Captain’s Corner – Refrigeration And Windlass Repairs

So the refrigeration issue in detail for those interested:

The failure was the result of a determined calculated risk during the refit.  I decided to save $4k and leave the 30+ year old 12VDC air cooled thin plate evaporator systems for the fridge and freezer.  The reason being, we had redundancy in the form of a 120VAC water or air cooled holding plate system for both.  Also on board is a 120VAC/12VDC Engel that can operate as either fridge or freezer.

To keep the fridge going on 120, the issue became the amount of generator run time to rely solely on the holding plates.  Instead of an hour or two every other day, it was two to three hours per day.  To top it off, now I had excess solar coming out of my ears (edited for television) because the 12VDC fridge and freezer weren’t running due too the holding plates being cold.  But I couldn’t run the holding plate compressor off the inverter, utilizing the excess solar due to start up load.

Well, you know how it goes….the fridge compressor locked up.  It is an old Danfoss BD2.5 (the predecessor for BD35) with R-12.  I decide to replace the entire system due to age than to just replace the compressor and deal with all the refrigeration work, oil and compressor compatibility.  It also allows me to upgrade to a BD50 multi-speed compressor system.  I hope to see a difference in energy consumption is this warmer climate or at least, better performance.

While both boxes are empty I will also seal and caulk the lower moldings as they have started to weep a little condensation when the doors are opened and closed.  I had not thought to do so during the refit, and they have been cold ever since.

Hopefully the freezer compressor hangs on for a few more years!

The windlass:

I originally was going to replace the unit, but after days of very large hammers, pry bars, saws and eventually a cutting torch to disassemble the thing to remove our pulpit for deck repairs (when the teak decks were removed by previous owner, they skipped this area due to difficulty), I realized the genius of the extremely heavy, yet simple engineering, that requires only basic parts I can have machined anywhere in the world if needed.  So many less parts, gears, seals etc. than a horizontal style.  Did I mention the unit weighs a few hundred pounds?!

The issue at hand was when the top nut is loosened a multiple spring pad pushes the top drum up, which is keyed to the main shaft allowing the clutch pads to slip, letting the un-keyed wild cat to freewheel.  This was not happening, because the top drum had some shaft corrosion causing friction to overcome the spring pressure.  This is one of the reasons that I demolished the original windlass during disassembly.  Lesson:  disassemble windlass periodically and lubricate main shaft,  a very simple process, due to its design.

Here are some windlass photos.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

4 thoughts on “Captain’s Corner – Refrigeration And Windlass Repairs

Leave a Reply