Ice may be the Holy Grail of the cruising sailboat. No self respecting sailboat can respectfully hold a happy hour gathering without the presence of ice.
If you are cruising on a mega-engined, diesel behemoth with th acompanying mega-fridge, then please skip ahead to the next entry. If you are instead, a member of the 12 volt fridge club, then please read on.
All kidding aside, we've met several couples that have given up on home-made ice all together. When we decided to go cruising, we set minimal comfort levels that we were not willing to give up on and one of those is the ability to make our own happy hour cubage (ice that is).
After extensive testing, I can safely say that the best way for us to generate the requesit happy hour cube quotient is with the use of ziplock bags. The general idea is to fill the sandwich bag sized ziploc with water and place it inside the cold plate evaporator. If you are a 12 volt fridge boat, you will know where this is.
We have discovered that two bags placed inside the evaporator will generate the equivelenet of 24 cubes of icy coldness within 12 hours. We manufacture said cubes with the fridge setting on 3(of 7).
We've tried the household cube makers as well as the special marine stainless ones, but the ziploc baggies consistently out perform the others. Make sure you have an ice pick onboard to handle ice distribution as your frozen particles will be of a rather strange shape.
Save your money, make ice with ziplocs. See you at happy hour. May the force be with you.