duck boats and blinds

mplane72

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Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
513
Location
Iowa
The first thing that drew me to duck hunting as a teenager, besides the ducks and fun, was that it was hunting you could pursue and have success at on public land. The second was the gear and gadgets. An important piece of gear to me is the duck boat/blind. Here in Iowa most serious duck hunters own a boat blind. Some of these things get pretty extravagant built on 20'+ plate boats with kitchen, heat and a lot of other creature comforts. a lot like a floating camper.

I'm in the middle of stripping down my boat blind to make some changes. Specifically, redoing some of the top frame so I don't have to crawl under things to get from front to back. I'm also going to make it more dog friendly so a dog will have a way to get in and out when on the water with out me having to open a door.

If you feel like it let's see or here about your duck boat. Not just talking boat blinds. I think lots of the commercial rigs out there are great but I really like seeing the ingenuity and creativity a lot of guys put into their rigs. So if you got a skull boat, layout, boat blind or whatever is used in your region lets see it.

I'll put up some of mine in another post.
 

mplane72

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Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
513
Location
Iowa
16/48 Alumacraft rivited hull. Not as sexy as a lot of what you can get now but I bought her cheap and have owned her a long time. Floats shallow and has broken ice thicker then she probably should. Powered by a 1976 35 horse johnson that won't die no mater how much mud I make her eat. I really want a mud motor but have a hard time pulling the trigger on one. Soon age and knees will make me.
20201014_170010.jpg
Here it is before last season. In this pic the tops are in hunt mode. They're like a bi-fold door. they can lay flat across the top for trailering or fold in half along the top when running on the water.

20210127_135811.jpg
Better look at the tops.

20210127_135823.jpg
Naked

20201111_074947.jpg
Waiting for action.

There it is. might be nice to share ideas and get inspired. Any questions about my rig or how I build it feel free to ask. If thread shows enough interest I'll up date with modifications.
 

mplane72

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Jan 25, 2016
Messages
513
Location
Iowa
Great topic!

I just purchased a Alpacka Raft and was thinking about getting a grass mat to roll out on top of it for duck hunting. Goal is to build a set up that easily fit in the trunk of a sedan.
The grass mats like on mine are purchased. I will say they hold up well zip tied to fencing but they get brittle with age. Maybe something like JShane has on his boat with some rafia grass would work.
View attachment 171957
Simplistic approach. No kitchen in mine.
Sometimes I miss simple. Wouldn't trust the pup on that and where do you put 5 dozen decoys?
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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11,348
Location
Manetheren
The grass mats like on mine are purchased. I will say they hold up well zip tied to fencing but they get brittle with age. Maybe something like JShane has on his boat with some rafia grass would work.

Sometimes I miss simple. Wouldn't trust the pup on that and where do you put 5 dozen decoys?
Good tip!

5 Dozen decoys, holy smokes.
 

JShane

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Dec 15, 2015
Messages
364
Location
Central Florida
The grass mats like on mine are purchased. I will say they hold up well zip tied to fencing but they get brittle with age. Maybe something like JShane has on his boat with some rafia grass would work.

Sometimes I miss simple. Wouldn't trust the pup on that and where do you put 5 dozen decoys?
I don't use decoys....and I'm too limited on safe days to hunt with a dog in Florida. Gators and snakes and all
 

jejack26

Active member
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
165
Location
Montana
Great topic!

I just purchased a Alpacka Raft and was thinking about getting a grass mat to roll out on top of it for duck hunting. Goal is to build a set up that easily fit in the trunk of a sedan.
I thought about doing same thing, I'm worried about wear and tear on the raft. In my experience they're tough, but duck hunting?
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Manetheren
I thought about doing same thing, I'm worried about wear and tear on the raft. In my experience they're tough, but duck hunting?
What do you mean specifically? My use case would be beaver ponds, slow rivers/sloughs, and maybe some close to shore ocean/bays/etc.

You thinking flooded timber?

I will say Alpack Rafts, in my limited experience but with anecdotal evidence from people that use them a lot hold up very with dogs climbing in and out of them, and abrasive substrate... pointy sticks/ thorns, jury is out.
 

jejack26

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May 21, 2018
Messages
165
Location
Montana
What do you mean specifically? My use case would be beaver ponds, slow rivers/sloughs, and maybe some close to shore ocean/bays/etc.

You thinking flooded timber?

