View Full Version : Cracked keel

04-22-2005, 08:57 PM
A fella here has a new 50 foot twin mast sail boat of 1920, or so, design. The boat was ready to go in the water when they discovered the keel beam was cracked. Seems the mill cut a small tree and when they put water in the boat a portion ran out the end of the keel beam. They have now dropped the keel and are having trouble finding a good piece of wood. I am wondering if they couldn't just drill a series of holes and fill them with epoxy. Seems like it would fill the void and he would be ready for the water????????
I am interested in helping the guy but also have selfish reasons to see the boat go in the water, since I just bought the land where the boat is sitting.

Jay Greer
04-22-2005, 11:32 PM
Just wondering where the in the keel timber the crack is? Does it run the length of the keel or athwartships? How big is it?

04-23-2005, 04:57 AM
The keel beam is more or less 10" X 10" and about 30 feet long. The wood is so hard that they are sure it will not swell and close the voids, once it is in the water. They have described it as almost having wind shake. However, that is hard to imagine and it probably has one or several splits running near the center?
He has stated that he might have the whole thing buttoned up again and let it leak until he can get it to the Port Townsend area where he can get a good piece of wood. After ten years of planning and building he is about ready to sell the lead and motor and set fire to the remainder. The story goes on and on and somewhere in there a lesson can be learned. Probably something along the lines of don't build a boat in a foreign country when you aren't there to supervise the project!

04-23-2005, 06:45 AM
Pour a couple of gallons of very slow set, low viscosity epoxy into the bilge and let it find the leaks??

Dan McCosh
04-23-2005, 09:30 AM
It's still difficult to visualize what the problem is. Longitudinal checks in an oak keel are pretty common. When we dry out they sometimes get fairly large, then close up when the boat takes up water. It seems odd a 10 x10 timber would have a check all the way through. If it is a crossways break in an unsupported area (rather than above a ballast keel) that is another matter. Seems odd this was missed during construction. A simple check could be filled with hot pitch. Don't use epoxy, however, or anything that sets up hard. heavy timber checks also take lots of time to swell--sometimes half a season or even longer.

Bob Smalser
04-23-2005, 09:53 AM
Guessing here...

...but sounds like they may have used a boxed-heart timber with the pith in it...that it was installed fairly green...and in the years it had to season while the boat was being built it cracked along its growth rings....hence described as a "wind shake."


In the pic....see the tiny dark line at 8:30 o'clock at the outer of the 20-rings/inch growth rings? That's a pitch pocket caused by wind shake....the wood is unsound there...cracked along the growth ring.

Piths are bad news anywhere...the first wood to rot and the first wood to check because of those tight, weak, growth-ring cups. The timber may have cracked anyway, but fastening all those framing members that don't want to move to a green stick of wood that does want to move is also an invitation to big trouble.

While I don't like the practice because it is easily avoided using a lamination, sometimes it couldn't be avoided and builders have use boxed-heart timbers for millennia in boats, however....but the pith has to be dead center and the timber has to be seasoned well below the wood's fiber saturation point. Then all the major checking/twisting/bowing the timber is gonna incur has already happened and you can evaluate it before using it.

Problem with epoxy (and also any pitch that sets up hard) is the timber is gonna swell substantially when launched and hard stuff in those cracks will most likely only crack it further.

Before ripping that boat's backbone apart I'd fashion a dam out of linseed oil putty along the whole length of the keel, get the boat out in the hot sun and pour as much hot tar into those cracks as the wood will take. I'd do it in two pours....thinned hot tar first to seep deep followed by unthinned hot tar.

Then I'd set the hull in the water without the lead ballast keel (plug the bolt holes with soft pine plugs), let it take up for a couple-three weeks and reevaluate before replacing the timber. Where the thinned tar leaks out will tell you a lot all by itself.

My guess is that if it's as bad as the worst-case scenario I described, it'll never be a safe boat without a new keel timber....but checks are difficult to evaluate...it may not be that bad...the checks may be such that the timber's structure can be successfully reinforced by cross bolts...and it may get it off of your property.

