Date: Saturday, August 28, 1999 8:30 PM

This is my first attempt at email for Seawind info, but here goes: I am contemplating refrigeration for my Seawind II hull # 4 , named SEAWIND II. I wondered if anyone had any ideas which might be the best system based on space (or lack of space) for compressors, etc.?

I have looked at various mfgrs. web sites, and there seems to be a lot of confusing information--any ideas?

Date: Tue Sep 21, 1999 10:34 am

I am no expert, having just bought my Seawind II a couple of months ago. I have done a bit of cruising though.

I am currently re-doing my fridge. My boat came with a Crosby engine-driven system, with a large reciprocating compressor and 2 plates. There is plenty of room for one with the compressor mounted to starboard of the fly-wheel and the condensor assembly in the front of the port cockpit locker. I just replaced the existing compressor with one of the same type, but I have heard that one of the automotive ac (rotary?) ones are more than adequate and a lot

smaller. I believe the holding plates are the expensive bit- so far I have spent about $500 for a replacement compressor, lines, gas and labor. Someone

told me you can actually get the plates custom made for 1/2 what the modular units cost (they make them for refrigeration trucks). I have a problem with the belt jumping off - I think I have an engine mount problem to fix as my engine shakes at idle.

I decided to keep the engine powered system because I don't have a huge 12V system. Beware the domino effect of adding hungry appliances to a small capacity electrical system: you will probably end up adding all the toys: wind gen, big alternator, 3 stage regulator smart charger and a big battery bank. If you already have these, or are willing to add and maintain them, then 12V is a cheaper option, with less maintenance (for the fridge part). Also, if you have a 12V problem it is nice to be able to reduce your energy consumption to almost nothing by turning off some lights rather than eating

all your food.

I plan to supplement my boat's system with a 110V ($100) bar fridge while at the dock (we live in a marina), though for the last 2 months we have just

used ice.

I am assuming you want refrigeration - this should be a conscious decision on a cruising boat. Ice keeps stuff cold too, lasts long enough to island hop most places you go, and many of us are willing to endure warm beer and canned food on an offshore passage (while reading Slocum and congratulating ourselves). Many of the cruising legends are of this school, and

they have been out there for decades. If our engine dies while 1000 miles offshore we will curse and drink our beer 'Kimberly Cool'.

I have sailed with boats who spent their waking hours maintaining and repairing their boats- this is probably my greatest nightmare. I will have a wind generator (probably a Fourwinds, not an Ampair- they turn wind into noise;-), and a radar and watermaker, but I will treat these as luxuries to be done without if required.

Nigel Calder has a great treatment of the options in his book 'Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual'. This is an amazing book that pays for itself many times over- it's even cheap ($35). As it says on the cover, it should come with every boat.

We are planning to sail to Australia, so in our case his conclusion was that engine-driven was a better option.

Sorry I didn't respond quicker - I was waiting for a more experienced owner to respond.

Date: Mon Apr 16, 2001 8:41 pm

Adler Barbour Supercold machine, but no use yet for the water-cooling option even in the Caribbean, so you can do it with a simple Cold Machine, as long as you take air directly from the bilge bottom and ensure a good exhaust path for the compressor. Beneteau has proved it workable for demanding charter boats!

Date: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:12 am

Just want to address the 2nd fuel tank: I no longer have the option as I preeempted your space with an Adler-Barbour Cold Machine refrigeration module which works like a charm (no need for the water-cooling option, I did not need it in the Carib), and my Optima starting battery, plus pumps and water heater. So I'll have to stick with jerry jugs and a siphon (better than trying to pour in rising swells).

Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2001 8:38 AM

I would like advice on adding refrigeration.

I have had good success with Adler Barbour Cold machine fitted in my 7.5 cft icebox (on the side closest to centerline) and compressor-exchanger module on the other side of the aft bulkhead, drawing coller air from the bottom of the bilge. I had taken the Supercold machine because of the water-cooling option, but after my year in warm climes, I could have done without, and do not plan to install the water cooling option (saves a thru-hull and upfront money). Make sure the compressor exhaust has a free path to the port exhaust cowl, on long haul in very hot weather, I have even opened the port cockpit locker to ease the compressor load.

Date: Fri Nov 2, 2001 7:14 am

If I remember correctly, you installed the Adler Barbour Super Cold machine refrigeration unit in your boat. I am planning to do the same. Which evaporator did you use and how did you install it? I have done some preliminary measurements and think that I may need the small vertical unit. Even with this one, it looks like I will have to remove the teak grating on the starboard side.

