Adding a large built in live well?

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by Big Dav, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Hello all,
    I have been drawing up a permanent live well for the front of the boat. It will pretty close to 40 gal of usable water space when finished. The tank will be larger but that will be the amount of water that it will hold to the bottom of the over flow. I am going to make it out of aluminum and skin it over with aluminum and add a small storage compartment on each side.
    My question is go you think 40 gal is enough or should I go a little bigger? If I go bigger I would put two overflows in it at different heights. That way I can move a plug up or down depending on how much water I want in the tank. My only real restrictions height. I only have about 14 inches to the overflow to work with. I have a little more height but I need room for the overflow to fit and also for the plumbing at the top of the tank. If I add a second overflow it will mean the water level will only be about 10 - 12 inches deep. Is this deep enough?
    One set of measurement I have allows for 50 gallon of water with the bottom of the overflow at 13.375 inches from the bottom of the tank. That would be about 400 pounds of water. If I add a second overflow with the bottom of the opening at 10 inches, that drops the water amount to 38 gallon. That would cut the water weight to just over 300 pounds. The other dimensions of the tank are 44" x 20" inside.
    This would make my front deck larger by the width of the boat and another 20" front to back, which is fine by me.

    Any tip on the plumbing would be great. I am going to make this tank a stand alone from the factory small live well. I will be adding a second aerator pump and I am thinking about trying to make recirculate with some type of three way valve.
    What is everyones thought on this?

    Thanks again,
    David
     
  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Water weighs 8 pounds a gallon.
    Before I would commit, I would equal the weight of whatever size livewell I was going to install with sand bags and ride those around awhile.
    You may not be able to put that kind of weight where you are wanting to put it.
     

  3. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Mark,
    I have a couple of 250 lb buddies that will have to serve as my sand bags. Besides they are easier to get into the boat than a load of 80 pound sand bags. Jut say the word and they will get into the boat, I don't think that will work with the sand.:smile2:
    On the serious side, I am going to try the weight before I spend a lot of time and money building something. The boat is a roughneck 2072 with a 115 Johnson. I think it will be fine with the added weight. Considering I fish alone most of the time and if I have friends on the boat I just won't use the big live well. I still will have the factory 13.5 :)smile2:) gallon live well that I can use when others are with me and I might be pushing the 1000 pound capacity of the boat.

    Has anyone used the Akwa-Lung system? I saw where they are now a sponsor and was thinking about using something like that for a recirculation system. Plus that would let the large live well double as a large bait well.

    Thanks in advance,
    David
     
  4. Steve Douglas

    Steve Douglas Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    State:
    Kentucky
    david akwa-lung stabalizing system was created for guys like you , it can be installed on your existing livewell or your homemade livetanks. this one unit will filtate,purify, and areates all on one (750 gph pump not included) i have used this system for two years with exellent results they seem to be meaner coming out , than they were going in easy to install
     
  5. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    I was talking to Jeremy Leach today about our tournaments and during the conversation the Akwa-lung system came up. He said that he has one and he bragged about how great it works. He said, he had seven fish in his livewell at one time and at the weigh-in, they all came out fighting mad, LOL!!!
     
  6. Steve Douglas

    Steve Douglas Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    State:
    Kentucky
    thanks for the support jw
     
  7. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Steve,
    I sent you a PM.
    Thanks for the replies.

    JW,
    Thanks for the sharing the info from an end user of the Akwa-Lung system.
     
  8. Steve Douglas

    Steve Douglas Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    State:
    Kentucky
    dave i anwsered all your questions but one sorry but im from bardstown ky
     
  9. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    If you have the room in the back of the boat I would place it there. The fish are not going to take a beating riding in the back. Ever notice thats where all the bass guy's have there live well? There's a reason for it. As for purification of the water. Heck of a lot easier to just drain half your water every 3 hours and reserc. the water continuously with a good pump. Or just put your fill pump on a timer. Always fresh water coming in. I always say the less you have that can go wrong the better as far as fittings go.
     
  10. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Where a live well goes is based on proper weight distribution for the hull type.
    The CG on a bass boat is going to be different then on a jon boat.
    With a bassboat that runs 75+ MPH let me tell you, you dont want to be 1 pound nose heavy. Bass boats run on a pad, not 3/4 of the bottom of the boat.
    Look at the profile of a bass boat. There isnt room inbetween the deck and the bottom of the boat for much of a livewell and maintain the low profile of the bass boat design.

    Thats why bass boats have them along with everything else in the rear.
    Some boat designs are notoriously bow light and can stand the added weight up front. Others cant.
    It doesnt take much weight in the wrong place to ruin boat performance and cause issues like porpoising that can become more then a nuisance instead becoming a dangerous situation.
     
