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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-26-2007
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Cooler Suggestions?

As ice is my primary means of refrigeration, and my current cooler might as well be a trash bag (eats ice and leaks). Anyone have a suggestion on what I should purchase. I hear that the Coleman xtreme is pretty good. Cost is not really an issue unless it is more than a cold plate kit =) Thoughts?
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Old 06-26-2007
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Get an Engel or a Norcold portable refrigerator. They're available in various sizes and relatively affordable. They run off of 12VDC or 110 VAC... so they're good for use when you're sailing or when you're dockside.
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Old 06-26-2007
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It sounds like you're talking about a portable cooler to be used instead of a built-in ice box. That is what I do, my boat is about 30 years old and its ice box is not very good either. Any modern cooler made by Igloo or other similar manufacturer will be much better. I can usually last an entire weekend on one bag of ice in a medium-sized cooler. Sometimes I think about removing the built-in and leaving a custom-sized space to just put a normal, portable cooler which is easier to clean out and is more efficient. But, alas, I have many other things to do.
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Old 06-26-2007
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I have a couple of Coleman coolers - one is a regular plastic blue one - holds beer on ice for about 6 to 8 hours (not that beer usually lasts that long but we fell asleep once ) - the other one is a bigger grey one with a white lid that has drink holders moulded in to the top. The grey one holds ice for a good three or four day binge... it's actually pretty surprising. I am not sure if it is the "Extreme" model or not, bought it a couple of years ago.

However, if you have the battery power I would go with one of the portable Engel thingies...
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Old 06-28-2007
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We very easily solved this problem - with a bag of ice costing $2.50 - $3 ... we purchased a cheap 12-volt cooler (you know the type - with the built-in refrigeration unit in it). We waited until it went on sail (haha), and purchased it for about $50. Then we took the lid, made a small wooden frame for it to fit in top of, and afixed it over the boats existing cooler box ... so now we have a 12-volt fridge for $50, not to mention when its not in use we can take the lid off and use it with the cooler as it was intended. There is a 12-volt lighter plug right above the area (if there wasn't, one can be easily made).

The cooler unit over the ice box solution doesn't make ice, but it does maintain the coolness of the box and keeps your drinks and food cold.

Maybe you can try that?
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Old 06-28-2007
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You'll also find that BLOCK ICE lasts way way longer than ice cubes. Usually sold at fishing (bait) stores, or you can freeze your own, using an ice cream half gallon carton or other container in your freezer. If you know anyone at a local store witha commercial freezer--they can freeze it colder, and that counts too.
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... or, you could do the old camping trick and fill up 2 liter pop bottles with water, then freeze them at home. So doing this you not only have a large mass of ice, but when it thaws you have great drinking water from an easy-to-use pour-able container!

This idea comes from my trusty father-in-law who has taught me everything I know about sailing

Last edited by PassionKid; 06-28-2007 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 06-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionKid
... or, you could do the old camping trick and fill up 2 liter pop bottles with water, then freeze them at home. So doing this you not only have a large mass of ice, but when it thaws you have great drinking water from an easy-to-use pour-able container!

This idea comes from my trusty father-in-law who has taught me everything I know about sailing
I find that the one quart soda bottles fit in the cooler better
Be sure to leave room for expansion before freezing
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Old 06-28-2007
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For several years, we've used Igloo brand coolers for beverages whenever we do extended trips. This (obviously) leaves more room in the fridge for food. As was mentioned, block ice lasts much longer than cubes - but leaves everything floating in the bottom of the cooler, and the frozen plastic bottles - being cylindrical, are space-hogs.

One trick we used is to find some palatable boxed wine - the larger size that holds the equivilent of (5) .75 liter bottles of wine. Once empty - remove the mylar coated plastic bags from two boxes, and discard the boxes. Pop off the rubber stopper/spouts and fill with tap water after rinsing - but don't overfill to a balloon shape. Keep the "pillow" relatively flat.

Then lay the bags flat on the bottom of your home's freezer. The next morning, you will find that 2 ice bags will cover the bottom of a 70 qt. Igloo cooler very nicely, without taking up much space. The Mylar coating helps insulate the ice, staying solid for up to 4 days (depending upon outside temps) and the bags retains all the water, leaving the cooler dry.

The biggest problem with this idea, is finding boxed wine worth drinking.
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All great advice. I especially like the $50 fridge idea and the box o wine ice blocks. Thanks to all that responded.
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