop at a wee intersection commercial area near my place.  thee proprietor is a uy in his '80's...tall skinny with an amazing schock of pure white hair...he takes one look at the boot and says "haven't seen anything like that since we use to cut ice on the river" :lol:.  I go back in a couple of dayys and he hands me the repaired boot...some cement on the cut with the leather clamped in place with 3 or 4 huge stitches of waxed twine.  Old Skool!

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In my sprinter van I have a Dometic cooler.  It's 12 volt and it will cool to any temp down to -3.  I have thought it would make sense on a boat to have one and use it to keep frozen food and freeze water containers for a ice box.  Just keep rotating gallon water containers. 

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1 hour ago, Startracker said:

I see.  So about 2x what I'd guesstimate you'd need in a spray/pour foam scenario for 1 froth pak and 2-3 2 gal pour kits and shop supplies.  

 

 

I'm curious about the eutectic plates I linked above.  Not as silly expensive as the "marine" ones I found elsewhere and you can pick a charging cold range suitable for your home freezer, then top with ice as you go until they're melted then re use next time.  

The other thing they do around here instead of dry ice is saltwater ice.  It's frozen much colder and lasts much longer.  Fishing towns have it.

then you factor the space and efficiency of the vip and see if its worth it.  the interior of their boxes is only 1.5" smaller than the exterior dimensions.  i'm seeing rvalue claims of 30 in that thickness so what 6 times as efficient as foam?

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On 1/1/2022 at 1:17 PM, Kris Cringle said:

Several would easily fit in a cockpit locker

Uh, the heat removed from the box has to go somewhere. If you dump it into the cockpit locker with the box, you start heating up the cooler. The cooler has to have good air flow around it.

If you use polyiso foam it has to have a vapour barrier around it and joints sealed well. It absorbs moisture via condensation. Using as much solid foam as possible is smart versus spray foam.

The 2 boats I have owned I built #1 with 4" extruded polystyrene and ice (40 lbs would last 1 week in Baja in the summer) and #2 boat with 4-6" polystyrene and a icebox conversion unit. It was small (~3 ft3) and the refrigeration system didn't have to work too hard. 

Dry ice available in your area?

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On 1/1/2022 at 12:17 PM, random. said:

An Ice box well constructed will last a week in tropical climates, longer where you guys are.  Something not mentioned here is the combination of a big icebox and a small refrigerator.

  1. first week the icebox works fine and the food volume is reducing.
  2. second week start up the fridge to look after what's left till the next port.

Worked well for me as we were only coastal and rarely had to use the fridge for more than a day or so till we got back.  Battery bank is a lot smaller and generation demands way down.

EDIT: Few people ask the temperature of block ice.  It could be -5C or -25C.  Huge difference on what happens next.  Always ask so you know whether to go back there next time.  Sometimes there is a thermometer on the ice room.   Otherwise it's like buying fuel without asking how many gallons went in.

I am not going to say that the temperature of the ice doesn't matter. But most of the energy goes into the phase change. So the difference between ice at -5 and -25 is not so large as you imply. The block may quickly warm up to near 0 C regardless of its initial temp, and then buffer the temp near 0 C until it is totally melted.

Edit: after some googling, the temp change from -25 to -5 is about 40 J/g. The latent heat of fusion is about 334 J/g. So that puts it in perspective.

 

Edited by mckenzie.keith
Quantification.
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21 hours ago, CriticalPath said:

Standard kit on C&Cs in the mid 70s.  My parents’ 27 and 38 both had a small hand pump plumbed in and mounted in the cabinet below the sink.  It had a thin walled hose on the exhaust side you’d snake into the sink to pump out.  Nice setup but wasn’t a particularly high quality pump, I recall both leaked like sieves when in use.

Cheers!

 

Our mid-80's C&C had the same setup with the same crappy plastic pump. We upgraded the pump to a brass PAR unit that fit the existing brackets and it still works well.

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On 1/1/2022 at 1:17 PM, Kris Cringle said:

 

I was just looking at a few of those. There's tons of sizes and details. Several would easily fit in a cockpit locker. The idea of using it to extend the icebox is brilliant, in our use. 

That is exactly where I put it. Under the cockpit seat. In the lazerette.  You can make ice with these as well…

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On 1/1/2022 at 2:31 PM, Elegua said:

When buying that did you look at other units like the Engels? 

In other news my fridge compressor, I think, is the OE units from 1984. I'm hoping that a new unit will cut down the astounding amp consumption. 

Also, how was the insulation in your Wauquiez? Any good? 

I found mIne used on our yacht club newsletter. But I have compared them.  The Engel sounds great and has it’s fans for sure. Sounds like it might be louder and my Dometic is right over my bunk. It is the classic comparison test.  No real winner that I could find. Dometic is easier to find here in Seattle for sure. Sure marine sells and services them so…

I think the insulation on my Wauquiez is pretty good. We spent a year in Mexico and the fridge didn’t seem to run excessively. With the cabin at around 90 degrees, the fridge would run about 8 minutes then shut down for about 20 minutes. Right about there. I didn’t think it was too bad. We had five people living aboard. Three kids. So the fridge was open quite a bit.  
Here in the PNW, the fridge runs about 8 minutes every 30 minutes. Haven’t timed it in a bit. 

