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Old 03-11-2013, 01:11 PM
dshockley's Avatar
dshockley dshockley is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Boat: 2010 Mastercraft X15 350 MCX
Location: Midwest
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Originally Posted by bsloop View Post
Those extreme cooling options sound neat but I really dont think they are a viable solution for most boaters. If a person regularly boated Powell or other super remote locations it might almost make sense. Those "mid" to high level coolers are really desigened for preservation of expensive contents not beers.

High end units might hold ice longer than cheap coolers in preservation tests, but a boat cooler is used differently. Drinks of less than ideal temp are often dumped in which is a negative. Then the lid is opened 50 times in an afternoon which will lose cool with every opening.

Choosing a decent cooler is a good starting point. Look for one with insulation in the lid, not just dead air. I have had good luck with Igloo marine Cube. They are tall enough to sit on and have more volume per sq foot of floor space. I can make it 2-3 days exposed in 90-95deg heat as a drink cooler when set up as I detail below.

The biggest problem may be the ice used! Most commercially produced ice is tubular. This is very efficient to produce as it basically slides along a chilled outter and inner wall and is extruded as ice in a continuous process. It is fine for liquid cooling where the liquid can touch all surfaces but AWFUL for cooler ice. The hole is inefficient taking up space and allowing an air space that warms every time the lid is opened. Also, ice out of the store often starts "warmer" than home ice.

Make your own solid ice and it will last much longer. I have a dedicated upright freezer that makes ice in the bottom drawer. This is solid cubes and good for drinks but solid chunks are even better.
We freeze milk jugs solid then slam them on concrete or hit with a 15" crowbar on the boat. Utility knife down the side opens the jug if it has not split already. The tiny crushed ice falls down between cans and bottles very tight yeilding more ice and colder ice in a given space.
The bottom layer usually refreezes into a solid chunk to start the day.
We save milk jugs year round and usually start the seaon with 3 large leaf bags full of empties. Those combined with what we empty on a weekly basis will take us though the summer.
We boat almost every weekend and go though 5-7 gal; 50# a weekend easy.

We also keep our beverage refrig just below freezing, this will not usually freeze items but does start drinks with a good chill. Sometimes beers in the back are a little slushy if I am off a little on temp but those just go to the bottom of the cooler for use later in the weekend.

Finally, for big food weekends one cooler is dedicated to food only. Unbroken jugs keep things cold without the risk of water damge due to melted ice. This cooler is not opened as frequently as the beverage cooler so it stays cooler and lasts longer.

For those counting, that is 3 refrig/freezers; Kitchen, Beverage, and deep freeze. A person could get by with just two frig/freezers but we get a side of beef and stock up on frozen grocery items so the 3rd is well utilized.
All total there is electricity used but $$$ saved in ice and time saved not stopping for ice provide a positive ROI. Grocery money saved is a bonus.

bsloop, WOW. Thanks for taking the time to share your ice knowledge. Great ideas and $$ saved on ice. Gotta love that!
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:38 PM
east tx skier's Avatar
east tx skier east tx skier is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 1998 Ski Nautique
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Originally Posted by dshockley View Post
+1 for East TX Skier. I agree, that's why I haven't bit the bullet yet on these high dollar ones. I want to see if someone can convince me. The cost difference is easily 175-200+ gallons of fuel this year.
Ours was a gift. Don't get me wrong. It's nice and all. But it's really heavy and does not have a lot of interior space for its heft.
Previous: 1993 Prostar 205

Red 1998 Ski Nautique, PCM GT40, 310 hp, , Acme 4 blade, Perfect Pass SG/Zbox.


Be kind. Have fun.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:21 PM
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jafo9 jafo9 is online now
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Boat: 2002 X30 LTR
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we have a coleman (i think) 12v fridge on our other boat. it came built into a little kitchen type setup on our pontoon. at first we were going to tear the whole thing out for extra space, but then we came to really like the convenience of a fridge. when we bought our mc, we struggled with the idea of adding one to it. in the end we ended up just using a cheap "marine" cooler that fit behind the drivers seat. our decision was based on the fact that if we are going to be gone for a long time either anchored or visiting friends on the lake, we'll be on the 25ft pontoon which is way bigger than our 02 X30.

