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post #1 of 25 Old 10-25-2014 Thread Starter
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Small cooler for weekending

Long story somewhat shortened, I was going to add insulation to the ice box on my c&c30, 72 vintage this winter. But I was reading a thread on drop in refrigeration here a day or so ago, and someone was using a stand alone engel fridge and using the icebox for storage. This makes more sense for my usage of our boat( use the ice box for non-perishable goods, and pack a cooler with cold stuff for the weekends ( which is the bulk of the way we are at our boat).
Currently we pack soft cooler bags( soggy and not great at retaining ice, and then placing them in the icebox) . So I'm thinking a smaller cooler , with wheels,
Somewhere in the mid 20 quart capacity, which should serve our needs well space wise, and won't get in the way all that bad in the cabin , and won't be a bear to lift from the dink onto the boat. Anyone have a favorite that's stood the typical abuse and didn't bust the wheels , handles , held ice well?

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post #2 of 25 Old 10-25-2014
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Re: Small cooler for weekending

Skip the ice and get a portable Engel unit. Plug it in at home to cool it off, plug it in to the car on the trip to/from the boat. Get a small solar panel and you are good to go!

Standard disclaimer, no interest other than a very happy user.

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post #3 of 25 Old 10-26-2014
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Re: Small cooler for weekending

It doesn't have wheels, and it is heavy, but our Yeti cooler is indestructible and keeps ice better than any other cooler we've owned. It's expensive, but for us it was definitely worth it.

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post #4 of 25 Old 10-26-2014
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Re: Small cooler for weekending

DD.. you don't "have to" add insulation most boxes have foam around them. Most boxes aren't very big, and retro fit units are very easy DIY projects and are usually able to handle larger boxes then most 30ish foot boats have.

On the other hand. I have a "super cooler" one of the few things I actually bought at west marine. it's very well insulated and when we used it ice would last 4-5 days unless we kept opening it.

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #5 of 25 Old 10-26-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Small cooler for weekending

The icebox on our boat is reaaaally big! If your not tall your bent over so far to get to the bottom your feet are coming off the ground. And it's not well insulated to boot. My thought is the boat and ice box is at "room temperature ", when we put the ice and contents from the coolers in it on the weekend a lot of the ice melts just bringing the box temp down. I like the idea of the engel, having it chilled before we leave the house would be beneficial, my only negative I can think of is possibly dropping it from the dink to boat or vice versa, a cooler, not as worried about it plopping in the water!

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post #6 of 25 Old 10-26-2014
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Re: Small cooler for weekending

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Originally Posted by cthoops View Post
It doesn't have wheels, and it is heavy, but our Yeti cooler is indestructible and keeps ice better than any other cooler we've owned. It's expensive, but for us it was definitely worth it.
+1 on Yeti.

I bought an Igloo 70 on sale for around $100. Over the course of three or four years I put hundreds of dollars into replacement handles, hold downs, hinges, and latches. Something was always broken. When the case finally cracked I had had enough. In fairness, the cooler lived outdoors on my aft deck. The UV and maybe acid rain just beat it up.

I got a Yeti 85 that is now about five years old. In the same service the only maintenance has been a little ArmorAll on the hold downs once or twice a year. It is better insulated and much more robust. The higher purchase price pays back in just a few years.

All that said, I agree with Denise that a drop-in refrigeration mod is easy to do.

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post #7 of 25 Old 10-27-2014
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Re: Small cooler for weekending

Our solution is a good quality cooler with a couple of the Arctic Ice TUNDRA packs in the bottom, and either wet or dry ice over that, with the food/drinks on top. These TUNDRA packs really are good at keeping the ice, I've been impressed.
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post #8 of 25 Old 10-27-2014
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Re: Small cooler for weekending

At the dock I use an ancient (1990s model) model of these.

Products - Dometic

Mine is 3 way power 120volts / 12 volts DC / LP gas .... but I use it strictly on 110 volts AC. It's not a perfect solution, but will hold a 45 degree temperature differential between ambient boat temperature and refrigeration temperature, which isn't bad for an ancient portable unit.

Here in Florida it means 50 to 60 degree box temperature in the heat of the summer (boat interior is 90 to 100 degrees F), but spring winter and fall, it will freeze if you don't pay attention.

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post #9 of 25 Old 10-27-2014
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Re: Small cooler for weekending

I've been very happy loading about a dozen frozen water bottles into the frig and using that as an ice box, without even turning it on, for over-night trips. This cools faster than the fridge, is neat, and they are drinkable later in the trip. We also have a tub (cut-down ice tea jug) that holds about 5 pounds of cubes that we use for items that must stay near freezing. Try it. The cooler, after transferring stuff to the fridge, stays in the car or is stashed (MT) in an extra locker, out of the way.

As for non-perishables, some of them will stay on the boat in cupboards for the next trip. I wouldn't want them piled in an ice box.

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post #10 of 25 Old 10-27-2014
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Re: Small cooler for weekending

arrrrg "frig" it's fridge! lol

fridge (fridʒ)
short for refrigerator.

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
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Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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