Thursday, December 21, 2023

Installing Bougerv Fridge Freezer

Installing a 12V Portable Car Fridge Freezer

We're planning on a six week cruise to Georgia ( or at least as close as we can get dependent upon the weather. ) in April 2024 and wanted to increase the amount of cold storage we have aboard.

The Bougerv CRPRO25 26 Quart 12V Portable Car Fridge Freezer looked like it would big enough for holding quite a bit of cold or frozen food/drinks and not too big to exceed the space we have on the boat to keep it secure.

It arrived on time and was easy to setup and test.
We loaded a few bottles of water, plugged it in to a 110v outlet at home, turned it on and let is sit. 

It quickly went down to below freezing and we soon had a few frozen bottles of water.

I was pretty sure it would fit sitting on the seat at the front of our Aft Berth and we set it up using the hold downs and some webbing for our trip up to Lake Boca over the Oktoberfest HISC Cruise.  We set the temperature to 45ºF and left it running for the long weekend. It easily held all of our 'bottles' and 'jars' that would normally go into our regular freezer/fridge aboard. That made a huge difference to our cold storage. My only disappointment was in my choice of the size! I would have gotten a bigger unit as it would fit in the same space. But that's a minor disappointment. I'll not lose any sleep over it.

The only issue with it being mounted on top of that seat is that we lose storage space and access to the small storage locker beneath the seat. So I figured that if there was a shelf mounted higher up, then we could put 'stuff' below it and also have access to that locker.

I came up with this design ( sorry it's not 3D ) 

Shelf Construction

Plan is to make it from Marine Ply, finished with epoxy. 
The shelf will be supported by a brace screwed to the bulkhead another along the seat back and a triangular brace below the aft end of the shelf.

The Fridge Freezer will be strapped down with webbing straps on either end. 

I did notice a voltage drop indicated on the unit's digital display, I'll check the wire gauge of the supply to the 12v outlet. It should be at least 10awg ( I use the BoatHowTo ABYC Wire Size Calculator

Then I had a thought! Would it be worth it to make the shelf removable.
If it were, then either hinge it upwards against the seat back or just lift it out and stow.
The hinge option will not work. The angles are not 90º
To make it removeable, I would hinge the aft edge support brace to the underside of the shelf.
To much complexity for my woodworking skills, so it' going to be fixed.

Ok, plan  done.
  1. Make a template as the shelf is anything but rectangular
  2. Cut a piece of ply for the shelf and the three support pieces
  3. Hot glue everything in place to check fit - adjust a needed.
  4. Coat everything with an Epoxy resin.
  5. Install
  6. Make straps to hold down the fridge/freezer.
Made the hot glue gun templates in about 30 minutes today. There are 4 parts:-
  • Outboard Support 
  • Aft Support
  • Forward Support
  • Shelf

I cut the support pieces from a piece of ply I had in the Garage and sanded them down - a quick trip to Lowes Hardware for a piece for the shelf. 4' x 2' x 1/2" ply.

The Outboard support piece is not cut to length, I'll do that after the Forward and Aft support pieces are screwed into position.  Talking of securing the supports, The forward support can be secured using SS screws into the wooden bulkhead between the aft cabin and the galley, but the outboard support is fiberglass, so I'm going to use nut rivets & screws.

Making progress. My templates didn't account for the angles where the pieces meet but I have them all marked out and ready to cut. I could get to this during a short ride from the Marina where Eximius is on land right now but splashes on Tuesday. 

That happened!

We splashed from Playboy Marine at 0800 Tuesday December 19th. We had Patagonia Marine Services paint the bottom and apply a fresh coat of PropSpeed - as always, they did a great job, the Teams down there always do. 

From Playboy marine, we slowly motored up the ICW to Lake Sylvia, I was checking the new Packless Shaft Seal ( PSS ) for leaks. There was a leak - just a drip every minute or so, from the Vent Hose connection. Also the vibration was higher than normal, looks like my alignment was not as good as I thought. 

Anyway, I was able to install the new BougeRV Fridge Freezer Shelf in the Aft Berth. My woodwork would not win any awards but it's very functional. 

The design is longer than needed for the 26Quart unit we have, but I figure, if we ever replace it we'll get a larger one.

The 12v power outlet will come up from the seat locker behind the seat back and the unit will plug in, hopefully no need to drill a hole in the shelf.

The shelf is plain plywood right now, but I'll take it out after the New Year's eve cruise and give it a coat of epoxy with White pigment.

The unit is held down with 1/8" braided line right now, but I'll make some webbing straps with plastic buckles.

As mentioned, there's room below the shelf for a couple of boxes, either provisions or tools, I always need more space for tools!

Another deciding factor for the position of the shelf was where the lid would open. 

There's plenty of room for the lid to open up and swing back against the bulkhead. 

I'm really pleased how this worked out. 

It's convenient being right inside of the door of the Aft Cabin.

It really does not remove any space from a guest that might use the Aft Cabin

It's mounted beneath the LED lamp so it'll be easy to see the contents.

Just what we needed.

I'll get the power setup before our NYE cruise.

See you on the water.


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