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Non-Gun DIY Projects and Customizations This section is for your DIY spearfishing projects and customization other then spearguns.

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Old 09-26-2018, 08:45 AM   #1
SJ_Spearo
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Big Fish Cooler Modifications

I run a 22ft panga offshore and regularly bring in fish over 50". Since I have no fish hold, I use a 150qt cooler. I had a cheap Coleman for a while but it didn't hold ice well and it was always breaking latches and hinges. I debated getting a rotomolded cooler, but the fact that is would weigh 70lbs unloaded ruled that out. I ended up purchasing an Igloo maxcold 150 for $95 on ebay and adding a few features that I like from the higher end coolers. List of parts follows:
Cooler: $95
Rubber Feet: $10
Rubber Latches: $15
Marine Epoxy: $5
Total: $125

Process:
There isn't much to this project. My biggest concern is getting good connections between the ad on parts. I used a small predrilled hole for each screw and then loaded up every contact area with the epoxy. I even removed the stock screw in hinges and set them all in epoxy to reinforce them. Note that one nice feature on this cooler is that is does not have any straps to hold the cooler open. The hinges are oversized and stop the lid from opening too far. Ill add pictures from my computer.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:54 AM   #2
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

Here is the stock cooler. I was really impressed by how rugged this cooler seemed. It has nice thick walls and the lid does not deform when you sit or stand on it. The lid fits snug in place and seems to make a good seal. The hinges are oversized and have stronger plastic that will be more difficult for the screws to pull out of.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:57 AM   #3
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

Here are the modifications. Took about 1.5 hrs to get everything set in place. Hopefully my connections are strong enough to hold up to some abuse. All hardware is stainless steels so it wont corrode.
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:02 AM   #4
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

My challenge right now is to find a way to secure the cooler to the vertical bulkhead of the casting deck (see picture). I want to keep all hardware off the deck of the boat and make the cooler easy to connect and disconnect so I can slide it out of the way to access that front hatch. Let me know if you guys have any ideas.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:00 PM   #5
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ_Spearo View Post
My challenge right now is to find a way to secure the cooler to the vertical bulkhead of the casting deck (see picture). I want to keep all hardware off the deck of the boat and make the cooler easy to connect and disconnect so I can slide it out of the way to access that front hatch. Let me know if you guys have any ideas.
I suggest that you epoxy nylon loops to each side of bulkhead (port & starboard) approximately one half the cooler height. Then use a cam-lock strap through the loops to hold the cooler in place at the bow. Maybe two sets. If you epoxy the loops a couple of inches less than the width of cooler, the cam-lock straps will tension the cooler in place.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:09 AM   #6
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

That's a good idea. I'm going to experiment with something similar, but with rubber straps today. Ideally, i'd like it to snap in place with spring clips and not require any adjustment.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:41 AM   #7
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

Industrial strength velcro
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:39 PM   #8
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

Here's what I came up with. Taking the boat out this weekend so I'll see how it works.
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:40 PM   #9
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

Not sure if I like how it's attached to the lid, but I can deal change that later. The S hooks are not stainless so I will need to replace them. Just looking for proof of concept really.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:46 PM   #10
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

36" stainless steel piano hinge from big box store. The factory hinges suck .
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Old 10-04-2018, 12:51 AM   #11
2fishin2
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

Like I said before industrial strength velcro strips. No corrosion, no noise, no damage and will last forever.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:08 AM   #12
SJ_Spearo
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

The current setup worked pretty well for an offshore trip recently. I'll probably run with it for a while. Only issue I had was that the melted ice was sloshing and coming through around the lid. Anyone ever use rtv or something to make a watertight gasket?
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:33 AM   #13
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Re: Big Fish Cooler Modifications

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Originally Posted by SJ_Spearo View Post
The current setup worked pretty well for an offshore trip recently. I'll probably run with it for a while. Only issue I had was that the melted ice was sloshing and coming through around the lid. Anyone ever use rtv or something to make a watertight gasket?
The lid is made to fit body with minimal of difference. If you try to make a gasket, it might just make it worse.

Last edited by 2fishin2; 10-08-2018 at 08:48 AM.
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