There is something intriguing about the idea of being able to make ice using the power of the sun

In place of the condenser coils this system uses a keel cooler that dumps the heat into the ocean. Just to keep from contributing to increased sea temperature, I will toss a few cubes of ice in the ocean to make up for the difference. After using a hole saw to open up the glass on the inside of the hull location, I used a screw driver to dig out the foam so that I could replace it with a thick mixture of cabosil, micro balloons and epoxy.   This will provide extra strength where the keel cooler will mount.

Frigomatic finds her home:


Functional testing of the Autopilot


After a few days of building a support structure for the motor drive / gearbox, installing the control unit, the pilot house control and the autopilot binnacle,  I was able to have it correct a simulated  course change.

Pilot house control with Binnacle

control unit, drive motor and gearbox w/electric clutch

the chain running to the left is the twin wheel interconnect
the chain running down and to the left controls the port side rudder
the smaller chain running down and to the right is the autopilot drive


crazy expensive switch

So is it really necessary to buy a $32 dollar switch?  In this case, although I suppose I should feel fortunate that it was reduced in price to about half that, if you add shipping it seems a bit spendy. My justification for this expenditure is that it will be used to control my autopilot and I foresee a moment in time when I may need to quickly disengage it so I need it to always work. Switches make me nervous and faulty ones make me really uncomfortable

Placement of the refrigeration unit

For my freezer / spill over fridge, I chose a Frigoboat system with a 12V Danfoss K 50 F compressor combined with a keel cooler.  This particular system is available with a "smart speed control" board that allows the compressor to run at an optimum speed thereby minimizing current draw.

Here is where the unit will live. This compartment is located in the lower portion of the enclosure that will also house the autopilot drive motor. Notice the nice big access door that should allow easy installation and maintenance.  Throughout the build, an attempt is being made to offer easy access to all critical systems so that repairs and adjustments can be made with relative ease.

 I used an oil based enamel to create a nice clean space to mount the equipment. ( Although oil based paints are getting harder and harder to find, the best place to find the stuff is in old hardware stores. ) Old hardware stores sometimes offer free coffee and there are lots of old farmers talking about fence posts and whatnot.