10 Reasons It May Be Time For a Boat Refrigeration Upgrade

1.) The refrigerator is failing to maintain the desired temperature range
This should ideally be between 35-40°F for safe food storage. If it once achieved this but no longer does, it might be due to insulation deterioration, a malfunctioning thermostat that fails to activate the compressor when needed, a possible refrigerant leak, or simply the aging of the system.

2.) The system’s performance exhibits periodic fluctuations
Your refrigeration is functioning acceptably for extended periods but experiencing issues unpredictably. You may have smooth sailing for months, but when embarking on your annual family cruise, it’s as if the mischievous gremlins strike. Taking proactive measures and upgrading to a new, reliable, and shiny refrigerator system is the solution.

3.) Excessive energy consumption is a concern
Particularly with older DC-powered systems utilizing the Danfoss BD3.0 or earlier compressors, or the bulky holding plate systems predating the 12-volt revolution. While these systems were outstanding in their prime, their efficiency has been surpassed by those employing Secop BD35 or BD50 compressors. These modern systems should enable you to power your refrigeration using energy generated by solar panels or a wind generator.

4.) Unusual noise levels are present
It’s crucial to identify the source of this additional noise—whether it’s the compressor, fan, or pump. Once you’ve pinpointed the problematic component, you can assess if it’s repairable or if it’s time to consider investing in a new system.

5.) You’re considering replacing your traditional ice box with a more modern and convenient drawer-based system
Embracing this change means bidding farewell to the inconveniences of items falling out, the need to contort yourself to reach the box’s rear, or even the humorous image of someone holding onto your ankles as you dive into the depths of the ice box.

6.) You need more space for longer distance cruising
The realization has struck that the ice box previously suitable for day sailing and weekend getaways is inadequate for your new lifestyle, which involves living onboard or planning extensive cruises to distant islands. Perhaps a straightforward solution lies in converting the space beneath the settee into a deep freeze to meet your needs.

7.) Your ice cream no longer remains frozen throughout your cruise
This poses a question about the freezer’s purpose. However, remember that a functioning freezer is essential not only for ice cream but also for ice cubes and keeping perishable food frozen during extended journeys. If you’ve ensured that you’re not overloading the box, verified the refrigerant charge, and confirmed the compressor is operational, it’s possible that the issue lies with the box itself, struggling to maintain a seal against warm air intrusion and cold air retention.

8.) You’ve recently acquired an excellent boat with subpar refrigeration
While it may have been a fantastic deal and the boat you’ve been seeking, it’s clear that the ice box’s glory days are behind it. Now is the opportune moment to overhaul the interior and replace the refrigeration components with state-of-the-art, energy-efficient parts that can reliably serve you for 15-20 years. It’s time for a fresh start, and happy days are indeed here again!

9.) Your partner wants a larger freezer area to enhance your weekend cruising experience
To ensure a harmonious boating partnership, accommodating this request is paramount. Luckily, there are various options to explore, from repurposing unused onboard storage space to considering portable, self-contained coolers that can fulfill this need.

10.) The refrigeration system has surpassed the 20-year mark
This alone speaks volumes about its longevity. However, it’s essential to recognize that even your home refrigerator has limitations, and it may be time to contemplate a replacement.

July 8, 2023

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