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My Wauquiez came with a drain in the bottom of the fridge. Y valve tied into the salt water pump for the galley.  Foot pump. I have two. One fresh and one salt. Close the thru hull and throw the y valve and I can pump out the fridge. I really liked this feature after my daughter spilled a gallon of milk into the fridge…

33810E18-766B-4DB9-A061-8AB7EBBE7A62.thumb.jpeg.704cf0b6114cc89dc89d0189758c8584.jpegA4F4AB07-C616-4CEB-AF82-9547BE06036B.thumb.jpeg.2427ef5879b40bda550f9aa3eb4da125.jpeg

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11 hours ago, Zonker said:

Uh, the heat removed from the box has to go somewhere. If you dump it into the cockpit locker with the box, you start heating up the cooler. The cooler has to have good air flow around it.

If you use polyiso foam it has to have a vapour barrier around it and joints sealed well. It absorbs moisture via condensation. Using as much solid foam as possible is smart versus spray foam.

The 2 boats I have owned I built #1 with 4" extruded polystyrene and ice (40 lbs would last 1 week in Baja in the summer) and #2 boat with 4-6" polystyrene and a icebox conversion unit. It was small (~3 ft3) and the refrigeration system didn't have to work too hard. 

Dry ice available in your area?

It would be stored in the locker and not in use 95% of the time. In use it would probably be on the cabin sole in the shade. 

I was thinking I'd use Polysio with foil facing. Then the aluminum tape on edges and corners, where I could, and foam the bejesus out of the joints. I'd go for air tight, much unlike the present install. 

No dry ice. Just a huge ice freezer at our docks, full of 10 pounds blocks (and cubes) of ice @ 1.75 a piece. I often just take what I need and sign a slip. There's a fella comes around in a truck once a week and fills it. So easy. 

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4 hours ago, Beer fueled Mayhem said:

That is exactly where I put it. Under the cockpit seat. In the lazerette.  You can make ice with these as well…

That's interesting. We keep 5-6 or more gallons of drinking water in plastic jugs, stored in lockers. There is always 2 in the ice cooler, one being used, one cooling down. I wonder how quickly one of these coolers that would fit 2 of these jugs (and nothing else) would freeze a the two gallons? There are times we're under power for an hour or two that could easily run the 4-5 amp load. 

Sort of a Rube Goldberg cold plate. 

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On 1/2/2022 at 12:30 PM, fufkin said:

I can get a quick visual guesstimate of how hard my compressor is working or how well it’s doing to reach/maintain its target temperature in a variety of ambient conditions by looking at the cold plate. 
 

Somewhere around say 35C or above ambient temperature I’ll notice frost or ice accumulation on the plate begin to dwindle. 
 

Lazily, one very hot summer day I interrupted some crucial enjoyment of a suitably cold beverage and got up and covered the top loading door with a couple of folded towels to see if it would make any difference.

Low and behold, it did. I’ve yet to pursue this line of experimentation further, but came away with the notion that if there’s a quick budget friendly approach to the art of conserving ice, even just a little further, a $10 rubberized bar mat that covers the whole top loading door when not in use probably deserves a look.

^^ this ^^ We have a fitted pad on top of our top opening refrigerator (ice box conversion). It is a piece of closed cell sleeping (3/8”) pad foam trimmed to fit between the fiddles and the bulkhead. We covered with white vinyl from the remnants section of a fabric store. Folded over and white duct tape across the bottom seams. Light enough that I just lift it with the lid when going in for a beverage. Easy enough to slip off onto the adjoining settee when getting more serious loading or removing meal ingredients. We have found this makes a difference and had similar on our last icebox only boat. I also have a section of foiled bubble wrap sitting on top of the freezer section. Reduces the plate from frosting up as fast and retains some cold when just going in for short withdrawals. We have a spillover divider moving cold from the freezer to the refrigerator section. In the really humid late July days on Lake Ontario we still can only get about 1 week between defrosting the plate. That takes about 30 min total between unloading to cooler bags, blowing the fan in to melt, amd mopping out the melt water. Did have a bottom drain in the box plumbed to a small foot pump. Tried plugging that and found it helped reduce the cycling of the compressor. Cold air sinking out the bottom apparently. I have a couple of different weatherstripping to try this season around/under the opening lid. Inside top surface of the box also has 1” pink board glued up against it from po. Exterior sides of the box have some 90’s rigid yellow foam panels against them. Have to explore further with plans to remove and wrap with something better/newer (aerogel?).

We were making ice everyday in the freezer compartment in the summer with just 125W solar. Longest w/o shore power was 38 nights. We delivered a large ziplock of cubes every cocktail hour to our buddy boat. Their system went down early into that cruise, so we held frozen food for them and supplied ice for cold drinks, and fresh items in their box. 

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