[ 04-23-2005, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: Bob Smalser ]

Gary E
04-23-2005, 09:57 AM
beam is more or less 10" X 10" and about 30 feet long Is it possible to replace that with a laminated beam? Surely 3 or 4 boards bolted together would be not only a better quality but may even be stronger.

04-23-2005, 10:11 AM
It is beginning to sound like any fix will be make shift at best. And a proper remedy will be major work , Yes?

Dave Fleming
04-23-2005, 11:11 AM
I am having a hard time with the words used to describe this problem?

What species of wood was used?

Is it a crack?
Is it a check?
Is it a split?
Is the ***?*** vertical or horizontal to the base line?

Was it still green when used?
Was it seasoned at all prior to use?
Is the "HEART" of the log in it at all?

It is traditional carvel planked is it not?

Am I correct in believing the boat is all closed up ie: fully planked and corked?

04-23-2005, 12:12 PM
I stated in the opening paragraph.
>>>"A fella here has a new 50 foot twin mast sail boat of 1920, or so, design. The boat was ready to go in the water when they discovered the keel beam was cracked. Seems the mill cut a small tree and when they put water in the boat a portion ran out the end of the keel beam."<<<
Dave it isn't my boat and I don't have all the answers. However, I sure can find out. I can't tell if the beam is cracked checked or rotten? It has four ton of lead hanging under it, has been removed and is resting under the boat. I has been sanded and well coated with several coats of paint.
I believe that Bob S. has hit the nail on the head as to the problem with the beam.
Some more of the story:
Norm, an American, came to Brazil several years ago to seek out a builder. He located a master builder and they started the boat. Early on the builder told Norm that the keel beam should be rejected. Norm rejected the builders advice, even though Norm had never built as much as an orange crate.
The beam in question is Ipe. I can't visualize that wood swelling very much but probably just a little is enough if it is pushing against something as hard as epoxy. If he goes the route of trying to save the current wood, it seems like tar would be the answer?
I will be meeting with Norm and the carpenter on Monday. Norm goes back to sea and I will probably take on the responsibility to make sure something happens.
He informed me today that there are brass bolts holding the lead to the beam and he wants to change them to bronze because he had heard that brass will not hold up????????? That is a major project since the brass bolts have been seated with molten lead. I would also invite thoughts about the bronze verses brass bolts. Besides that he is 66 years old .... how much longer could he possibly need good strong bolts?

Jay Greer
04-23-2005, 12:32 PM
Well it sounds like you guys have covered most of the bases with this one. I wholy agree that the brass keel bolts should be replaced as soon as possible. I've seen brass go from good to usless in less than a season when used under water. I have mixed Dolfinite with Stockholm tar on occasion to make up a thin filler for checks. Using a hard filler will cause the timber to split further as it takes up in the water. Soft putty will squeeze out. Certainly, if I were back home in Port Townsend I would be happy to have a look see. Good luck. Always cheaper to do it right the first time!

04-23-2005, 12:37 PM
Gerard, if it is ipê, I can say two things:

1) The problem is likely to be more extensive than it appears. Ipê logs often have extensive hollow areas hidden inside them.

2) Bob Smalser's suggestion of using tar is probably the best solution short of replacing the log.

Now, as far as the "brass" bolts - I assume you mean latão. If so, he better get rid of them. Latão contains lots of zinc and may not last a year in a marine environment.

04-23-2005, 12:54 PM
Sounds like you are getting some sound advice, George from brazil could probably do the most to help you. But.


Norm, an American, came to Brazil several years ago to seek out a builder. He located a master builder and they started the boat. Early on the builder told Norm that the keel beam should be rejected. Norm rejected the builders advice, even though Norm had never built as much as an orange crate.
Norm now has one of 3 choices.
A- N***** rigg it.
B- Go back to the competent builder and hang his head and tell him, he was right and ask politeley how much it would cost to fix it right.
C-Find a way to get out from under it and walk away.

