Sunday, November 14, 2010


As the sailing season ends here on the Isle of Long. It's time to look back at what worked and what did not. First up in the thumbs down column is this SPT ice maker:

These counter top sized units are available under several brand names. I bought this last year thinking this would be good for a cruising sailboat like BIANKA that had a Honda 2000i generator that could provide the 120 volts to run it. Here is what originally sold me on the idea from the product info:

1) It could make up to 25 lbs of ice per day
2) It makes it's first ice in about 12 minutes after turning it on.

Sounds good but, the reality is much different. First of all I try to minimize use of the Honda generator as much as possible. It is mostly used for charging the 48 and 12 volt battery banks. Even though I can run this ice maker at the same time usually the amount of ice produced is not that great with my usual generator run times. On the second point yes it does produce it's first ice cubes in about ten minutes or less. They are not that thick at first and melt quite rapidly. It takes a number of cycles before the ice cubes are really "boat drink" useful. I don't like to run the generator that long if I don't need too. But, if you are usually tied to a dock with grid power it might be practical but, for a cruising sailboat like mine that spends most of it's time at anchor or a mooring it is not that useful. That's why it no longer is on board BIANKA. A much more practical and efficient way to make ice on board is using my ENGEL refrigerator/freezer which I describe here.  I'll be using the ENGEL from now on for ice making on board because it works for my cruising needs while the counter top ice maker does not. 

1 comment:

mike said...

Bummer about the ice machine...its good you have backup for drinks.

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