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October 25, 2001

Long-Lasting Lid

While it won't make the beer colder, this do-it-yourself modification will extend your cool's life.

No other piece of equipment on your boat has to stand up to the rigorous demands of the cockpit like the plastic cooler. Workbench, bench seat, step ladder, footrest, cutting board - it plays all these roles and still keeps your rigged baits fresh and beer ice-cold. In recent years, cooler manufacturers have beefed up hinges and redesigned handles to the point that you can use a cooler for several seasons before having to replace it.
The only feature I've found the need to modify on my coolers is the lid keeper strap. Most stock coolers use a flat, white plastic strip that inevitably tears or cracks early on. By replacing this stock strap with a piece of heavy mono, the life of your cooler can be extended almost indefinitely.
Cut a piece of 400-pound mono and crimp a nylon thimble on one end. Attach this loop to the cooler lid in place of the original strap with a stainless-steel screw. Open the lid and measure the amount of lid opening you would like while holding the tag end of the mono at the attachment point on the cooler body. Mark the line and crimp on a second thimbled loop, then attach to the body. Place a dab of silicone caulking on the threads of each screw before tightening to complete the installation.

Scott Kerrigan
Wilton Manors, Florida