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Old 23-11-2012, 19:57   #1
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What kind if any ice chest do you have on board?

We are looking at the Yeti and the Pelican and unsure what size we should be looking at. We would like to keep it in one of the spare heads.
So do you have one and what size or is there another brand
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Old 23-11-2012, 20:07   #2
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Re: What kind if any ice chest do you have on board?

Well, my partner has a beaut.....

Sorry she just pointed out my mistake. I thought I saw 'Nice chest'
Apologies.
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Old 23-11-2012, 21:13   #3
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Re: What kind if any ice chest do you have on board?

Built in w/ extra insulation... keeps ice for days.

mm
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Old 24-11-2012, 11:53   #4
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Re: What kind if any ice chest do you have on board?

I have an old (over 15 years) Camping Gaz ice chest (internal dimensions: 38x24x32cm). In W Europe, it keeps ice for about 1.5 day in summer, when initially full with cold products. The size is OK for coastal cruise with 4 people, keeping meat, butter, cheese and yoghurts for 2-3 days.

I am considering building another one, using thicker and more efficient insulation.

Alain
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Old 24-11-2012, 18:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra
I have an old (over 15 years) Camping Gaz ice chest (internal dimensions: 38x24x32cm). In W Europe, it keeps ice for about 1.5 day in summer, when initially full with cold products. The size is OK for coastal cruise with 4 people, keeping meat, butter, cheese and yoghurts for 2-3 days.

I am considering building another one, using thicker and more efficient insulation.

Alain
The yeti is supposed to keep ice for up to seven but that is what started us thinking about what others have chosen.
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Old 24-11-2012, 20:35   #6
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Re: What kind if any ice chest do you have on board?

We tried the ice chest route and didn't like it. Messy, need to find a place that sells ice, etc. Now don't shoot the messenger, but here goes:

We have a built-in fridge and separate freezer running off the batteries /inverter/ solar/ wind setup, but found that opening the fridge too often in the tropics to access cold drinks caused a major power drain. Needed to do something, other than cutting back on the brewskies. Hence we toyed with ice chests. Not happy.

We bought an Englel 40 Qt sized fridge/freezer that runs off 12 VDC or 220 VAC. (The US market has 120 VAC versions available.) Picked it up in NZ. Draws about 2 & 1/2 amps on DC and we need run it for about two hours a day -- Well, three hours if I keep opening it up for another cold beer. Anyway, it gets loaded with water bottles, flavored drinks, the day's food supply, misc. snacks and whatnot, and we keep a layer of drink cans on the bottom as cool pack storage.

Why the Engel? Guess I got sucked in by the advertising about being designed for the Aussie outback, but it works as advertised! Happy with the purchase.

My two cents: Any old ice chest will do when the nearest store selling ice is within dinghy distance. Otherwise, go for a low-amp DC power unit.
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Old 25-11-2012, 11:07   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svmariane
We tried the ice chest route and didn't like it. Messy, need to find a place that sells ice, etc. Now don't shoot the messenger, but here goes:

We have a built-in fridge and separate freezer running off the batteries /inverter/ solar/ wind setup, but found that opening the fridge too often in the tropics to access cold drinks caused a major power drain. Needed to do something, other than cutting back on the brewskies. Hence we toyed with ice chests. Not happy.

We bought an Englel 40 Qt sized fridge/freezer that runs off 12 VDC or 220 VAC. (The US market has 120 VAC versions available.) Picked it up in NZ. Draws about 2 & 1/2 amps on DC and we need run it for about two hours a day -- Well, three hours if I keep opening it up for another cold beer. Anyway, it gets loaded with water bottles, flavored drinks, the day's food supply, misc. snacks and whatnot, and we keep a layer of drink cans on the bottom as cool pack storage.

Why the Engel? Guess I got sucked in by the advertising about being designed for the Aussie outback, but it works as advertised! Happy with the purchase.

My two cents: Any old ice chest will do when the nearest store selling ice is within dinghy distance. Otherwise, go for a low-amp DC power unit.
Good to know, and the cold beer was the main goal here. Still trying to make it on land but finding I am fond of the old miller lite. So trying to figure the best way to keep that and enough ice for hubbies 14 (7/7). I am trying to secure enough of the requirements now prior to leaving work for good so that its not one big fund depletion at the start of the new chapter.
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Old 25-11-2012, 12:09   #8
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Re: What kind if any ice chest do you have on board?

