Date: 17 September 2015. Securing a
Refrigerator (fans too)
I've been unhappy with my small Haier cube refrigerator. Oh, the
thing works okay. The problem is me. I love cantaloupe and one will
not fit inside without being cut into pieces. It's a little enough
thing but has been a source of irritation. And now it's not.
I've got a new refrigerator and if I'm very fortunate a friend will
accept my old one for a project he has in mind. If I remember
correctly, he wants to convert an A/C powered reefer into a 12-volt
one. And I want the old cube gone. This could be a good thing for
the meantime I've got to get my new cubby ready for the new
refrigerator/freezer. Gosh, doesn't that sound just snazzy?!? I'm
nothing is quite as simple as imagined originally. And this project
has suffered with a couple of hiccups as detailed in the
article. Plus it's a boat, so nothing is straight, square or even
from side to side -- at least not on my boat.
You see, I
am tucking the new refrigerator in the corner by the door to the
cockpit. Everything that was there is gone now and the reefer fits
nicely in its spot.
A friend, Douglas on S/V Guanahani, has a similar unit and his keeps
ice cream, makes ice and more. Plus it stores food nicely. He
said the power requirements weren't too bad though I did not pin
down a definition of "not too bad" in amp hours.
things first however. Like Pairadice, as described in the
Installing Refrigerator Fans
piece, I too wanted fans in my refrigerator compartment. I added
two. One blows on the compressor and the other pulls hot air out of
As always, wherever there
are two wires together on my boat the
RED POSITIVE IS ON THE RIGHT while the
NEUTRAL/GROUND is on the left.
In the photo, the screw
holding the ground side had not been tightened down. Mid-way
through I tested, to make sure both fans came on.
Like Cap'n John on M/V
Pairadice, I opted for small computer fans. The one shown
blows on the compressor.
The other one (at the end of that *sheathed
wire running to the right) powers a second fan that pulls hot
air out of the compartment.
*A sheathed wire is a term that means the positive and
ground wires are inside a covering.
The wires are protected and that's called sheathed
in the nautical world.
Shielded wire has a
wire wrap around the outside of the positive and ground
wires. It is then covered in a plastic sheath. The deal with
shielded is this: it's a lot more expensive. However for
folks with electronics issues (interference from
wiring/power) then the shielded wire can be one component of
The second fan pulls air out and is set in the gap
between the hull and in the inner liner.
Once the refrigerator was placed in its new spot, it became apparent
that I had another issue. I wanted to ensure the reefer stayed in
place. I did not want the refrigerator to slide forward into the
front of the unit there are two adjustable legs with rubber feet to balance the
reefer. They are 1 1/8" across. Of course I had a 1" and a 1.5"
drill bit. I did not have a 1.125" bit. So, since those rubber feet
had ridges around the outside edge, a bit of surgery with a pocket
knife removed 'em. Voila: the legs are now 1" across.
Advice: Do not
mess with a woman who knows how to use a knife.
step was to take a piece of wood 1/2" thick and cut it
to the width of the locker and about two inches wide. Using the
jigsaw, a board was cut 22" x 2.5". That will be
my brace and should keep the reefer from moving into the galley
I placed it
in front of where I wanted the reefer to sit. Next I tilted the
reefer back and painted the bottom of the two rubber feet in red nail
polish. Then I put the legs down on my bracing board. The paint gave
me the exact placement of where my holes needed to be.
For those of
us who have ruler issues, the nail polish trick works like a charm.
I use polish to mark stuff. Toothpaste works the same way and is
easier to clean up.
drilled 1" holes through the board. The legs fit into those holes.
Tucking the reefer back into its slot, I saw where the bracing board
needed to be secured. Three screws later my refrigerator cannot move
out of it's new home. The brace is screwed to the *sole.
the floor inside your boat. Outside, it's called the deck.
I can with effort pick up the front of the reefer to free it from
the board. It's Good Enough and that's what I wanted.
I also needed to install a
switch for the fans at the back. I had already chosen a board
to cover the ends of the cut edges of wood and to make the
reefer cabinet area a little spiffier. (It's a girl thing.)
The switch needed to be
easy to mount (avoiding cabinet support structure) and high so I wouldn't have
to bend over to turn it on or off.
The nail polish came
out. I dabbed a bit on the end of the switch. Then I placed
the unit against the vertical board it needed to butt up
against. Voila: a paint mark
made, in the exact spot I needed to drill.
Switches are funny things. There is the guts of the
unit that sits behind your facing board, and then a protrusion
about 1/2" wide that you stick through your wood. Basically
the "guts" are hidden and only the switch shows. Perfect.
It's a boat, right? So stuff doesn't
always go just the way we imagine it. My board, 3/8" thick,
was too thick for that switch throat. Great. The perfect
solution would have been to pull out some wood chisels and
get rid of the excess thickness.
I do not have any
chisels aboard Seaweed. I do have a small Dremel gifted me
by Mabe and it worked like a champ. My slot is not pretty,
but it is Good Enough.
And the switch fits perfectly now.
I have added a couple of tie-down loops on the
support board. The decision as to how to lock down the reefer so the
doors won't open when underway is still not finalized. I've got a
bungee cord leftover from when Butch the boat mover [http://haganland.com]
brought my Seaweed here, so that may be a part of the solution...
I'm just not sure as of yet.
Of course there is more. Like all
projects, they evolve and Job Creep certainly rears her head. I
want a counter top too, and that's yet another project. But not
today. Today I'm reveling in having ice cubes and cantaloupe. What a
Is cantaloupe a favorite of yours or do you prefer a
What fruits do you keep regularly this time of the year?
In the Bilges,
Stone-Wave Sticks ~
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Calder's (2015, 4th Edition)