Icebox cu. ft.

Does anyone know the cubic feet of a BCC icebox? We are looking at installing an Isotherm ASU water cooled holding plate system. Anyone have thoughts?

Bob & Lois

BCC Jolie Brise

I have the ASU unit installed on Elizabeth. So far so good, but I haven’t put it to the test. I’ve been living aboard on the hard, which doesn’t really count. But it sure gets the box cold fast.

Quick measurement of my box is:
21" wide
29" long
21" deep

Basically, the entire outboard side is angled. I’m no good at math, but if you are you can plug those numbers into the PDF Box Volume Calculator they have on the Isotherm site.

What model do you have? Is it water or air cooled? If water cooled where did you mount the compressor and water intake?

Bob & Lois

BCC Jolie Brise

oh sorry, mines air cooled.

I just installed an ice box this winter in Dawn B. I used a pre-made fiberglass box that a local boat builder made, he made the mold years ago and uses it for all the boats he makes. I cut the top down fit my boat but it is nice to have a rugged unit that has a gelcoated interior for cleaning. Most of the boats he makes use them as freezers or refigerator boxs, one side slopes to fit the hull. I’ll go measure the box tonight. If you were going to make a new box this could save some time and would be easy to ship.

I just fitted an ice box in Hull 126 see my blog under building a BCC, on the forum… The box was supplied by Todd at Cape george and was the original as supplied to SamLmorse. The price was good, made of fibreglass and good quality, Imounted the compressor for it in the lazarette. I shall do some math later and let you know. I seem to remember 5.6 cu ft, does that sound right?

Thanks Jonathan and Stewart for the info. We have a box in place and am trying to get as much information as I can. What type units did you install?

Bob & Lois

BCC Jolie Brise

I bought the Cool Blue keel cooled holding plate system by Technautics. Not there yet but plan on a 6 cu ft box, 2/3 refrig and 1/3 freezer.

Check out the video at:

David Kent
Sea Star

I have a cool blue condenser with 21Ah per day promise. I’ll let you know if it meets the criteria…

I am looking for feedback on Frigoboat refrigeration, as well as the use of a keel cooler condenser. Cool Blue from Technautics ($3,000) is expensive compared to Frigoboat’s unit ($1,500). IDUNA has two iceboxes - 2.17 cu.ft. and 2.54 cu.ft. Based on my calculations for the Frigoboat unit if we convert the larger of the two iceboxes to a refrigerator, amp-hr consumption will be on the order of 14 amp-hr per 24 hr. I really do not want another “system” aboard but finding clear block ice is becoming very difficult.




I determined the number of cubic feet in each icebox by measuring the depth of each box at several points from inboard to outboard. IDUNA’s iceboxes are fitted athwartships. Once I had these measurements, I drew the outline of the inside of the icebox on graph paper. I used a thin wood batten to draw the curvature of the hull. Once I had the outline drawn, I counted the number of squares within the outline. I let each square represent 1 therefore there were 144 to 1 sq.ft. Once I determined the number of sq.ft. per side, I multiplies this by the width, 1 ft in our case, to determine the number of cubic feet.

Maurice Griffith, the designer of the Golden Hind, used this technique to calculate the lateral surface area of his designs. If you have a balance that will weigh 1/1000 of a gram, you can determine area by weight. Similar results may be determined with a pantograph. I had neither, hence I counted the squares - all 312 squares for the aft icebox. For the forward ice box (366 squares), I averaged the number of squares in every two columns of squares (Depth X Width) then took the sum of these. You could also use this technique for every 4 columns of squares. Although these shortcut techniques are not as accurate as counting every square, the results are probably within 0.01 or 0.02 cu ft - good enough for the East India Company.



P.S. Any word/pictures on the East India Co. barrels?

The project is at a standstill. The 2" white oak that I used was apparantly not dry and after the barrels sat a few weeks they sprung. The two halves would not fit together. I have them in a dry, warm place in hopes that they will line up the way they were turned. I should have put the ends in right after they were turned but thought they would stay and not have this problem. I’ll keep you posted with progress.
Bob & Lois
BCC Jolie Brise


Sorry to learn about the project problem. Let’s hope the two halves line up after they dry. Did you bend the staves cold or use steam? I think if I were building barrels I might laminate the bend in the staves. My choice of wood would be quarter sawed Douglas Fir. I would use white oak but I think it is too acid to make a long lasting epoxy joint. The more I think about the barrel making process and the strength of epoxy joints, I suspect, I could make the barrel in a traditional fashion then cut the barrel in two after bend set in the staves.

Regardless, your project inspired me and I am hoping the two halves line up so we can see pictures of the finished barrels - awesome.


Hey all,

If you’re having trouble finding the cubic feet of your icebox, plug the drain and fill it with a known quantity of water. There are 7.5 gallons of water in 1 ft/3.

We had no idea with our W32 and found this easy and accurate. Our icebox drains into a small sump bilge and it emptied it well. We threw a cup of bleach in and used it as an opportunity to disinfect the icebox, too.

This discussion of keelcooled refrigerators fascinates me. We’re getting ready to purchase 335 watts of solar panels (2x135w, 1x65w) and are interested in installing an efficient refrigeration system. The traditional 50ah/day always scared me, but these new ~20/ah systems look great.

Good luck!

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