There is a couple of websites by a competent marine surveor, marine survey and yacht survey.
If you read his answers to problems, you will see that he states the biggest problem with boats are people trying to own too big of a boat, that they really can't afford.Since the boats are bigger then their pocket books, they nickel and dime everything they can, and sooner or later the cheap route will manifest itself into a major problem. As you have here. Good luck......

Bob Smalser
04-23-2005, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Gerald:
....The beam in question is Ipe. I can't visualize that wood swelling very much ...I can....and with great force.

Shrinkage is the source of the cracks, and the wood will likely swell enough to at least close the cracks. Species doesn't matter much...logs and the wood from them shrink twice as much on a tangent to the log's pith as it does radial to the pith...

...the difference in those shrinkage rates can be precisely measured as the width of the cracks after seasoning in the round.

Ipe and other dense woods dry slowly....and they also wet slowly. Those cracks will eventually close in the water. The only question is whether they weaken the timber sufficiently so it can't do its job in the worst-case scenario.

[ 04-23-2005, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: Bob Smalser ]

04-23-2005, 05:02 PM
What Bob said.

Dave Fleming
04-23-2005, 05:09 PM
On Mr.S's comments re: IPE's qualities, I would fill the checks with a SOFT substance and button her up.
Beeswax and Pine Tar come to mind. The mixture works on spars.

NOTE: if the keel and keel bolts have been found lacking, it makes one wonder what else might lie hidden in the structure????

Gary E
04-23-2005, 07:29 PM
What I do not understand here is that so many have tried to determine why it went bad or how to fix a bad stick of wood. What diference does it make how or why? it's bad, replace it.

Is it wrong to think that once the bad material is found and removed to actually replace a piece of junk with good matieral, after all this is a NEW boat.

Maybe it's just my quality control mind set but would you start your new boats life with a piece of junk material in it?

John B
04-23-2005, 07:37 PM
ye gods.

04-24-2005, 07:07 AM
I will find out more tomorrow, but it is my understanding the bolts holding the beam to the lead are brass (Latão). There are also some thru bolts that we have not yet discussed and I will find out what material they are?
What bolt material should he put back in? It is my understanding that bronze bolts would need to be cast? Is stainless an option?
You have all been an enormous help. I have seen the light and I am sure the builder has seen the light. Tomorrow I will start the process of talking Norm into a new stick of wood. It almost brings one to tears to see all that chisel work go down the drain with the old piece of wood.
As for the rest of the quality there is almost certainly no problem. The builder normally builds fishing boats and he has built this boat to the standards of a fishing boat. The inside of the boat is built to take a beating. Forget that finely varnished piece of furniture. Not to offend any fishermen here, but I have seen fishermen here abuse boats and equipment in some of the most ignorant ways possible. In this case I would defend the builder and place total blame for any construction problems directly on Norm.

04-24-2005, 09:39 AM
Bob Smalser wrote:

Before ripping that boat's backbone apart ... Just curious ....and hardly knowledgeable in comparison to many others on WBF, but I envisage keel replacement as a nightmarish task.....right or wrong ?

Any references on the web that I may look up to verify the details of this operation ?


04-24-2005, 02:00 PM
Gerard, you'll have a very hard time finding proper marine-grade bronze in Brazil. You might want to go with stainless steel, 316 series. The 316 threaded rods come with their ends painted red (the 304 has blue ends), and can be special-ordered from any good supplier.

Beware of people selling crap with a high zinc content and calling it "bronze..."

04-24-2005, 03:16 PM
"Bronze Puro Metais" on Avenida Brasil, located just where the lane of traffic that comes away from Fundão - Ilha do Governador heading South (towards the Dutra) merges, does carry authentic bronze rod.

The price is atrociously high, though.

04-24-2005, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by carioca1232001:

The price is atrociously high, though.Plus that area STINKS! :D

04-24-2005, 04:16 PM
Must do, especially if you arrive by helicopter, after being whisked away from your heavenly abode in Angra. ;)

But I have bought "tarrugos" (ingots?) of aluminium, iron and steel at fair prices.

04-24-2005, 04:34 PM
Helicopter? I wish. Last time I flew one around there was on a project for the state government, back when we HAD a state government... ;) :(

Nowadays I arrive by traffic jam, down Avenida Brazil, whenever I can't avoid it and am forced out of Angra...

