On-board cooling

Published on 01 december 2015 at 0h00

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It’s been a good thirty years since we gave up on having to hunt for a big block of ice every time we pulled in to port, and we certainly don’t miss that. The arrival of mechanical cooling brought us freedom and self-sufficiency. Sure, for the first few years, electrical consumption drove us to run the motor for a few extra hours. But here in 2015, the surface area of the solar panels on our beautiful catamarans liberates us from this less than ecologically sound requirement. If we keep the number of times we open and close it every day to a minimum compared to at home, and have a good-quality, well-insulated unit, we can have hassle-free convenience.

But watch out, boatbuilders frequently offer the option of a freezer. In reality, these are just ice boxes. Going down to a temperature of -18°C, they can keep frozen food frozen indefinitely, or keep the fish you have caught good for a few days. But they don’t go down to -30°C like a proper freezer which will conserve suitably-prepared food almost until the end of time. But the “freezer compartment” inside a fridge, only allows foodstuffs to be kept for between two days and four weeks, depending on whether it goes down to -6°C or -12°C. Having clarified this, the ice box perfectly fulfills the requirements for blue water cruising: varied and quality menus even after all the fresh victuals have been used up. You can enjoy a good steak mid-ocean, and make that fish that you suddenly caught after days without ...

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