Fridge & freezer management tips
A boat fridge and freezer aren’t like yours at home. Running on 12V boat power means you need to think and plan a little differently.
Here’s a handy tip to visualise how much space you have, check your own fridge and freezer at home (there’ll be a sticker inside the door) to see how many litres it holds and compare this with this your boat specs.
Alternatively (a little out-of-the-box) is to think of a two litre milk bottle and compare: eg. A 50 litre fridge will hold 25 x 2 litre milk bottles.
Setting yourself up well at the start, when plugged into shore power at the marina, is the key to keeping your food fresh and cold.
- If you pre-order from a provisioning company or local butcher, you can ask them to freeze your meat in advance. This has to be the biggest and best thing for the freezer… get your meat frozen!
- Do your prep while plugged into shore power at the marina – utilise the 240V electricity’s extra strength to set yourselves up well for a week of cruising
- Talk to your briefer on arrival about your particular fridge & freezer
- Fill them up! They work best when they are full!
- Even if you only have half a fridge full, fill up some water bottles to take up the rest of the space
- If your freezer is half empty, you could fill it with a bag of ice from the marina kiosk – it will help keep food frozen and provide ice for drinks. You can fill up the freezer with ice to transfer to the esky when the esky runs low or fill it with cheap bread, or water bottles
- Don’t buy ice cream, it doesn’t freeze well. Try ‘zooper doopers’ for a frozen treat instead
- If you have multiple units, don’t use two half empty, transfer everything into one to keep it full and functioning at its most efficient. Turn the other one off to conserve power.
How do you find out how much fridge/freezer space your boat has, and if it has an esky? Check out the detailed specs on the individual boat listings. Check what your boat already has before ordering an extra esky.
Think in terms of ‘stock rotation’. You can buy one fresh milk, and a couple of long life milks to put into the fridge when the fresh one runs out. Fill the esky with the first couple of days’ worth of drinks, keep the rest warm, and then refill the esky before you go to bed so everything’s cold for the next day.
When menu planning, enjoy the fresh salads at the start of your trip, and plan cooked meals like pasta or rice dishes later in the week.