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ContinuousWave: The Whaler GAM or General Area
|Author||Topic: Cooler Wars|
posted 05-27-2012 12:52 PM ET (US)
For a long time it seemed that there was only one cooler for use on a boat--an Igloo. If you had a big boat you got a big cooler and it cost more than $100. If you had a small boat you got a smaller cooler, and it cost less than $100. Apparently this pricing model has been thrown out the window. There now appears to be no upper bound on how much you can spend on a cooler. Look at the prices for this latest brand to enter the premium cooler market, ICEY-TEK COOLERS:
It is not hard to spend $300 on one of these coolers. Has ice become so expensive and hard to get that these coolers are worth it?
posted 05-27-2012 01:58 PM ET (US)
Here some competition
posted 05-27-2012 02:10 PM ET (US)
Pretty spendy coolers, but they do come in groovy colors. It's the end of the white marine cooler! Amazing to see that for your 400 bucks, the handles consist of some poly line fed through 10 cents worth of plastic tubing. I'll bet that's fun to haul a long way back to the truck.
posted 05-27-2012 02:13 PM ET (US)
You just have to pay for quality.
posted 05-27-2012 03:27 PM ET (US)
Con - for those not on Facebook, how about posting somewhere public.
posted 05-27-2012 07:00 PM ET (US)
In order to save space, I am planning on getting a "soft" cooler for fishing. Does anyone have any experience with these?
(I'm looking at the "sea angler" 30x20 bag)
posted 05-27-2012 07:17 PM ET (US)
Andy do not waste your money on a folding cooler, they all leak, unless you just want one for a emergency/spare.
Jim there are better coolers out there but for the money hands down either an Igloo or a Coleman. Coolers lose the coldness every time you open the lid, Yes a Yete or the ones you have shown will hold the ice a little longer but its not worth the money for the amount of time the ice last longer.
The best cooler you can build would be out of styro foam about 3 inch thick with a lid to match. glue the foam together and fiberglass the out side for strength...
posted 05-27-2012 07:30 PM ET (US)
I can't speak to the Sea Angler cooler but I've seen several soft sided coolers. I own a couple of soft sided coolers with rigid plastic inserts. They're fine for lunch or snacks and a couple of drinks. A friend has a soft sided cooler that does not use an insert. It keeps his lunch and drinks cool for about four hours.
I use artificial gel pack ice and ice with my soft sided coolers. That seems to work best.
None of the soft sided coolers I've used or seen used would be very satisfactory for keeping dead fish fresh all day.
Have you seen them used by anglers?
posted 05-27-2012 07:46 PM ET (US)
Try this Phil.
I'm an old dog learning new tricks.
posted 05-27-2012 10:04 PM ET (US)
Back in my river trip days out two, three days or so on high desert rivers the best coolers available were essential, took a beating and we did everything possible to keep them closed and out of the blazing sun. When we were in camp we'd put them in the river tied up to brush or the boats and put canvas over them to keep them cool taking advantage of cool rivers - they HAD to be white and we always used block ice. If these suckers can work in those conditions they'd probably be worth the money. I can't find block ice anywhere around West Michigan.
posted 05-27-2012 11:03 PM ET (US)
How about this cooler?
posted 05-27-2012 11:03 PM ET (US)
That looks like to old Yeti Ruffneck cooler line. Yeti stop making those a while ago. http://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/boat-accessories/ 157996-serious-cooler-sale.html
posted 05-28-2012 08:02 AM ET (US)
I think, compared to the pricing of Yeti and Icy-Tek, there are some very good medium priced coolers available. One such manufacturer is SSI. I have two SSI coolers that are quite old and they both continue to perform well.
My large SSI cooler serves as a fishbox. With a mixture of 2 blocks of ice and some cubes, it keeps the day's catch icy fresh. It sits in the sun on deck all day, is opened many times to add fish throughout the day, and the slime, dried fish blood, and smell cleans up fairly easily.
The handles on the SSI are pretty comfortable, much nicer than the plastic covered ropes on the Icy-Tek. Here is a link to the manufacturer's website:
They can be inspected and purchased, among other places, at West Marine.
posted 05-28-2012 09:39 AM ET (US)
Block ice is very effective and lasts a good long time. I like the commercial bagged "crushed" ice which is really just ice machine ice for it's "kindness" to the fish in the box.
