Plugs for livewell fill and drain

mbowersmbowers Posts: 496 Deckhand
I very rarely use the livewells for bait but use them as storage for trash and other less important stuff. I don't want water from the pump or drain in there so I need to plug holes but there's usually some nasty liquid in the bottom that I want to rinse out so I need to open the drain back up every day. I think seacocks on the livewell hoses are a great upgrade to the newer boats (I retrofitted my old boat before selling) but it's a real pain to get in and out of the bilge to operate them on a daily basis. The TH marine plugs that worked on the old standpipe smooth fitting do not seem to work on the newer threaded fitting. I took a risk at ordering the following adjustable rubber plugs and they work great on the standpipe fitting. The livewell inlet can be easily plugged with a 3/4" PVC threaded fitting from your favorite PVC part source (Home Depot etc). Now if only the livewell would drain completely on the trailer like the old setup. Unfortunately I think that will require raising the entire floor of the livewell above the lip of the standpipe fitting.. :)

Shaw Plugs 52403 Xtreme Marine Expandable Neoprene Rubber Plug with Stainless Steel Handle and Hardware, 1-1/2" x 1-5/16"

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085PD2AM/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Replies

  • lowerkeyslowerkeys Posts: 98 Greenhorn
    your post brings me to a question that i have been meaning to ask and is somewhat related to your post. i have a 1998 189 which is about 4 months new to me. when i run the boat the 2 live wells will nearly fill with water. when the boat sits at the dock, the water drains out. at times, i have used one of the live wells for storage similar to how you describe. one time, i put a brick of frozen chum in a 5 gallon bucket and placed the bucket in the live well and closed the lid. 30 minutes later after running to my spot, i open the live well lid and the 5 gallon bucket is floating sideways and the chum is starting to be a mess in the well. how do you plug the well so no water comes in? i think that is what you are describing in your post. other times, i have used the live well as turned on the live well pump which feed water continously to it. that seems to work fine.
  • FishinMcNutFishinMcNut Posts: 536 Officer
    Lowerkeys, I had the same issue with my '98 bird. The solution I chose was having Frank install Marelon valves at the thru hull drain fittings and stainless valves at the sea chest inlets. He did both five years ago. Both stay bone dry unless pressed into service.
  • mbowersmbowers Posts: 496 Deckhand
    Lowerkeys, I had the same issue with my '98 bird. The solution I chose was having Frank install Marelon valves at the thru hull drain fittings and stainless valves at the sea chest inlets. He did both five years ago. Both stay bone dry unless pressed into service.

    The ram pressure in the sea chest where the inlet draws its water is what fills up the livewell even without the pump and from my experience is definitely enough to float a five gallon bucket so the bucket opens the hatch and then falls over. Either that or you have Oscar the Grouch living in your livewell. :) If you plug the inlet the drain should just slosh a little water in and out but I liked to have the well completely dry.

    This plug in the drain:

    http://www.westmarine.com/t-h-marine/t-h-marine--drain-plugs--P010126605

    10126605.jpg

    and one of these in the inlet worked great for me for years on my 2000 hull. I don't remember the size, maybe it was just the 1/2".

    http://www.cheaperthandirt.net/product/6-6501383?utm_source=GoogleShopping&utm_medium=organic&gclid=CK7P8abT3L4CFWYV7AodrGIAgw

    6-6501383.jpg

    I installed seacocks but as I mentioned above they are a pain to get to whenever you want to rinse out the live well compared to just popping a couple of plugs. On my 2012 hull I have a custom shroud around the poling platform to hold lifejackets and keep the fly line out of the motor rigging so it's an even bigger hassle to open and close 4 seacocks every trip.

