The great "removing a center baitwell from a 13 footer" debate....

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by TomFL, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. TomFL

    TomFL Well-Known Member

    I will be removing the center livewell/storage area from the little 13 footer, and I'm opening this for discussion on this forum as it appears the one at CG started by another poster isn't getting a definitive answer.

    I've always been told not to remove the center baitwell from a 15 footer, which makes sense as it's connected to the sides with the "wings" and visibly is a structural element to the hull.

    On the 13 footer, there are no "wings". The baitwell is attached at the floor only. If you remove the baitwell sides/top and leave the flat floor underneath intact, I can't see it being nearly as bad as doing it on the 15.

    I would think it would only add dimensional stability to the hull if the floor underneath the baitwell flexed significantly, but it can't be much, right?

  2. TomFL

    TomFL Well-Known Member



    Do I get some sort of reward for stumping even the Google-Master???

    :D ;D

  3. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    What, who, someone call me?
    Oh, a structural midship framing...hmmmm.
    I like a frame or rib at mid hull to prevent gunnel deflection.
    But, if speeds are kept down, and rough water is not encountered,
    the buckling of the gunnel is minimized by the aluminum gunnel rail/cap
    installed by the builder. That answer your question?

    It would be easy to install a frame or two at the midpoint of the hull
    to strengthen the cap rail. Useful also as a mounting point
    for all sorts of custom add ons. Rod holders, drink holders,
    knife holder, camera mount for self portraits...

    When building the Slipper I tested the gunnel strength by applying
    lateral force to the upper edge of the hull. I reinforced until I was
    satisfied with the rigidity of the hull. Can't be too hard to test a 'noe.
    Set the empty hull on a pair of sawhorses, add load to the middle of
    the hull and watch what happens. If it buckles, add reinforcement.

  4. Un-shore

    Un-shore Well-Known Member

    I was actually contemplating cutting mine out and flooring my 13'. I was going to let you know first hand but havn't had the time to do it.

    I would think that it would add some torsional support so I plan on cutting it at what would be the floor level and leave that portion for supporting the floor and minimizing twisting.
  5. TomFL

    TomFL Well-Known Member

    That's exactly what I'm looking to do. I would think adding the flat floor should eliminate any issues. I'm not going to be jumping and trawler wakes with it :)

    I guess I will be the guinea pig and post the results

  6. okchris

    okchris Well-Known Member

    thought I would chime in as I just added a false floor to my 15' highsider and didnt really explore the structural or twisting ramifications of removing the center seat.  I made the mistake of removing all the seats cause my highsider was all sorts of f**ked up when I bought it. big mistake- it twisted like a damn banana.  I had to prop it up on sawhorses, strategically add paint cans all over it just to get the twists out.  then I glassed in the floor and added supports for my front and rear deck once it was level.  it sucked, took about 3 hours just to get the damn twists out of the boat and level.  I would definately try to stabilize it somehow or possibly install the floor front and rear of the center baitwell to hold the boats form, then remove the seat and finish it.  just my 2 cents, but I really dont know much about the proper ways of going about it.  I can tell you that the false floor makes it sooo much nicer
  7. okchris

    okchris Well-Known Member

    ignore my last post... i just noticed that you have the baitwell option that doesnt attach to the gunnels. i say cut away as proposed!- you'll be happy once the floor is finished-more room to move around
  8. TomFL

    TomFL Well-Known Member

    Good points. I'm guessing (stress the guessing part) that since the 13 has a free-floating baitwell already built upon a small section of flat floor that the flat floor section would be enough to hold it uniform while I removed the baitwell "box" and fabbed the flat floor.

    I should be starting this project in the next 2 weeks so I'll post my findings and of course some pics along the way so Brett has his fix.

  9. okchris

    okchris Well-Known Member

    i definately think its strong enough to hold form. may want to PM OSWLD, I think he did the same thing to his 13' after reading some posts, and he worked for gheenoe manuf. as well
  10. stickwaver

    stickwaver Hammer in my hand still pounding on a screw

    The first thing I did on my 13 was cut the center seat out. Its just fine and it opens the boat up considerably. Havent really noticed any issues with hull flex. I would also like to put in some sort of floor though this year. It would just be nicer to stand on. Here's some pics of mine.
  11. TomFL

    TomFL Well-Known Member

    This has been settled, full story here:

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