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Thread: Building an ice shanty....

  1. #1
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Building an ice shanty....

    Ok, several hours sitting in my camp chair over my ice hole on Finger lake got me thinking about building a shanty.

    I have an 8x8 snowmachine trailer and I'm thinking of building an shanty that I can haul on it. Have any of you guys built one before? What am I looking at in regards to weight? Logistics of loading it on a tilt trailer? Other issues?

    I have seen the photos of all the decked out shantys from down south with satellite tv and espresso bars, but I doubt mine will be quite that decadent. Just something to hold a little heat and keep the kiddos warm while we slay the fish would be adequate.

    I'm guessing 1/2" plywood with blueboard insulation would be the basic setup. Any suggestions on framing? 2x4?, 2x2?, ??. Skids? Floor setup?

    Any help/suggestions would be appreciated (photos would be great!)
    AKmud
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    Member arcticat500's Avatar
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    Default Easy lifter

    We used 2x2 framing, and no insulation. We used chip board or OSB with waterproof paint. We put a little wood burner pot belly stove in there, and could fish in shorts and a t-shirt. The floor was just able to squeeze into the bed of our Dodge Dakota, then we would lift it out and place it on a set of modified skis to tow it with the 4-wheeler. It sat 2 comfy, three if the kids are young. To assist with the lifiting, we had 2x4 handles on each corner. It ususally took 4 of us to load it on the truck, so a tilt trailer would probably only take 2. The weight sucks, but if you can get a permit to leave it set up, more power to you! Good luck.
    Last edited by arcticat500; 12-23-2008 at 10:51. Reason: Forgot wood type
    Although some can call it Catchin', I still have to call it fishin'.

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    Default Shanty's

    Mud- I posted this a while back...so I resurrected it and re-posted it for your reading pleasure.

    Shanty I and II- you NEED this info!!!!!!!!
    Shanty I- A 3W x 6L x 8H plywood moving box. Cut 2' off the top (or however high for headroom), and re-attach the roof. Cut out a door. If you want to get fancy, cut out a window or two and put plexi or lexan. Insulate with scrap blue board or batting (or none at all if it's not going to be too cold). Cut 2 holes in floor. Find some old downhill skis for runners and a hitch tongue and you have a portable shanty for under $50. Won't blow away either. Don't forget the beer and mostly naked chick posters and you have a real man's shanty.

    Shanty II (for overnight use, or if you are bringing that special someone with you)- A 10-12' pull behind travel trailer (I acquired one for free). Cut 10-12" holes in strategic locations in the floor (try to miss the frame rails). Again decorate with favorite posters, antique beer memorabilia, or personalized drawings (I once held a 24" rainbow against one of the walls and traced it's outline--be creative). Once you are parked in your favorite location (this one is towed behind your vehicle), uncover the holes in the floor and start drilling. The 2 stoke smoke will clear in about 3 minutes (w/ windows open) and you can proceed to skirt in the shanty with 2' wide double sided foil insulated wrap. You can add a car stereo, strobe and disco ball for a personalized touch. Make sure the propane heater works or just re-plumb for a MR. Heater. It's nice to be able to roll over in the morning, drop a line from the comforts of your sleeping bag. Once enough fish are caught for a hearty breakfast, you can roll out of your bag, fire up the propane burners and create some tantalizing eggs benedict, trout style. The only drawback is when you go outside to take a wee (while only wearing boxers and house slippers because it's so d@mn warm in the shanty), the guy that is freezing his @ss off on his 5 gallon bucket will undoubtedly smell the good eats and casually ask to see "what kind of set-up you have there". Of course this is nothing short of a plea to be invited in to the warmth of your $100 shanty paradise. So beware...shanties similar to the one described above do have their drawbacks...handle with care. Of course if that freezing guy is actually 2 college co-eds, you can thank me later!

    Good luck fishing.

  4. #4
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default

    id use 5/8 ply for the floor and quarter inch for the walls. 2x2 framing except for the corners id probably beef up for tow hooks. probably rig up a boat trailer winch in assisting for loading up on your trailer. i will build something one day similar. nuthin wrong with wanting to stay warm while ice fishing and makes it nice when you want to stay the night.

  5. #5
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    They aren't very mobile though.

