Hey guys, I have an older boat, livewells weren't an option apparently so I'm looking to either build or buy a portable one. I know I'm certainly not the first one to have to conquer this problem and web searches return about a million different ways to skin said cat. I was looking to see if anyone here had to build or buy a portable and what they did or didn't like about said swimming meat pen.. Thanks.
Depends on how fancy and finished you want it to be. Can be as small as a5 gallon bucket or as large as a 55 gallon drum depending on needs and size of boat. Can use coolers too, but round is better than rectangular.
You can put an overflow outlet towards the top and an inlet outlet towards the bottom or anywhere.......through a bulge pump on the I let side and either have it suck water in or even have it on the end of a hose and throw the hose with pump overboard to pump water in.
I was thinking of putting the intake hose into one of the thru-hulls for the floor drain for a pickup tube, probably another hose right over the side. It's an aquasport fisherman (the old 80's cuddy) so I'd think I'd rather go tall than wide, but also probably don't want anything over 25 gallons...there are tons of things to pick from, I'd just like to see if there's advantages/disadvantages to any particular setup. (I looked at the cooler idea too, which could work for one of those square jobs, but like you mentioned, round might be better)
For round and not too big you can get one of those drink coolers....switch out the bottom spicket with a hose fitting. They usually have a screw top open top so good to keep the splash down. You can even cut out an inner section of the top and put in a clear viewing window in it of plexiglass.
Are you looking to keep bunker and porgy alive in your live well for striper fishing?
The biggest problem with drums are anything smaller than 55 gallons has a pretty narrow diameter. You can cut down a 55 gallon poly drum into a shorty.
Looking to keep bunker swimming, yes. There are a few low boy oblong ones out there in the 24 gallon range that look like they would support the event, as might a decent sized cooler setup, but again, just haven't seen them in use
Can it drain onto the deck or must it go over the side ? ?
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Put some thought into how/ where you will drain it at the end of the day. If it is a glass boat wit deck and scuppers a simple drain valve onto the floor will e fine, if the deck leaks into the bildge ya may want a hose to a scupper or something. I have had great luck using plastic quick connect fittings for my portable wells in the past.
There are some great ideas out there.. I have an old 1970's 20' Proline that I added both a permanent and removable live wells too. You can take a look at the project here: (1974 Proline overhaul page 6)removable Livewell is near the bottom of page 6.