Onboard ice maker

jim

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Does anyone have experience with onboard ice makers. Im looking into 1-2 ton per day machines and would love to hear some first hand pros, cons, companies, etc. The footprint and power needed for these machines make them easily doable on a 45 footer.

Obviously its a big investment but where I fish out of there isnt much commercial fishing infrastructure. Not having to go out of my way to travel(8kts)to a fish house or empty every bodega and bar in a 20 mile radius of my dock of ice would be alot off my mind. The savings from not having to buy ice should pay for the machine in a year or two but best of all I would not be relying on someone else to provide something necessary for a trip.

Thanks. Jim
 

Prdlobster

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Jim...I don't have any first hand experience or specifics for any on board ice machines but I know of a couple small draggers around that have Maja 1 ton units. That seems to be the brand the small dragger fleet uses and I think they have 20 kw gen sets for power but don't know what the machines would draw.
 

jim

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I agree after doing some research maja seems to be the brand to go with. Small footprint and all stainless parts. I agree also with the gen set. I have a 20kw onan lined up if I take the boat. From the spec sheets the machines dont seem to draw as much as I was expecting and 20kw will be plenty to run the ice maker, crab lights and other electrical needs. Thanks for the reply.
 

jim

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First Team... Maja makes the machine with the stainless steel drum I believe. I have to double check. It seems like they are the only game in town. Now I just have to find a dealer and rob a bank to pay for it. Thanks for the reply.
 

jim

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Therein lyes the problem. I send the mate to the bodega for ice and he doesnt come back. The skipper has to hunt him down and when he finds him with a pick up truck bed full of half melted ice, lotto tickets and empty Bud cans it gets ugly. Trip delayed due to mate with black eye. LOL Would much rather tuck the mate into a bunk and by the time he sleeps it off we are trolling the Hudson.
 

Blacktide

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Have you tried to order ice from one of the commercial ice suppliers like Nuzzolli or Long Island ice. They may come right to the boat since you will need a lot
 

jim

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I tried the ice house in Bushwick(cant remember the name) but he wouldnt deliver to the boat directly because he had the account where my boat was docked. I explained I had already took all their ice but he wasnt understanding the english language too well.
Id rather not have to time my trips by how much ice I have left. Its a shame leaving the bite because you are out of ice. So Im figuring spend more now do alot less running around later and bring a better product to the dock.
 

Blacktide

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I looked into an ice maker a few years back it was close to 7 grand.:eek:
Luckily I can get ice on my way out.;)
 

jim

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Blacktide I know its expensive but if Im going to be out on extended trips it makes sense. Eventually I would like to sell my catch directly to a high quality market in downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan.

From experience I know these buyers can be some picky bastards when it comes to quality product so every little bit I can do on my end can be worth it in the end. Some ask about time from hook to brine then hold. They ask about gear used to catch the fish. One chef came down to look at my boat and make sure I wasnt a longliner...LOL. Sometimes the difference between a $4.50 per pound fish and a $2.00 per pound fish is just a little extra care and a buyer willing to pay for quality. Being able to say my fish are handgear caught and iced down with salt water ice produced on my boat may mean a better paycheck. Of course it could also mean I paid ten grand or more for something that hasnt made me a dime more than someone selling to a fish house...we will see.
 

jim

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Yes I would prefer slush ice over flake ice. I looked but only found UK companies nothing here. I will check them out. Thanks alot.
 

tunafishhkg

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Couple yrs ago, my buyer said all the bigeye that was long lined were the only ones he would buy. He said rod caught eye's were junk and he did not even want them and wanted me to hook one up and put my rod over on a bouy and let it die first. Go figure? Did not fish the next yr so never asked if it was the same way the following yr LOL
 

jim

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Thats odd. I used to catch eyes on bandits off the transom. They would be gaffed and in the boat in a few minutes. We bled them had the heads off and wired the spine put them in slurry for about 15 minutes and then the hold. We always got real good money from a Jap buyer in the Bronx. We do the same for all our tuna most of which come in on bandits and never had any complaints. I have seen longline yellowfin they call chocolates because the meat is so burnt from fighting...they arent worth crap. I guess it depends on your buyer but I dont see how leaving a fish fighting in the water for hours improves the quality but you never know.
 
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tunafishhkg

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Agreed and would not have believed it if it wasn't my experienced long time GBFT buyer. He also was surprised and thats why he asked me to try throwing rod over.
 

Blacktide

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Jim I certainly understand your dilemma . Last year I almost doubled the size of my fish box so I could get Bft in the ice over bagging them. Obviously the cost of a maker is high but there is an upside if you can make it pay. The other advantage comes in fuel saving. Running out without an extra 2000 lbs has to cut down on fuel burn , at least it would on my rig.

Anyway keep looking for one of those ice suppliers that sell to bodegas or beer distributors , someone out there will take your money! Lol have good season.
 

BillD

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Sorry for the hijack here but I'm curious?

When you bring the catch into New York harbor direct to restaurants......what type of fish do you bring?

Bluefin?, cod, haddock?

Also, how many fish (tuna) or pounds of ground fish do you usually bring in and how many days is the average trip ?

Appreciated, Bill D
 

steveinak

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Yes I would prefer slush ice over flake ice. I looked but only found UK companies nothing here. I will check them out. Thanks alot.

There are a couple of outfits in the seattle area making small boat RSW units that might work for you, many are installed on 30-36' bowpickers & gillnetters for slushing salmon. Try calling Petrzelka Bros. in Mount Vernon, Wa. they build a lot of bristol bay & PWS gillnetters with the RSW units. Add some salt to the slush and it gets even colder.
 

jim

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Bill D.... we sold the boat a few years back so we have been out of the game for a bit. I am looking to outfit a boat for this season and get back in the game which is why I started this thread but to answer your question.

Our trips lasted anywhere from 3-6 days. We didnt catch groundfish mostly yellowfin, albies,swords and big eye with GBFT thrown in once in awhile on the green stick. Mahi, mako and tilefish were extras we brought in.

We tried to pre-sell before a trip to get an idea of what the restaurants and buyers needed so we knew ball park what we needed to come home with. The extras were sold on the way in via sat phone. It was a pretty good way to fish. You caught what your customers needed and you went home. It was kind of like having a bread or soda route. If you couldnt come through with tuna for your restaurants they would bitch and go to the Fulton fish market but would always buy off me next trip. According to them we had good quality meat at a good price.

I found it much harder work than just pulling up to the dock and unloading. Jackassing into Manhattan with Bonars full of fish after a long trip offshore sucked but it doubled my take home pay and I made some good contacts. When I get back up and running I was thinking of trying to get an area 4 lobster permit and dump some traps on the way out and pick em up on the way in and have more product to offer the restaurants but I havent really looked into it enough yet. Alot of these chefs like to know the fisherman catching their fish and the gear they use. Its almost like I was part of the restaurants staff. LOL

Another pain in the ass is the permits. On top of fishing permits in order to sell HMS to restaurants you need a federal and state dealer permit which means more paper work and more head aches but it used to pay. I hope it pays this time around.
 
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