When we went out on the Montauk Thursday last my friend, neighbor, and fishing pal brought two one gallon water jugs he had put in the freezer overnight and put them in the Igloo cooler. We were out in the sun on a 90 degree day for seven hours and they were almost solid when we started fileting the trout we caught.
Frank was thirsty and had run out of water so he enjoyed some ice melt. The extra emergency drinking water provided by the frozen water in jugs could be useful on a long trip. I put a one quart jug of frozen water in my soft sided lunch cooler and drink the melt throughout the day. In the soft cooler it melts at just about the right rate.
posted 05-28-2012 09:58 AM ET (US)
What cooler, Jim??
posted 05-28-2012 10:34 AM ET (US)
I have the Yeti Tundra 45. It's the best cooler I ever owned. I can keep ice for 5 days. But, I'm on my boat 3 times a week fishing. Not worrying about ice all the time makes life that much nicer.
For the weekend boater. Yeti or other high end coolers may not be worth the purchase.
posted 05-28-2012 11:06 AM ET (US)
Twice the Ice
We have vendor that basically an ice machine/ vending operation. It all-inclusive. It makes the ice and you chute into your cooler. These machines are concentrated in the southcentral and southeast.
The benefits are 20 lbs of ice for $1.75, THUS GETTING TWICE THE ICE FOR MONEY.
There no delivery person, ice is made continuously, it can bag it also. Here the website. http://www.icehouseamerica.com/home/
posted 05-28-2012 02:57 PM ET (US)
Make your own block ice, I do it all the time, get gallon milk jugs fill them with water and freeze them, Does three things keeps everything cold, and you can drink the water, and does not get everything wet. Another thing to do is get friendly with you local grocery store, take them a 5 gal bucket filled 3/4 with water put a cap on it and ask them to put it in the freezer, come back the next day for a frozen chunk of ice...
posted 05-29-2012 12:15 AM ET (US)
Butch, I've never seen anyone use a "bag" coole for fish. It would help save space on the boat though. The Sea Angler bags seem to be designed to hold fish but I would like some real world input.
posted 05-29-2012 08:34 AM ET (US)
@andrey320 regarding soft coolers:
Last fall they were having a two for one sale so I grabbed one for myself and one as a gift. Very well made and well spoken for by many folks on another web site dedicated to boating (tht).
posted 05-29-2012 10:01 AM ET (US)
To me the biggest advantage of the Yeti cooler for my Boston Whaler Outrage 22 is the fact that the hinges, handles and latches don't break every time I go out. When my Outrage is rigged for fishing, I have one Yeti in front of the console for lunch, drinks and fruit (oranges, pineapple). I have a second Yeti behind the leaning post for the fish box. I am not sure that I understand the fuss about the handles on these premium coolers. A 155 quart cooler full of fish and ice weighs well over 200 lbs. The Igloo handles just break if you try to lift that much weight and my back can't handle it anyway. The handles are for moving the cooler when it is empty. Yeti accessories match the coolers in quality, as well. I like not having to work on something every time I head out.
posted 05-29-2012 11:32 AM ET (US)
Crabby, thank you for the suggestion on the PolarBear cooler. That is pretty much what I am looking for, except bigger. The biggest one there looks to be "48 can" 13"x21"13" (unless I am not finding the bigger one). Is this the one have?
I am just getting into fishing and starting to aquire all the gear. Knowing the waters I'll be fishing in (mostly Southern California ocean) have big fish, I don't want to get a cooler that I can't stuff a fish into. I know that that is probably a nice problem to have and I may not even run into it, being that I am just starting out. I'd like to try to get the right cooler the first time.
