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43 Ocean Cockpit sole fish box insulation?

Discussion in 'Ocean Yacht' started by Right Bite, Jul 7, 2020.

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  1. Right Bite

    Right Bite New Member

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    Jul 11, 2019
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    Location:
    Brick, NJ
    New owner of a 2001 43' SS. The very large cockpit sole fish box was a big selling point but finding it a bit disappointing. First overnight fishing trip we used a fish bag in the box to store ice. By morning it was completely gone. These bags always hold ice for at least a day or two on the cockpit floor. I'm guessing the heat from the engine compartment and exhausts are heating the box? Was considering a large custom fish bag to fit the box but it looks like it would be wise to explore other options. Can anyone make suggestions on what they have done and are you happy with the result?
  2. praetorian47

    praetorian47 Senior Member

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    Aug 22, 2011
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    258
    Location:
    Bayport, Midland, Ontario
    Ours is refrigerated. I'll admit it uses a decent amount of power, but it works.

    Somebody has suggested changing it to a DC based system to improved power consumption, but the cost outweighed the benefit.

    We are Ina bit of a heatwave ow and it's sucking my I better bank down quiver than normal.
  3. Right Bite

    Right Bite New Member

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    Jul 11, 2019
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    Location:
    Brick, NJ
    Do you know if your box was also insulated from the outside/inside? There is no access to the outside of the box without a major project. Are you using freezer plates? The insulation and adding freezer plates/compressor etc would be ideal, but requires an expense that is hard to justify. Was hopeful to find a more economical solution of insulation that would work? Could buy a lot of ice for the cost of a refrigeration conversion. Just looking for ideas. Thanks for the reply!
  4. praetorian47

    praetorian47 Senior Member

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    Location:
    Bayport, Midland, Ontario
    Mine has plates or coils that seem to wrap around all sides. I can't get into it without some destructive effort either. I wish it was more insulated too.
    I have a clear plastic insert that goes over the top, under the actual hinged top that I suppose offers some additional insulation. I will say I get a lot of condensation. I empty and chip it off a few times a summer.
  5. 45SS

    45SS New Member

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    Sep 12, 2018
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    Location:
    New Jersey
    On my 97 45SS it is insulated with what looks like about 3/4" black foam/neopreme. I don't store anything cold in there so I can't comment on how it functions.
  6. james wheeler

    james wheeler New Member

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    Mar 21, 2020
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    Location:
    Port Aransas , TX
    On my 40' 98 SS, the ol owner had told me of fishbox woes, so I came prepared and before our first trip my deckhnd and I spent 3 days insulating the outsides of ours. It was not fun or easy but it was cheap and works well.

    I went to buy sheets of styrofoam house insulation, but happened to find something better before I got to that isle" giant rolls of mylar insulation like what you put in your car's windshield. These were actually windshield shades for an RV.they were like 48"×10ft, so I bought 2 at 35$ each, got some spray adhesive and a few cans of spray foam. Using a combination of fishing line, sticks, gaffs , shark wire, and other implements of destruction we got the mylar material close to 100% covering every bit of the fishbox below deck, a lot of it 2 layers deep. After letting the glue set overnight, we went back and sprayed foam onto any holiday, seam, gap and edge we could reach and since it expands, it reached everywhere filling it like a balloon.

    The box completely full will hold 25 large bags of ice, and in this texas heat 4-5 days later, if you fill the boat but lose the trip due to weather weather is still about 1/3 full of ice. Obviously working the box is going to burn ice faster but consider it to be effective. I've worked on boats with commercial totes that wouldn't hold ice that well honestly.

    My only continuous irk about the box is how bad the drain line clogs with scales. The boat came to me with a gulp diaphragm fishbox pump that was corroded beyond repair i replaced that with a Tabasco macerate pump and have since had a deckhand trash that. When we insulated the box, I reran the drain with a new through hull and 5200ed a shower drain above it in the bottom of the sump or recessed cup, the holes were much smaller than snapper scales. On the first trip with scaley fish, the line clogged at the elbow. So then I covered the hole with 3 layers of mesh each a smaller mesh size than the one before, and it still clogged again first trip out. This time the shower drain was impassable. What appears to happen is the scales are being pulverized by sloshing ice and turn into a gel that doesn't seem like much h but can clog up a screen like a plug. So for the time being while I s ratchet my head, I just disconnected the pump so it steadily trickles and never develops water, and use the bilge pump more often. Now the scales are stay on the fish better, whole, and don't clog any drains. I'm not crazy about it but ram out of time to brainstorm
  7. Right Bite

    Right Bite New Member

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    Location:
    Brick, NJ
    Nice job! Kind of what we were considering. How were you able to access the outside of the fish box to install the mylar? Doesn't appear we have access in numerous areas so may need another solution.
    I'm thinking of using grip-loc tiles in the bottom of the box to help shield a fish bag from the heat in the box floor. Ordered a 5X10 giant big eye bag, will store ice until needed on deck in a quality cooler & load fish and ice into the bag in the fish box when/as needed, will report if it works adequately.
    And YES the drain line from the box seems to clog easily. So far a back flush from the transom with a hose seems to resolve the issue. Thanks for your reply!
  8. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Feb 26, 2012
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    943
    Location:
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Curious why you folks do not install macerator pumps on your fish boxes? I installed one and it works great. The only thing I found out the hard way is the macerators do not like ice. The blade chews it up fine but the impeller has issues. I think the rubber impeller gets too cold and brittle from the ice. So I just use a hose and add water to melt the ice when I’m done then hit the switch and everything goes. I can pump it down with fish and ice in it if it is getting too full as long as I don’t go too far where ice starts into the drain.

    I have similar issues with ice melting too fast due to lack of insulation. But my fish boxes lift out and are the access to the Laz. The fit is too tight to put any insulation on the outside. I’ve thoughts about insulating the inside and fiberglassing it in but not sure I want to reduce the available box size. Fortunately my fish box ice machine makes ice faster then it melts so I usually make ice throughout the day.
  9. james wheeler

    james wheeler New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2020
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    13
    Location:
    Port Aransas , TX
    "Fortunately my fish box ice machine makes ice faster then it melts so I usually make ice throughout the day."

    I'd love to have that!


    "Curious why you folks do not install macerator pumps on your fish boxes?"

    Already destroyed 2 . Deckhand didn't realize there was no flow, because the scales hard clog before the macerator is reached.


    "Nice job! Kind of what we were considering. How were you able to access the outside of the fish box to install the mylar?"

    Our sole fishbox recesses into the laz, so we got real small and really really outside the box , thinking wise, although we were boxed in! My deckhand weighed about 110# and could almost get all the way under, where he couldn't reach we worked fishing line around and pulled it around the front and sides of the box. Then from the ER I held it in place while he sprayed the foam. Scariest part for him was when the foam began expanding between his chest and the box, claustrophobia set in bad...

    It wouldn't win any prizes for pretty but gets the job done.

    "Ordered a 5X10 giant big eye bag, will store ice until needed on deck in a quality cooler & load fish and ice into the bag in the fish box when/as needed, will report if it works adequately."

    I bought the same bag, not originally for ice, but for a large fish or mess of medium yellowfin. Havent used it yet, but I planned to stow extra ice for multi day trips in it up in front of the helms, and then finish the trip with it as well. Only bummer for ice storage is the lack of zippers. My upholstery guy said he couldn't add them, but before first multi day trip, I'm going to revisit it myself