Re: Refrigerator replacement 1998 SM

Stephen Davis

We have a 2-drawer fridge we both love. It's made by Vitrifrigo, the RF series, but it didn't fit exactly into the available fridge hole. We had to alter the cabinetry a bit. Our boat is a 1992-vintage Super Maramu hull 72.

Good things about the fridge:
Not as much cold escapes when you open the drawers, so you can open them multiple times while making dinner and not have the internal temperature of the fridge warm up so much as with front-door fridges. You're only opening half the fridge at a time if you just open one drawer of the two, so it's significantly more efficient.

Lots of storage capacity. You can pack in way more food than the original fridge allowed.

It takes whatever kind of electricity you want to feed it.

It runs quietly. The compressor is located behind the lowest drawer. The frost drain discharges water from melted frost into a purpose-designed plate that sits above the compressor and uses the heat generated from the running compressor to evaporate any melted frost draining out.

The internal area is divided up into smaller compartments so your food doesn't slide around and you can wedge things in easily to prevent movement while at sea.

When you open the fridge door while under way, food doesn't fly out and roll around on the floor of the galley causing chaos. It just stays securely in place.

Now for the bad things:

If you're not careful, you can potentially freeze delicate vegetables placed in the top drawer's sliding basket if the basket slides itself backward next to the evaporator plate. Avoid this by sliding the basket toward the front of the drawer as you close the drawer.

It didn't quite fit perfectly into the hole, so we had to cut back our under-sink cabinet face a little. Now, the cabinet beneath our sink where the plumbing hoses live is narrower than it used to be. We didn't have to change the inside of the cabinet, just the door and door-frame.

We shaved off about 1/4 inch (6mm?) from the cabinet trim closest to the oven. We also cut about 10 cm (estimate) from the other side of the fridge opening. This made the door beneath the sink narrower.

Also, one part of the installation was nerve wracking because the galley aisle was barely wide enough to allow us to lower the fridge into it before pushing it aft into the fridge hole beneath the counter top. In fact, we had to remove the cabinet door across from it in order to give us enough room to lower the unit to the floor and then slide it into place. After installation, we put the cabinet door across from the fridge back on.

There's no problem with the fore and aft clearance when opening the drawers. However, we had to be careful when shaving off the small amount of the cabinet trim to the right of the fridge (as you're standing in front of it looking at it) because the oven handle sticks out. If you cut too much away, your fridge will end up too close to your oven and the oven door handle will impede the opening of the top fridge drawer. (Of course, this may not be true for you if you have a different oven or have more room in that area because your Amel is a different model or vintage.

 We LOVE our drawer fridge. It was a great choice if you're willing to shave back a little of the under-sink cabinetry.

Liz Davis
S/V Aloha, SM72
Currently in Norfolk, VA, USA

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