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Old 03-24-2013, 10:47 AM   #1
City: Athens Georgia
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dry ice

We are leaving for the Bahamas for the months of April and May but don't have enough freezer space. I was thinking of packing a 5 day cooler with frozen food and dry ice from Publix and storing it in the lazerette.
Has anyone got experience with dry ice? If I use it with a good cooler, how long can I expect it to last?

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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Where are you going in the Bahamas? We did the Abacos last May and found regular ice readily available but a bit pricy.

I have used dry ice before and it worked well. It is no longer available at our local grocery so we have not used it in awhile. The more insulated the cooler the longer it lasts of course.

Enjoy the Bahamas

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:50 AM   #3
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How about an ondeck ice maker from Home Depot?
Peter- Marine Insurance Guru & tuna fishing addict!

1989 52' PT Overseas yachtfisher
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #4
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City: California Delta and SF Bay
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Before I added a second fridge, I used dry ice for week long trips on the water. I have a 165qt Igloo cooler that I'd pack with three 9 lb blocks of dry ice and 3 frozen 1 gallon water bottles. I'd wrap each flat square of dry ice in newspaper and tape it up with package tape. I placed a thin wood plank on the cooler bottom to prevent cooler cracking from the extreme cold and made up dividers for the cooler to allow for 3 compartments. Each compartment got a block of dry ice and a pre-frozen fresh water ice jug.

Pre-frozen foods were added in order of planned use so the first-used would be at the top. I kept the cooler on the cool fwd stateroom settee and covered it with beach towels for added insulation. As the food level dropped, I stuffed the towels into the space at the top to provide better insulation.

The frozen steaks and water bottles were still frozen on day 5 when the dry ice was almost gone. The water bottles were still partially frozen on day 7 and the food stayed very cold, but not frozen on day 7. As a side benefit, the water was then cold and drinkable.

If you plan to leave your cooler unopened for the 5 days, I suspect you'd get better dry ice endurance. If your lazarette is warmer than my fwd stateroom (75 degrees max), you might lose some effectiveness.

Jeffnick and Cpeudonym have posted of their experiences with a frozen brine solution in place of fresh water and dry ice. I believe a blend of the two, dry ice and frozen brine, would yield excellent results, but I have not tried it yet.

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Old 03-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #5
City: Tri Cities, WA
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Vessel Name: Beachcomber
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I've used dry ice and have wrapped it in several layers of newspaper to make it last longer. Another trick to keep a cooler cooler longer is to lay a white towel over it and keep the towel wet.

The white towel itself keeps the heat off the cooler and the evaporating water helps lower the surface temp of the cooler.
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:37 AM   #6
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We are leaving for the Bahamas for the months of April and May

AN 8 week trip, with dry ice helping for only one week , perhaps a Plan B is in order?
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:28 AM   #7
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City: Silverado, CA
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I don't know what type of cooler you have planned, but some of the high end expedition coolers such as "Yeti" can provide up to 14 days and they say they are dry ice compatible. Make sure you use a cooler that is dry ice compatible. If the CO2 isn't allowed to vent, pressure will build up until it created its own vent. Kind of like wifes!

I think a better idea is to get think walled plastic bottles and fill them with brine. You can experiment with the ratio of salt to water until you get the freezing point you want. Put 4 to 6 frozen brine bottles in the cooler and a couple in your freezer and swap the frozen bottles with the most melted bottles daily. None of your food will melt until all the brine has melted. Using a well insulated cooler like a Yeti YETIŽ Coolers or Pelican Pelican Coolers, ProGear Coolers | will reduce the load on the freezer but they aren't cheep.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:36 AM   #8
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We usually go for 4 to 6 weeks. We pack the 5 cu ft fridge and its small freezer compartment. Lift the arm on the icemaker, and fill it with frozen food. Put 2 or 3 blocks of ice in a big cooler, and fill the rest with cube ice.

We use the frozen food in the icemaker first. Then convert it back to making ice as the cubes are running out. You didn't say if you have made the trip before, but groceries are available. They are the cheapest in the big stores like Maxwell's, and the variety is better. We love the local Bahamian bread. Especially the toasted coconut bread for breakfast.

I usually keep the grill set up, and grill lots of freshly caught fish and veggies. For soft drinks we take lots of Crystalite from Costco. Mix with water, and you have a very refreshing drink with little trash to deal with. Insulated tumblers help the ice to last long with no sweating.

I probably eat a more healthful diet there, and usually lose a few pounds from that and the activity. That even takes into account the copious amount of conch fritters and conch salad I have been known to consume.
Don on Moonstruck
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:58 AM   #9
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City: Concrete Washington State
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Our Willard has a built in ice box and the ice chamber is below the "floor where the food is stacked. There's enough room in the ice compartment for 4 gallon jugs .... the kind you buy in the food store w purified water inside. Then we pack crushed ice around the frozen jugs. The water from the crushed ice drains out a hole in the bottom of the ice compartment into the bilge. Keeps things cool for 4 or 5 days w just frozen water.

We have used dry ice but don't remember the results.

The ice box is juts aft of the sink. The cutting block is the lid.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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We have been using a 42 quart Edgestar portable freezer during our current Bahamas cruise, we're in Nassau right now, and it's one of the best additions we have made for this trip. Chuck

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