But thanks for the hint. I'll write it down.

04-24-2005, 04:36 PM
BTW, I think "tarugos" = "pigs." Not "porcos," though. :D

04-24-2005, 06:31 PM
No matter what Norm decides tomorrow, Wednesday morning I am off to the Rio boat show.
>>>The price is atrociously high, though.
Plus that area STINKS!<<<
The price doesn't bother me one little bit. It isn't my money and isn't my boat. There is no real way to reason with Norm so other than directing him away from another stupid move I can do very little.
As for those tough areas ...... they don't scare me a bit! My partner has a new Land Rover. Who in their right mind would want to steal a foreign car?

04-24-2005, 06:41 PM
Are you in the metal sales? Having bought ingots it sure sounds like it. We are looking for a good source for marine grade aluminum. Enough for a 45' sailboat.

04-24-2005, 10:23 PM
I bought ingots in the past for machining one-off components for my twin diesels, like special pulleys, flanges for coupling gear-driven seawater pumps to the engines etc.

Much closer to your location is São Paulo, which is where the action is (excluding fun, that is!). Look up SP Yellow Pages for your aluminium requirements, similarly Santos and São Vincente.

BTW, driving an imported car does not make you less of a target, but simply puts you into another category, viz., "destined for Paraguay" ;)

The scarier parts of Av. Brasil are further down, by Campo Grande and where the Barra traffic merges (Sta. Cruz), especially at night.

04-25-2005, 06:30 AM
Gerard, I wouldn't drive around the Rio suburbs in a shiny Land Rover with Santa Catarina plates. You have heard of "sequestro relampago," haven't you?

Take a cab. If the cabby refuses to go there, don't go. ;)

04-25-2005, 11:37 AM
Carioca and George
I was just kidding. I know the dangers. The Land Rover goes in his fathers garage a block off of Copacabana and we take taxies to the boat show. I thought you would catch on that I was pulling your leg when I talked about foreign cars. There are darn few national cars left in the country. I am probably the only one of us three, here in Brazil, that has a national car and I love my Gurgel.
After a year and a half, a new stick of wood will be delivered on Thursday. Funny what a couple of phone calls will do! I will check on the bolt stock while in Rio and will then decide on Inox or bronze. I took a few pictures of the boat and a few pictures of a twenty foot fishing boat that the builder is finishing. I will try to figure out how to get the pictures posted.

04-25-2005, 12:19 PM
Gerald and George,
If you have some free time while visiting next weekend´s Boat Show (plastic boats!), suggest we meet and have a beer or two at the RJ Yacht Club ?

Do you have the Gurgel BR 800 bubble-car or one of the VW flat-four powered models sold as hot cakes in the Middle East (and Libya) in the 70´s and 80´s ?

BTW, "Bronze Puro Metais" tel.n°: 2562-0745, but be prepared when they tell you the price - and in the next breath "Take it or leave it", so you can at least say hang you in time ;)

04-25-2005, 12:41 PM
I still have your phone number, 94148228. I will call you later in the week, when we hit Rio and set something up.
I have a Gurgel BR 800. However, I got tired of no power and replaced the two cylinder engine with a 1300 VW. Can now fix the motor with pliers and a roll of wire plus have enough power to keep up with almost anything.

04-25-2005, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by carioca1232001:
Gerald and George,
If you have some free time while visiting next weekend´s Boat Show (plastic boats!), suggest we meet and have a beer or two at the RJ Yacht Club ? I'll be up in Belem from Wednesday to Saturday morning. Sil and I still haven't decided if we want to go to the boat show on Saturday, or come straight home to Angra from Galeão and go back during the week when it is quieter.

However, your suggestion sounds tempting. Can it be on Saturday?

PS: plastic boats, but also sailmakers, and winch and block suppliers, and 12-V or engine-driven refrigeration suppliers (Dalia is still in the Ice Age ;) ), and well-priced sunglasses... :D

Gary E
04-25-2005, 05:37 PM

I love my Gurgel.
After a year and a half, a new stick of wood will be delivered on Thursday. When you get to taking pic's of that boat could you show us what a Gurgel looks like?..

