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Sailing Refrigeration

March 7, 2012

The fridge is, in my opinion, one of the most important elements of a boat.  It’s where we keep the food.  Of course, the hull and sails are fairly important, but what is the point of having such essentials if the stomach is empty?

Running on empty at the moment!

In Kuwait it gets fairly hot, but we manage on a daily basis on the dive boats by packing cool boxes (Eskies, to our Yank friends) with ice.  But for longer term sailing, something more substantial is useful, so we built capacious fridges into both our yachts.  Most marine fridges are top opening, on account of heat rising and cold sinking; but most marine fridges also have tine little holes through which the unfortunate galley slave must dive into head first and rummage around in the small hope of finding what they want under the rest of the junk.

We avoided that by designing it so that the whole damn thing opens, and then stays open with the sophisticated support of our chocolate box.

In an attempt to be well organised and efficient, I have everything stored in baskets (Empty at the moment) so that we can lift out the basket that we need, and close the fridge whilst we rummage in just the one basket.  I tended to keep softies in the top basket for quick access, since we consumed masses of those, especially with a crew on board in our racing days.  Now, however, Marc and I have virtually cut out soft drinks; although ‘ll admit I still have one or two a day when I go out on the dive boat.

The second basket is usually for fruit and salads… the sort of things we snack on regularly.  There is nothing more refreshing at sea than a bowl of sliced apples, oranges  and melons.  The third and bottom basket tends to be for food we use in cooking, such as meat and vegetables.  Admittedly, we don’t really need to keep onions etc in the fridge, but since we ave only ever done relatively short term cruising so far, we have thrown them in anyway to fill the space.

Down by the sides of the basket is space for three 2 litre milk containers.  We freeze water in these, and that helps to keep the temperature down with less power.  You can see, in the freezer compartment on the right where we actually freeze the water (and wine) containers.  This freezer is awesome.  If I put a bottle of water in there before I go home, when I return in the morning it will be ice.  So hopefully Marc will be able to take his ice cream, and eat it!  Talking of which, I store foods wherever possible in one litre ice cream containers… since these have a great seal and help to support the trays at just the right height

The insulation is thick, so if the power fails (which it seems to do fairly regularly) it can be used as an Eskie anyway, with ice blocks placed at the bottom of the freezer – and since we usually keep rotating the ice blocks between the freezer and the fridge anyway, this helps us when we do lose power.

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