Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Refrigeration for Soggy Paws Cat

After the huge upright refrigerator we had on the CSY, we were just not happy with the tiny dorm-style refrigerator in the galley. We ended up having to put half our refrigerator stuff in the freezer, with mixed success. This makes the freezer more inefficient, because we are in and out of it all day, and it harder to find anything with all that stuff in there. And the refer has such poor insulation that it runs all the time and barely keeps up in the tropics.

So Dave's solution is to convert the bunk aft of the galley in the port hull into a "pantry". Our cat is not as wide in the hulls as most 44 footers, so we had a limited space to work in. Dave designed the box--an outer box of plywood, sealed with epoxy and painted white, and an inner box of 1/2" Expanded PVC. Expanded PVC, unlike "starboard" is rigid, lightweight, and can be painted and glued. Between the two boxes will be 4" of "blueboard" insulation (for an "R" value of over 20).

The box only goes half the length of the former bunk. In the aft end, after cutting an access door from the head, he had the carpenters build a whole set of shelving for food storage. It will be MUCH MUCH better, and more space-efficient than the tubs I was using before. I can't wait for the whole project to be finished. Most of the carpentry is done, we're waiting on the painter to finish painting all the shelving.

Dave Checking Dimensions on Interior Box

Checking the Fit of the Interior Box and Exterior Box

Interior Box with Shelving and Evap Plate in Place

Crafting the Front Face and Doors

To make it all a little more complicated, the whole thing has be built in the workshed, and then disassembled and re-assembled on board, because it's too big to fit through the doors.

After we had ordered hinges and a heavy locking handle for the single fridge door, we had a design change and decided to make it a 2-door arrangement. So we are waiting on another set of hinges and another handle.

I've been the one sourcing all this stuff--searching on the internet for Philippine sources for stuff you can walk into Home Depot and buy in the U.S. We searched hard in Davao to try to find someone selling expanded PVC. The stuff is used by sign-makers. We found a couple of people selling some, but none in 1/2" thicknesses. We got the name and number of Cady Marketing in Manila from the "Cruiser's Resources" book in the marina lounge. We called them and asked if they could ship a couple of 4x8 sheets to Davao. We made a cash deposit to their bank account, and they cut 2 4x8 sheets in half and shipped the bundle to us via 2Go, the local version of UPS.

Next was trying to find proper insulation material for the refrigerator. Dave said "Find me some blueboard". He had already been around to all the hardware stores in Davao and knew it wasn't available locally. I searched and searched online for sources elsewhere in the Philippines. I finally found a place called Concrete Solutions in Manila that uses a variation of the "blueboard" that we used for refer insulation on the last boat, for building insulation. These come in 2" thick sheets 2' x 4' in dimension, and have a tongue and groove edge on them for butting two sheets together. When we were in Manila, we found Concrete Solutions and verified that their product would work for us. Then we ordered a couple of bundles of these sheets, again making a cash deposit into their bank account and asking them to ship to Davao.

Fridge door hinges, and handles came from in the U.S. And I ordered a bunch of rubber gaskets material for around the doors from eBay. We had them shipped to Dave's son Chris, and he dropped them off at LBX for an air freight shipment. It arrived in about 10 days.

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