Friday, December 24, 2004

The fridge story

I'm learning that almost nothing goes to plan in the marine world, and that things always take longer than you'd expect. The fridge story is a perfect example of this.

As part of my plan for us to be able to live comfortably aboard, I'm installing a fridge and separate freezer. There was a fridge on board, but I wanted to install a new, energy efficient, version. The idea being that the wind turbine I have on order will keep the batteries topped up so I can run my domestic appliances through an invertor. An invertor simply converts battery power into regular mains voltage. The more energy efficient the better for running my fridge /freezer on wind power I'm thinking.

Anyway, I carefully measured the space I wanted the fridge and freezer to go, and then set about finding the perfect pair. In the event I decided to 'borrow' the fridge and freezer from my house. I'm not living there anyway, and I'm sure that whoever rents the place won't mind the old fridge from the boat:) It has been quite a hassle getting stuff on and off the boat on account of it being moored in the middle of the rive, and I did not have the space in the truck, so opted to take only the fridge and do the freezer later.

One of my new boat friends is Jan, who owns a tug which he uses mainly for hauling a big old barge about the place. I arranged for Jan to help take the fridge, some oxyacetylene bottles, my new gas cooker and the fridge (told you the truck was full) from the aggregate yard adjacent out to Lady Jane.

As it happened, Jan was in a bit of a hurry so unloaded everything and set off back down the river on the tide fairly quickly. If it was not for the tide I'm sure the visit would have involved cups of tea/coffee and plenty of chat. Picture the scene, there I am all alone on deck, with a cold wind howling and surrounded by all this stuff to get inside.

The oxyacetylene bottles were no problem, just heavy. The new cooker fitted into it's allotted space perfectly but then my problems started...The fridge was too big to get into the galley through the watertight door. Doh!!!

Jan is gone, putting the fridge into Baby Jane was not an option as the sea water would undoubtedly get to it and, obviously, I could not leave it on deck.

Over an hour later, in what seemed like a howling gale, I had mostly dismantled the fridge and finally got it into the space where I wanted it to go. It took another twenty minutes or so to re-assemble it, as the space is quite a tight fit. Needless to say, the fridge is not leaving the boat for quite a while.

Next I've got installing the freezer to look forward to, but at least I know what the issues are and I have the luxury of being alongside a quay.

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