Nova Kool Refrigerator

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bjgin
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Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by bjgin »

We have a 2004 PDQ 34 power cat. It has the original Nova Kool refrigerator. It still works, but think we should just bite the bullet and buy a new fridge before we head to the Bahamas this coming Feb. 2021. Has anyone replaced theirs and, if so, what did you get? Also, how did you get the Nova Kool fridge out of the boat and a new one back in??

BJ and Ginny Patterson
FantaSea IV

Nick
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by Nick »

There is a lot of correspondence on this forum about refrigeration on our boats and many suggestions about how to improve performance. Some ideas are as simple as not overpacking the fridge with food all the way to improving air flow around the rear of unit by adding an external exhaust fan. Prior owner of our ‘05 had already put a new novacool refrigerator in and we did ALL the other suggested modifications and still have only barely acceptable refrigeration. We can manage easily enough (including Bahamas), but next move would be to an entirely different brand I think.

Fridge removal is pretty easily as it just pulls out. Challenge will be finding correct form factor with a different manufacturer. Let us know what you find!
Nick & Barb
Catsaway
2005 PDQ34 #66

duetto
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by duetto »

hi,

one note of caution. if your 2004 has the old style galley and dinette you may not be able to remove/replace the unit without doing some cutting of the settee back. when we replaced ours we had to cut about a 1' section out of the back and then re-glass after new one was in. we removed all cabinetry above the sink, fridge door, etc. we tried to rotate the unit so that the corner of settee went inside fridge and it still didn't fit.

also, if you have to cut do not re-glass until you've run the new one for a couple of days. our replacement would not get down to temp and so novacool had to send another.

before you do anything, as nick says, search the forum. there are tons of posts on the fridges. spend some time on russ/twin sisters stuff.
john & diane cummings
duetto mv34 #23

bjgin
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by bjgin »

Thanks for your comments. What year PDQ power cat do you have? Also is it possible for you to email us pictures of the dinette area you are talking about so we will know if we'll have the same issues. Our email address is nc-mtns@att.net.

Thanks!

BJ and Ginny
BJ and Ginny Patterson
2004 PDQ MV34, #40, 110 Engines
FantaSea IV
The Villages, FL

bjgin
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by bjgin »

We decided to go ahead and order the Nova Kool fridge. It probably won't arrive ar our marina until late Sept. We're not sure what challenges we'll have when it's time to remove the old one, then install the new one. We'll have to face those issues whe the time comes. :|

BJ and Ginny Patterson
2004 PDQ Powercat #40
FantaSea IV
BJ and Ginny Patterson
2004 PDQ MV34, #40, 110 Engines
FantaSea IV
The Villages, FL

Expatriate
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by Expatriate »

It is true that in the Bahamas getting something that big shipped in is almost impossible. So getting a new one in the US is a good idea. Another approach is to carry a 12V DC cooler like and Engle or ARB. Plenty of room under that big table. Easy to run wiring from the galley.

Are the Bahamas back open? We did not go last year because of the virus.

Tim
MV Expatriate
2005 Hull 68

bjgin
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by bjgin »

The Bahamas did open last month. Then about a week ago they declared that no one from the U.S. can come there. We're planning on going late Feb. 2021, so sure hope it opens back up by then.

BJ and Ginny Patterson
2004 PDQ MV #40
FantaSea IV
BJ and Ginny Patterson
2004 PDQ MV34, #40, 110 Engines
FantaSea IV
The Villages, FL

Lyons Pride
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by Lyons Pride »

i agree with duetto as i have the old style kitchen set up and it appears i would have to cut something to get that thing out. Our fridge needs to be replaced but i would also like to go with another brand. We get buy on portable electric coolers that drawl very little amps. I think I would Sawzall the old one and put in another one and re due the carpentry around it as another brand probably wont be a exact fit. I have tried to get it out without cutting anything and it just would fit.

Expatriate
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by Expatriate »

Lyons Pride,

If you go with a newer smaller fridge, you may be able to save some power. The newer ones have more efficient refrigeration and better insulation.