Date: Fri Nov 2, 2001 7:18 pm

I effectively have Adler-Barbour's Supercold machine, with the vertical evaporator "tub" against the fore and aft wall. I measured the cold box and found 7.5 cft, so got the watter-cooling option for tropics, and did not put it in after 6 months experience: by drawing air from the bilge, and making sure there is no clutter between the compressor and the port exhaust cowl, I found the air cooling power sufficient. I have put in foam strips around the cover to improve air tightness. (if your box is smaller, you may consider the smaller Cold Machine???)

Note I do not use the icecube grates, use the tub for cold bottles instead, eg, juices, water, scotch and dry rose or white wine. I may buy ice cubes or bricks once in a while. So I preserved the teak grating, for drainage and drain protection, and also the convenience of a flat and relatively dry bottom. If necessary, cut it around the tub bottom. I'll check how much I cut off if any (I remember something about it but no detail).

Note my refrigerator stopped working a month ago on my way back from Block Island (first time in 3 years including heavy usage for the whole sabbatical Atlantic venture), and I have been travelling (babysitting grandchildren, marrying off a niece, and trekking the Sierras out of San Francisco) since. Will first check the fuses, then go on from there, but the weather makes it less urgent, and my wife needs nurturing after a month absence....

Date: Sun Nov 25, 2001 11:23 pm

A friend of mine just purchased the Adler-Barbour super cold machine and its various accoutrements (except the water cooling pump). I plan to use it initially without water cooling. It came with no documentation whatsoever. Has anyone installed one before? Is documentation available from a website somewhere? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Date: Mon Nov 26, 2001 8:41 am

At a recent seminar that I attended, a very experienced tech rep. proved that the air cooled Adler Barber was just as efficient as the water cooled one and used a great deal less battery energy! According to this gentlemen, this is a correct analysis until you get over the 1/4 HP motors to drive the compressors, and then the water cooled units become essential.

So it may well be to your advantage to remain with a air cooled unit. The difference appears to be the electricity required to run the water pump (huge) and the (small)additional cooling provided if any with the small hp models.

Date: Mon Nov 26, 2001 12:18 pm

I can confirm that I have not found necessary to install the water-cooling option I had available (not purchased) in my Adler-Barbour, even in the Caribbean for 6 months Dec-May to Grenada and back up. Make sure you suck air from the lower, cooler bilge, and keep the exhaust path (no hose available) from the compressor-exchanger module to your exit cowl free and clear. I have opened the cockpit locker sometimes in very hot weather.

Doing it again, I would not take the water-cooled option, as long as the cold box is 7.5cft (my capacity) or lower. I have not reinforced the original insulation either, but lined the contour of the cover panel with a strip of foam insulation.


1390 Jan 24, 2002


I followed with great interest your fairly recent rebuild of the interior cabinetry for engine access etc. I am beginning the project of re-insulating my box in preparation for installing a refer system.

I was wondering if you did this as well and what you may have discovered about access to your box (external). It appears that I will have to remove the countertop from the sink outboard (and under) the lockers outboard the stove. I discovered leak damage (from a leaky hull/deck joint)in the port cockpit locker where the fwd bulkhead meets the shelf where the PAR water pump is mounted. The bulkhead was severely delaminated to the point where I could see the foam insulation (presumably for the icebox). The same leak got into the paper lined fiberglass insulation between the hull and the icebox under the countertop inside the galley locker. Any info is appreciated...

Bill K113

1391 Jan 24, 2002

You should consider working from inside the box rather than the outside. I put 5 inches on insulation all around (except the top) from inside the box, then built a fiberglass liner. The box is smaller, not as pretty, but well insulated. Working from the outside of the box seems like it would be a much more difficult job. There is (or was) entitled "50 ways to improve your box" or similar which can give enough information to proceed.

Dick Weaver SWII75K

1393 Jan 24, 2002


I admit that I approached the problem for the main (midship), bridge deck bulkhead for similar reasons. My rot was due to leaks from the "earlier model", factory installation of the engine control panel installation as a separate unit, installed into a cutout in the fwd cockpit bulk head. Water ran freely past the "lip" of the panel and ran down the plywood bulkhead, you speak of, in the central area.

Rather than replace the entire bulkhead we cut out a rather copious wedge (about 2/3rds of its original size) of it, the smaller dimension to the bottom at the bulkhead. A matching companion was cut out of a sheet of ĺ" Marine Grade plywood and fitted in place. A reinforcing section of Ĺ", just under 2-feet wide and about 3-feet long was shaped to fit, was fastened on with screws and epoxy, in the void between the structural bulkhead and the forward, fiberglass wall of the cockpit. (As you have observed the instruments are now ingeniously relocated to a custom, fiberglass pod, mounted upon the coachroof.)

The countertop does, indeed, require removal to access the fridge interior tub. The tub had to be cut in sections to remove it as it had been bedded into an early, epoxy liquid foam that had been sprayed in.

