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Thread: Esky build.

  1. #1

    Esky build.

    Jet Ski Fishing Esky. DIY.

    I was thinking of attaching the esky to the ski via a stainless steel cage / collar, but found a item on the net which showed it could be done a different way.

    Have no fear, fibreglass is a very strong material that lends itself to a lightweight and versatile product for various uses. For this reason I have chosen to utilise the strength contained within the esky itself to support all the paraphernalia that is required to address the offshore fishing activities of the Extreme Fishing Jet Skier.

    All components are 316 stainless steel. Counter-sunk bolts where necessary and also cuphead bolts. Gauge was 3/16 and . I used nylock nuts as much as possible as well as a co-polymer sealant to all drilled out holes.

    First thing I had to do was find an esky the suitable size. By this I mean it had to be higher than normal eskies and a certain width and depth. It just so happens that the promotional eskies used by VB and XXXX beer are perfect. They are 675 long x 375 deep and 440 high. The walls are 35mm thick and the lid closes over and past the lip of the esky body. The handles are a simple recess that sits almost the width of the side, so no rivets or handles to speak of.

    First item was to address the slope of the esky in relation to the rear of the ski, ie:- make it sit level. This was achieved by using some recycled rubber materials similar to the matting used in playgrounds these days. I glued ( Maxi-bond ) specific sizes together and formed a wedge shape. Two of these were made and are about 200 mm long x 90mm wide and about 75mm high, at highest point. On top of these I glued Velcro, the other side of the Velcro was fixed to the under-side of the esky. There was no need to make these permanent as the weight and straps used to hold the esky in place would act as a force that would keep these from moving whilst underway.

    I used Eye Plate Hooks for the strap attaching item. These have a Fish Plate for the inside support and were fitted at the required angle to best align the tensioned tie down strap.

    Metal Rod Holders were used for the trolling rods and plastic injection moulded rod holders for the storage. Two rings are placed at the rear of the esky for attaching bungie cords for things like, strapping down crab pots on top of esky, or items that need to be carried at the esky.

    A general purpose caddy was attached to the front of the esky for knives, pliers, lures etc.

    To assemble the esky, I first measured all components and placed them on the esky to see how they would fit to make sure any item did not interfere with another and also allow for the width of the esky walls. I then started with the Eye Plates. Positioning was important. The front ones were mounted high on the front of the esky so the strap would pull them down and also left to right from a centrally located tow eye already built into the ski. The Eye Plates on either side were positioned lower to take advantage of the straps pulling them down and away from the front, thereby tensioning the complete outfit. Four Eye Plates attached to three tie down points support the esky with downward force, front to rear and side to side. The rubber feet at the rear will take the shocks from any bumps on the ocean.

    The trolling rod holders were mounted just above centre and positioned at 30 degrees to horizontal. This has enabled the trolled rod tips to be over 13ft apart, which is not quite boat mounted distance, but certainly wide enough to run lures, livies or dead-baits. Small security cables will be attached to the reels when the rods are in trolling position.

    The storage rod holders are mounted low on the esky to assist with the centre of gravity while underway. A bungie cord will be used to tie down these rods in the holders while travelling.

    A high visibility reflective tape has been added to the rear of the esky to assist with night driving conditions.

    The top of the esky will have bait board secured to it. This board will act as a cutting board, filleting board and will have small storage pockets and a spring loaded lid so tackle etc can be stored while travelling. The board will have to be custom made.

    The whole extreme jet ski esky unit is removable in around 1 2 minutes.

    The esky is large enough ( 66litres ) to carry plenty of food and water for 2 people for a days fishing, as well as store some fillets or whole fish, as well as a small supply of bait and ice.

    Cost to date about $365.00 and around 4 hours labour.

    Bare esky placed on ski >

    Rubber supports >

    All equipment ready >

    Tie down plates in place >

    Trolling rod holders >

    Inside shot of Fish Plates >

    Hooks and rod storage holders with a view of recessed carry handles >

    Storage rod holders, noting small washers to act as spacers to have holders pointing away from esky >

    Completed unit front view >

    Top view strapped in >

    Straps pulling down the back >

    Testing trolling rod position >

    Good height >

    cheers LP

    Last edited by Lucky_Phill; 24-01-2013 at 08:51 PM.
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  2. #2

    Re: Esky build.

    Looks really good and you can get away with a thin chopping board on top as it doesn't need strength. Those plastic rod holders will give you grief sooner or later at the speeds and bumps a ski will flog them I think.. They only last a few years in the sun as well. Put the extra screws in them as a start and watch them for cracks. When you have used it a bit and know what spots work change them out for stainless ones.

    With that said get some rod lanyards or make some up not only teh bungy to hold em in. Too expensive to loose stuff.

  3. #3

    Re: Esky build.

    Those rod holders will be fine. I have had mine on my ski for over 12 months now and are fine.
    I cut a little bit out of mine just so reel fits in. I put octy straps over mine to keep them in.
    Dont worry about bumps, not an issue. All looks great.
    I have put rod holder as close as possable to the front of ski as i find that u need somewhere close to u to put rod. I find those ones front bcf are great. The ones they use on kyyaks. Trailblaster i think they are called. Well worth the look at their range.
    Otherwise all looks good phil.

  4. #4

    Re: Esky build.

    Nice work, Lucky Phil.
    I am building one at the moment too.
    And I was torn between making a fibreglass ice box, or making an alum frame for an off the shelf esky.

    You could also use that while fishing from the shore.
    And hey, you can take your creation to bbqs - guaranteed conversation starter.

    Neat work, by the way.
    A Proud Member of
    "The Rebel Alliance"

  5. #5

    Re: Esky build.

    I saw one made from pvc pipe the other week. It looked great. U can mke to size of ur esky. I have a stainless one for one ski, but was going to make a pve pipe one for the other ski. I was going to prime it and then paint the frame in 2 pac base coat and then clear it to match the colour of the ski. I think it would great. I can get the coloured matched identical to that of the ski.

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