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Plugging livewells

4/27/17 @ 8:34 PM
User since 8/25/11

Hey friends,

had a real bad situation two weeks ago that has led to me asking this question:

see attached pic. I have 4 holes in the back of my boat (for two livewells). The one on the far right typically has a screen on it (like the one on the far left). I took the screen off for the purpose of this post. 

am I correct in assuming the two outside holes are intakes and the two inside holes are what?!?!

My real question: can I plug all four of these holes? I had a near sinking issue two weeks ago which led to some internal hose repairs. Bottom line, I want to plug all four of these holes, but don't know if I can???

4/29/17 @ 10:42 PM
User since 7/6/06

We plug the 2 drains, and 2 intakes on ours any time on Lake michigan. Our front is always plugged and is always used for storage. Our rear is plugged for lake michigan and unplugged on smaller lakes. We just bring a cooler with on Lake michigan. We gain a ton of storage. My dad started doing this after he had a line fail and have a similar issue. 

Also, it sucks getting all the scales out of the livewell.

4/29/17 @ 7:09 AM
User since 6/9/06

I plugged the live wells on my Lund. I used rubber stoppers used for chemistry flasks and silicone sealant (RTV).

Here a link for sizing black rubber stoppers. 

Good luck


4/28/17 @ 3:11 PM
User since 7/19/04

I had an issue with water coming in from either the intake or drain on a previous boat I had. I took a pipe tap (maybe 3/4"?) and just tapped threads in the plastic so I could screw a pipe plug into it to test.

I always kept the plugs in the boat in case I ever had in issue on the water so I could reach down and plug them off easily.

4/28/17 @ 3:11 PM
User since 8/25/11

Thanks for all the help / clarification thus far.  Here is what happened (probably should've stated from the get-go):

  • The right drain hose came completely disconnected from the thru-hull fitting
  • It was as though I forgot the plug (but I knew I didn't forget the plug)
  • Took on a $**t ton of water - had to be rescued/towed to safety
  • I had the hose repaired and re-secured to the fitting

So, I have never used these livewells - thus my thinking: Why not plug them as an added insurance policy?

I read a post on that advised against plugging the drain holes because if water ever got in the livewell inadvertently, at least it would drain out of the boat.  But then again, look what happened to me: water came in the drain when the darn hose came disconnected.

All that said, anyone see any issues with plugging all 4 holes just as a "backup" policy? (yes, in addition to not using the livewells)

4/28/17 @ 10:59 AM
MEMBER since 6/15/09

From the pictures it looks like there is silicone around the two drain bulkheads. If you have leak issues, there would be a place to look at. Is there silicone added to the seam between the transom and hull? 

4/28/17 @ 7:53 AM
Tim Zwieg
User since 1/10/12

Agreed, the outer ones with screens are intake, the other two are drains.  If you plug them, the livewell will become useless.

4/27/17 @ 9:20 PM
bass ackwards31
User since 1/18/17

Jason is correct. I plug my ones for draining my livewell as the check valve has failed and lets slow water in. I use that to store my boards in anyway

4/27/17 @ 9:08 PM
Jason Woda
User since 9/1/01

I believe the once with the screen are for aerator pumps and the holes are for draining the live wells. You could plug but live wells would be useless.

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