to us the biggest downside to a fridge on the mc was size (bigger than the space we wanted to put a cooler) and need for power. the need for power isn't a great demand, but if you are going to run it for extended periods of time you will need to plan ahead. the best solution i found on the pontoon was to add an ACR to the dual battery setup that came from the factory. i rewired the boat to act more like a cabin cruiser with a "house" battery and a "start" battery. the only load on the start battery is the starter. once the start battery gets fully recharged and exceeds 13.6 volts, the ACR combines the batteries and then the motor charges the house battery. when the motor is off, once the house battery drops below 13.6v, the ACR disconnects and isolates the batteries so only the house battery gets discharged. this lets me run the fridge non-stop during the day and not worry about getting home. i also wired in a dual battery charger to let the house recharge overnight. if you go this route, i highly recommend adding a 2nd voltmeter to your helm so you can monitor both batteries independently. this lets me watch the ACR kick in and gives me peace of mind that everything is working properly.

obviously the big up side to a fridge is the convenience. turn it on and load it up. it really helps if the stuff you put in is already cold. for us its easy, as it comes out of the fridge in the house and goes straight into the boat fridge. i've never counted, but i can probably fit close to a case of beer as well as plenty of non-alcoholic drinks. then there's the cool factor. its fun to be visiting friends at their docks, offer them a beer, and tell them "its in the fridge".
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:32 PM
TN Barefooter's Avatar
TN Barefooter TN Barefooter is offline
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Originally Posted by nautibynature View Post
I'll stick with my Coleman's

That was an interesting review, thanks for sharing the link.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:00 PM
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jdl xstar jdl xstar is offline
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My unsolicited take on coolers....

The majority of us "weekend warrior" boaters don't need a cooler that will keep ice frozen for more than, say, 8 hours therefore I don't see the need for a cooler that costs so much more than your regular run-of-the-mill cooler. One 10 lb bag of ice will keep many beverages very cold for a very long time even in the direct sun. Now if you are doing overnight trips or keeping caught fish, that is another story.

Yeti's are cool though so if someone gave one to me, I'd gladly accept. But I say save some coin and get a fancy igloo cooler and call it a day!
Previous - 2007 X-Star w/ 8.1l
Previous - 2007 X2 w/ MCX
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:39 PM
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gts-20 gts-20 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Boat: 2008 Prostar 214 w/ mini tower mcx
Location: Houston/Austin TX.
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We use one of theses:


Works great, keeps ice for a weekend, and takes up very little room. We usually by a bag of ice on the way to the lake Sat. morning, and we still have ice left Sunday evening when we are wiping the boat down. Very happy with it.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:45 PM
RaggedEarl RaggedEarl is offline
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Boat: Stryker, Scooter, 84, Yamaha 225
Location: TEXAS
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I have a Yeti, and I love it.

There are a couple other options for rotomold coolers.
http://k2-coolers.com/ (a little cheaper that Yeti)
http://iceholecoolers.com/ (a little more expensive than Yeti)
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:21 AM
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rgardjr1 rgardjr1 is offline
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Originally Posted by ttu View Post
i have one of those. works great.
I have been very impressed with ours as well. I use one along with the standard Igloo cooler. I was considering a high dollar cooler, but decided to buy a small dedicated icemaker instead. Picked one up off of Craigslist last year for $250. It does about 60 lbs in 24 hours and the ice bin will hold about 25 lbs before you have to start bagging it up to make room for more. It more than keeps up with our ice consumption and we have plenty to bring down to my wife's parents place when they need some.
2006 Maristar 200 SS
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:54 PM
Thrall's Avatar
Thrall Thrall is offline
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Boat: '06 X2 MCX
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What bsloop said!

Side by side comparison though, Yeti to Coleman boat cooler, the std white marine cooler. Yeti in the sun, Coleman in the back compartment, shaded. Similar # of beers dranken!
Yeti kicks Coleman's @ss.

As mentioned though I don't have one due to their cost, weight and how few beers they carry for their size.

I also live where it rarely gets to 80deg so ice lasts all day anyway. Plenty left for cocktails after the beer is gone!
'06 X2 MCX

"I understand why some people may not want to do this the way I have recommended but I can't understand the death grip some people have on a toilet plunger with a hose fitting." -JimN
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:33 PM
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thatsmrmastercraft thatsmrmastercraft is offline
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Boat: 1977 Stars & Stripes
Location: St. Paul, MN
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Originally Posted by Thrall View Post
What bsloop said!

Side by side comparison though, Yeti to Coleman boat cooler, the std white marine cooler. Yeti in the sun, Coleman in the back compartment, shaded. Similar # of beers dranken!
Yeti kicks Coleman's @ss.

As mentioned though I don't have one due to their cost, weight and how few beers they carry for their size.

I also live where it rarely gets to 80deg so ice lasts all day anyway. Plenty left for cocktails after the beer is gone!
That fits the requirement.

Email - [email protected]
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cooler, coolers, fridge, ice

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