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Thread: Duck boats....Pics anyone?

  1. #1
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Default Duck boats....Pics anyone?

    I'm almost 90% sure that I am going to build a duck boat for a winter project. I want a boat that will be rated for a 10-25hp motor. I have a jetboat already that gets me to many places, but I want something that will go through the narrow sloughs and swamps.

    Anyone want to share some pics of theirs?

    Thanks in advance,
    AMH
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  2. #2
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default

    When looking to build a duck boat you have to ask yourself a few questions so that you can pick a design.

    Do you want to run a mud motor?
    How many people do you plan on having in the boat?
    Do you hunt with a dog?
    Do you want to drag the boat into an area?
    Do you want a really stable boat?
    Do you hunt in short grass marsh and want a really low profile?
    Do you want to hunt laying out or sitting down?
    Do you want to save money?

    I built a Devlin Black Brant III (BBIII), which is based on the Garvey style working skiffs found along the NJ coast - a sneak box but out of plywood and not solid cedar. It is a semi displacement hull that has a lot of the rocker taken out of it in the rear to allow it to plane. Being a V-hull it still displaces quit a bit of water towards the bow and drafts more than 8 inches up there when sitting. It shuts me out of some of my favorite spots once the water drops.

    The design has a motor well to hide the outboard and this does not work with mud motors long or short shafted. You can modify the transom and move it all the way back and use the motor well for storage. This will allow you to use a short shaft mud motor. However the design is maxed out at a 25hp outboard by weight so you will be limited to a 9hp or 14hp Hyperlite short shaft Mud Buddy. With the very slight rocker to the V-hull you will not get very good performance out of any mudmotor.

    If you want to run in really nasty stuff and get to the late season spots during low water most Devlin boats are off the list. The smaller Bluebill and Broadbill might work out since they are lighter, but they would be maxed out weight wise by a 6hp long tail. Even a 9hp Hyperlight would weigh too much on these little boats.

    This leaves you with the Gator boats Duck Hunter or another sled type design. Glen-L has several sled type boats.

    The Duck Hunter 14 is a very well thought out purpose built boat.

    Brad Taylor at Toller Boatworks makes the Duck Hunters for other people as a "hobby" or and "addiction" - hard to tell with him. He posts up on his project boats on both the Duck Hunters Refuge Boats and Blinds thread and on the Duck Hunters Boat Page. Right now he has a DH "mini" project he is working on that is a scaled down version of the 14ft boat. It is a one man affair and looks pretty cool.

    There are a lot of other options out there. Zack Taylor's Successful Waterfowling book from the 1970's has a plywood sneak box design in it and many folks have built - the Wigeon. The Mighty Layout Boys have copied the design into their Zack Taylor Wigeon all fiberglass boat. IMO this is the best deal in single hunter duck boats out there. They sell a fully outfitted boat with a Scavenger motor and trailer. I can't build one up here for this price.

    Lets answer those questions.

    Mud motors work best with a flat bottom boat that is wide and light. The newer surface drive short shaft motors work well with tunnel hulls. Mud motor props don't like sand or rocks and gravel.

    If you are wanting to hunt alone then most home built sneak box type boats are great. If you always have one or two guys with you then you are looking at a much larger boat like a stretched DH or a Devlin Scaup/Cacker/Snowgoose.

    Most boats over 10ft long will work well with a dog. Home built boats allow for customization for dog steps/decks or boxes.

    Any boat that weighs more than 100lbs is hard to drag into some hunny holes or even into Duck Lake on the Flats.

    Unless they are wide, flat bottom boats are not that stable. A displacement hull with rocker is extremely sea worthy. A decked boat will prevent water slipping over the gunnels.

    Building your own boat allows for making a boat that hides really well in the place you hunt rather than looing like a giant box on a lawn.

    Layout hunting in a small sneak box style boat is pretty cool thing to do. Some designs can even work as true layout boats for diver hunting in open water or sea duck hunting. It is so cool that one of the big tin can boat builders in the States is making a large john boat with three or four layout holes and a flat deck to keep the profile to a minimum.

    Building your own boat that is more than the simple Hybrid weekend project will cost more than finding an old john boat on craigslist.