Glad they starting with a new pc of wood.

04-26-2005, 06:45 AM
Having trouble downloading pictures to photoisland and have tried to download to another site with no luck?
However, here are a few pictures of Gugel's.
The third one down is the same as mine. Gurgel was designed and manufactured here in Brazil. They had several models and so far as I know all had fiberglass bodies. The 800 has pieces from all different cars. Door handles from a Fiat, mirrors from a ford, transmission from a Chevy etc. I have removed the back seat and by opening the back window I can haul 10' boards with no problem. A boat or large piece of furniture goes directly on top. I have even hauled Rambo, an enormous goat, over to the neighbors to perform a little stud service.

Marcio Moreira
04-26-2005, 09:53 AM
Hi Gerald,

Much closer to you, here in Itajai there is Metalurgica Vilamar, they work with naval bronze.

(47) 346-1322
(47) 246-5737

Boa sorte!


04-26-2005, 07:22 PM
My cellular tel. n° 9414-8228 is still the same, meaning that the thugs have still not cloned it. The previous number was cloned in November 2004, just as I landed at Congonhas airport (SP), so I was obliged to change!

Call me when you get to town and we shall take it from there.

What time are you scheduled to arrive in Rio (Galeão) on Saturday ?

We can do "RJ Yacht Club + Boat Show" or whatever composition is practical. Silvana calls the shots !

The Club´s wooden trawler - "Dirceu Fontoura" - is normally available for transportation of Club members and their guests, between the Club´s premises and the Boat Show.

04-26-2005, 07:31 PM
Marcio ........... thank you.
I am out of here and on my way to Rio. Carioca I will call you.

04-27-2005, 07:19 AM
Carioca, our trip to Belem was postponed, just last night. Whole agenda thrown into chaos. We'll remake our plans and let you know.

04-27-2005, 04:17 PM
Ok gentlemen, ready when you are.

05-04-2005, 08:34 PM
Back to square one! Four sticks large enough to arrived from up north yesterday and the builder rejected all of them. I guess my partner and I will be going after a piece of wood that will serve as a keel for this boat. What kind of wood should I be going after? The piece is 26' and about 10"X10". I would like to know what would be best second best and so on?
Carioca, sorry we didn't have a chance to go to the club. Mario got a touch of the flu and we ended up going south sooner than expected. We did manage to stop in S. P. State and strip the rest of the parts off a 38' rotten wooden sailboat that we purchased last year.

05-04-2005, 08:48 PM
My keel is made of honduras mahogany fitted, drifted and bolted together.

Can't you laminate up a beam out of select good pieces of mahogany like 2 by 10's, epoxy glue it and screw it and bolt it together?

05-04-2005, 08:52 PM
I was wrong, my keel is white oak.
Which is probably stiffer than mahogany.

05-05-2005, 06:01 AM
>>>>Can't you laminate up a beam out of select good pieces of mahogany like 2 by 10's, epoxy glue it and screw it and bolt it together?<<<<

I sure can't see why it can't be laminated? The carpenter isn't really very keen on the idea. However, in just a short time we have learned that there is money to be made by the carpenter if he doesn't get this project done.

05-05-2005, 06:14 AM
Try this: buy some stock ipê beams - the regular 15cm x 7.5 cm x 6 meters that you can find anywhere. Choose good pieces, and make sure they don't try to sell you cumarú as ipê!

Then epoxy them together into a keel. Stagger the joints so that you have a 3 meter overlap between beams. Bolt the lot together with 3/4" 316-steel threaded rods - for extra strength and to hold it tight while the epoxy is curing.

Remember to use plenty of good epoxy. First, wash the ipê with lots of acetone, and wipe it with a clean rag, to remove surface oil. Apply a flame to burn off any acetone residue (as well as the inevitable alcohol that comes mixed with the acetone). Then brush on some thin epoxy to both sides. Then apply a generous layer of epoxy thickened with aerosil or talcum powder to one side. Put it together and tighten the bolts.

