Refrigeration class being offered next week

Fishermen looking to get more for their catch by installing refrigeration or wanting to better understand and protect their investment in a refrigeration system can take a hands-on class in Homer from a pro next week.

Marine Mechanical Solutions, which specializes in marine refrigeration, is coming to town for a three-day intensive class that will finish with a certification test.

The class is taught by Doug Cannon, who has been doing a one-day refrigeration class through the University of Alaska’s Sea Grant program for 12 years, and who also builds and repairs marine refrigeration units.

That class has led to a thirst for more knowledge, according to Mendi Short of Marine Mechanical Solutions.

“So many fishermen have expressed interest in having more information than just the general overview or question and answer,” she said.

That led to the formation of the three-day course, which will cover theory, components, how to operate the system, troubleshooting and maintenance.

“What we’re really hoping is that we’ll be able to educate the fishermen in how to protect their catch,” Short said.

She said the class is designed so that people can maintain and operate their systems successfully, but more importantly, to be able to talk intelligently and effectively to a technician from the field when there is a problem.

The class covers all the refrigeration systems, such as refrigerated seawater and spray brine, but the training unit used for the class is RSW, which is common on tenders and medium-sized fishing boats.

Attendees will receive a certificate showing that they have successfully completed the class after taking a written and practical test.

MMS hopes that the certification will carry the weight of Doug Cannon’s reputation in the industry.

“D.C. has a really good reputation in the field of marine refrigeration,” Short said. “What we’re hoping to do is to elevate the industry in the sense that if somebody has the certification and they go on a boat looking for a job, we’re hoping it’s really going to mean something.

“He’s thorough, and his tests are not easy to pass,” she added.

The class is scheduled to take place at Kachemak Gear Shed March 26, 27 and 28, but if minimum registration is not reached by March 20, it will be rescheduled for April 10, 11 and 12.

For costs, registration and more information, contact Short at 360-204-6878.

Cristy Fry has fished out of Homer and King Cove since 1978. She can be reached at