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How to Build A Custom Baitwell: Reading about it doesn’t mean you can do it!!

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How to Build A Custom Baitwell: Reading about it doesn’t mean you can do it!!

Old 03-11-2017, 10:37 AM
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Default How to Build A Custom Baitwell: Reading about it doesn’t mean you can do it!!

Well after being on this site for a few years and reading the various build threads I felt I could make a custom bait-well for the boat.
SailFishQuepos, CanarianFisher and Capt Hugh Wilde my hats off to you and the many others on this site with great skills. You provided many hours of reading and why I felt I could tackle this very small project.

Bought at 24' Spectre from Jay Pilini last year. Love the boat with a pretty even split between fishing and hitting the sand bars. When talking to Jay the live well options where a built were a 40 gallon under the leaning post of 10 gallon under the rear seats. I didn’t care for either one of them so skipped on the live well.

Here is a picture of the rear seating area of the boat. There is lots of space between the two seats for a bait well, would extend back into the rear transom area. Did a quick calculation and came up with 16 gallons which should be OK for live shrimp or pin fish.

Started with a few sheets of MDF 1/2” and 3/4”. Here is the base for the unit, needed to be off the floor since the scuppers are under the rear access door. Calculated the area and have 3x’s the flow rate of the scuppers. Center cutout is for the live well drain.
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:40 PM
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Default Baitwell

Stared building up the framework. Here is the frame for the inner baitwell. This will be two piece with an outer fiberglass shell. Nice that he natural lines of the boat are a reverse taper of the hull liner. Lots of glue and staples to hold it together. Made the top of the unit with multiple layers of MDF to form the lid and seal for the access door.
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:41 PM
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Default Baitwell

Here is a view of how it fits in the boat.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:05 PM
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Took it apart to get at the baitwell inner section. Had some 1/8” plastic from an old dirt track car laying around and tried to wrap it around the frame. Lots of %&!!, slippery and the taper made it a chore. Had to gets some straps and pull it all together. Lots of staples to hold it all together. Trimmed it off with a sabre saw. Starting to feel pretty good.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:07 PM
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Phase Two, the Plug, How fair do you want it. Pulled the baitwell out and bolted it to a base board. Started bondo filling the staple holes and sanding. Prime/sand/prime/sand/prime/sand. Has some 2-part urethane left over from a car project so sprayed a few coats? I wet sanded 1000, 1200, 1500 and buffed it out. This is looking good, nice mirror finish and this is the “unseen” part of the project. Put on 3 coats of was and tried to spray on PVA. Did not feel good about the PVA in that is beaded up and left a visible marks on the plug. Time to start with molding the well.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:11 PM
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Ordered my supplies from Merton, great advice over the phone, helped out a newbie. Broke down and also bought a gel coat spray gun. Read a lot on the FIberGlassics web site on layout schedules.

Sprayed on a layer of blue gelcoat, two layers of mat to a layer of cloth. Keep that schedule up until I got to about a ¼’. I did not keep up with pictures.

Marked a line around the bottom that would be the lip of the well and sawed though it with a cheap oscillating saw. Bought a bunch of HF plastic wedges. The outer scrap ring came off real easy.

Started poking at the well itself and felt pretty good when it popped up. Winds up that it broke the plug off the base. $*&$&#*!! Did not get a lot of pictures due to mild hostility. Could not get the plug out of the mold. Lots of wedges along the sides. Got a garden hose between the plug and part, seemed to move a bit then the plug broke apart. After a little more screaming and yelling the plug came out.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:11 PM
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Subscribed... I am REALLY wanting to do this for my boat... keep up the good work, and TONS of pics!!!!
Old 03-11-2017, 08:15 PM
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Great looking part. Near perfect and really pleased. There was some imprint from the PVA but otherwise it was great.

The plug did not survive the ordeal. Don't plan on making another one.

Next step is the finish the shell and make a mold for the final part.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:32 PM
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Looks good. I did the exact same thing about 10 years ago. I mounted mine in a fiberglass leaning post/tackle station. Built a mold to add on to the leaning post as well. Those are fun projects.
Old 03-11-2017, 11:10 PM
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Great job! I wish you had put up this post 2 weeks ago LOL. I don't think my mold will survive either after seeing what happened to yours.

In any event, if my effort fails, I will try again along the lines of yours.
Old 03-12-2017, 01:34 AM
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nice
Old 03-12-2017, 07:14 AM
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Thanks for all the comments. Got pretty far on the mold for the shell yesterday. Will get the pictures off my phone tonight and post. So far looking good, but a lot more work than expected. The pro's really know what they are doing.
Old 03-12-2017, 09:54 AM
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Default Baitwell

Leaving how to size pictures so this should go a little smoother.

Stopped at the marine store and bought a bunch of fittings. Ordered a gemlux thru hull for the drain . Using the flow serve o-ring snap on fittings. Have seacocks on all lines for security.

Added the mandatory blue led light.

Read a lot of flow in wells and not sure which way to go, Have the feed coming in at the top and made up two different nozzles. First is what I am used to just water spraying into the tank, can direct nozzle to give it directional flow and regulate the speed.

Second option is the tube that goes down into the tank with holes to direct flow. Has an aerator on the top.

Comments????
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by duke460 View Post
Leaving how to size pictures so this should go a little smoother.

Stopped at the marine store and bought a bunch of fittings. Ordered a gemlux thru hull for the drain . Using the flow serve o-ring snap on fittings. Have seacocks on all lines for security.

Added the mandatory blue led light.

Read a lot of flow in wells and not sure which way to go, Have the feed coming in at the top and made up two different nozzles. First is what I am used to just water spraying into the tank, can direct nozzle to give it directional flow and regulate the speed.

Second option is the tube that goes down into the tank with holes to direct flow. Has an aerator on the top.

Comments????
I think you've done a fine job. My hats off to you. Personally I like option #1.
Old 03-13-2017, 02:20 PM
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Nice! yeah sucks to have to destroy a plug, but looks like it did its job well!

For stuff like shrimp/pinfish just a top spray would be fine. I think the bars are better for delicate baits that really like a lot of water flow. Might be nice to have if you ever needed it though!
Old 03-13-2017, 07:04 PM
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Nice work
Old 03-15-2017, 06:35 PM
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Default Baitwell

Got to work on the mold for the outer shell. Lots of mdf and glue. Did a few more test fits to make sure in fit in the boat.

I had some high build primer so sprayed and sanded, repeated multiple times.

I pinned the top to the bottom of the mold. Needed to be two pieces in order to pull if from the mold. Also decided to cut in hinge pockets and 2 recesses to set tackle in.

I sanded the primer down to 1000 grit to get ready for gel coat. Ran out of the red paint I used in the tub.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:40 PM
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Default Baitwell

Sprayed on the gel coat. Then started the 2 layers of mat 1 layer of cloth, 9 layers total.
Found out it was very hard to get the mat to fit into the hinge pockets and recess's I put into the top. By the time the mat was saturated it started to melt the gel coat. Started to get messy, not sure if this is going to work or not.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:02 PM
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Looking good.

What did you wax the plug with?

When i built my console mold i laid one layer of thin csm on after the gel coat and waited over night to cure before laying more glass. It seamed to work good.
Old 03-17-2017, 07:38 PM
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I put 4 coats of mold release wax. Wipe on then buff off.
Gets hard to wax wax. Not sure if more than 2-3 coats make much difference

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