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Built not bought...
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to figure out a way to make a setup for my skiff. maybe a series of shut-off valves and a check in there somewhere? Put your thinkin caps on and shoot me some ideas.
 

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Old school baitwells were transom mounted boxes,
with a pickup tube so that the forward motion
of the hull resupplied the water while on plane.
No electronics, no pumps, no valves,
just a drainplug to remove at the end of the day.
Like on my 1987 Boston Whaler

Waterflow holes just like an old shrimp bucket...




Hinged and locking lid...



Sumpwick hanging out the low point drainhole
and the pickup tube just visible underneath...



Even has an original FCA decal on the transom,
from just prior to the ban the nets campaign.
 

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Built not bought...
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Discussion Starter #3
Transom mounted boxes would probably work well, and give me a fixed tab effect also. This hull has a center seat with a livewell already in it, so I kinda want to stick with that.

Anyhow, I was thinking of a pickup toward the side of the hull that would only be in the water off-plane. put a check in it with a shutoff valve in case I didn't want to use the livewell, or I wanted to use it like a cooler. Then a dump hose on the other side of the hull toward the top and a drain hole with a plug. I guess I still gotta see where it sits in the water to know if its possible.
 

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You could also install 2 thru-hull strainers.
One small diameter facing forward, to push water in.
The other a larger diameter facing aft as the overflow.
The height of the large strainer tube would determine
the overflow height. But you'd still need a circulator pump
when not moving. The transom boxes had so many holes
no pumps were needed. A side benefit of the transom box,
the smell of the bait leaked out and acted as a chum line.
 

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Paddling away...
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Just a question. I don't mean to derail the thread. My friend just bought a 19' Robalo. The live well looks rather risky. Its kind of like a jon boat live well. lol It's a compartment just behind the leaning post. Two wooden doors with the live well. There are no pumps or fittings or hoses or nothing. It's just one hole on the bottom that goes down to the bottom of the hull. I know this works on jon boats, but it just looks risky. He was wondering if it's safe. I've seen a couple other boats with similar wells, but they had a pipe going through the hole that raised the hole above the water line. So water comes in when stopped, and leaves when riding. But this is just a hole.
 

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Robalo 19 was a Ray Hunt design,
full foam floatation gunnel to gunnel.
Self bailing, pretty much unsinkable.
Water coming in only went so far and that was it.
My guess is, without pictures, the overflow from the well
simply drains out the scuppers in the cockpit.
 

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With a free flowing system you would only get the water to be as deep as the water line of how low your boat sits in the water at rest. Good on bigger boats but a boat that is shallow..

In order to hold more water I guess you are thinking scoop up the water while you run up to an overflow tube and trap it with a check valve in your inlet. The thing is you would have to aerate it when you stop.

My thought is since you have to plumb it and power an aereator why not just install a livewell pump?

my $.02
 

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Built not bought...
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Discussion Starter #8
Yep, its looking like theres no way to do this and keep bait fresh. I talked to a few people last night and they said that if you want a baitwell that'll hod greenies or pilchards, it needs to have water circulating constantly.

My whole point in doing this was to eliminate the need for a bigger battery. If the starter motor, bilge, and the lights are the only draw I had, then I could have used a small odyssey, like my PC680. I might still be able to get away with it...
 

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I have always used a free-flowing well in the past, just a square well with two holes drilled through the floor to circulate water. I've always fished with hardy baits though, mullet, pinfish, shrimp, etc. Pogies or greenies wouldn't live long in this set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
after some calculations, the small battery I have should last close to 8 hours with a pumps load on it, not counting reserve capacity. Thats plenty, considering my OB has a charging system on it. ;D
 

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Paddling away...
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Robalo 19 was a Ray Hunt design,
full foam floatation gunnel to gunnel.
Self bailing, pretty much unsinkable.
Water coming in only went so far and that was it.
My guess is, without pictures, the overflow from the well
simply drains out the scuppers in the cockpit.

I don't mean to further derail this thread. I'm just trying to pick at the brain of Brett a bit. There's no access to a bilge area on his boat. Is that normal? There's no where to put a bilge pump, and the hull is completely closed in. I guess like a whaler. It has some weird looking things with ping pong balls that he said serve as a check valve I guess. The balls allow water to flow in one direction.
 

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The ping pong balls are a directional flow control.
Have your friend talk to the guys at the robalo owners forum
for better info on the design and use of the baitwell...

http://www.robaloboatowners.com/forum/

http://forum.robalo.com/index.php?act=idx

I've never owned one, just fished from one.
Here's a post regarding the livewell...

http://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-forum/7934-1983-robalo.html
 

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I owned a 1992 Action Craft Flatsmaster that had dual pumpless live wells off the transom. Had the "bait bucket" holes like mentioned previously. I'll see if I can find a picture.
 

