In North Carolina we purchased two coolers to hold beer and other necessities like food. They were blue and had handles and wheels to drag them around (which didn’t come in handy on the boat); fairly standard affairs. However, there were two noteworthy things about them:
- No drain holes so melted water had to be tipped out the top.
- The remarkably short time it took for ice in them to go from solid to liquid.
Right away we stopped using one and put it out by the dumpster for someone else to enjoy; we just couldn’t keep up with the ice consumption. (The dumpster thing is standard practice. I am not ashamed to admit that we have reaped the bounty of someone else’s excess by keeping a sharp eye out at the garbage.)
A 5 lb bag of ice would last two days in the summer if we were lucky. In the winter, before the outside temperatures were consistently low enough to maintain safe food temps, 5 lbs of ice would last 4-5 days.
This spring it got too warm to keep putting things out in the cockpit (the remote refrigerator, as we call it) so we started buying ice again. It was ridiculous. When Peter was on trips I was hauling 5 lbs of frozen water across the Hudson on my ferry ride home. (Ice from Whole Foods costs as much as anything else from Whole Foods. I was paying through the nose for accessibility and artisanal water.) Something needed to be done.
One fateful day we decided to look at coolers when we were at West Marine. Through events that remain slightly unclear (I think we did the math of how much ice we were buying each week + irritation factored over the course of the rest of our lives) we ended up bringing home a Yeti cooler. It seemed like a solid investment.
They are touted as being ultra rugged and super-duper handy for “outdoor ambassador” types. Run into a grizzly bear while being outdoorsy and rugged while keeping your food cold? Not to worry, your Yeti is grizzly proof! …but they also work for regular people. Ours sits in the cockpit. It keeps the ice at just the right temperature (you know, frozen) for a week during the summer.
Rain water doesn’t drip inside the lid so there’s no dirt in the ice after it rains. This means that Manhattans are available when needed.
We purchased a Yeti lock and have locked it to our rail. These things are expensive.