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Hewescraft fishbox question

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  • Hewescraft fishbox question

    Alright here's an easy one, and better to get an answer that just open the valve and see what happens!

    I bought a new Hewescraft AK 260 last year from a dealer in WA state. Great deal, but dealer didn't know much and Hewes in Colville WA won't answer any of my questions online, or phone messages, so here goes:

    The boat stays in AK, I use it in PWS. There is a fishbox in the floor of the stern. It has a drain that goes straight back thru transom with a valve. If I open the valve, water comes in....question is, will it only fill the box to a point below the top, or keep coming in? I think it will only partially fill....if not, I'd hate for that valve to fail or to forget to close it when I launch.

    Second question....and i think i know this....when I get on plane, the water would just drain out, like pulling the plug in back of a little boat, right?

    This is important, because when it rains and i am out for a week, that fish box fills up and get yuck in it from all the fish we catch and i'd like to drain it. I don't usually put fish in there, we fillet them pretty quick and put them on ice (yeah, i know what some are going to say about this...).

    Anyway, what about opening that valve guys, what'll happen?

    And, while you are at it, any ideas of keeping slime from going in the bow hatch? I love the boat, but it has some design flaws that don't affect performance but make it a little stinky!

    Thanks ~~~~ Ron
    Last edited by Cap'n Ron; 02-03-2009, 20:30. Reason: Needed to say the boat is in Alaska not WA!

  • #2
    On an Alumaweld Offshore that I was on, the box had the same set up. It would get about 4 or 6 inches in the box, and after you get up and start running it drains out. Make sure you don't let chunks of bait get stuck in the drain. You mentioned stinky! I still would watch things the first few times. Congrats on the new ride.


    • #3
      I have the same set up on my boat. If the boat is in the water and you leave the valve open on the fishbox it will fill the box and start filling the boat until the bilge pumps come on. I know your problem with the fish box getting nasty from a day fishing. What I do is open the valve before I take off and flood the box with water then go just fast enough for the water to fall off the transom and the box drains along with all the nasty stuff. Sometimes I do it more then once. Then close the valve. I hope I answered you question. I believe Hewescraft had some people not understand this and the newer models have changes. The fix made it hard to wash the box out.


      • #4
        Thanks, Kenai and Hewey....but? boat was new last year but is a 2007 model. Kenai thought that the box would fill so far, but Hewey has one too (older than mine??) and says it will keep filling. Might matter how loaded the boat is? Anyway, I guess I can do the fill and run fast thing, long as the valve doesn't stik and leave me running around until all the gas is gone!

        He Hewey 260...another rookie question, there is a toggle switch for the bilge pump, and I have two, one is supposed to be automatic. Do I have to toggle the switch one way to activate the auto bilge pump, the other way works fine for the manual pump. With the switch off (centered) my auto doesn't come on. Maybe I'll let my fishbox overflow and find out!

        Thanks ~~~~ Ron


        • #5
          Yes, you will keep fillin up, I got to see it first hand, ......not on mine honest.
          Poor design for sure, Hewes came up with a re-call/fix, plug the bulkhead and have the fishbox empty into the bilge. (I choose not to do it.)
          I thought about adding a flapper check valve just in case I forget to close the valves, mine has 2 , 1 behind the fishbox and another inside the extended transom.
          Here is a link to the discussion on said subject on the Hewescraft forum.

          Lots of good info there.


          • #6
            Cap n Ron. If your boat is a 2007 then it's the same as mine. I have a PC but don't believe there is any diffence in this situation to your Alaskan. I know that mine will keep filling because I launched my boat and forgot to shut the seacock from my last cleaning. Walking down the ramp I was like "Why is the bilge pumping water". Sure enough water was flowing out of the box down into the bilge. I just emptied it when I left the harbor. Does your fish box have a seacock valve in the bilge area? Mine is a early 2007 model and if yours was built late 2007 you may not have the seacock valve, which I believe Hewescraft did away with and the fix is what Olympic runner is talking about.

