Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-25-2015   #11
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,659
Ok it's all coming back to me know... Somewhere I ran into another group of guys that skipped the wood portion of the West Systems build and just glassed the foam... any ways maybe that site will get you on a good research trail.

Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
elkhaven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2015   #12
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
I agree with the general vibe of the thread. If money is tight just buy a cheap cooler and manage it well. Building one wont be cheaper and inless you need a very specific size it isn't worth it.

I'm cheap. I ran used igloos for a while. They worked fine. I eventually found a deal on good roto coolers and went big. It adds a magin of food safety for longish trips. I just like having one. But most people honestly don't do that many big trips. I do 3 trips a year 5 days each or more. I still think the big cooler is hard to justify financially- except that I like it.

GC- rent
Idaho- it isn't that hot
Desert rivers- manage carefully, generally short trips

On the lower salmon one trip a group pulled up and asked to share a beach. No problem. Their TL was GROSSLY overloaded. 16' cat tubes more than half submerged. The eddy was a very very easy pull (we swam in and out all day) and he barely made it. He had a huge homemade cooler and drybox, plywood and fiberglass. The cooler was this elaborate multi stage box with layers of various insulation and contrivances. He was very proud of it. From the depths of the box he produced rock hard ice cream for all.
After further discussion I discovered that was basically all the cooler held. 2 nights of ice cream at about 125lbs of packaging. Not worth it to me, but that was this guy's thing and he wouldn't have it any other way. The drybox was the kitchen box from which steel dutches, multiple tents and everything one could imagine needing emerged. It was quite the site to see setup. He loved his wood and glass boxes and was really proud of them. I thought they were a bit impractical.

I'm guessing 2 foam fishing coolers with dry ice duct taped shut could produce ice cream on day 2,3,4 for about $10 and 5 lbs each.

On that trip my group had some ancient igloos that did OK. The lids were cracked had been taped many many times. The latches were long since sheared off. the hinges were marginal. One went bad after one of the guys decided to dump about 48 very warm beers into it and drag it onto the hot beach for convenience. The other large igloo held strong through 105degree days when treated with a bit of respect.

fiya79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2015   #13
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,659
I agree with the general vibe as well; it's probably easier and more economical to practice better management and such. Or simply buy some manufactured product. but where's the fun in that? I know most people want quick and easy and more power to them, but I can maximize space, comfort and have fun doing it by building my own chit.

Good luck in what ever method you choose!
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
elkhaven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2015   #14
Renaissance Redneck
LSB's Avatar
Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 986
I use cheap coolers but I'm real careful to maintain them during the trip and it usually works out pretty well. One trick that hasn't been mentioned yet is a floating lid made from a blue sleeping pad cut to the exact size of the inside. As the level of contents drops so does the lid so the air space between the lid and the floating lid isn't cooled. Also several smaller coolers rather than one big one will cut down on the number of times they each get opened.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
LSB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2015   #15
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 24
Snap. LSB that is genius. Doing that from now on.
lambardi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2015   #16
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
I'm all for building stuff. I built my tables, sewed dropbags, drilled new frame parts, made buckles, built floors and beaver tails....etc. I guess my argument is that the manufactured product is a superior product. The corners are rounded for easier cleaning. The drains work. There is virtually no maintenence, they have a great strength to weight ratio and the insulation is presumably engineered in some way for maximum benefit. The space gained from straight sides vs angled is probably given back in the thickness of the wood and unnecessary insulation or joints.
Full disclosure:
I was a full time custom wood worker for 5 years. I love wood products. I like building things. But a cooler strikes me as an odd use of a material that is not water tight and requires maintenence outdoors. Maybe glass over foam would be cool. But I know how my stuff gets dragged over rocks and beaches and slid down ramps. It trundles in a trailer down washboard roads and gets left to get funky in the garage sometimes. Plastic is where it is at for me.

But if it is a labor of love then make sweet sweet love all day long. Pics of the process would be cool. Keep us posted.
fiya79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2015   #17
Gardnerville, Nevada
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 13
Reading the first several posts of this thread, I was going to suggest fiberglass, and then I saw elkhaven's posts.

Fiberglass will give you much better strength to weight/size ratio than plywood. I'd research fiberglass techniques and costs. You mentioned construction using 1/2 inch marine plywood. I think you would actually be STRONGER as well as thinner with 1/4 plywood and several layers of fiberglass. And since it will be completely sealed with the fiberglass, you can save money by using a less-expensive grade of plywood other than marine-grade.

What you save in wall thickness can either translate to more internal volume, or thicker and better insulation, your choice.
wilkin250r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2015   #18
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,659
Fiya79, I doubt I'll be building a cooler any time soon (read decades) but I like the idea. My wife would shit a brick if I started another project. I still have to rebuild my trailer deck, build a kitchen box, remodel my side decks, build a table/bench seat, build a rocket box wood stove and a new anchor... all while finishing my parents trim work on their house + my regular job...and truly the list goes on. I was just arguing the point cause that's what I do.

At this point plastic for me too!
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
elkhaven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2015   #19
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 298
Costco $99 160qt

All my buddies have the $400-$500 fancy coolers. I know they are very nice, but 5 years ago at Costco I bought an $89 Igloo. It isn't commercial. It has a crappy mini opening on the top that I sealed up and added insulation to. I have taken it on 3 GC trips and about 10 other week long trips. It is pretty damn good, and for the money it is a steal. If I were in grizzly bear country then it wouldn't be as good, but it holds ice 90% as long as the expensive coolers, and when it breaks I will throw a little epoxy on there, or buy a new one. The opportunity cost of sinking $500 into a cooler isn't worth it for me.
It surely isn't 5 times better by any measure.
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
shoenfeld13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2015   #20
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 340
I've said it 100 times (not 100 times here). In my case it came down to durability. I bought an Igloo 120 for a c note. Held ice fine for my purposes but I couldn't drag it up a gravel bar or even sit, let alone stand, on the lid. A 120 quart cooler you can't sit on? Gimme a break. Guess how long til it was destroyed? At $100 a pop it wouldn't have taken long to get to the $379 I paid for the Yeti which can be dragged, dropped, sat on, stood on, jumped into the water from; you get the picture. It's a shame one often has to choose between buying something that won't last or taking out a second mortgage to buy something that will, but that's where we are I guess. My cooler is literally worth more than my raft LOL. Now get off my lawn!

lncoop is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cooler mount DIY? 2kanzam Kayaking | Gear Talk 25 04-28-2013 09:42 PM
Galaxy Cooler or another 180 qt to 210 qt cooler? Wishbone Kayaking | Gear Talk 15 04-14-2011 07:45 PM
DIY Paddle Feather change? SummitAP Whitewater Kayaking 3 07-27-2007 12:55 PM
Sole DIY Custom Footbeds WhiteLightning Kayaking | Gear Talk 5 01-23-2006 11:15 PM

» Classified Ads
Hyside Pro 13.0

posted by jconnsurf

2014 Blue Hyside Pro 13.0 in very good condition. Three...

Maravia 14 x 22 Cataraft...

posted by Music

2016 Maravia Custom Built 14 x 22 Cat... MEEEOOOWWW!! I...

NRS Otter Raft, 14ft

posted by rbigler

Brand new NRS Otter raft purchased in 2015 for family...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.