    But these are!!!!!

    http://www.snow-bear.com/


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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    Default

    I haven't built one yet, but have thought of it for years and done a fair amount of research to prepare for when I finally do it. (go to iceshanty.com and scroll way down to the ice shack tips section...lots of posts of homemade shanties...from fancy to plain jane - tons of ideas and pictures)

    I see a lot of walls made of luan or other paneling instead of plywood - tradeoff the durability for the weight savings...I guess I'd probably use OSB for $ reasons - insulated with whatever it turns out I could find for cheap - (not expanding foam...I don't think you want an ice house that tight for safety - CO poisioning)

    2x2 framing and studs further apart than normal - again all weight related

    skids seem to mostly be 4x6's or something similar that are cut with a bevel on each end - optimum is skinned with some scrap UHMW so they slide nicely

    best floor idea I've seen used 5 gal buckets with the bottoms cut out to seal the shanty floor to the ice to keep drafts and light out. Build the floor much differently than the walls - very well sealed against moisture, much heavier framing/bracing for durability (think loading and dragging stresses) use more insulation than in the walls.
    Be sure to carefully preplan your hole locations (I've read of lots of people having to punt after finishing their shanty because they put the holes too far into the corner and can't get the auger in the hole because of the handles sticking out!)
    Personally I would build it with a couple normal 'hole' hatches in the floor and one big spearing sized hole...for two reasons - a) in case you ever want to spear! and b) because making a spearing sized hole give you a lot more vision in the water and the kids really enjoy 'seeing' more.

    I don't have a trailer and that's probably the big reason I've never really tried to scrounge the materials to build one. I imagine I would use a come-along to get the thing loaded (need very solid anchors in the skids). I always have wondered about getting it out of the ice late in the season - I think the UHMW might really help keep the thing from getting solidly frozen.

    I don't have firewood so would probably look at propane heat (vented so no condensation issues) but then again if I found a free wood stove that fit the bill I could just buy some firewood

    I've seen so many creative things with fold down bunks and benches, tables, etc and I would definitely plan to build mine for overnights. During framing I would probably wire in a simple AC/DC system so if I wanted to bring a battery or generator out - I could have lights/accessories, but that's all tinkering kind of stuff other than putting the wiring in during framing. The best part of the project would be the tinkering!

    Just talking about it makes me want to build one! Now if only I had a shop, a few extra bucks, and a trailer - I'd have something to do this weekend!

    Mud - get to building already! Your kids will love it and we can all enjoy the pics you post of the progress!

    Drifter - there's one of those (or something similar) just north of wasilla here...I always see it when I drive to Anchorage, wish I could stop and test drive it!

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    My major recommendation would be to make it easily portable..... I built one a couple years ago (2x4 frame, insulated, windows, etc.) and was very disapointed to be stuck in one spot for basically the whole season. I ended up fishing outside a lot because I wanted to move around when fishing was slow at the ice house. In my opinion it was basically a waste of time and energy, other than the lesson I learned from it. My next ice shanty will be a portable one, like a Quickflip III or something like that.
    www.akfishology.com

    fishing isn't about life or death... it's more important than that.

  8. #8

    Smile What about a floorless tent?

    As far as ease, convenience and functionality are concerned, a wall tent or any large tent without a floor would work, wouldn't it? Just a thought.
    We never really grow up, we only learn
    how to act in public

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default The difference

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug from Anchorage View Post
    As far as ease, convenience and functionality are concerned, a wall tent or any large tent without a floor would work, wouldn't it? Just a thought.
    Ice tents are black inside to preclude light so you can see down the hole. Also, most ice tents are made to quickly unfold/fold; a big plus when you are fumbling to get a shelter up at around 0 degrees in a wind. There are no poles to figure out or stretching a cover, etc.

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    http://www.canvascraftinc.com/iceshelters.html

    I have one of their Northlanders and in Norpac and i love it. A minimal heater is all that is needed even on a very cold day. I have a 5x8 and i can fish 3 in it. very easy set up and take down and you can buy it in Kit form so it would not cost much to ship up there. all you have to do is buy a sheet of plywood and a few 2x2's and you will be in business! VERY nice house to say the least!

  11. #11
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    ... exactly what I was going to say. Skip the wood framing, spend less money and time and just buy a portable ice fishing shelter. You can move it easily and everywhere. I've seen these Otterskin shelters mounted on an Otter Sled and they are pretty sweet. You can take your shelter anywhere you can take your snowmachine. It folds right up into the Otter Sled and off you go.

    http://www.canvascraftinc.com/otterskin.html
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I thought about the tent route, but I have 4 kids so I'm thinking a shanty would be more roomy and comfortable in the long run. Price wise, I don't think I would save any money either. In fact, it might be cheaper to buy the lumber compared to a $150+ tent.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  13. #13
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw3 View Post
    My major recommendation would be to make it easily portable..... I built one a couple years ago (2x4 frame, insulated, windows, etc.) and was very disapointed to be stuck in one spot for basically the whole season. I ended up fishing outside a lot because I wanted to move around when fishing was slow at the ice house......... My next ice shanty will be a portable one, like a Quickflip III or something like that.
    I have a QuickFish III. I love it! It erects in seconds, and I can screw/tie it down in a few more minutes.

