Blue Turtle Cruising

The things we do for cold food (and beer)

Previous fridge situation
Our previous refrigerator situation: built in Nova Kool fridge that didn’t work and the half sized fridge we borrowed from my folks

So, ya’ll have heard all about our refrigerator woes…basically, the old Nova Kool fridge that came with the boat never got below 40 degrees (required to keep food safe), we had it serviced and to no avail, the damn thing still didn’t get cool enough. So, we decided to replace it with a small electric fridge and had to order it from Lowes (marine fridges run on AC/DC and cost about 4 times an electric fridge). Before I placed the order, we had our carpenter friend come out and cut out the area where the new fridge would go (our Nova Kool was much smaller than the fridge we ordered). He and Randy both measured the area about 10 times each just to make sure that the new fridge I ordered would fit in the space.

After about 2 weeks I receive the call that our new fridge is ready to be picked up at Lowes. Yay! The very next day, Randy and I decide to drive there and get it. It was around 11:00 a.m. and I had an client appointment at 2pm. We both thought this would be a piece of cake and we would be done with it quickly. I mean, it’s light enough and all we needed to do was strip it of it’s packaging, lift it onto the boat, and plug it in. Easy right? So once we get back to the marina, we pick the fridge up off the back of the truck and put it on the grass, then we take off the shrink wrap and cardboard. Randy measures the fridge again and then measures one of the boat’s doors. Uh, did anyone remember to measure the damn boat doors??? Did I mention this was also Randy’s birthday? Instant panic sets in. We measure the fridge and both trawler doors about 20 times each just to make sure. Turns out the door on the port side is .25″ wider than the starboard side. Randy believes that the new fridge will fit perfectly through this door, however this door is on the opposite side of the dock. We also have to remove the fridge doors and the door to our trawler to make this work. We formalize a plan: we’ll start up the engines and swing the boat around so that the port side is on the dock side. Then we’ll lift the fridge through it and plug it in. Of course, turning the boat around in it’s slip requires us to unplug all power (and AC), water and free the lines. Did I mention it was about 90 degrees outside?

photo of refrigerator
Finally! Our new refrigerator

By the time we fired up the engines, we have a small audience in the marina consisting of the dock master and a couple of retiree live a boards—all of whom have to have their say in how they would handle this fiasco. So, we flip the boat around and are ready to lift the new fridge into our trawler and — it doesn’t fit! Great. Now what? Randy and our audience (many thanks for all of their help, really!) agree that he should remove the door jam (wood around the door) to gain just enough space to pass the fridge through. This wasn’t an easy task. The door jam had about 50 different screws as well as some sealant/glue that had to be broken. Finally, we could fit the new fridge into the boat! By the time Randy had broken apart our door and we got the new fridge in, it was well after 2pm. Needless to say, I had to cancel my afternoon appointment. It goes without saying that after all of the disassembly, we had to reassemble the door jam, door to port side and doors to the fridge as well as flip the boat back around and retie all the lines. We literally worked up to the last minute until we left for Randy’s birthday dinner.

Lessons learned:

  1. Never start a boat project on your birthday
  2. If you think the project will take 1.5 hours, add 4 more just to be safe
  3. There’s no such thing as an easy boat project
Removing the door jam
Captain Randy removing the door jam on the port side of our trawler
People offering to help with the boat
Our peanut gallery offering helpful solutions
working on the boat
Capt. Randy removing all the wood around our port side door. We were determined to get this fridge in!

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