Waeco fridge - swing door, or drawer?

Ru88ell

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I really can't be arsed to strip out the chart table and build my own top loading fridge, but since I never sit at the chart table I reckon I could get a Waeco CR50 or CRD50 in the dead space underneath without resorting to cutting anything. My question is this - which would be the most useful / appropriate in a small boat, the swing door or the drawer version? Has anyone experience of using both types?

Cheers
 

prv

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I haven't looked up those particular fridges, but if you're planning to put it in the footwell opening sideways then I think you'd need to go for the drawers. With a door you wouldn't be able to open it on starboard tack without everything falling out.

Pete
 

vyv_cox

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I agree with prv but it is a fact of life that drawers reduce the internal space of an open cupboard. So presumably you will lose out somewhere, less capacity, bigger box or less insulation.
 

prv

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I can't see any dimensions on that page (haven't looked very hard) - but if it would fit into the space below the sink with the drawer pulling out into the central passage (towards the cooker) then I think that would be really neat. Just needs a cutout in the GRP. But maybe it's too wide?

Failing that, it could go in the same space but rotated 90° so that the drawer pulls out into the footwell - it looks to be less deep than it is wide provided you take the compressor off the back which it says is possible. Or if still not enough room, it could go in the forward end of the locker under the quarter berth and pull out into the same space.

Pete
 

Ru88ell

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It won't go under the sink as w=440, d=422 and h=250. I was thinking of making a housing to raise it to the underside of the chart table, with the compressor underneath. I love the idea of under the quarter berth, although that's where our water bag is. I could always find another home for that.
 

prv

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I was thinking of making a housing to raise it to the underside of the chart table, with the compressor underneath.

You mean filling in the whole of the footwell, so that there's a vertical partition at the forward edge of the quarter berth? I wouldn't have considered that myself since I often used to sit at the chart table, but if you never do then I guess it does reclaim a lot of space. Cram the compressor in somewhere else and you could have a second non-refrigerated drawer below the fridge. The space below the sink would become inaccessible, so that seems like a good place for the compressor (maintenance access either by removing the lower drawer, or a hatch on the inboard GRP).

I love the idea of under the quarter berth, although that's where our water bag is. I could always find another home for that.

For what it's worth, Kindred Spirit's water was in the locker under the bunks just forward of the mast post. Probably to help with her stern-down trim from the bigger engine. If you don't have a trim problem, the two voids that spring to mind are under the aft end of the cockpit (I built a sliding stowage bin for there, though never installed it as it was too hard to get at regularly) and below the gas locker. We fitted a new fuel tank in the latter location, the original having been displaced to the quarter berth by the previous owner's galactic poo-tank but we wanted the berth back.

Pete
 

Ru88ell

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I can get to the space below the fridge as the original owner fitted a bottom hinged door with a waste bin in the void. That would be a good place for the compressor.
 

jakeroyd

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Similar to others Russel I think a top loader is best for a small boat.
(things stay in and it's more efficient)
I have a Waeco CF-18 which fits where my feet would be if I was at the chart table (I never am)

Bear in mind power consumption.
OK when motoring or on shore power.
I have fitted a 30w fixed solar panel and a mobile 13w panel , both together just about keep the fridge going set on a cool setting when you are on a morring etc.

18ltrs is not much but I find it works for the 2 of us.
 

Fendant

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Top loader's better efficiency is a myth, what really counts is the heat capacity of the goods stored, the mass of the air "falling out" is a rounding error. If you can fit a drawer this is imho the best solution for a fridge on a small boat. We had a hinged fridge on our last boat and we had several times a mess when we tried to get a cold drink out on the wrong bow for celebrating a nice breeze.
 

Monique

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We changed the refrigerator to a keel cooled 2 drawer unit (135L.. it replaced an 80 L refer). The advantages are lower power use and reduced heat inside the cabin. Another plus is the remote location of the compressor.

If your budget can swing a keel cooled version, you will be very pleased. (Frigoboat)
 

Ru88ell

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UPDATE:

I bought a Waeco CD20, which is a 20l drawer fridge, and it should provide me with enough space for my needs.

I had it hooked up to an 80ah battery at home for testing, and at about 3 degC internal temp the battery lasted six and a half days. I can't envisage a time when I'd not run the engine for that long. The housing I'm building has just enough space to surround it with 12mm of Celotex too, which shouldn't make it any less efficient.

Build underway, so will update over the next month.
 
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