  11. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
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    Steve,
    Thanks for the reply. I just was wondering how close you were to the Va line. I can be in part of Ky in less than an hour. Looks like you are about four hours from me. I sent you a few more questions. Thanks

    Josh,
    Funny you should mention the rear of the boat. I was working on my boat in the early AM hours this morning. I was adding a lot of gauges to it and got to looking at how easy it might be to mover the center console forward and put the live well more in the center / back of the boat. I don't want to add any weight to the rear of the boat. But I think it might be more centered if I moved the console and made the live well close tot he center and placed a swing back bench seat on top of it. I fish mostly in lakes bu this boat will hopefully see some time on the James and other rives in the near future. Thanks

    Has anyone one moved or know what it would involve to move the center console forward? Looks like I could move it about three feet forward. I know a longer steering cable, longer control cables, and some wiring would have to be extended. What other issues would I be looking at if I decided to move the console?

    Mark,
    That is why I was going to call Lowe and have a talk about what I am wanting to do. There may be a good reason why this boat did not come with a big livewell. ??:confused2:?? Then after I talk to them I will see if my buddies want to go for a boat ride and help me figure out how the boat will perform with them (sand bags) in different areas in the boat.

    Thanks for the help and replies,
    David
     
  12. Steve Douglas

    Steve Douglas Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,899
    State:
    Kentucky
    well as far as fun fishing josh, your probably right but as a pro tournament fisherman i dont want to babysit my tank draining water ect. id rather be fishing, by purifying my tank i dont have to worry about bring dead fish to the weigh in also water changes will often keep your fish stressed
     
  13. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Steve,
    Thanks for all you help. I will be calling you in a few to order one of your kits.

    I called Lowe and had a very productive conversation with them about adding a live well. He suggested it be placed more in the center of the boat.
    I like the idea of having it more in the center with a seat with a back that will switch from front to back. I just need to figure out how to hide the plumbing and still make it accessible.

    Have any of you moved your center console closer to the front of the boat? I know I will need longer control cables, longer steering cable and add some length to the wires. Do they make an extension for the control wires or will I have to lengthen them also?
    I have checked and I have plenty of access to under the floor to drag new wires and cables. So that won't be an issue.

    I was thinking about having the back of the live well end about where the back of the console ends now. That would put the front of the console pretty close to the front.
    Here are a couple of pictures of what I am working with.
    Thanks again,
    David
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Vince Copple

    Vince Copple New Member

    Messages:
    765
    State:
    Missouri
    Here are a few picts of the back livewell that Im putting in my boat. It should hold about 60 gallons of water. I have a 30 in the center console that I need to finish and will have another Hog trough in the front to balance out the boat eventually.
     
  15. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    Vince,
    Thanks for the reply and the pictures. That is looking very nice. Sure would like to see it when you are finished.
    I just wish I knew how to weld aluminum and did not have to pay big green dollars to have aluminum welded. I can make due on steel but have never tried aluminum.

    I may have another option for the liver well if I add a set of flotation pods. There is a good amount of room abover the area where the fuel ank is located. I could open it up and add a live well in that ares. Only issue is depth, it is only about 12 inch in total height. If I added that much weight to the main back of the boat I would want to add flotation pods to counter act the added weight. I have edited the attached picture to show the area I am talking about.
    Has anyone added a set of flotation fods to your aluminum boat?
    Thanks again,
    David
     

    Attached Files:

  16. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    that looks like a good spot to me. It is centered and handy to get to. be sure that you brace the underside of the lid since it looks like u will be sitting there when under way.
     
  17. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    James,
    Thanks for the reply. I have to find out more on flotation pods and work around the large channel brace that is illustrated in the photo. I think I can notch the brace and add some more solid stock to counter act any lose in strength. Without flotation pods I would be afraid that with my weight, passenger and the tank would just be more than the back of the boat will take. The only shop in the area that will weld aluminum charges $75 an hour. So I need to do as much as I can and have my ducks" in a row before I take it to him and it gets put on the "clock".
    That area would also make it super easy to access the plumbing.

    I am still hoping others will chime in with thoughts and or results with flotation pods.
    Thanks again,
    David
     
  18. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

    Messages:
    1,335
    State:
    Waco, Texas, Un
    if just bracing up where you have to notch that alum, why not just rivet it?
     
  19. Big Dav

    Big Dav New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    State:
    Southwest
    It is a pretty big brace. U-channel about 6-8 inches wide and 3/16 -1/4 thick. It looks like it goes all the way across the boat. I have 10 inches in front of the brace that I can use for an opening but I would like to have a little bigger lid than that would allow. That is why I was thinking I could notch it out and add material on the back side to regain the strength. I will try to draw an illustration later to show more of what I have to work with.

    Thanks again,
    David
     
  20. Vince Copple

    Vince Copple New Member

    Messages:
    765
    State:
    Missouri
    I could be wrong, but I dont think the floation pads would really work unless your boat was full of water. It is the main boat that floats in other words. Why not put a water proof storage compartment where you want the float pads for more storage like your life vests, rain gear etc..