Refits, More Ways to Make Your Boat Better.
Copyright 2012 John Champion
Some very serious and experienced cruisers regard a boat fridge as unnecessary. They happily cross oceans and live aboard without the comfort of cold drinks and the varieties of fresh food that require refrigeration. These hardy souls have my respect but for many cruisers a decent fridge is high on the list of desirable, if not essential boat equipment. Different vessels have differing systems and installations, some are markedly superior to others. How to choose an effective system or improve the one you have depend on a number of factors, each with individual advantages and drawbacks. As with most aspects of yacht equipment and design there is always a price to pay and another compromise to make. How refrigeration actually works is interesting enough; see text books for the technical info of high and low pressure lines and the like. Learning the theory is unlikely to mean we can fix the fridge and for most people a professional repair will prove the cheapest solution in the long run. Knowing something of system types and installations however, will allow an informed choice when selecting your yacht, upgrading your refrigeration or God forbid, replacing the lot if your stuck with a dud.
There are a number of major factors to consider; system type, fridge size, equipment location, insulation and most importantly your cruising needs. Each of these factors will influence the other requirements. Perhaps the first place to start is with the size of your fridge as this will largely dictate your equipment choices.