S/V Hello World's Travel Log

tearing out the fridge box

When we bought Hello World, she came with an AC powered compressor so large, we suspect it was designed to run freezers in a morgue. All that cooling capacity came at the cost of our batteries. Running the fridge would pull 70 amps DC out of our battery bank. When I tell other cruisers that they always say: "you mean 70 amp hours per day, right?" No, 70 amp hours per hour. About 10 times the electrical draw of other marine refrigeration units on boats our size.

So the compressor had to go.

The fridge box itself was also massive. Given all that interior space to cool combined with the mediocre insulation and the fridge box had to go, too.

So last weekend we commenced to ripping out the existing fridge box. In order to keep destruction to a minimum, we ponied up an exorbitant amount of cash for a Fein Multimaster. This thing made short work of cutting out all the refrigerant lines and fiberglass liner. It's scraper blade went through the spray foam insulation like a hot knife through butter.

When we pulled the foam out, we found alot of moisture in the bottom of the insulation. It probably wasn't doing much for us so we're happy we pulled it out. We also found a 1" x 15" void against the hull which must have been some giant air bubble when they poured the two-part foam at the Caliber factory.

It took a total of 3 days to rip out the previous fridge box, including tenting the boat interior and suiting up in tyvek suits to cut out the fiberglass.

While in Mexico, we got desperate for cold beer so we lined the freezer portion of the box with polystyrene foam sheets and glued them together with spray foam. Hillbilly refrigeration.

New toy!

The divider partition torn out.

Getting ready to chainsaw the fiberglass liner.

Christy getting the foam out of the bottom of the box.

I told you it was a big fridge box.

The void in the insulation next to the hull.

5 inches of insulation on the inboard side next to the sink.

All cleaned out.

Marking the waterline.