    With the old livewell, I would tie the two plugs together with some heavy mono so 1) the little inlet plug didn't fall out the drain and 2) you could pop both plugs by pulling up on the handle of the drain plug and the inlet plug would get popped out by the tension on the line. The only drawback was trying to keep an eye on friends who would "throw the baby out with the bathwater" when emptying trash from the livewell. Had to replace several of those plug combos that were thrown out, but that's just the cost of being the one with the boat everyone else wants to fish on. :)
  • Renagade69Renagade69 Posts: 1,232 Officer
    http://www.leaktools.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=standard-plugs-closed&Per_Page=12&Sort_By=disp_order&Store_Code=SP&CatListingOffset=12&Offset=12

    The 152 will work on 1.5 inch threaded openings and they will hold pressure. They will not rust. These are allot less costly than the plug from Amazon. I use them all the time in the swimming pool industry.They are high quality.
    Hells Bay Estero Bay Boat and Hells Bay Marquesas
  • FlatsBoyFlatsBoy Posts: 1,374 Officer
    Renagade69 wrote: »
    http://www.leaktools.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=standard-plugs-closed&Per_Page=12&Sort_By=disp_order&Store_Code=SP&CatListingOffset=12&Offset=12

    The 152 will work on 1.5 inch threaded openings and they will hold pressure. They will not rust. These are allot less costly than the plug from Amazon. I use them all the time in the swimming pool industry.They are high quality.

    **** those plugs are nice and cheap!
    Good Score!
  • mbowersmbowers Posts: 496 Deckhand
    o_152B_71x75.jpg

    That does look like a much more economical plug: at least mine is shiny on top.. :) I would guess the T-handle on my Shaw plug is slightly easier on the fingers than the solid tabs on 152 but since the plug does not need to hold much pressure (0.5 psi maybe) I imagine it would work fine.
  • reelgrimmreelgrimm MiamiPosts: 458 Deckhand
    I used to use that plug and let the live well fill to the lid to act as pressurized and have less slosh with the baits... Worked good.
    My Youtube Channel
    Boat: 2015 25' Competition Single 300 Yamaha
    Latest Fishing Report - Snook on the Beach

  • silverdreamssilverdreams Posts: 227 Deckhand
    FishinMcNut - I remember seeing your post previously when you had the work done at the factory......can you post pictures of the bilge with the new set up? I have a 2000 189 and have considered doing the same thing (adding the valves).
  • FishinMcNutFishinMcNut Posts: 536 Officer
    Best mod I have done. I have totally forgotten the days of fighting with my livewells.


    Both wells no longer have standpipes. Water drains in a chest cavity, modeled after Lake N Bay.


    Pic of shiny new thru hull fittings, but really to show what must happen to erase chine walking above 63 mph
  • lowerkeyslowerkeys Posts: 98 Greenhorn
    Best mod I have done. I have totally forgotten the days of fighting with my livewells.


    Both wells no longer have standpipes. Water drains in a chest cavity, modeled after Lake N Bay.


    Pic of shiny new thru hull fittings, but really to show what must happen to erase chine walking above 63 mph

    In that last picture, is that a modification of the bottom that was done?
  • FlatsBoyFlatsBoy Posts: 1,374 Officer
    Pic of shiny new thru hull fittings, but really to show what must happen to erase chine walking above 63 mph

    :thumbsup
  • FishinMcNutFishinMcNut Posts: 536 Officer
    lowerkeys wrote: »
    In that last picture, is that a modification of the bottom that was done?
    Yes and I hear it involved a lot of trial and error. It was the inspiration for the pad Frank designed for the 2011. He said the 2011 pad is slightly different.
  • mbowersmbowers Posts: 496 Deckhand
    reelgrimm wrote: »
    I used to use that plug and let the live well fill to the lid to act as pressurized and have less slosh with the baits... Worked good.
    Making the pumps work so hard to move water would also drop the flow rate from the pumps considerably. Maybe good for a few large baits but I would expect a lot of dead bait if going with many small baits as I've seen on another boat with a plugged drain. Before we set the livewell up with a series of drainage pipes designed for small baits maybe 10% of the bait would live, afterwards it was like 95%.

    I have PTSD about an overflowing livewell as on the old hull an overflowing livewell would guarantee that much of the water would flood the bilge as the seal between livewell and the bottom of the deck was not good. What a mess!
  • Saltwater JunkieSaltwater Junkie Posts: 1,086 Officer
    mbowers wrote: »
    Making the pumps work so hard to move water would also drop the flow rate from the pumps considerably. Maybe good for a few large baits but I would expect a lot of dead bait if going with many small baits as I've seen on another boat with a plugged drain. Before we set the livewell up with a series of drainage pipes designed for small baits maybe 10% of the bait would live, afterwards it was like 95%.

