Some owners of boat look for a cold drink on the afternoon of sailing. Others need a way to keep perishables fresh on longer voyages. No matter your need, selection of a proper portable fridge freezer is essential to a properly equipped galley.
When shopping among different brands and models, there are a few things to consider that will help narrow your decision.
You need a yacht refrigerator with the capacity to contain all your perishables; however, you don’t need to waste money, space, or energy obtaining a unit which is too large. When looking at a marine refrigerator’s size, you will need to consider outside dimensions when judging the fit into your galley and the inside dimensions when determining capacity. The insulation will create a substantial difference between the two measurements.
Your size options will probably be limited by the interior space on your boat. If you have a small craft you won’t have the room, or likely the need, for a large refrigerator. Measure the area where the unit is going to be installed so you don’t waste time looking at fridges that are too large.
Once you have a maximum outside measurement, you need to consider capacity. If you need a boat for short voyage around the bay you might won’t need in excess of a 15- or 20-liter unit. A fishing trip for recreation may require a larger yacht fridge freezer to store a catch on the trip back. A large vessel that is used for multi-day trips will need even more storage as you will be depending on this food for survival rather than for snacking.
Do you need a freezer or will a simple refrigerator suffice? Many boat refrigerators can be fitted with a lower-temperature thermostat allowing them to serve as freezers instead. This may be a luxury or a necessity depending on the purpose of the refrigerator. As with size, remember that lower temperature means more power use.
Is your boat’s electrical system up to the power demands of the unit? If you run your portable refrigerator for long time when the engine is off while you require to assess your battery capacity. The power needs refrigerators as well as other high-power products such as microwave ovens will need at least one battery (deep cycle) to keep everything powered.
Boats require dedicated boat refrigerators. Other small non-marine refrigerators are available and some owners are attracted by the lower price, but these units will actually cost you more in the long run. They don’t hold up to the corrosive effects of the marine environment and will require frequent replacement. Even boat refrigerators are sometimes built of inexpensive materials that don’t last. Look for materials such as anodized aluminum that are rustproof or stay away from cheap plastics that will break the first time a wave rocks the boat