Insulating the Reefer

Insulating the Reefer

Lindy and I have always noticed condensation on the tops of the refrigerator lids and that they are just two, one inch thick boards without insulation. Also, there is no gasket to make an air tight seal when closed. Basically, we are making the compressor work a lot harder than it should have to. Air conditioning the cabin of the boat by way of the fridge sounds like a great idea in theory, but I’m pretty sure it’s not making it any cooler in there for us on a hot tropical day. Let’s make that fridge do what it’s made for…keep drinks ice cold! And, as the largest power draw on the boat, I figured some better insulation was in order to save on the batteries. Tartan 37s have a great owner’s forum, and I got some ideas and instructions from some very helpful owners that have accomplished this task before us. With my Dad in town visiting as a helper we set out to improve our reefer lid set up.
We took some 2 inch mini cell foam I had purchased and rough cut two panels a little larger than the opening of the fridge. Next, we laid the rough cut of one of the panels over the opening and traced the outline so we could end up with an air tight seal.
Once we had the foam cut on the outline of the opening, we pressed it into the space and marked some areas for a final trim and sanding.
After we were happy with the shape of the first panel, we used some extreme mounting tape to afix the foam panel to the reefer lid.
Since we cut the foam large to make an air tight seal, I spent a while compressing the foam to the lid to make sure the tape would hold. Then, we repeated the process with the second reefer lid.
In the end, the project was deemed a success. Thanks to my Dad for all the help! We ended up with a very tight seal. So much so that Lindy couldn’t open the fridge right after we put it all together. We decided to leave it to see if compression for a while would make it easier, and it did. Hoping I don’t need to sand or trim it anymore, but won’t be too difficult if needed. Can always trim some away but can’t add any back! Right now, I’d have to say Yeti’s got nuthin’ on us!


  • Ashley Bracken

    August 30, 2016 at 4:33 pm Reply

    Phew! Thank goodness you can now keep the beer cold! Cheers.

  • Stefone Nelson

    August 30, 2016 at 4:58 pm Reply

    Awesome!! You the man!

  • Dobe

    August 30, 2016 at 5:44 pm Reply

    Nice write up although I felt the use of the word reefer was a misleading tease

    • zdunc

      August 30, 2016 at 6:20 pm Reply

      Bait and switch….like a Yahoo article 🙂

  • Kelly Canady

    August 30, 2016 at 11:46 pm Reply

    Im glad Daddy Dave got to help. He always adds a unique twist to any project. I start laughing just thinking about some of his stories that fit my theory "One thing leads to ten!" Treasure the fellowship.

  • Mary Wey Duncan

    August 30, 2016 at 11:51 pm Reply

    Zach and Dave work well together. What one doesn’t think of, the other does. I listened to the planning and discussions and how they came to conclusions. Amazing minds.

  • Lauren AKA The Dolphin Whisperer

    August 31, 2016 at 7:48 pm Reply

    Can’t wait to grab another La Croix out of there!!

  • David Duncan

    August 31, 2016 at 11:22 pm Reply

    Great job, guys! Glad Dad could help you with that project. I’m sure you both enjoyed working together.

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