            As far as you bilge pumps go. When I purchased mine it only had twin in the back. Hewescraft had some issues with boats stored in slips and the rain would fill the boat. The Pacific Cruisers are a little bow heavy and this water would run to the bow and the boat would have to fill will a lot of water before it was at a level for the bilges in the back to kick on. All the 2008 models and newer now come with bow bilges installed from the factory. Dewey's installed a bilge in mine in the bow for free in mine when I had it in and told me they were doing that will all the 2007 they sold that came in. I know my floats stick all the time on my bilges in the back and I have to manually kick them on. Down with the switch is the stern bilge and up is the bow. You shouldn't have to hit the switch at all (leave in middle position) for these to start when the water is high enough. Most of the time it's little metal shavings left over from the building process that is messing up the float on mine so you might take a look at that. Hope this helps.


            • #7
              Thanks for all the help

              Thanks, Oly Runner for the Hewes forum link, I read all that and it seems that there are a number of different installations. My fish box drains straight back with one valve. I think I will try to call Hewes again, although I usually get voice mail and never a call back.

              HS: I think I will ask Hewes about the front bilge fix too; I have two pumps in back next to each other and my Alaskan 260 is also a bit bow heavy (nice help to go instantly to plane though!) and maybe I need a pump in the rope locker in front too. There is talk on the Hewes forum about an extended transom bilge and pump, but my transom is all sealed up, I think I am glad of that! My fish box drains straight back, exits hull low under the transom. I do use the transom fish box, it's just a gravity drain, can't fill the boat, and is always open outside, has a plug inside if you want to make it a live well, i guess.

              I noticed all the metal filings they left in the bilge when fitting the boat, I used a shop vac to get all of that out as well as I could, but some keeps washing back near the pumps, so I'll watch for that, thanks!

              Lots of talk about just using the rear fish box for storage. Problem is the rain or other deck water drains into it. Same with rope locker on front. We pull shrimp pots on the bow, and kucky gets into the rim of the hatch cover and with enough water, that one gets deck yuck and water into it too. Seems like Hewes has a great handling design and most other designs, but misses some important things. They should share more among manufacturers, or at least look at each other's boats and learn, get things right before all the recall and refits.



              • #8
                It all stems from Hewes not having a self-bailing deck. I'm not familiar with Wooldridge and Raider and other boats without self-bailing decks, but it seems that the floor fishbox system in the hewes is about as good as they can do without having a self-bailing deck.

                I don't think it would be out of the question for a do-it-yourself kind of guy to get a self bailing deck installed on a hewes for relatively cheap. I've not seen any sort of design specification or guideline for a self-bailing deck, but some things strike me as important:

                1. Static (moored) waterline - load your transom with as much weight as you could ever see living on your transom. For a 26' hewes, that means the weight of 450hp worth of 4-strokes.
                2. Static (moored) waterline - fill fuel tanks, and add fishing/camping items which might live in the cockpit when boat is moored or anchored: shrimp pots, downriggers, cannonballs, coolers with ice, etc.
                3. Keep the static (moored) waterline at least 2" below deck height, with deck sloping backward to scuppers.
                4. Fishing waterline - fill cockpit with weight equalling four to six chunky fishermen and their fish gear. Include additional ice in excess of #2 above. Keep the deck height at or above the waterline at the stern. The additional weight in the cockpit will maintain the correct rearward slope of the deck.
                5. Use two or four of the biggest ball-type scuppers you can find.
                6. Figure out a way to keep deck water out of your bilge, but still access your pumps, valves, plugs, etc. I'm thinking a removable, bolted cover or hatch, or a substantial lip or dam to route water out.

                To me, this means making some careful measurements with the boat in the calm water of a harbor or lake, removing the plywood deck and transom bulkhead, adding additional framing up from the hull's main structural members, cutting and shaping a gutter across the back of the cockpit and possibly along the cockpit sides, cutting diamondplate to fit the floor, reinforcing the diamondplate between support members, and taking the big wad of stuff to an aluminum welder for welding out. Special attention to be paid to sealing off the fishbox, sealing the cabin bulkhead (or extending the draining deck into the cabin), etc. and so on. Lots of work, with lots to think about.


                • #9
                  Wow, my head is full

                  Sounds like a good solution, Vek, but a little much to think about all at once! I thought with this new boat all I had to do was move it around and fish! ha ha....other acronymns for B-O-A_T come to mind, but they belong in another thread! Thanks for the thoughtful reply, loads to think about! Hmmm.....didn't I see a great practical reply from you on the "best gun for Alaska" thread under hunting??



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