It was a moment of high comedy. The Harbour Chandler called. Our new fridge had arrived. Our redoubtable marine master technician and mentor, Nathaniel Dieter, departed on Wednesday with the suggestion that I remove the old fridge in preparation for the arrival of the new unit the next day. Simple enough. I can do that!
Nope. Deb and I removed the retaining screws. It wouldn’t budge. We removed the doors and drawers to lighten it. Nope. I reached underneath and cut loose it’s compressor, wiring and plumbing, in a vain attempt to see what was holding it in place. No clues turned up. Getting the old, dead, Norcold fridge out of the galley seemed to require dynamite. Do marine refrigerators tend to grow over time?
When Nathaniel arrived on Thursday morning, he delicately used a crowbar and a chisel to gently smash the fridge into metallic pulp. Even then, the blasted thing was wedged in great tightness, like a certain over-fed bear we know…
To mildly complicate things, the new fridge was slightly taller than the old one, so the cabinets would need to be “expanded” a bit. I’ve been on the dock for a week now, so I’m no longer surprised to learn that there aren’t standard sizes for marine appliances. Nathaniel measured the height of the new fridge, and asked me to mark the cabinet exactly 53 inches from the floor. “Measure both sides,” he offered.
I measured. I measured again. Clearly in error, I measured again. Was I wrong? The cabinets weren’t even close to square! The left-right dimensions differed by over an inch!
Nathaniel was grinning at me. “Boats are like that,” he said, still smirking. Fortunately, he had an idea. To my mild horror, brandishing a reciprocating saw, he did a masterful freehand cut across our expensive hardwood cabinets.
The new fridge fits, or at least it did after we removed some of its excess bits. The installation looks great and our beer is cold. See? Easy.