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Three Surprising Survey Stats on Marine Refrigeration Performance

Who is (or isn’t) happy with their boat refrigeration…

At the Annapolis Spring Sail Boat Show an avid sailing crowd visited the ColdEh booth and many shared their onboard experiences with their marine refrigeration.

This year the ColdEh survey asked about two critical and inter-related topics:

  • Refrigeration and freezer day-to-day performance, and
  • Compartment box insulation.

Is anyone really satisfied?

(spoiler alert: some survey results are surprising)

As so many boat owners quest to live more comfortably aboard for longer periods of time, marine refrigeration plays an increasingly important role in their daily experience – and a well-performing system becomes a vital asset that’s depended on.

So how is their marine refrigeration performing? Here are the survey findings:

Survey Stat #1:

100% of sailboat owners with vessels less than 5 years old rated their refrigeration/freezer performance as only ‘OK’

While rating their insulation as more than adequate (even Thick and Frosty!), the performance of the original builder installed systems failed to meet all performance expectations

Survey Stat #2:

Vessels between 10 and 20 years old have the highest need for refrigeration performance improvement

Even those that had replaced their refrigeration system within the past 5 years only rated their system performance as adequate and able. And, it may not be surprising that 92% of the those with original systems stated they were Worried/Unhappy with their systems’ performance (with the majority of these owners noting their refrigeration compartment insulation is Thin/Leaky)

Survey Stat # 3:

44% of boat owners with vessels over 20 years old rated their systems as ‘not working’

32% of respondents with vessels over 20 years old report having only iceboxes and no refrigeration system at all. Beyond the survey, many booth visitors took the time to discuss their needs for icebox conversion and the dilemma of upgrading old insulation and selecting a new system for best performance. We were happy to be able to help.

So what was so surprising about the survey results?

The age of a boat’s marine refrigeration system is not the only reason for performance issues. 

Even new boat refrigeration systems have not been meeting the needs and expectations of our respondents. While robust insulation plays a key role in system performance, it alone does not compensate for energy inefficiency and maintenance issues (For more information READ

We understand you want more than 'OK' marine refrigeration

We know that you want your system to be simply Cold, Eh.

Thanks again to all of our visitors in Annapolis and to our survey participants.

We value your real input and use it to continuously refine and design for your needs.