Do one piece at a time, with enough guys and enough advanced planning to ensure that the whole operation from mixing the epoxy to tightening the bolts takes no more than 15 minutes, and I guarantee you'll have a stronger keel than with a single piece of wood - and you'll be sure that there are no hidden hollows or cracks in it.

05-05-2005, 09:27 AM
That sounds like a real good plan to me. I am also going to look into cutting off the chisel work that he has already done and using that as the top laminate? Would save one heck of bunch of work.
We were in Caraguatatuba the other day, where we had purchased an old rotten sailboat. We chopped out the remainder of the pieces that we wanted. The owner of the marina was talking about George and his new boat etc. I was sure it was you but the boat turned out to be a houseboat / fishing boat in the 30 foot range.

Gary E
05-05-2005, 04:33 PM
What George said sounds good to me..
"That sounds like a real good plan to me. I am also going to look into cutting off the chisel work that he has already done and using that as the top laminate? Would save one heck of bunch of work."

If the defect can be eliminated by the above then I think your ok or maybe the saved chisel work area can be repaired and then laminate the other beams to the carved area to end up with a very strong keel.

You mentioned the carpenter having a interest in this not being completed? If that's really true, I'd find a way to fire him and fast.

05-05-2005, 04:42 PM
Received Mario´s message on my cell phone on Sunday morning, informing that you two were leaving town earlier than expected.

I intend to reinforce George´s recommendation of the need for steering clear of cumarú . It is an Ipê look-alike and does well for floor boards. Unscrupulous lumber yards sell it as if it were Ipê. Cumarú will rot in underwater applications.

05-05-2005, 04:44 PM
Also, if you do use the steel threaded rods, soak them in epoxy before inserting into the holes, and smother the countersunk nuts in epoxy. They'll never come off, of course, but in theory at least they'll also never have contact with salt water and corrode away. Should be still there when we are all long gone...

05-05-2005, 04:51 PM
Carioca, by the way, we never made it to Belem or Rio. Life took a turn for the more complicated...

One way or another, we are planning to sail Dalia to Rio at the end of the month - her first open-sea passage! Maybe you can come visit and have a glass of wine or two once we are docked at Marina da Gloria, hopefully around June 01, if we get a good SW blow...

05-05-2005, 05:33 PM
Boat-show-wise, you did not miss much at all ;) .

There were some highlights, though:

1. A Santa Catarina firm has come up with a 12/24 V DC fridge (or freezer, depending on supplied thermostat)that costs an indecent R$1.980 :eek: .No larger than the tiny Consul 110 V AC model that you see in frigo-bars

2. A Paraná firm is now manufacturing an in-line, fully-reversible, hydraulically-actuated gear-box rated for 250 HP/2500 rpm. With an aluminium case, weighs in at 72 kg and costs R$ 10.000 (considerably less than an equivalent ZF). A down-angle gear-box is in the works scheduled for the market in another 90 days.

3. A SP firm unveiled a locally-designed and manufactured transom drive, rated at 250 HP/2500 rpm. Cost ? R$ 28.000 :eek:

Will be looking forward to seeing you when you get to Rio with Dalia in early June. Gather you must be pretty busy chalking up plans for her maiden open-sea passage.

05-06-2005, 05:44 AM
Actually, Dalia looks like a bomb exploded on board right now - furniture pulled apart as we are installing the piping for the second head, the gas for the stove and water heater, and the wiring for the cabin lights, finishing up a couch and desk, trying to get the wooden hatches to seal, inspecting everything... in my spare time, of course. ;) :D

That refrigeration system sounds interesting. I have the firm's card. You think it is a good deal, in terms of power consumption?