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Brandon, FL
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I owned a 1992 Action Craft Flatsmaster that had dual pumpless live wells off the transom. Had the "bait bucket" holes like mentioned previously. I'll see if I can find a picture.
That was 11 years ago - I don't think he is still trying to figure it out.
 

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Here's how it was done - all those years ago when you wanted to have livewells that didn't require any pumps or other mechanical means to keep them with water circulating... First off you built simple boxes that closely followed the edges of the transom (the outboard side of each well - and also followed the contours of the bottom on each side (each part mirrored the other - but if you wanted to make molds - you'd need two of them..). Next you made a top with lid for each box. Since I had access to existing molds for SeaCraft hulls (this was late seventies back when Aman Plastics was the place many club anglers went to for custom work - SeaCrafts were one of THE boats that many club anglers used back then...) the boxes were perfect fits - and the tops and lids were simple glass over wood construction... Each box was carefully held in place by hand while four holes were drilled into the transom as attachment points for each box - then they were 5200'd before the boxes were attached with heavy screws to the transom - the 5200 caulking not only made the attachments permanent - a grown man could stand on a box with not a hint of movement or that it wasn't an actual part of the hull... The next item that you did was to drill two or three holes into the bottom of each box on a 45 degree angle facing forward - that was your water pick up in motion (the holes were deliberately made 3/8" so small boat snap plugs could seal them if you wanted to run them dry... Remember now at rest the water level in each box was no greater than the water level on the transom of the hull without boxes... but when running, the holes filled the boxes so strongly that water would come out of the lids... So the next thing you did was decide what water level you wanted while running - then drilled five holes across the back of each box about halfway up the box (running the water level in each box was about seven or eight inches, at rest the level was only about five to seven inches at the deep end of the box, depending on your load that day and the seas you were in... (remember the SeaCraft had a "variable deadrise" bottom contour so one end of each box was noticeably deeper than the outside of each well...). Of course each drain hole as 3/8" as well so with the right sized snap plugs you could run them dry or vary the amount of water each well was holding as needed... The last thing to do with each well was to drill a single drain hole at the lowest part of each box at the rear so a 3/4" or 1" plug could be pulled to allow the well to remain dry when on the trailer - or you could set one or both wells to hold water if you needed to transport bait trailering to a ramp...

In actual use, there were many days when I only needed one well for bait - and used the other one as a wet well for ropes or nets, etc. Now for a photo or two showing what we came up with...

This is the "baby" Seacraft (the SF-18), 18' 10", hull weight only 1400 lbs - an absolute beast of a hull - note the bottom contour... This was my $900 hull (a stolen recovery -stripped out and laying in the guy's front yard when I first saw it). At this point I was about half way through the restoration with new fuel tank (as well as everything else) - the dash panel you see was blue plexi-glass... The brightwork all five quarters mahogany with five or six coats of polyurethane varnish...

Here she is with livewells in place.. note that we set them up to clear the eyebolts on the rear of the transom... At this point we hadn't drilled the fill and drain holes to make them functional... The really hard part of all of this was the original molds that Bill Aman created that precisely followed the bottom contours of that hull... Those molds were destroyed in a fire a few years later...

I fished this hull hard, finally selling it off in 1987 (and maybe somewhere it's still running strong...To put it mildly...wish I'd never sold her... ). I fished this boat as much as 30 miles offshore solo with a commercial hook and line ticket. As you can guess - I was lot younger then.
 

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Make sure you put a screen over the drain hole(s). On mine, the screened hose bib gaskets did a good job....just glue them on. I had fits with bait sticking their noses into the drain outlet and plugging it. With a center seat baitwell, it caused lots of flooding in the boat in a hurry.
 

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I did something a bit different with my current live well on the old Maverick..... I actually set up two different drains on the back wall of that rectangular tank... The lower drain (at about half the height of the well has a fine drain -perfect for shrimp and crabs - or just one or two baits. When I found it easily clogged up and quit draining when I would black out the well with whitebaits, instead of going to a larger drain filter to accomodate the loose scales that you get with pilchards on the existing drain, I installed a second drain about six inches above the first one - with a "Y" connection so that both work off of the same drain through-hull. The highest drain has the larger filter to allow it to drain properly while the well automatically fills to twice it's normal water capacity (after the lower drain clogs up) allowing lots more white baits than the crustacean level drain would allow... Works like a charm...
 
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