Engel Portable FreezerBy Duart Snow

Good food is an important part of the cruising experience for our crew – just as important as it is at home. When we traded our 27’ sailboat for a 32’ trawler, a big attraction of the new boat was its well-equipped galley, extensive stowage, and refrigeration. Hog heaven, if you will, compared to the tiny galley and icebox on the sailboat.
But as we prepared for our first extended foray up the BC coast, we realized we needed one more component in our galley toolset: a freezer. We like our fish and seafood but we’re not avid fishers; a freezer would allow us to pack along our favourite “catch.” Same with meats, which are scarce and expensive away from major provisioning stops up the coast. And who wouldn’t enjoy a little ice cream as a treat in some remote anchorage?
The truly fortunate have freezers built into their galleys or elsewhere in their boats. But long-haul cruisers on smaller boats can easily opt for portable freezers that store on deck or in a locker. We had two or three spots on deck where a unit would be out of the way but near a 12-volt power supply, so a compact freezer made good sense for us.
That was the good news. The not-so-good news: freezers and refrigeration systems can be serious power hogs that may tax your batteries and charging capabilities to their limits. This is because refrigeration systems maintain their internal temperatures – above or below freezing – by cycling on and off regularly, running for a few minutes up to several times an hour, and more often if the ambient temperature is warm, as in perfect summer boating weather. Each cycle uses a few amps, and as long as the freezer is in use, the amp-hours add up, depleting batteries steadily.
So it’s important to take stock of the capacity and health of your house batteries, to understand just how many amp-hours a freezer will draw out of them, and to plan how you will replace those amp-hours by recharging with a genset, main engine(s) or a charger on shore power. A marine electrician can help you here – ours figured we’d be fine if we ran from destination to destination every two or three days and spent a night or two on shore power to really top up the house bank. He also installed a battery monitor so we could see clearly just how much power we were using and when it was time to recharge.
Engel Portable Freezer
Efficient Portables
If that sounds discouraging, wait, there is more good news. Modern refrigeration systems are significantly more efficient than their predecessors, and they power a new generation of portable fridge-freezers with modest power draws that are within the capabilities of a properly-sized house battery bank. Typically, these units function as fridges or freezers, operate on both 12/24-volt DC house power or 120-volt AC shore power, whichever is available, and come in sizes from super-compact units that are ideal for small boats and weekend cruises to hefty 80-litre units that will pack away a big chunk of the summer’s fish catch. Fridge-freezers from manufacturers like NovaKool of Coquitlam BC, Engel and Dometic boast rugged construction that is designed to withstand harsh marine and outdoor environments.
When choosing a fridge-freezer, especially for extended cruising, it makes sense to go with the biggest model you can store conveniently – and that your batteries can handle. Check exterior dimensions and measure your intended spot carefully. Determine power consumption as accurately as possible and confirm that your batteries are up to the task. Depending on manufacturer and model, you may have the option of plugging or hard-wiring into your electrical system. Insulated covers are a worthwhile option when available
Our choice was an Engel MR040 fridge-freezer. We liked its sturdy, weather-resistant plastic case and particularly modest power consumption. It fits neatly into our boat’s cockpit, out of the way against the rear cabin bulkhead, and plugs into a two-pin 12-volt outlet under one of our side deck overhangs. An insulated cover protects it from heat and weather.
And it worked better than we expected, greatly simplifying our provisioning while north of Desolation, ensuring we had fish, meat, bread and the like from our favourite purveyors, as well as the option of freezing more stores en route. We returned home after a month’s cruising with some items we had when we left, and enjoyed them happily in the fall.
And yes, we do treat ourselves to ice cream while we’re on the hook!

Portable Freezer Suppliers

Dometic
www.dometic.com
Edgestar
www.edgestar.com
Engel USA
www.engel-usa.com
NovaKool
www.novakool.com
Whynter
www.whynter.com

NovaKool

PHOTOS & CAPTIONS

Top
The Engel MR040 portable freezer stores out of the way in our boat’s cockpit, and its 38-litre bin holds more than enough meat, fish, bread and other perishables for the two of us.