The Sea Angler cooler that I am considering is 36"x20" with no width dimention and I'm thinking that may be small....
posted 05-29-2012 11:53 AM ET (US)
Currently I own about 7 coolers ranging in size from the old school "Playmate" handle-top to a 162qt Igloo Marine series. Knowing several people that have bought Yeti coolers, I have not heard enough "good reasons" to switch over from Igloo or Coleman. The price alone is a deterrent to me: my recent purchase was a 94qt Igloo Marine for my Montauk. I did my due diligence and shopped around for the best deal, which ended up being a sale at Academy Sports and free shipping (yes!) to my house for around $88. Compare that to Yeti's nearest size, a 105qt, which currently is listed at $430 on their site. That tells me I can go through FIVE of my Igloos before I get to the Yeti's price range. Now, Igloos may not hold up as long as others, but with the proper care and cleaning, they can last long enough to justify their purchase instead of splurging on another brand. Additionally, I modify my bigger coolers with a rope-and-dowel handle option, which I find easier to pick up, especially with ice aboard. Finally, I would rather put the money into fueling up and using the boat instead of worrying how long my $4 bag of ice will last. Just my 2 cents.
posted 05-29-2012 01:16 PM ET (US)
I agee on the quality point of the more expensive coolers.
2 - Yeti Tundra's 65 & 120
No issues ever and they will outlast me. It's nice not to have to worry about the ice for days and the ability to stand on the coolers is great. the bigger 120 coolers, make great bench seats on the boat and off at back yard cook outs. 2 215lb guys can sit on them no problem.
posted 05-30-2012 02:09 PM ET (US)
I think the Polar Bear soft sided coolers I purchased are the 12 packs, just big enough to hold a 1.75 bottle of vodka along with some mixer and ice.
Go over to THT and do a search for opinions on them.
|L H G||
posted 05-30-2012 02:26 PM ET (US)
According to this Whaler purist, as far as classic Whalers 1971-1993, if you don't have a permanently mounted Igloo Marine Cooler with tan pleat cushion on it, it does not belong in the boat permanently! Using these other premium priced but ugly looking coolers for additional cooing/fishing needs on a temporary basis is fine, but that is the only time they should be in the boat.
There are no Boston Whaler cooler wars. The cushioned Igloo coolers are what you want in your classic Whaler.
posted 05-30-2012 02:56 PM ET (US)
I have the Yeti 65.I use it as a seat also.Most stable of any I have had.Does not slide around,looks classy.However,when I put in ice and a couple of fish I can hardly pick it up,and there are not that many bears on the upper Gulf coast so I would rather have the $$$ and an Igloo.Peace.
posted 05-30-2012 03:19 PM ET (US)
I have an Icey-Tek cooler 65 Quart cooler and it is by far the best cooler I have ever used. I usually use it for a fish cooler because it is easy to remove and carry around to my cleaning station. It will hold ice forever. I even use it on my heated barn floor in the winter to store minnows and it stay cold for a week easily.
Perhaps the best thing about the cooler is when the fish are out and I wash it there is no fish odor whatsoever, just with soap and water.
I have to add a disclaimer though, the only reason I bought it was because it was 50% off at Boaters World going out of business sale, but it has been an awesome buy.
Igloo coolers are great for storing life jackets and other items you want to keep dry, I have two in my Outrage, but for removable coolers that will be going in and out of the boat a lot there are much better options out there
posted 05-30-2012 03:46 PM ET (US)
Friends and I have purchased coolers from the folks that can reached at the above link. They do custom embroidery and a lifetime no leak guarantee.
posted 06-08-2012 09:59 AM ET (US)
Just returned from my florida trip. My buddy down there has a 40 something quart Yeti. It stays on his boat and he only adds ice once a week. Maybe not so important for day trips on the water but would be a nice attribute to have on hunting/camping trips where ice is hard to come by.
What I liked about the cooler though was the construction. It's almost bullet-proof. I can't tell you how many hinges and latches I've replaced over the years on my igloo. And I know I'm on my 3rd cooler replacement.
