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How we Installed our New Frigoboat System
Last Updated Feb 05, 2011

Why We Upgraded

We had a perfectly good, working refrigeration system (details here).  With spares and tools and the knowledge to keep it running for years.  So, why did we rip it out and upgrade to a Frigoboat system?  The biggest issue was that the holding plate system compressor drew 40-45 amps when it ran.  This is a heavy draw, and unless we had a charging source putting at least 20 amps IN to the batteries at the same time, it would draw the voltage down.  This is bad for the batteries, and it meant that we couldn't leave the boat with the refer on "automatic".  The big compressor system worked well when we were moving every day, or tied to the dock.  But out on the hook, not moving as much, and with solar power as our primary source of power, it became a pain to manage.

Other side-benefits:

1.  Removing the holding plates gave us quite a bit more usable space in the freezer.

2.  The temperature is more evenly controlled, so frozen stuff stays better.

3.  The tiny Danfoss compressors are so quiet that you hardly notice them running.

What we bought

We have a large refrigerator space and a fairly large freezer space.  So after researching the appropriate replacement system from Frigoboat, here is what we bought (Nov 2010).

Qty Description Part No List Price (ea)
2 K50-SSC with Smart Speed Control E51975SSC $1,022
2 Keel Cooler stud-mounted condenser with zincs E50722Z $660
2 200F Evaporator - 40.25"w x 10.5"h, Flat Plate E50075 $295
2 Thermostat, Coastal Digital Fahrenheit 12v CFAH12 $125
1 Thermostat, Refrigerator Mechanical E250500 $38
1 Thermostat, Freezer Mechanical E250700 $38
8 Spare Zincs for Keel Cooler E51525 $8

At the time of purchase, Frigoboat had just announced that it was discontinuing its 'Smart Speed Control' due to extremely high manufacturing costs.  We were urged to buy the Danfoss version of the Speed Control instead (the AEO).  We went ahead and bought the SSCs, but could not get a spare SSC due to availability.  We have bought a pair of AEO's for spares, from Mechtronics, instead.

Locating the Compressors


Installing the Keel Coolers

The Keel Cooler Before Installation

Measuring Location


Drilling a Guide Hole w/ 1/4" bit

Lining up for Square-to-Hull Hole


Drilling the Real Hole

The Hole from the Outside


The Hole from the Inside

Carefully Feeding the Cooling Lines


Keel Cooler Installed - Inside View

Keel Cooler Installed - Outside View

Coming Soon - Next Step - Installing the Freezer

Until Then, Check the Blog for Updates