View Full Version : Circulating bait well in a '88 F23 center console

12-06-2011, 06:59 PM

I need to install a circulating baitwell in my 88 F23 cc. I have a Stainless Marine bracket that would easily accomodate one, but I'd rather have one that's not taking up free "fishing/diving" space. I'm thinking the best place might be an above deck well under the leaning post. Of course, a bunch of plumbing will have to go under that. (Which I actually would enjoy doing) There is a built in cooler under the forward CC seat, but then your running in front of the cc to dump baits and retrieve when fishing.

There are 2 above deck stern compartments which lend itself almost perfectly to this application, however, with 10, 15, 20 gallons of seawater on one side of the boat, she's gonna always list. Not an option. And no, I don't have trim tabs to accomodate :) Nor would I.

Any pics of your installs or existing factory live wells would be great. My buddy has one under the rear, big deck plate just aft of the leaning post. His leaks into the bilge. I'm pretty sure that since the deck height is so low, it might be filling up over the stand pipe at rest. I really can't see how a below deck baitwell in the stern of an F23 would work, unless your using a macerator or shower sump to continually dump the overflow. That's not an option for me either.

Any input is greatly appreciated...

12-07-2011, 12:57 AM
Don't you have the one just aft and under the leaning post in the floor? Mine has it and I will be using it instead of the one under the front seat of the console. It should not overflow since the floor is above the waterline. Bill

12-07-2011, 08:34 AM
Nothing in that void but a secondary bilge pump.

Perfect place for it, but I'm thinking it will always be leaking above the deck hatch because it's so close to the waterline.

My rig will take in water through the scuppers if we have 3 or so people in the stern area. Not a big deal, but she sits low...

Is yours a separate molded piece placed in that void or did they simply use the hull and bulkheads as the walls for the well?

Whats it look like if you remove the deck hatch thats screwed into the deck? I have one big hatch screwed down then a smaller hatch you can lift out...

12-07-2011, 09:42 AM
Someone has removed the baitwell insert out of your boat.
Yes, they leak, yes the lid has popped up when the tank has water in it, and yes, I have stepped into the well (full and empty).
They should have made a hinged hatch with a catch to keep it closed. Like you see on the contenders and other boats, they use thick clear Lexan with a rubber gasket. Bait needs light and circulation to be happy.
Not really any other place for a tank that will keep fish fresh and lively. The circular ones that may fit under the leaning post may be difficult to take bait out of, since you really can't get to the lid/top easily. The front of the console isn't any good because it has corners and the fish will bump into that and die sooner.
Someone has to have a mold for this....

edit: when the seal is tight on the lid, you can use the tank like it was pressurized and do an overflow. When the hatch is open, it will flow out, but no biggie..

12-07-2011, 10:58 AM
Very, very interesting, RickyR. Sounds lke you've been there.

Bait well insert, hmm, who's got one of those laying around... I wish... Maybe I can order a new one from Donzi. LOL!

Did they leave you room for plumbing and such? Did it simply lift out with hoses etc. attached?

Right now we use a big plastic tub and 5 gallon bucket :bonk:

12-08-2011, 08:53 PM
Yes, the insert came out and all of the hoses were attached. Some had a basic bilge pump in the bottom of the well instead, I think it was the circulating pump, but I don't remember. There was a drain and another pump.

Love those boats.. I wouldn't mind finding another and have a bracket like yours. The transom is way too low for safety, even with the flip up piece.
We had one turtle on us off of Spanish Cay in the Abaco's, we rolled it back over with our 23 and a bigger whaler. We got it flushed, and it was taken back to Florida on it's own bottom. Have a nice video of our trip back, just not sure how to convert it to you tube.. Maybe one day...

12-27-2011, 06:09 PM
Happy holidays and hope Santa was good to all.

Looked at a "West Marine" 13 gallon plastic well last night which would fit nicely under the leaning post, but plumbing would be exposed. :( After doing some measuring, I think using the existing void under the rear deck hatch and adding hinges, like Ricky mentioned, and a clear lexan lid, might be the ticket for a "clean" looking install. Will probably use the hull floor for the bottom and glass in bulkheads to enclose the well under the smaller deck lid. I'm thinking if I glass in the well and leave about 1/8" open space under the deck lid then add a rubber seal should keep leakage to a minimum into the bilge.

Does anyone have pics of their factory livewell in an F23 they could post?

Will use a bait pump to fill and a standpipe going right through the bottom to drain. I'm told "head pressure" might prevent this from draining properly since the deck is so close to the waterline. If it's "pressurized" then this "may" overcome that problem as long as the lexan lid is somewhat sealed. When opened in rough seas or under heavy load it might leak onto the deck anyway, but I guess this is something I will have to deal with. With 3 to 4 people in the stern, she takes in a little water through the scuppers anyway.

12-28-2011, 01:38 AM
I will try to remember to take a picture of my livewell tomorrow. It is presently out of the boat until I clean it up and reinstall it. If you make a template of the top lip of the livewell hole, you might find someone who can make one for you - just a thought. Bill

12-28-2011, 08:35 PM
Here is mine. As you can see, it is a relatively simple tank with a flanged lip which you could have made. Bill