There are knots in my stomach as we pull anchor at Tracy Arm Cove. Last year we took a left and cruised up the Tracy Arm to North and South Saywer Glaciers. Today we are taking a right and heading to Fords Terror 22 miles up the Endicott Arm of Holcomb Bay. This fiord is […]
Matersfjorden is one of the wettest regions in the country and in 2005 received 8.8 inches (223 mm) of rainfall in 24 hours, the second highest ever recorded in Norway. The fjord also is home to the 230MW Blafalli Vik power station and some fabulous scenery, with 4,087ft (1,246m) Ulvanosa soaring above the waterway and…
Whenever anyone asked me about a recipe I said “I should publish a cookbook to share the recipes with everyone”. When COVID-19 happened I finally realized that I had the time to write that cookbook. Although I must admit that … Continue reading →
Our last post prompted a question about refrigeration from a reader in France, so here’s a few comments on that subject.
When we were in the Med meetingfellow cruisers (the vast majority of whom were aboard sailing yachts) one of the most common discussion threads was the difficulty of keeping house battery banks charged. In virtually all these cases the cruisers with these issues had battery powered refrigeration. Modern technology has certainly reduced refrigeration’s power requirements, but there’s no doubt it’s stilllikely to be your biggest current draw.
Boat refrigeration is powered in one of the following ways:
1. An engine driven compressor – this is very efficient, but only operates when your engine is running. Usually the same compressor powers both a refrigerator and freezer. There can be issues with controlling temperature as in some installations items in the refrigerator section will freeze if the system is run too long.
2. DC power from battery bank – is efficient but results in heavy current draws,
3. AC power from generator and/or inverter. Very efficient but note that quite a large inverter is needed due to refrigeration’s high start up current draw.
4. A combination of above – is ideal.
I haven’t included LPG powered refrigeration as with a pilot light it’s regarded as unsafe for marine applications.
Whatever system is used stainless steel lined appliances seem to work better than plastic lined ones and those with built-in brine plates make them even more effective. A big advantage of systems 2 and 3 is they invariably allow for continuous operation on shore power using a battery charger in the case of DC or an inverter generally passing current directly through to the appliance in the case of AC.
On our last boat we used AC power from our genset or shore power and found that worked extremely well.Depending on the ambient temperature and the number of people aboard (more people = more “drain” on refrigeration) we ran the genset for about 60-90 mins morning and evening. During that time we’d also charge the batteries and often do some washing, heat the hot water tankanduse the water maker.
Rapport hasan Engelrefrigerator (with a small freezer section) in the galley powered both by AC and 24V DC plus a combination refrigerator / freezer powered by an engine driven compressor. The latterworks fine if you are cruising every day, but if anchored or staying in a marina for several days we had no freezer without running an engine for a couple of hours a day, so we decided to install an AC powered freezer on the flybridge. On boats we prefer chest to front opening freezers. The latter are more convenient to use but in our view not as effective. Where possible and mainly due to price we believe it’s best to use standard household appliances so we chose a 220V powered Haier HCF101 chest freezer with 101 litres capacity costingonly $439 (about 242 Euros). We installed a double AC power point in the flybridge and the freezer is protected from weather by the flybridge’s vinyl screens. When on shore power our inverter passes incoming AC current directly through to connected AC appliances. Underway with the engines charging the batterieswe use the 4.1Kw inverter to provide AC power and at anchor we also use the inverterwhile using the genset to periodically boost the batteries. We find the refrigerator and freezer combined draw less than 5 amps. Since our cooking is electric we need to run the genset during the evening in any case and can then also heat our hot water and sometimes use our water maker.
This is the compressor driven chest freezer located in the cockpit
The compressor driven refrigerator is in the saloon (the freezer is on the other side of the bulkhead)
A few tips we’ve found useful:
1. Pack your refrigerator and freezer as full as possible to make them operate more efficiently. Use different sized bottles of water to use up any spare space.
2. Turn them OFF or down during the night to conserve battery power. When not being opened they lose little temperature overnight.
3. Use your thermostat – when you have charging power available turn the thermostat down (ie colder) so the appliance runs more or less continuously and when you have no power turn it up so it runs less.
4. Use your freezer to freeze bottles of water. Each day or two put some in your refrigerator to help keep its temperature down. As the water bottles thaw use them for cold drinking water and replace.
5. If you have more food and drink to keep cool than your refrigeration capacity allows use your freezer to freeze a few bottles of water and freezer pads, thenstore additional supplies in an Esky, changing the bottles over every couple of days. This is particularly good for bulky vegetables and salads as well as wine and soft drinks (beer needs to be colder!)
6. Cans of drinks store more easily, are easier to dispose of and seem to get colder than glass or plastic bottles.
The five-hour return hike to 3,300ft (1,005m) Mjelkhaug is a combination of two other hikes: a three-hour circular loop to Nordjfell, with a one-hour extension to Varhaugselet and an additional hour to reach Mjelkhaug. All three hikes have excellent views west into Hardangerfjorden, while from Mjelkhaug you also can see the Folgefonna glaciers. On another…
The large TV tower atop 2,375ft (724m) Kattnakken on the island of Stord was a common sight as we traveled around the mouth of Hardangerfjord. We first spied it from the summit of Siggjo on the adjacent island of Bomlo, and decided that would be our likely next hike. From the anchorage at Karihavet, we…
1555 ft (474m) Siggjo on Bomlo was prominent in the skyline north of our anchorage at Karihavet near Moster. And if the summit was so visible, we could be sure the views from the top would be excellent. Our second day at Karihavet dawned beautifully clear, so we set off in the tender to hike…