New 12 Volt freezer

We just added a 12 volt compressor to our freezer. When we bought Questeria, she had a freezer that ran on 110 a/c. It worked great at the dock when we were plugged into shore power. And it was okay while cruising if we ran our generator a couple of hours a day. The freezer has a cold plate so the compressor only runs a few times a day and the food stays frozen. But considering our plans to go to the Bahamas, we didn’t want to be dependent on a generator.

On our first “big trip” from the FL Keys to NC, our generator went out and we couldn’t keep our food frozen. Later, we bought our Honda 2000 generator and we were able to keep our food frozen when away from the dock. We discussed replacing it with a 12 volt compressor, but the one we had worked well most of the time. It was inconvenient, but we learned to cope with it.

One day somebody suggested that we just add a 12 volt compressor to our existing freezer. That is what we did. We ordered a Frigoboat system, meant to be self installed. We got an air-cooled Capri 50 compressor, a 160F evaporator and a freezer mechanical thermostat from Marine Warehouse. We measured the freezer and determined that this compressor and evaporator would work.

Installation wasn’t too bad. We were a little apprehensive about bending the evaporator. We found a PVC pipe that was 3 1/4″ od. and used that to bend the plate, after heating it with a heat gun. We had more than enough copper tubing, which we had to coil up next to the compressor. The screw-on fittings went on easily.

12 Volt Evaporator
12 Volt Evaporator

We lost some storage and freezer space, but overall we are happy with how it turned out. One more item that we can check off on our Bahamas to do list.

Bahamas Bound

We have wanted to go to the Bahamas for a long time, but other things kept coming up. We think we are  almost ready. We are planning to leave around the last week of March  or the first week of April, weather permitting and plan to stay 4-8 weeks.

We are getting serious, and are talking with S/V The Journey. Our plan is to leave from Marathon, FL and go to South Riding Rock, or maybe to Rodriguez Key and then to Gun Cay. From there we will go to Northwest Channel, then to Bird Cay and then to Nassau. From there we want to visit the Exumas one day at a time.

We have been preparing for this for a while but we are still making changes that will improve our trip. Last year we installed a watermaker, a SSB (Single Side Band) radio and AIS (Automatic Identification System). This year we added a pactor modem (so we can use our SSB for email), 12v freezer and EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). I will discuss these in more detail in later posts.

Last year we purchased a number of charts and guidebooks. We are using these to plan our routes, and have purchased even more.  I will also discuss these in later posts. I have been studing weather and ways to get weather predictions when you are off the grid. I will talk about this in later posts as well.