In addition, they are very solid. I stood on his and my 250 lbs didn't even compress the top. I'm currently in the market for one for a new seat in front of the console on the Montauk. Not sure which brand I'll go with. Yetti is a little lower profile and I want something the same height and width as my current 94quart Igloo. I'm sure it will be the last cooler I buy.
posted 06-13-2012 10:40 AM ET (US)
Look at the 110 qt Yeti for use in front of your console. It has the same footprint as the 94 qt igloo, but is taller. It makes a much more confortable ride. Plus, you can use it as a front casting platform without worrying about it sliding out from underneath you when you are standing on it.
posted 06-13-2012 02:38 PM ET (US)
Thanks! will do.
posted 06-26-2012 12:02 PM ET (US)
Igloo has released a new line of premium coolers - the Yukon Cold Locker series. See: http://www.yukoncoldlockers.com/
posted 06-26-2012 06:13 PM ET (US)
Those Yukon coolers seem nice. Oddly, they don't make one with a footprint similar to the 94 qt. or 100 qt. models.
posted 06-27-2012 01:38 PM ET (US)
I ended up buying a "KatchKooler" fish bag to hold my fish. As I stated in my previous post, I am not a fisherman but am trying to get into it. Last weekend, I finally caught some fish to put into the bag. I am completely satisfied with the bag so far. I put six TechniIce packs in and they stayed frozen for about twelve hours at which point everything was put away in the garage. The bag seems pretty sturdy, is large (40x16), stays cold and is not too expensive. The other bags I was looking at were smaller and twice the price. I got this one for $40 shipped.
So far, I can say that I recommend it for those that do not have the space for a cooler.
posted 06-27-2012 04:28 PM ET (US)
It was Coleman when some of us first hit the water.
posted 07-07-2012 02:59 PM ET (US)
My wife got me the yeti 50 for Christmas. It did not fit well on the 13 primarily because it is too tall. I was able to get a dealer to swap it for the 65 plus cash. The 65 is perfect on the 13 as it fits just right betwee. The first beach seat and the forward locker and does not move around at all. I put a bag o ice and a block in it on the morning of the 4th and my beer was still cold last night 2.5 days. I would never have spen that
kind of $ myself so it was a nice gift. Hopefully it will be he last cooler I ever buy. My igloo was around 10 years old and literally falling apart when I threw it away. A nice boat deserves an equally nice cooler.
posted 07-07-2012 07:56 PM ET (US)
GREAT latches from the photos...
Kevin - checked out the link to Yukons - they have nailed one of the secrets of keeping things cool in coolers - great latches and a lock on the damn things. When we did river trips one of the things we had to do was keep people out of the freaking coolers- especially kids or dudes who had no back country experience - They were constantly opening the coolers to get something - string cheese or a soda (we hated bringing that crap along) etc. Now beer was okay - actually we had beer and drinks in other coolers but dudes would ferget and rummage through coolers and we'd lose the cold.
I'd go for a Yukon - my Igloo is getting pretty beat up Thanks for sharing link.
posted 04-01-2015 06:39 PM ET (US)
A new [April Fools Joke] cooler from Yeti.
posted 04-02-2015 09:27 AM ET (US)
Recently I was watching an episode of MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS. In the episode, the crew was preparing a shore luncheon for hundreds of guests on a very exclusive cruise ship. The crew was shown transporting all the food to shore. They were transporting the food in the standard IGLOO coolers we all know and love. If the IGLOO is good enough for a $500-million cruise ship, it will probably be OK for my Boston Whaler.
posted 04-02-2015 02:20 PM ET (US)
That was really funny...
With all due respect, the post in this thread suggesting all classic Whalers (pre 1993) must have Igloo coolers was almost equally as funny. That would suggest one should also have pre 1993 electronics? Loran?
I am in the process of getting a Yeti, probably a Tundra 75, for my non-classic 1995 Outrage 21. After investigating/handling and trying to lift it. I've come to the conclusion that if Boston Whaler went into the cooler business, they probably would have come up with what the Yeti Tundra series is. Seems like a Whaler in the shape of an ice chest. Price compared with other coolers is like Whaler as compared with comparable sized boats. You get what you pay for.
posted 04-02-2015 06:38 PM ET (US)
Sometimes we get what we pay for and sometimes we pay more for something we don't need.
For those who spend days on their boats without ready access to replacement ice the ability of a cooler to keep ice solid longer is desirable even if more expensive.
For the many of us who are day boaters expensive coolers have no added value.