I will say Alpack Rafts, in my limited experience but with anecdotal evidence from people that use them a lot hold up very with dogs climbing in and out of them, and abrasive substrate... pointy sticks/ thorns, jury is out.
My biggest worry is mud/ sand I've got the mule with zipper. The dog doesn't seem to be an issue. My lab thinks the raft is his to use at will.
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Manetheren
My biggest worry is mud/ sand I've got the mule with zipper. The dog doesn't seem to be an issue. My lab thinks the raft is his to use at will.
I've used packrafts in AK, and in CO both places were the rivers have very high sediment contents. I think it behooves anyone using them in these conditions to carry a cleaning kit, tooth brush, zipper lube etc.

That said I think the context of duck hunting I won't really use the zipper on the boat as I don't plan on putting anything in it. 🤷‍♂️

I'm sure there will be some trial and error involved.
 

jrabq

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Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
574
Location
NM
I've built several small duckboats that get a lot of use. Having trouble finding a photo of just a boat, this pic shows my #1 boat with another upside down in background. I have a burlap cover I can attach when I think it will help. Pro's are boats are 100% fiberglass, lightweight (30-35 lbs), and very nimble. Con's are not much room for gear, and poor stability (not for amateurs).

P1020730.JPG
 

bowhuntmontana

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Feb 17, 2011
Messages
1,089
Location
Utah, after 30+yrs in MT
Great topic!

I just purchased a Alpacka Raft and was thinking about getting a grass mat to roll out on top of it for duck hunting. Goal is to build a set up that easily fit in the trunk of a sedan.
I've been thinking about this same thing. I bike back in 5+ miles on some of the WMA's near me, and I rigged up a trailer to haul my 40lb+ kayak this past season. I was checking out those pack rafts and the weight and portability is really intriguing.
 

rwc101

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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,831
Location
WY
I got a free POS kayak that I'm going to paint with the goal of turning it into a duck killing vessel. Still figgerin out the logistics of a Laramie river float trip.
 

AlaskaHunter

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Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
959
Location
interior Alaska
We use boats, pirogues, and jet sleds.
Pirogues are tough, light, easy to build, relatively inexpensive.
Here are a couple pirogues at duck camp:
pirogue_clip.jpg
Jet sleds are great for layout shooting in a low profile in shallow water or mudflats.
I also like jet sleds to keep my dog warm and dry and behind my muzzle blast.
Here is my setup with me layout shooting in a jet sled, lab behind me:
 

jrabq

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Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
574
Location
NM
We use boats, pirogues, and jet sleds.
Pirogues are tough, light, easy to build, relatively inexpensive.

Cool, pirogues in Alaska?! Sounds like you built then, can you point to the source of the plans? All plywood, or covered or taped with fiberglass?

I have also occasionally used jet sleds to lay in, and give the dog a place to sit. On a hunt about 5 years ago I only had a sled for the dog, I had planned to sit on a stool in the reeds. But the mud was so bad I started sinking, so I knelt in the sled with the dog, it was a tight fit and a muddy mess, never want to do that again!
 

WestKyHunt

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Joined
Feb 24, 2020
Messages
355
Location
Far West Kentucky
20190818_185625.jpg 20190925_160651.jpg 20201013_134406.jpg Ascend H12 with RedHead kayak blind.
Added some led lights before 20-21 season.

This setup is far from light (70lb kayak only) but its plenty stable and can be shot from without being anchored to anything.
I have a 10ft SOT when weight is a bigger consideration. Some of the holes i hunt are 1 mile one way

I also have a 1976 polar kraft 1438 with a Avery quick set and 5hp outboard.
It ain't much, but it (mostly) gets the job done
 

beginnerhunter

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Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
1,183
View attachment 173378 View attachment 173379 View attachment 173380 Ascend H12 with RedHead kayak blind.
Added some led lights before 20-21 season.

This setup is far from light (70lb kayak only) but its plenty stable and can be shot from without being anchored to anything.
I have a 10ft SOT when weight is a bigger consideration. Some of the holes i hunt are 1 mile one way

I also have a 1976 polar kraft 1438 with a Avery quick set and 5hp outboard.
It ain't much, but it (mostly) gets the job done
I like that!

A guy I hunt with got a beavertail 2000 this year and we had a lot of fun in it. Floats in minimal water and is super stable for such a small boat. You can attach a trolling motor and there is an aftermarket setup for outboard he is considering. They also have a one man sneak boat called the final attack that has wheels attached to it. Pretty fun.

Not being a boat kinda guy I like these simpler/stable options for smaller marshes/lakes/ditches etc.
 

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