Building a Fishing Kayak Cooler #13: Done!

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 05-11-2019 02:46 PM 930 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Sanding and Painting the Cooler Part 13 of Building a Fishing Kayak Cooler series no next part

I cranked this project out in 19 days and it’s ready to use for the opener of fishing up here in Minnesota. We’re planning on fishing in the afternoon after the crowds have dispersed a bit.

Final Specifications

The cooler came in at 19.2 pounds. This is as light as I could possibly make it and still be sturdy for real-world use and abuse. I substituted in fourth grade this week and in math class we computed the volume at 30 quarts.

Mounted on Kayak

It’s big, but not too much of a monstrosity (in my opinion) on the rear deck.

The straps hold the cooler well and are pretty easy to install

I’m thinking about going “tacky” and plastering it with lots of stickers over time…

If the fish isn’t too big, I should be able to reach around like this and toss it in the cooler. Otherwise, the kayak is plenty stable to turn around and kneel facing the stern to safely place “the big one” in the cooler! I’m thinking a 36” pike could fit in the 30” cooler with a little bit of bending…

Mounted on Grumman Sport Boat

I realized that the kayak cooler just fit on top of my oars in my Grumman Sport Boat. This freed up space in the stern where I operate the mud motor.

It’s even the right height that I can sit on the cooler and not even need to use my grab bar. Leaving the grab bar at home eliminates an obstacle for my wife in the middle seat as she fishes. The seat back will serve as my grab bar during fishing season. (I’ll put the grab bar back in for the wilder rides through the marsh during duck season!)

The minnow bucket fits under the cooler.

Here you can see the battery box I built under my wife’s seat. I might glue padding on the seat to eliminate chafing of the strap, but the simple solution of a rolled up piece of foam will likely remain the long-term fix. The flexible cutting board makes it easier to slide this tight fitting battery box into place.

Notice also the wooden pedestal base for my wife’s seat. It’s custom fit to her height, slides to either side to provide more legroom when fishing to the side of the boat, and is removable.

Jugs of ice placed in cooler overnight to cold-soak it. I’ll replace it with blue ice before we leave.


I’ll post some field reports after I’ve used the cooler a bit…

-- Mark, Minnesota

5 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


7095 posts in 2945 days

#1 posted 05-11-2019 07:36 PM

I accidently posted this in the project ,its a more appropiate “funny” for here.

Well done good hunting, and make sure you keep away from the Edmund Fitzgerald!

Mark’s “Other sports boat” !!

Plus I have some stickers for you too!

-- Regards Rob

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3544 posts in 4453 days

#2 posted 05-12-2019 02:43 AM


We’ve followed your build all the way through. Thanks for posting all the details. You’re obviously a perfectionist. The cooler turned out great.

I just can’t imagine myself fighting a northern into the cooler behind me while in a kayak. But then, I’m afraid of the water and can’t swim!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View DustyMark's profile


393 posts in 2811 days

#3 posted 05-12-2019 04:00 AM

Thanks! I’ll likely have to turn around and kneel to get a big northern in there. I practiced that maneuver a bunch of times out on the water ,as I was building the cooler, and am confident I can pull it off safely. I can’t wait to try it out with “the big one.”

-- Mark, Minnesota

View DustyMark's profile


393 posts in 2811 days

#4 posted 05-12-2019 04:03 AM

Those guys in Thailand are certifiable! I’ve hit the water hard waterskiing and it’s like concrete! The max speed I’ve attained with my souped up Honda engine on my Backwater mud motor and my Sport Boat is 12.5 mph.

-- Mark, Minnesota

View robscastle's profile


7095 posts in 2945 days

#5 posted 05-12-2019 05:39 AM

12.5 mph …well thats still fanging it!... especially if you hit a submerged object!
Many years ago I was piloting a 23’ Army Shark Cat safety boat at night going too fast, even the bowman said slow down, my reply was dont worry I have the radar on, later we hit a submerged log and was dead in the water, and was still there later after daybreak when the guys in the kleppers paddled past, ... cannot really repeat what they said.

-- Regards Rob

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