An option in my area if one very occasionally need to keep ice longer is dry ice. Some supermarket chains sell if for a lot less than the price of a boutique cooler. It is also available from commercial ice suppliers in larger sizes at less cost per pound although it could be less convenient to buy from the ice houses.
posted 04-02-2015 10:55 PM ET (US)
For me, actually the most important thing about the Yeti is the "furniture factor". My Igloo Marine 72 functions as a front seat in front of the center console. With the pounding, the Igloos get destroyed. The bottom gets crushed over time. They sort-of hold ice for a day but barely. So yes, I really don't need to keep ice for a week but for a day or two, it is nice to have nearly 100% of remaining as ice. My Igloo is slush after 10-12 hours. Back to the furniture aspect, the Yeti is large and very sturdy. Compliments the construction and design of the Whaler. The $450 is actually in-line with boat-related seating. The 1993-1997 Outrage 21 and 24 stern seat was a lot more money. You can seat 2 people easily on a Yeti Tundra 75. Really, it's one person on an Igloo Marine 72.
posted 04-03-2015 04:56 AM ET (US)
I agree with the furniture aspect of a high end cooler. I have higher end coolers from Yeti, Moeller and Engel. I found the Engel ENG65 to be an excellent replacement for the Igloo on my 170 Montauk. The ENG65's dimensions are extremely close to the factory supplied Igloo. After about ten years on the boat [the Engel ENG65] still looks new. At $339, I consider that a reasonable investment in a high quality accessory worthy of my 170 Montauk.
posted 04-06-2015 10:50 AM ET (US)
I think it depends on what you use it for.
The high end coolers will keep ice longer but weigh a ton and are very expensive.
The igloo and Colemans weigh alot less and are cheaper but will not keep ice for as long.
I would say that of you are gonna be out on trips for days yea dump the money but I don't really see the need for a yeti for day trips.
When I go camping I go for 3 days and I have a igloo "ice cube" that is strictly just for ice and then other coolers that keep the food and drinks. By not opening up the cooler until I need to dump fresh I ce and dumping the melted ice out of the food coolers I'm able to make it the 3 days while still having solid ice at the end of the trip.
I do own a small engle cooler which I use strictly as a dry box and it does great. Never put ice in it.
posted 04-06-2015 01:06 PM ET (US)
This discussion is similar to comparing a Kia vs a BMW.
Both get you from point A to B. An Igloo and Yeti both keep your stuff cool. There is more to purchase vs just practicality.
posted 04-06-2015 04:13 PM ET (US)
I have given serious consideration to buying a high end cooler to replace the 94 qt Igloo in my classic Montauk. One thing that is holding me back is the thought of someone stealing the cooler from the boat when I leave it tied at a dock for a few days. I know about the cable locks, but I'm not sure I want to tempt thieves by leaving a $350+ item in plain view. The locks only deter the honest thieves. I have heard of several Yeti coolers being stolen from the back of trucks.
posted 04-06-2015 11:21 PM ET (US)
As for bags, I bought a Canyon fish bag and it is fantastic. I chose the small boat bag, which can be found here:
I used it last summer and it lays nicely in the splashwell of my Outrage 18. Keeps ice for a days fishing, folds up when not in use. I think it works well for this purpose, in a small boat where storage is at a premium. Mine is totally seam sealed, so would only leak at the zipper, so as long as its sits zipper high, no problem. It also has super tough handles for carrying it with fish inside. Last summer it once held two 46# Chinook (King) salmon. That was a day we will not forget!
posted 04-07-2015 09:07 AM ET (US)
We now see high end coolers touted as necessary as status symbols. My Boston Whalers stand as great status symbols on their own regardless of the cost of accessorizing. However I can't think of anything I own that was purchased as a status symbol. I own some high end stuff but it was bought for a purpose such as durability, functionality or safety.
posted 04-07-2015 12:13 PM ET (US)
I'm looking at the Yeti/Engel type of cooler because of the "durability and functionality".
As for durability, the Igloo Marine 72 which serves as both a cooler and seating in front of the center console is not dirable enough for my needs. In Southern California, 8-15kt winds with 1-3ft short duration windchop creates a lot of pounding. With a person sitting on the cooler/seat, I have found the bottom of the cooler to fail. The bottom gets crushed. Also, Igloo latches constantly break. Replacements are cheap. I just find myself replacing them too often.