Middle
NovaKool’s range includes 30, 45 and 60-litre cooler-freezers.

Lower
Engel’s MT80 has a hefty 80-litre capacity but a relatively compact footprint.

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
New at the end of 2019, the 58 Salon Express design features large windows to flood the living ...
No wonder this is one of Regal’s best-selling boats; the Regal 33 Express offers amazing ...
The newest member of Beneteau’s Gran Turismo line is the GT 36 and this yacht brings the style and ...
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

AXOPAR 37 XC

 

Axopar 37 XCWhole new ball game…

 

Set aside your assumptions and expectations for a few minutes while we try to describe the new Axopar 37 XC that made its American debut at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show. This boat represents a whole new ball game in terms of design, performance, seakeeping and functionality. In fact, I’d say it takes a ‘clean sheet of paper’ approach to boating – it’s that different.

Read More about the Axopar 37 XC..................

Destinations

  • Prev
On May 19, the New York State Canal Corporation today announced an updated opening schedule for the ...
If you have four hours to enjoy a fine tour of one of Canada’s most interesting waterways (let’s ...
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...

DolphinsBy the Canadian Yachting Editors


Canadians are blessed in many ways and especially when it comes to boating. We enjoy some the world’s most beautiful cruising waters and many places are as sheltered as they are scenic.

British Columbia and the Pacific North West plainly have the most breath-taking scenery with the combination of the majestic ocean views and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It’s like no place on earth when you have a Killer Whale breach beside your little fishing boat.

Read more about Canadian Cruising...........

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
I get a lot of calls for electrical repairs. Not upgrades or installations – the requests are to ...
Many boats are now on the water after a COVID-imposed hiatus – and with a shortened ‘prep’ period, ...
Wrapping your hull with marine vinyl wrap instead using traditional marine paint seems like a new ...
Boating safety is always—always—a critical consideration whenever you push off the dock, but with ...
Building on our last two editions (Sealants, and Fibreglass, respectively), Gelcoat is the next ...
After a successful R2Ak and regatta season in 2019, I felt that Pitoraq was due for a major ...
Pause for a moment and ponder this question. How much is your life and your safety at sea worth? ...
Last edition we talked about sealants to perform tasks like bedding and sealing. Other tasks like ...
Over the winter, a many-thousand pound fiberglass, wood or metal shell is held in position by only ...
Since the late 19th century, a debate has raged on the relative merits of diesel fuel over ...

Andrew AlbertiIn the past two issues we have been doing an overview of the right-of-way rules. In the first, we did a review of Section A of Part 2, in the second we did a review of the definitions. This issue, we will look at Section B of Part 2, General Limitations, which is essentially limitations applying to boats that have right of way according to Section A.

GENERAL LIMITATIONS

14 AVOIDING CONTACT

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room

Read more about the right-of-way rules.......................

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
The HO Excel Waterskis are your classic compression molded skis that are durable, but also have a ...
We all know that plastic and plastic waste is a huge issue globally. Driven by innovation and ...
Don't leave your toys at the dock this season. Wouldn’t it be great to take them with you? ...
Calder’s indispensable and thorough manual gives you detailed instructions for maintaining, ...
With hundreds of thousands of nautical miles under his keel, Kretschmer’s adventures have taken him ...
The Ronix Marsh Mellow Thrasher is a lightweight, 3 fin wakesurf board ideal for those wanting a ...
Color & Fabric Safe! Removes mold, mildew, algae stain, bird droppings, spider droppings, ...
This tough, fast acting cleaner removes heavy grease and oil, adhesives, glue, ink and marker, ...
Great for slippery trailer fenders, steps, and boat ladders SeaDek Step Kits are made from 5mm ...
FlexTred is a fast and easy way to prevent slip & fall accidents and is ideal for use on ...