So after posting in April about cruising without a refrigerator, what did we decide to buy? A refrigerator of course.
Honestly, if we were only going to cruise for one more year we wouldn’t have bothered. Not having a refrigerator was working out fine with our Yeti cooler, but I’ll admit that by the end of our third month in the Bahamas I was getting a bit tired of our standard meals. Going back to the States helped with that, but then we saw that Engel was having a sale on the refrigerator/freezer that would fit in our quarter berth ($150 off plus free shipping and double the warranty). After talking about how much longer we hope to cruise, we decided to pull the trigger.
Engel refrigerator/freezers have an excellent reputation within the cruising community for being trouble-free and energy efficient. It uses A/C or D/C power so installation for us was a breeze. We simply set it in the quarter berth and plugged it into our 12v socket. It was truly plug and play. Jeff also installed tie downs so that the Engel won’t shift around in sporty conditions. We were initially a little concerned about the fit (we ordered it while we traveling on the West Coast because we didn’t want to miss the sale), but we were thrilled to still have easy access to both the battery compartment and the extra storage compartment.
Do we regret cruising for the first ten months without a refrigerator? No. We were able to evaluate our actual power needs in real life (vs. theoretical needs on a piece of paper) so we knew we didn’t need to add any batteries or solar panels. If we had bought one right away we would have thought (based on our paper calculations) that we needed a third battery and solar panel, so waiting saved us quite a bit of money. We also now know what truly doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which optimizes the space in the Engel for items that actually need to be kept cold.
We aren’t quite used to having a fridge which has resulted in a bit of food waste on occasion, but we are quickly adjusting and enjoying things like yogurt for breakfast again on a regular basis. It’s the little things in life, you know!