  3. #3
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Ray,

    I do have the plans for the toller design and have been on the boat builders forum for that paticular boat. I think it is an addiction for him (But he makes nice boats that he sells when he isn't teaching.) I don't think mine will have all the bells and wistles like his other than a water pump. I have been leaning to that design and maybe shorting it up to a 14' vs the 16'. More than likely I will be towing it with my river boat at times and other times I will trailer it. (I figure a two place jet ski trailer would work great, just in case I build a second one for my younger son.)

    Obviously, you have been to the gatorboats forum a time or two also.

    I like the other designs you showed me also, thanks. AMH
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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    If I was to do it all over again and build another two men and dog boat it would be a flattened out DH14 with a hunt deck stern pushed by a 23hp hyperlite. This would only be about $2000 more than what my BBIII cost me to build and that cost increase is just to cover the extra coin for the mud motor. But then the hyperlites didn't exist when I built my boat so I was not able to plan for that.

    I would have a Warn ATV winch in the bow for getting into and out of trouble.

    Duck Lake and the "mallard hole" in late season would be easy spots with this set up.

    For setting up a boat for towing make sure that your bow eye is really low. It will help keep the bow riding nose up when being towed.

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Default If planing

    To use it in duck lake. Be advised there is a 20 hp limit on that water

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK DUCKMAN View Post
    To use it in duck lake. Be advised there is a 20 hp limit on that water
    That is one of the issues with outboard vs mud motor.

    The HP rating of an outboard is a measurement of the power it puts into the prop shaft. An outboard engine puts out a lot more power than the rated HP. The gears in the engine shaft and prop shaft take away a lot of the power from the crank.

    The HP rating of a mud motor is the engine rating and not the output at the shaft. I don't think the manufacturers have tested their products to give them a shaft HP rating like outboards.

    There will always be a loss of power from the engine into what ever it is powering - it is just physics - so a mud motor will have less HP than the motor HP at the shaft.

    It would make for an interesting conversation with an LEO out there or on the Kenai.

    I am planning on a duck lake rig but it will be tiny for just me and the mutt.

  7. #7
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK DUCKMAN View Post
    To use it in duck lake. Be advised there is a 20 hp limit on that water
    I don't even know where that is....I'm looking to take this to Minto Lakes.
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  8. #8
    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanmoosehunter View Post
    I don't even know where that is....I'm looking to take this to Minto Lakes.
    In that case you would be fine. Duck Lake is down here in the valley.

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    Member akdrifter's Avatar
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    Default at long last

    Well,
    After debating on building a wooden boat, I sold out to aluminum. Scoured cl for all the pieces, and here is what I finally came up with. Just painted her today. The hull is a 1965?
    The dog sure likes it.......
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akdrifter View Post
    Well,
    After debating on building a wooden boat, I sold out to aluminum. Scoured cl for all the pieces, and here is what I finally came up with. Just painted her today. The hull is a 1965?
    The dog sure likes it.......
    Looks good drifter! I wouldn't mind finding a small boat like that. Nothing wrong with aluminum. Hell, my jet boat is aluminum and so are beer cans.

    AMH
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  11. #11

    Default Building A boat

    After duck hunting out of 4 differant style john boats I decided to build a duck boat this year. So far Im on day 4 of the build. Here are the specs:
    The boat is a 15' Duckhunter from Gator boats.
    Specs on the boat
    Length: 14'7"
    Capacity: 1100 lb
    Weight: 200 lb
    Putting a 25 hp

    Here is where im at now and what it should look like.
    Last edited by 79FSJ; 11-15-2009 at 21:44.

  12. #12
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79FSJ View Post
    After duck hunting out of 4 differant style john boats I decided to build a duck boat this year. So far Im on day 4 of the build. Here are the specs:
    The boat is a 15' Duckhunter from Gator boats.
    Specs on the boat
    Length: 14'7"
    Capacity: 1100 lb
    Weight: 200 lb
    Putting a 25 hp

    Here is where im at now and what it should look like.
    Exactly what I'm currently building! PM sent
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  13. #13
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    Default DH

    Just finished painting my DH. I have to install the electric, but may wait until after the season as I'm ready to play with it now. I have wedges that I might install later also, but I wanted to see how it was going to do without them. I'm still debating what kind of blind I want to do. It was a good build that I thoroughly enjoyed. If I can do it anyone can.

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