Installing livewells in boats

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by paintball1022, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. paintball1022

    paintball1022 New Member

    I was wondering how to insall a livewell into a boat. Any tips will help!:)
  2. duck_killr

    duck_killr New Member

    I Use A Portable Live Well In My Boat For Bait Its Called A Cooler, 100 Quarts With An Areator. You Probably Want Something A Little Less Hill-billy. Look At Cabelas They Sell Systems You Can Install.

  3. bigflathunter

    bigflathunter Member

    Lawrence, KS
    It depends on what your current setup is. I used epoxy, fiberglass, plywood, and various plumbing accessories to build one into the front deck of the boat I'm rebuilding. It fills via a bilge pump mounted on the outside of the transom that pumps water through a pipe under the gunnel up to the front deck. It drains through plumbing I ran under the floor to the rear drain hole, and there's an overflow drain about 1.5" from the top of the livewell that feeds into the main drain. There's a timer on the fill pump that will run it for 30 seconds every five minutes to add fresh water, and the excess from the fill runs out the overflow. There is an automatic 750 gph bilge pump at the transom by the drain tube that pumps out the excess water from when fresh is added. I've yet to use it because the boat itself is not done, but I am satisfied with how it is set up.

    So if you've got a gutted boat you can set something up like what I did. If you've got a jon boat the cooler idea might work well. Every fish I've caught in the river out of a jon boat used a cooler with an aerator for a baitwell and it worked great. Cabela's sells insulated 5 gallon buckets with aerators built onto them that look like they might work, for about $50. Really though it depends on the kind of trouble you'll go to and what kind of rig you currently have.
  4. Snobal

    Snobal New Member

    Canton, OH
    I'm running a setup that is almost identical to bigflathuunter's. The main difference is I'm building mine out of a cooler that will be mounted in the rear of my boat. Took out the drain plug of the cooler and installed an overflow and drain using PVC. Drilled 2 holes near the top (above the overflow) and built a custom spray bar out of PVC to hook the aerator pump to. Excess water again runs through PVC to the back drain area of the boat where I'm mounting a 750gph bilge pump on a float switch. Went with the 750gph on the bilge to be sure it can out pump the 500gph aerator pump if I have any electrical issues. I found a set of cooler mounts on eBay that are 4 plastic corners that screw to the floor and then have bungee straps that run between them with a hook in the middle for the marine coolers that have the loop in the middle of the handle. When I get it installed, I'll take some pics and post them. Waiting on the bilge pump from Cabela's right now.
  5. Bigones

    Bigones New Member

    Joe I would love to see some pics when your done. I am looking to install one and need some good ideas.
  6. cjb10876

    cjb10876 New Member

    I want to put a livewell in my boat, but i think i'll be going the cooler route myself. A large cooler or rubbermaid container ($10 to $20) and the livewell pump/spraybar ($30 to $40) are a LOT cheaper then getting a real livewell system. the livewells were around $100 and up without the pump. Plus I can remove the pump and carry the fish back to the truck in the cooler. I was going to cut a recess in the wooden floors when i replace them so the cooler can sit in, maybe put a little eye hook on each side and bungee the cooler down so it won't bounce around.
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    About these spray bars.
    The smaller the bubble you introduce into the water the more oxygen saturation you get.
    If you use the livewell as a baitwell the spray bar will beat your bait more then help it.
    Spray bar technology was cutting edge. It is all but obsolete now.

    Take a look at any any aquarium system. That is what you want to mimic.
    The livewell systems used by Tournament bass anglers these days are light years beyond the spray bar and some incorporate oxygen infusion via bottled oxygen.

    That is one good thing about bass fishermen and rich folks.
    The bass fishermen are the first to buy , test, and re engineer something to make it work better saving us money.
    Rich folks always are the first to run out and buy new expensive technology like the plasma screen tv's. They are the guinea pigs of society. In time the technology gets better and cheaper at the expense of the rich.
    Being poor folk aint always bad.
  8. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    yea, I'm glad we find some use for those rascal bass fisherman.
  9. catsmith1

    catsmith1 New Member

    Haughton, Louisiana
    I use a med size cooler with a areator designed to go thru the drain hole. It came with gaskets and everything for 17 dollars. The cooler was about 20 bucks at walmart and I was ready to go 10 minutes later.
  10. Desperado

    Desperado Active Member

    Pataskala, Ohio
    A cooler is the fastest way to go. But check with Bass Pro, Cabela's, West Coast Marine, and Boat US. They have live wells that you make a place for them and they drop right in. Several different shapes and sizes. Good luck to you.
  11. solomon

    solomon New Member

    The ones in Cabela's look pretty nice. I like them because they're not odd shaped. They look more like a standard livewell. I think you can get them up to 42" wide or long.