Sunday, February 21, 2010


Bianka had a Frigoboat 500 engine driven compressor refrigeration system when I bought her. It worked well for a few years. Then one day it died. I found out it used R12 refrigerant gas. This was bad news because the the stuff was no longer made. The reason for that is it was bad for the environment. Remember the Ozone hole?  The idea of repairing it became moot when I converted the boat to electric propulsion.   So back in the diesel days while I was debating about what to do about the Frigoboat system I came across an Engel MT25 E refrigerator/freezer.

It's a 22 liter refridgerator/freezer  that runs on 12 volts DC or 120 volts. It has actually been able to provide my needs for over 8 years now without a problem. With one 75 watt solar panel on board this little baby operated 24/7 during the whole season and never once drained the battery bank. If I'm going on an extended cruise I'll fill the on board ice box with ice and keep access to it to a minimum. Meanwhile I keep the things I'll be using most frequently in the Engel. Things like milk, cheeses, juices etc... Rather waste a lot of energy keeping a case of beer cold. I just pop a few bottles in the Engel as needed. It looks like the MT25 E has been superseded by the Engel MT-27 model. Very similar to my unit but, a little more efficient and has handles. Engel also makes other sizes both bigger and smaller depending on your space and needs. I found the MT-25 now ENGEL MT-27 a perfect secure fit next to the cockpit hatch where I do most of my dining and drinking (weather permitting). As you can see here:

This keeps the beers, beverages, bottles of wine etc... close to the cockpit and keeps the built-in on board icebox closed for most of the day. Throw a boat cushion on the top of the unit:

and you have an additional  very convenient seat that you can move around in the cabin. This Engel unit has worked flawlessly on board BIANKA for over eight years and that's why I give it my WHAT WORKS award.

BLOG UPDATE: I recently purchased a second ENGEL unit. An Engel MR04UF which has more room and functions better as an on board  refrigeration system.


audeojude said...

I have a coleman unit that is a bit smaller. It uses a stirling engine compressor for cooling.. It will freeze stuff to below 0f and uses about 3 amps wide open.. for refrigerator temps it uses about 1 amp. Colman no longer sells them though. :(

Capt. Mike said...


I've not seen the Coleman unit. Glad it works for you. My Engel draws about the same. Though the new Engel units draw even less for the same size. As long as the beer gets cold that's the important spec. :]