05-06-2005, 06:55 PM
I imagine you are referring to the ELBER Model REKN 80 fridge, contact tel. nº (47)-542-0404.
The sales rep. claimed that its energy consumption was way lower than a Consul frigo-bar cum 12VDC/110 AC Inverter combo . No concrete figures were supplied, nor are there any printed on the sales literature that was handed out. I am sure you are aware that consumers can have PROCON throw the book at manufacturers if the latter publish fake figures relating to their products. :rolleyes:
I have the above combo setup and specially now that Inverters are available dirt cheap anywhere in the US, marine suppliers notwithstanding, there is very little incentive to make the change. They would need to drop their price by half to rally my interest.

05-07-2005, 01:57 AM
If I understand you correctly you are up and running with a Consul frigo-bar? The 220 volt units I have looked at consume 70 watts. Are you using the box or have you manufactured a super insulated box? I talked to the first supplier on the left as you entered the boat show. His units look the same as a frigo bar compressor. He stated that a frigo bar would die in three years and theirs would run forever. He couldn't explain why.

05-07-2005, 05:24 AM
My Consul 110V AC frigo-bar is the smallest of them all. It still retains the original standard-insulation enclosure. Will measure it up and post photos if you are interested.
However, I de-activated the condenser installed within the sides of the enclosure after it disintegrated within 2 years of use, and instead, installed a (R$30,00 !) free-standing condenser unit from an agua-gelada machine on the rear of the unit .
The improved cooling of the refrigerant charge has worked wonders and the device freezes over if the thermostat is not adjusted porperly. It also saved me from buying a new fridge, as the stock condenser is a non-serviceable item, installed in a God-forsaken location !
Never really looked at the consumption figures, but my Consul cum Inverter combo has never run down my (dedicated) 130 AH house battery, be it on day-trips or weekend excursions in Angra, especially now with the new condenser arrangement. There is a pair of 12 V DC /75 A, (42-year old) Lees-Neville alternators overseeing the house battery system.
Yes, the stand of this fridge company was located on the left-hand side, soon after entry into the Boat Show.
As the sales rep had no figures to substantiate his claims of lower energy consumption for his product as compared to my Consul frigo-bar cum Inverter combo, he proceeded to show me some (irrelevant!) SS trim items within the enclosure. The enclosure itself is standard galvanized sheet (not SS) and the rear panel on the back of the unit was not even painted, as I promptly pointed out to him ;)

05-07-2005, 05:55 AM
Originally posted by carioca1232001:
Never really looked at the consumption figures, but my Consul cum Inverter combo has never run down my (dedicated) 130 AH house battery, be it on day-trips or weekend excursions in Angra, especially now with the new condenser arrangement. You have a motorboat. When you say it "never ran down" the house battery on weekend excursions, was it charging during the time as you motored?

05-07-2005, 06:53 AM
>>>You have a motorboat.<<<
Good point. Since I am installing in my sailboat. I plan to build a fridge and freezer box with super insulation. My one concern is how to get the heat out of the boat unless I can come up with a water cooled coil. If the compressor consumes .3 amps and runs half the time by may calculations it should run about 18 days on the 130 amp battery. That is assuming you only run the battery half way down. Course my calculations could be wrong but even if they are my back up plan should take care of it. I just got an 8 KW generator and small diesel motor up and running. Have only tested it with a 1,600 watt grinder but it should run and electric shower head.
Seems like there is a problem with my figures since I did not consider the inverter or the fact that I am producing 220 volts from a 12 volt battery bank.

[ 05-07-2005, 08:28 AM: Message edited by: Gerald ]

05-07-2005, 03:04 PM
Yes, the twin-diesels on my motor boat spin the twin house alternators and charge the house battery every time I motor around.
Never had a low house battery due to the fridge and retrofitting a condenser from a bebedouro on the rear of my Consul fridge (Ht=60cms, Depth= 51cms, Width= 48cms) has made the whole setup incredibly efficient.
The stock condenser is housed within the fridge enclosure sides for cosmetic purposes, and the designers were not aware that the customer is trying to extract heat from the very same enclosure :eek:

Rejecting heat from a refrigeration cycle via a water-cooled condenser is the way to go on sailboats.
This is simply because fridge/freezer efficiency attains its max. value under such operating conditions. However, your fridge/freezer may not be turned on when you are on dry land, unless your water plumbing system has been designed to take care of this particularity.