    I have PTSD about an overflowing livewell as on the old hull an overflowing livewell would guarantee that much of the water would flood the bilge as the seal between livewell and the bottom of the deck was not good. What a mess!

    I have never heard of the problem you just mentioned. The baitwell tubs are glassed the underside of the deck after the deck is pulled from the mold. The fix would be to seal the edge with silicone or 5200. If you have an Florida built 18 you can put a small hose from the baitwell gutter drain out to the splash well drain and avoid the water entering the bildge thru the bildge access hatch. Good Luck... Pete
  • rbtbryanrbtbryan Posts: 99 Deckhand
    Here is what I did to alleviate the problem of the standpipes coming loose and losing crabs and baitfish out the drain, as well as having multiple sized pipes, depending on how full I wanted that particular live well. Has worked flawlessly.
    It is simply 1&3/4" OD pvc piping with standard cap, drilled for drain of pump capacity, and a threaded fitting cemented with 5200 into the end. I cut a female thread down to 1/2" and adhered that into the existing drain. That way, the livewell drains completely, as it is flush, and since the units thread into the drain, no more problems. Plenty of flow btw!
  • FlatsBoyFlatsBoy Posts: 1,374 Officer
    These worked great and easy to make. When I had my 189 made all the difference on keeping bait in the summer. Thanks to John Poleposition & Capt Andy Werner for showing me the mods!

    You can drill holes in the bottom and the top and not the middle to pull more water up from the bottom of the well! You can black out the wells never worry about bait clogging the standpipe and well overflowing or restricting flow and putting to much demand on your pumps!

    IMG_0986_zps79e733b7.jpg
    IMG_0987_zps65665c82.jpg
  • mike345mike345 Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    This may be a stupid question but to block the inflow the original inflow tubes need to be removed and plug placed. How are they removed to place the plugs? Do they unscrew or pull out? Black plastic pipes on '96 189. I didn't want to break them trying to force them out.
    Thanks
  • Saltwater JunkieSaltwater Junkie Posts: 1,086 Officer
    mike345 wrote: »
    This may be a stupid question but to block the inflow the original inflow tubes need to be removed and plug placed. How are they removed to place the plugs? Do they unscrew or pull out? Black plastic pipes on '96 189. I didn't want to break them trying to force them out.
    Thanks

    They baitwell tubes just pull out. You might have to wiggle and twist it so it pulls out.
  • mike345mike345 Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    They baitwell tubes just pull out. You might have to wiggle and twist it so it pulls out.

    Thanks. I was worried if I forced them they might break, was not sure if they were sealed in there. I'll give it another try.
    Appreciate the advice.
  • mbowersmbowers Posts: 496 Deckhand
    I have never heard of the problem you just mentioned. The baitwell tubs are glassed the underside of the deck after the deck is pulled from the mold. The fix would be to seal the edge with silicone or 5200. If you have an Florida built 18 you can put a small hose from the baitwell gutter drain out to the splash well drain and avoid the water entering the bildge thru the bildge access hatch. Good Luck... Pete

    Well that boat is no longer mine. :( But it's gone to a good place and I know the new owner so I can still fish on it. The issue may well exist with a lot of the older hulls but if the angler doesn't block the drain with bait / weed so it overflows the angler will never know it's there. Might even be the case with your boat! :) I suppose the bilge access hatch could have been contributing as well. I never did a full diagnosis with dye I just know there was a LOT of saltwater pumping into the bilge if I let the well overflow.
  • FlatsBoyFlatsBoy Posts: 1,374 Officer
    mbowers wrote: »
    I suppose the bilge access hatch could have been contributing as well. I never did a full diagnosis with dye I just know there was a LOT of saltwater pumping into the bilge if I let the well overflow.

    So i guess that pretty fiberglass molded hatch everyone raved about on the old boats also leaked like a sieve! Awesome!:grin
  • mbowersmbowers Posts: 496 Deckhand
    I had a plastic hatch for bilge access for an early 2000 hull. I know the new owner is still working to figure out why there's always water in the bilge. We fixed one issue which was after the remodel in NC the factory forgot to connect one of the cockpit drains to the through hull on other side of the rod locker so water would get in from the cockpit and also if that side of the boat put the through hull under water say by standing on that gunnel...
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