As for functionality, I'm looking at the Yeti/Engel type of cooler for both seating, storage, and lastly as a cooler. With a Yeti 75 or Engel 80, I can seat two people. The Igloo Marine 72 seats one. The next Igloo size up is too large for me. I would hesitate putting the extra weight of another person on an Igloo in the aforementioned conditions. As for storage, unfortunately a lot of the extra size on the outside of the cooler doesn't translate to extra storage due to the thick walls. Igloo wins on that aspect. As for cooling, my Igloo 72 will turn a 20lb bag of crushed ice into slush and water in a day. I leave the dock with the ice and return to the dock needing to buy more ice for the drive home. With the Yeti/Engel, 5-8 days of keeping ice as ice is probably overkill for me. But having the ice for 24/48 hours in the same frozen state is a big plus.
posted 04-07-2015 01:47 PM ET (US)
I bought an engel solely because the yeti has such a cult following the incidence for theft is off the hook. Have at least 5 friends who have fallen victim to yeti theft. Great cooler but lock her down.
posted 04-08-2015 08:10 AM ET (US)
If the same philosophy just described by WELLDAN' were applied to boats, why would anyone own a Boston Whaler--a boat with a cult following?
posted 04-15-2015 12:32 PM ET (US)
I bought a Yeti off of a friend for 1/2 price. It was a 45, perfect for the 13'. What I found is that it was too heavy for me to lift into the boat, even if I put it in there empty. I literally had to 'man handle' it. I also found that it didn't keep things cold any longer than my igloo. So, off to Craig's list it went, and in 1 hour was sold for a profit. I think they are over rated for the price of them.
posted 04-16-2015 05:49 PM ET (US)
Have been mulling these high end coolers for a couple years and may just get one. After reading reviews and looking at pro fish boats, the Engel seems to have the edge, until lately. The relatively new Pelican lineup seems superior in most regards. The latches, hinges, tiedowns appear better than the others. As with all Pelican products, their coolers are guaranteed forever.
I see the Pelican 45qt. once in awhile at Walmart for $200. If I see another one at that price I'll snag it, color be damned. They go fast, as they have underpriced them for now.
If its a weekend trip. The front ice well gets used and no cooler. If its a long trip away from services, a hight end cooler is indicated, which I don't have yet. Medium good Igloos are currently in the lineup.
Keeping with my genetic over-engineering neurosis, I have been able to make the Igloo 80 last for two weeks in the summer. However, it takes a month to prepare it. Cooler is placed into a 0 degree chest freezer. A few days later, a couple inches of water are added. A few days after that a layer of frozen suck-sealed food is added, then another layer of ice, etc. until the color is full to the top, solid with no air. Talk about HEAVY. It's loaded onto the boat with the farm tractor which has a hydraulic bucket on the front.
One of those new Pelicans would last even longer I think, maybe three weeks. Won't know 'till its tested. Can't wait to get three weeks in a row off.
posted 04-30-2015 04:24 PM ET (US)
I used to run high desert rivers in OR some times for several days. Packed everything in including water. Our decision was coolers never work right. We used block ice which worked best, big ass coolers some smaller, made no difference. When we were in camp we used to pull the coolers out of the drift boats, jet sleds or rafts and put them in the river, lashed next to each other and sometimes put a canvas over them. ALways tried to do that under shade tree, alders or whatever. That extended ice for awhile.
Biggest deal was DO NOT open cooler unless absolutely necessary. Block ice lasted quite a long time. Some guys used dry ice. Not sure it made much difference.
As regards these spendy Yeti things etc - The walls are so thick it makes little sense to me to spend the money to try to keep things cold - and really, why? Outdoors is outdoors - deal with it; beer gets warm, drink it or put it in a net and throw it overboard for 20 minutes. What needs to be so cold (unless some multi day cruise/campout whatever) that's so important? Run out of milk, put beer on your Special K or Grape Nuts - who cares? Eat it dry. I never took ice cream out on river trips.
OR do your thing and you never go wrong - Go light, it's always right.
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