Ice should exit close to the center of the box and as high as possible, so it falls in a pyramid. “Every inch higher equates to considerably more ice in the box before the machine turns off,” Meister says.
With the ice-delivery circuit complete, the rest of the job was easy. All wiring connections—just 120-volt AC power in, 120-volt power out to the seawater pump, and the input from the photo sensor in the fishbox—were made inside the electrical box. We didn’t need it, but an optional remote display simply plugs into a “phone jack” inside the control box.
Seawater plumbing follows exactly the requirements of an air conditioner—the pump must be below the waterline, water must flow continuously uphill to the ice maker, and then continuously downhill to the overboard discharge. (See “Making the Connection,” below.) While the ice maker doesn’t create the volume of condensation expected from an air conditioner, it is fitted with a collection pan that requires a drain hose.
The night before a fishing trip, my brother starts the machine. In the morning he has 40 pounds of ice in the box—more than enough for a few fish. If he catches more, the machine makes ten pounds of ice per hour, using 1¼ gallons of fresh water per hour and about 10 amps of power from the generator. Since the boat is docked behind his house, it saves a morning ice run, and it’s great for parties, too.