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March 02, 2009


Rich Ziert

I can't put my finger on it but I always enjoy your boat manufacturing posts. Must be the tinker in me, along with fondly remembering my beginnings. Good job Brian.

Josh McDermott

As you know I fish a couple tournies a year and all I use is a big cooler and a bilge pump. Im not real big on the livewells that come in most jon boats as there is no real insulation in them to provide better fish management. I love my big cooler, never had a fish die during the day on me and know of some folks that have transported a few fish long distances in them?????? Id suggest adding some insulation above and beyond what most think would be fitting. Im a very big advocate of taking care of my fish and making sure they are as well as they could be given their confined situation. I try to change out water when its warmer(70+ degree water) at least 4 or 5 times a tourney, ALWAYS RUN MY PUMP(batteries DO recharge) and keep the lid cracked to let in fresh air.

Josh McDermott

Oh yeah, look to head out to Geist on the 14th or 15th as I will be out there both days in preparation for the next month of duty!!!!!

Big Indiana Bass

Good point on the insulation factor - and running the pump all the time! Got those days penciled in...I'll probably do Saturday :)

Jason McGowen

I do the same thing as you Josh. When I'm in my little "eagle creek" boat I take a big cooler and a bilge pump. Every hour or two I'll drain half the water out and refill w/ fresh from the lake.

Catfish Fever

i just got a custom live well installed myself. it's aluminum and came with a filtration system. easy to install and doesn't harm the fish. keeps everything cool even on warm days...i absolutly love it. it is made by a newer company called fishmatepro.

Kevin McMahon

FYI fishmatepro does not appear to be in business any longer .
The biggest issue I've seen discussed all over on jon boat building sites is about the livewell. If your'e boat didn't come with one built in, it's an issue that few have solved on their own.
I've looked at all types of livewell ideas and thought about using a cooler, but coolers take up room. So I talked to my local boat repair shop. They are not busy in the winter as can be expected and so I sent pics of my Jon to them. They came up with an idea to install a livewell in the middle seat. This way I give up no space in my boat for a livewell and make double use of the seat just like a manufactured one. Cost for fabrication, installation and all plumbing will be around $500.
Customlivewells.com has some nice tanks for around $250, but it doesn't include shipping, or plumbing or installation.....figured when it comes to cutting holes in my boat, I'd feel better with having someone with a little more experience handle it.
The rest of my boat mod decking I can handle myself no problem, but a livewell and plumbing just seemed like more than I wanted to tackle with limited metal shop tools.
BTW...you're jon is a great build. You were fortunate it came with a built in livewell tank. It gave me great ideas, specifically the side table for the switch panel and storage. That's perfect for my Locator.

Big Indiana Bass

Thanks for the comments Kevin, and for the info on your customized livewell. As I mentioned, it's a highly trafficked topic, so your info should be very helpful to others.

Kevin McMahon

One quick question: Did you put the screened intake of livewell on the side of your boat rather than installing at the stern? If so, how do you like it? I worry about the bump out screen hitting the guides on the trailera and also the drag pulling on it when under way by motor. My builder wants to put it on the stern, which means a hose all the way to the back of the boat. Thanks.

Big Indiana Bass

I went screenless. Intake is on the side of the boat as shown in the pictures. It might be possible to install a small faucet filter or similar inline into the intake side without going the screw-on screen cage route. I don't use my livewell a lot, and many of our reservoirs are void of submerged vegetation, so it has never been a problem in the 3 years I've ran it this way. If something did block it up, it would be a quick disassembly from the side when back on the trailer to remove if needed. I'm guessing you'd probably bang the traditional screen cage up pretty good if you installed it on the side instead of on the back. No guarantees either way though.

Kevin McMahon

Thank you. I wondered about that. Someone told me of an "inline screen". I like your system because of going directly out the side because on my boat I have no way to hide the hose routing it to the transom as my floor deck goes right to the ribs. Here's a link to the inline screen which can be cleaned as needed. http://www.ebay.com/itm/JABSCO-46400-0000-TOILET-HEAD-PUMP-INLET-STRAINER-3-4-HOSE-/380379318096#ht_976wt_1037

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