Refrigeration on a boat. A blessing and a curse. Blessing when it works (98% of the time), and CURSING when the 2% happens. This is a perfect example of how the best laid plans for getting projects knocked out gets derailed when shit like this goes down. This fridge, it’s been a source of previous befuddlement due to its perceived finickiness. It doesn’t help that we possess pretty much zero knowledge about refrigeration in general, much less boat fridges. Now, it’s not really the fridges fault. The last few times it acted like a moody teenager was due to battery issues. Being a 12V system if you don’t have sufficient juice to power the thing than fuhgetaboutit. The fridge may act nice for a while, but then it decides play time is over and it goes home with its ball.
This particular go round was a legitimate part failure. Tim had come to Texas for bidness and family time so luckily the fridge was pretty empty when he departed. We both return on the 25th; landing late and arriving at the boat around 1:30am. NOT the ideal time for a fridge to crap-out. Actually, not an ideal time for ANYTHING except a Family Guy marathon or sleeping. My friend Jennifer, her Mom says nothing good happens after midnight and that’s the truth.
Back to our tale of friggy woe. Tim opens the fridge and instead of being greeted with chilliness there is the dreaded warmth. This is when the cursing commences. Switches are checked and flipped, stuff is poked. Nothing. By now it’s 2am and we say F it, let’s go to sleep. Next morning Tim is up and at ’em, doing the gross work of removing soggy foodstuffs and wiping down the interior. I scrub the teak grates clean. I learned from last time I cleaned the fridge to mark which grate goes where. Yeah, they look the same but silly rabbit, they are not the same. Tim reads up, does some tests with the ohmmeter, pokes more stuff, reads some more. I do some pay the bills work so after my initial flurry of help I’ve pretty much checked out on this project.
In the quarterberth sits the compressor for both the fridge and freezer. We never bothered to have the freezer plates installed so the freezer compressor’s just been sitting there. They are the same brand so Tim does more reading. Yep, the “electronic units” are swappable. Sweet. Well, shit, how do you get the thing off? More reading. Instructions are followed. I flop into the quarterberth to offer my “expert” opinion. After some gentle pushing, then some gentle crowbarring with a screwdriver I ask Tim, hey, what’s this screw here? He says, I dunno, there’s no mention of a screw. Me: There’s a screw here. Tim: No screw is mentioned. Me: I bet this screw needs to be loosened. Tim: There is no mention of a screw. Me: Yes, I realize there’s no mention of a screw but there it is nonetheless. Tim: Lemme see. Tim flops into the quarterberth and finagles the screw loose. YAY!! The unit (Hee hee. Unit.) easily pops free. The units are swapped out in about 5 minutes. Like magic the fridge comes back to life. Happy dance!! Working refrigeration. Testify!
A trip to the Publix. The fridge is restocked. We have returned to the land of the civilized.
The freezer compressor? I guess that’ll just sit there until we finish the other 995.5 projects that need to be done.
On another completely unrelated note I de-crumbed the stove top today. We have a 4 burner propane stove and by some sort of boating miracle all the igniter thingies work except for one. The igniters are a super simple thing/design so it annoys me that one doesn’t work. I ignite the other burners to understand what the heck happens. Awright, looks pretty straightforward. Not expecting very much I take a very high tech cleaning tool, and by high tech I mean a toothpick, and start scraping off stove detritus around the igniter and gas portlet.
La la la la la la, I try the burner. Ker-pow! It lights!! Holy schmokes, we’re cookin’ with gas! Literally, we are cookin’ with gas. I give it a couple more starts and it works like a champ. Who knew the little thing you stab Lil’ Smokies with could also fix a propane stove. Suck it MacGyver!