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Dometic/Eskimo EI540 ice maker?

Discussion in 'General Sportfish Discussion' started by petrel, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. petrel

    petrel Member

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    I seriously hate dealing with ice for fishing. I don't mind paying for it, I just hate carting it down the dock, loading it, and cleaning out the bags at the end of the day. In my currently uninsulated fish box it takes 300lbs of ice to get through an offshore trip. I am going to have the box insulated, and am contemplating adding an ice maker.

    If you have an onboard ice maker for your fish boxes, please share your insights. I am thinking about adding one. If you have and EI540 specifically, let me know how you like it. Thanks.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The key is having the fish box (and lid) well insulated. IN that situation the ice makers are great when installed properly.
  3. petrel

    petrel Member

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    Thanks. I'm working on it.
  4. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    I have a fish box ice maker. Love it! I like to put some water in the box then turn on ice machine and make a slurry. Cools the fish down faster. I had an Eskimo machine then replaced it with one that will make ice from either fresh water or salt water. Although I almost never use salt water anymore. Mine makes 800#’s a day. Or at least that’s what it is rated at.
  5. petrel

    petrel Member

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    Thanks for the info. Is that an IceSea unit?
  6. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Yes. It is a little finicky occasionally but generally works well. We had to install an AMOT valve because of our cold water temps. A friend of mine bought one for his boat and he has been happy with his too. But honestly, I hear nothing but good things about the Dometic units.
  7. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    We had an Eskimo icemaker on our last boat. Liked it a lot, think it was 600 lb. per day unit. Turned it on in the evening and the fish box would be full in the morning. Only had it repaired one time in five years, also cleaned the raw water side each year when cleaning AC's. Most of the time we were already fueled and only needed to stop by the crowded fuel dock just for a tub of ice, a waste of fishing time. Great machines.
  8. petrel

    petrel Member

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    Thanks for everyone's feedback. The pro's seem to be stacking up for an ice machine.
  9. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Forgot to add, we did a lot of overnight trips. and made ice as needed, requires a watermaker.
  10. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    I originally bought my IceSea unit so I could make ice from sea water as my watermaker was old and unreliable. However, I recently installed a new watermaker so now I just make fresh water ice. You have to flush the ice machine after sea water use anyway and now I don’t have to worry about that.
  11. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Can you plumb a valve to change supply to fresh or saltwater? Always heard saltwater brine was best for fish.
  12. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    My machine came with a selector valve to switch between saltwater and freshwater. A simple 1/4 turn of the valve switches it. The valve is on top of the machine. You can only get to my ice machine by lifting out the fish box so we installed an access plate in the box so you can get to the valve. I suppose you could remote mount the valve and plumb it in if you really wanted it in a different location. Or install a solenoid valve and put a switch somewhere.
    I agree, saltwater brine is best. I fill my box with about 1/4 saltwater using my raw water wash down pump then turn the ice maker on. Not as salty as using saltwater ice too but works pretty well. The quality of my fish going straight from ocean into icy slush is much better than just into water. The fish is also much firmer and easier to clean when I get back to the slip and clean/fillet/vacuum pack.
  13. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    For fishing, yours sounds like the perfect setup. Make saltwater brine for the fish box and switch to freshwater for the beer and bourbon.