I would look closely at how much stuff I put in the fridge now. Our 7 cubic foot fridge is never full. I like to have that big freezer so we can stock up with meat and ice for drinks, but the regular fridge part is usually about half full.

Our fridge has shut down three times in the last two months. I turn off the breaker for 30 minutes and then back on and everything is fine. I have been working on electrical stuff lately. I replaced a start battery, installed new engine panels, ammeters, etc. So maybe all of that confused the electronics board on the fridge.

I guess I will not worry about it until the Bahamas open back up.

Tim

duetto
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by duetto »

hi all,

on the subject of fridges. friends of ours used to own "beach magic" which is a 2004. somewhere in its life before our friends bought it the prior owner had the novacool removed and a cold plate based custom fridge / freeezer custom designed and built. basically it was a thick foam box, glassed over inside and the cold plates, compressor, etc added outside the box. the told me it was the most efficient fridge they had ever owned. the builder was out of fort lauderdale. sorry don't know a name.

if i were thinking about a replacement other than novacool i'd probably explore this approach.
john & diane cummings
duetto mv34 #23

Dots Way
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by Dots Way »

We are also having problems with the Nova Kool side by side in hot weather. Has any one looked at the isotherm 200 side by side? It appears to have the same dimensions as the Nova Kool, but has a larger compressor

kjoverbeck
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by kjoverbeck »

I am the previous owner of Nick's boat. When we replaced the fridge, it went out the forward center window.
Kent Overbeck

teamwork
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by teamwork »

I have a 2 year old Novakool that didn't work much better than the original one.
I have increased the power wire to 10 gauge. In doing so, found that the connector is not correct as it needs a ferrel instead of just tightened down on a few strands of wire. The factory wires weren't tinned, not marine. I had a very small voltage from one end to the other, 03.
Fridge is some better, next step is to insulate the box the fridge is in, especially the top. Closed cell styrofoam with reflective side. Do not use an adhesive with a solvent base. Flex glue will work. Leftovers insulation going to walls, especially the generator area. I also installed a 4 inch computer fan at the forward port of the box the Fridge is in. Wired to come on with compressor.
I hope cooler weather is coming to Florida, so I won't really know about the insulation.
Roger on Teamwork PS, ice cream is hard again.😁😁
PS, PS fan is blowing DOWN, bringing cooler air from AC area thru Fridge area, back into the boat.

Expatriate
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by Expatriate »

I have a Nova Kool on my 2005. I ran 8 gage wire all the way from the breaker to the fridge. It may have helped a little, or not. It sure did not hurt. I put a fan on the shelf the fridge sits on. There is about 6" of space behind the fridge. My fan blows up bringing cooler air from under the fridge up and out around the microwave assuming that the hot air from the fridge was heading up anyway. This seemed to help a little. The fridge did not run 100% of the time any more. Still, it would just die occasionally and everything would get warm and the ice would melt.

On one of these occasions when the fridge was not running, I pulled it out and started looking for anything that might be wrong. I bumped a wire and the fridge started. Almost all the wires that connected to the back of the fridge were loose. They are spade connectors (which I hate) so I removed them, cleaned them up, re-crimped them, and put them back on. The fridge has been great since then. I think that it was having an intermittent power drop out from the loose wiring, so it looked like the fridge was not cooling very well. In fact, it worked fine when it was running, but it did not run all the time. So check that out. It was simple to fix and made a world of difference.

Tim
M/V Expatriate

teamwork
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by teamwork »

Teamwork did most of the "fixes " with minimal results. Installed 1" closed cell styrofoam with foil face, glued in with Flex Glue, great stuff. Foil face to inside of the box the fridge slides into. Fan installed forward left side, blowing down, bringing air from microwave area and across Fridge
It's been pretty hot in Florida last few days, temps are ,freezer 12 degrees, and Fridge 37. Thermostat setting at 5.5, large improvement.

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