I started with an Igloo about 80 or 90 quarts that I found on sale for about $75. Over the next three years or so I spent at least $300 on hinges, handles, latches, and other odds and ends. When the case split from UV I gave up on it.

I spent the big bucks on a Yeti Tundra 85. It's three years old and all I do is put some ArmorAll on the rubber latches once a year. No damage, no issues, and does great keeping the cold in as long as crew keep the lid closed.

Very happy with my Yeti cooler.
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Old 26-11-2012, 11:16   #9
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Re: What kind if any ice chest do you have on board?

Just wanted to add some other thoughts on ice chests. While I'm a firm believer that a refrigerator is almost a must for multi-day cruising ... at least if the average person wants to make their life easy ... I see one great use for an ice chest ... storing vegetables ... I was on a boat that used this method on a 10-day cruise from San Francisco to San Diego.

I see two big problems with refrigerators: (a) The temperature distribution is often very non-uniform because the cooling comes from a tiny ice box. Near the ice box the temperature is essentially freezing and elsewhere it is warmer. The result is that accidently letting vegetables get too near the ice box will ruin them. (b) On most boats space is a premium in the refrigerator and vegetables take a lot of space.

The Hunter 36 I was on had a small freezer. We froze "blue ice" in it and each day rotated this with blue ice in a small ice chest that held vegetables and cheese. It worked great for 10 days ... at the end we had one head of lettuce left that was in poor condition.

I also have a background in running rivers on rafts where we try to carry fresh food for a 10 days in hot weather (100 F). There are several tricks that can be used to make this work.

Conduction is the enemy of ice. The worst thing you can do is have ice sitting in the bottom of your ice chest in a layer of water. That's why some people often drain the water from their ice chest. But in doing so they are throwing away cooling capacity. While the following is not practical in most cruising grounds, it might be workable if you are departing from your home port.

I use a very large ice chest (128 qt) but you can scale this down.

I freeze an 8 gallon water container (the one I use is blue and a cube). I put in about 6 gallons of water to allow for expansion and while freezing the vent is open. I don't have a freezer this size so I have it frozen at my local meat market whose freezer is very cold ... I trade a 12-pack for the freezing. Don't be surprised if the container expands some.

I place the frozen container in ice chest ON TOP of some rigid foam blocks and with blocks keeping it spaced from the sides of the chest.

The last part of the equation is that I cover the ice chest with a thick towel that I keep wet with river (you can use ocean) water. Evaporative cooling of the towel reduces the loss of heat.

This works well on the river. My brother has used this method on a fishing boat for more than a week in Mexico.

The bottom line is you need to think in terms of reducing heat loss if you want to optimize the life of the ice.
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Old 26-11-2012, 11:31   #10
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Re: What kind if any ice chest do you have on board?

We have both a freezer and refrigerator aboard our boat but we also keep a Polar Bear "soft" ice chest that we fold up and stash away when we don't need it. It will keep a block of ice solid for 24 hours in 100 heat, if necessary, will float and can double as a ditch bag if need arises (although we also have a dedicated ditch bag as well).



A couple of water bottles, partially filled and frozen in the freezer provide enough "cold" to keep a few sodas, gatoraids and beers (once we've anchored up or moored) nicely chilled on passage with the bag in the cockpit for the convenience of the watch stander(s).

FWIW
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Old 26-11-2012, 19:56   #11
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Re: What kind if any ice chest do you have on board?

We have used an ice chest for most of our 45 years of voyaging and found it worked very well and cost was minimal. Though we ran out of ice after 14 days on passage, we also tended to run out of fresh food before then and besides only a few times a year were we at sea that long. As for getting ice to refill the well insulated box, we kept square dishwashing basins in the bilge and when we were in ports where there were no freezer works making block ice, we found either a fish plant, or a shop keeper willing to make ice blocks for us in exchange for us paying a small fee. Usually they made the ice for free if we shopped with them. Nice thing is, we never had a refer break down. We also learned a lot of tricks on making the ice last longer. The first and most important is, don't open the ice box except once or twice a day-take out what everything you want, put it in a bucket, store the bucket as low as possible in the boat and it will keep cool for much of the day. So what ever portable ice chest you buy, it's success will depend a lot on how you pack it, how you use it.
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