We had planned upon doing this anyhow in order to create the removable sink locker unit (this project seriously increased the engine access). Once the exposed top of the fridge was available (it is a molded, fiberglass cover, screwed to the cleats that support the original tub. An easy removal. the insulation barrier for the top surface prompted the refridge overhaul). The area directly beneath the countertop is insulated with only a 2-inch layer of paper-backed, glass wool insulation. Unfortunately, the galley, locker faces do trap any access to the entire countertop and must also be removed. It certainly s the best time to consider an alternative material for the top at that time.

As the dynamics of the original design depend entirely upon the midship bulkhead for structural support and the crown of the bridge deck as well as the stability of the mid section contours, the majority of support for the mizzen mast and the back of the refrigeratorís integrity.. you may be in for a bit of a job. Fortunately most of the cabinetry comes apart quite easily. Restoring any lost dimensions, depending upon how much the rot has attributed to may be the more crucial job of all.

Should you be coming to the GAM you will meet Wayne Mantynen, the architect of the project. I may be hasty in saying that I may be but only the first owner who will have been forced to address this problem in such an aggressive manor.

Barring your appearance: Although he is a very busy man and not a very rapid typist I suspect contacting Wayne with some digital photos of your dilemma, attached, may find you some of the more intimate details of his job process. should get you to him.


Sea Quill # 29K

1501 Feb 8, 2002

To All-

Has anyone checked the thickness of the insulation around the box? I found about 4" (including the ĺ" plywood)for the aft athwartship side, 3" (including the ĺ" plywood)for the starboard side (engine room and sink cabinet). I havenít checked the hull side or bottom yet. These will have to be destructive tests which Iíd hate to do. I also forgot to chect the stove side. Iím planning on adding some where I can, then mounting a shelf on the for/aft bulkhead behind the sink cabinet (in the engine room) for the potable water pump. Any info is appreciated as always...

Bill S.

City Bird

1502 Feb 8, 2002

The plywood doesnít count. I found mostly 3 inches of insulation around my box which isnít enough for Florida. You can add insulation. I have 5 inches in mine, except the top. I removed the inner liner and the old insulation, painted the inside of the cavity with polyester to try to prevent moisture from entering, installed closed cell pvc foam, which comes in sheets. These were cut and glued in place with silicone. Make cardboard patterns of the space where you plan to put the foam, then cut the foam to match the pattern. You could use the small cans of foam insulation for gluing the pieces and filing voids, but it is a lot messier. After the insulation was in place, I built a fiberglass inner liner. It is not a pretty installation, and the box has much less capacity but it holds cold much better.

Dick Weaver SWII75K

1503 Feb 8, 2002

Bill, To my knowledge I may be the only subscriber to the list so-far that has actually removed the entire contents of the ice box unit.

Apparently the fiberglass tub had been pressed into a "live" foam bedding and left to cure. The thickness, generally, was 2.5 to 3.5 inches throughout. The hull and bottom were probably the areas that contained the largest amount of voids and indicated the thinnest thickness at just about two-inches at the outboard-lower curve of the tub and that estimated at just over two-inches.

Drainage water from various historic attachment holes into the tub seriously deteriorated the condition of the foam. The top of the unit was a 2-inch layer of household type, paper-backed glass wool just beneath the counter top.

I have now completely lined the box with two layers of two-inch, closed cell, foam bats, glued in with a urethane foam and a urethane bonding agent, faired and then glassed over with several layers of 24-oz. fiberglass cloth set into thickened WEST epoxy. (see attached photos)

I calculate that now the BTU loss is about 1200 per hour, an improvement of two and a half times over the original.


Sea Quill # 29K

1509 Feb 11, 2002


What type of mat did you use to glass over your insulation?

James. Niko (91)

1692 Mar 20, 2002

I am in the process of intalling my Adler Barbour system and was wondering what is the least circuitous route to the compressor. In my case, the compressor will be on the port side aft of my battery boxes which abut against the galley bulkhead. I canít go straight aft because of the battery boxes, and I donít want to put any more bends in the tubing than I have to.

James Niko (91)

2044 Aug 21, 2002

Dear Bob: I have installed an Adler Barbour in and around by 7.5 cft cold box. I took the seawater cooling option but have not found it necessary, even during a year around the Atlantic incl. Cape Verde and Caribbean. Neither do the Beneteau charter boats at Moorings.

But that is predicated on a short and clean path, as straight as possible from bilge to atmosphere through the condenser. I have put the AB condenser-compressor module on the port side fwd in the cockpit locker, thus close to the cold box (kitchen on port). I make sure I donít fill that locker to the top, nor mask the access and exit of the exhaust cowl. I did not have enough room behind the stove, and did not want the warm exhaust air flowing into and through the cabin, nor create another cowl.

Be well, Bert dF

I did not want to reduce access to the engine port side (eg, raw water pump) via crawling under the sink.