Additional Cooler Space  

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We need more cooler space in the Mistress. My wife hauls all these coolers aboard and they get underfoot and are always sliding around. There is a long starboard Lazerette just below the existing portable cooler that we use for cans, bottles and other non-perishables. My idea was to turn half of this space into an insulated cooler. This is the basic plan: 

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The space is next to existing cooler and was about 90 quarts in volume before the insulation was installed. I planned on about 1.5 in. insulation but ended up with over 3" in some places because of the irregular shape of the space.

I glued a dam in the space using 3M5200 and lined it with aluminum foil insulation. The aluminum tape used for the seams in the insulation worked great. 

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The dam and aluminum insulation went in easily

Since the cooler sits directly on top of the ballast tank and the hull forms one side of the cooler, it should be easy to keep cool especially in Great Lakes waters which average in the mid 60's in summer. I'll use a small hand bilge pump to evacuate the water. 

Added a layer of hardboard to add stiffness and cover the insulation with fiberglass. Working with epoxy and fiberglass in this confined space was messy. To make it easier, I glassed the sections of hardboard first, then glassed them in place. 

I estimate the un-insulated space is about 90 quarts in volume. However, because the insulation ended up being up to 3" in some places, I'll end up with about 60 quarts of cooler space. Add that to the existing 48 quart cooler for about 100 quarts of insulated cooler space. Total cost for this project: $77.00. You would not notice that this space was insulated unless you compared it to the one next to it. I doubled the cooler space, but had hoped to triple it. 

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Covered individual pieces of hardboard with fiberglass

Glassed the pieces in place. Worked well.

Not very pretty but watertight and strong
IMG_0795.jpg (48794 bytes) Painted the whole 
project with matching
 paint. See notes on interior paint below

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Painted Lid

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This flexible cooler is about 25 quarts. Maybe stuffing a couple of these into the space would have worked just as well? 

So how do you get the water out? 
This is my best solution...

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Messed up the area around the hole so had to touch it up. This is high gloss paint - I took one of the locker lids to Home Depot and they matched it. Don't use a brush with this paint unless you are a skillful painter. I used a small white rubber type roller I found in the paint store, it does not leave marks. It is very hard to see the difference between the old and the new paint. I'd check the match before applying because paint colors fade and Hunter probably used different batches. If you look carefully at the base of the wall and the top of the locker there is a faint line. I only painted the top where I installed the ice cooler and messed up the hole.

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