Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ChappyMike

Signature Cooler Storage Conversion - Anyone Done It?

Recommended Posts

I have a 280 Signature with the built-in Igloo cooler storage. We mostly boat in the desert, where the daytime high temps are 100+ and at night it's still in the 80's. The cooler that fits in the dedicated storage (below the sink) doesn't even hold ice for 12 hours in this heat.

Has anyone converted this to a fridge on their own? I know the fridge was offered from the factory on some of the later models. I just didn't know if this is feasible with the pre-cut hole size or not.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did it to my 290. I wanted a place for fender and lines. I built a box from starboard and holds 2 fenders on the right and lines on the left. The cooler holder in it self was useless to me. It was a better use of space.

I am sure you could put a fridge in there. Frame it out with starboard & slid it in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you talking about putting in a 12 volt refrigerator? Or do you have a genny to run it off of 120 volt? A 12 volt frige will run the battery down fast in that type of heat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

12V...I currently run two 6V batteries for the house systems. If I do this fridge conversion, I'll add two more. That'll be plenty. We run the generator at night for 2-3 hours and in the morning for about 2 to charge batteries and cook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Point will taken but you plan for it. Use a 120 A.C./12 D.C. fridge. Install a 2nd house battery and a switch to turn it off when not in use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chappy I too am in the thought process of doing this. let me know what you decide and how you did it. I would be interested to see and hear the results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The more I'm thinking, the more I may wait until the off-season to do this. With the boat being 4 hours from home, we like to spend out time ON the boat rather than working on it after that kind of drive. But this is still something I'm seriously considering - the Igloo cooler has been used as a trashcan the past few trips!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Save a ton of money and headaches just invest in a Yeti cooler....keeps ice for days not hours......different sizes available. We just picked one up and love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I`ve heard they were good, but I just have a hard time paying 4-500 deer for a cooler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't really want another thing on the floor to move/trip over/take up space...but still could be an option....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yetis are nice and and have that serious "bro" factor but a Coleman XTREME will work just as well at ice retention and cost a whole lot less. This has been argued to death over on THT if you care to do some research.

Not sure what size your current igloo is but if a Coleman XTREME or Yeti won't fit, a Igloo Marine Ultra' MAY give you better ice life as an interim solution until you get around to your conversion in the off season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our local Costco is selling the Yeti 75 and also the Yeti 105 for about $100 off list prices.

For a day trip, just about any cooler should do the job. However, the build quality on the Yeti matches the quality of a Chaparral. That said, for day trips we use our lightweight Marine Igloo -- but we're usually not dealing with any temp over 85. We use the Igloo for food and also use the under-seat cooler for drinks (along with about 20# of ice).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like that Isotherm frige. Sorta need mine to go out now so I can replace it. lol. Good job on the install.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I replaced the cooler on my 290 with the Isotherm that came as an option to match the cabin fridge. Built a frame out of starboard.

http://s17.postimg.org/5yb18f3un/image.jpg

I like this! I DO need another 12V outlet, as well as a place to mount my underwater light switch.

Did you have to do any supporting on the back side of this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That starboard is pricey though isn't it? My local custom guy sold me a piece of PVC to build my new bolster that seemed as strong if not stronger. He also said starboard is heavy. I'm just saying this cuz maybe this pvc stuff is a little less deer.

I think it's called Aerated PVC, he sold me a 1/2 sheet of it for pretty cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a beautiful installation! Did you have to enlarge the space and cut away at the fiberglass to accommodate the fridge? Do you have any pictures before the face plate? Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still using the OEM Igloo and it can hold ice for 24 hours at 80 degrees outside. I've found draping a large, wet towel over the cooler doubles that, for what it's worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still using the OEM Igloo and it can hold ice for 24 hours at 80 degrees outside. I've found draping a large, wet towel over the cooler doubles that, for what it's worth.

In 80 degree weather, I can get about 24 hours out of ice as well. Its once I hit 100+ that it melts in hours. I picked up the Coleman Extreme 5 day chest at Costco for less than $70. I'll be happy as a clam to just get TWO days out of it in that heat. That's usually the most time we spend on the boat before stopping in at a marina to top off with ice/fuel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I imagine at 100+ it's not going to last long.

I've also found keeping the cooler from direct sunlight is also key. Couple hours of afternoon direct sun melts ice at an exponential rate.

But like you said, I'm rarely (ever?) more than 48 hours from fuel or ice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...