    With table, chair, fuel, lantern, and heater, it has lots of room for one guy, and I've even slept in it for two nights with a short cot, and that was in below zero temps with a hard wind blowing.

    And it's cheap.

    But a hard sided shanty has it's place, too. On your favorite lake, it is a good "base camp", and with the QuickFish, you can stretch out from there on long weekends.

    The hard sided shanty is an inexpensive "cabin on the lake".

    It's real limitations is that it must be on the road system at the very least, and on a lake that has vehicle access is best (if it can't be easily dismantled, you can only drag it with a snowmobile so far).

    That really puts a limit on it. There are only so many lakes that have dependable vehicular access, and pulling the shack in spring might be real work...............

    I like the idea of having both the portable and the hard sided shack............
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Is that...

    ... an automatic jigger you got there Mark?

  15. #15
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    ... an automatic jigger you got there Mark?
    Yes.

    Big Lake is artificial lures, single hook only, but you can use two lines. So I use auto-jiggers to keep the lines working at all times.

    They work good, but you have to use lithium batteries in the cold.

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    Talking just like boats

    I agree with Mark u need a permanent and portable. There isnt nothing like waking up in the morning to rattle reals going after a late night bite. And the whole reason u find the **** spot is cuz u went out during the day and scouted with ur portable and sat the perm on the sweet spot. Cabin on the ice is a understatement cuz u are not going to catch fish out of your crawl space...it is heaven.Buddy and i once built a 8x16 with Insulated walls/FLOORS ,gas lanterns for heat and light,VENTED heat source(propane),12v,wired for 120v(generator),bunk beds,6 holes, and more.If you have just alum. sled trailer you have a long way to go unless u want to make it into a canvas type deal or put some time and money into it. The very first step is to figure out how your goin to lower it to the ice and then figure out the WHOLE design of the house,so u can cut your holes in the floor,and when thats done your probably need to reinforce your floor by welding aluminium tubing underneath.And in my opionion any perm with insulated walls should have min 4" of foam insulation on the floor,no matter how good your boots are, especially if your sleeping in it.So now were done with the trailer/floor and ready to ...well u get the picture.I got many suggestions depending on your needs/wants

  17. #17

    Default Quickfish 6

    Unless you want something with bunks and a more homey feel, its really hard to beat the quickfish 6 for 300 bucks. Very affordable, and roomy.

  18. #18
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by frydaddy View Post
    Unless you want something with bunks and a more homey feel, its really hard to beat the quickfish 6 for 300 bucks. Very affordable, and roomy.
    The Quickfish 6 is, indeed, a nice option. My next portable might likely be one.

    After having spent Friday night in my Quickfish 3 with propane heat going, I can say that the interior was well frosted (with all the moisture propane puts out).

    And, frankly, a hard sided shelter has it's detractions:

    * Being left on site, it's a target for vandals and thieves just like vacation cabins

    * Once set, it's set..........mobility is gone

    * It might be a bear pulling in the spring

    * It ain't easy to haul to and fro

    It's main advantages are:

    * Comfort for overnighters

    * No real set up time for quick fishing excursions after initial set up

    * Bulky but inexpensive gear (pots, pans, coleman stove, etc) can be left and not hauled to and fro with each fishing trip


    My goal is a 7' x 12' shack of the lightest construction I can manage with a single, shuttered window, and an insulated metal door. It will have a vented propane heater, and a small generator plug to the outside. Lights will be DC electric, and hopefully LED. Each trip I'll bring two 5 gallon propane tanks and a Honda generator to recharge the deep-cycle 12 volt battery and operate a small, built-in microwave. It will be designed to fish/sleep 2 in comfort. Set up should be quick. Continual winter chumming with a chum basket will hopefully keep the fish in the vicinity all winter long.

    Ranging out from there for non-overnighters with the Quickfish III will be a piece of cake..........

  19. #19
    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Default

    To keep from freezing in just put the shanty on wood blocks. Leave the blocks behind in the spring.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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