The Ideal Duck Boat

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The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby darcher » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:02 pm

If you are not a duck boat nut, you will easily conclude that I am!

Here are the features of my new duck boat design.

I am ready to loft my duck boat plans to full scale. In order to sit sideways in the boat low to the floor, I had to extend the length to fifteen feet. The beam is 5’-10”. The cockpit combing will have two features that I have never built in a duck boat before. First, the bow of the cockpit will go to a vee to part waves in rough weather. Secondly, the backrest of the cockpit combing will flare out in a semi-circle for two hunters. The reason for this is that I want a fairly enclosed cockpit, but I need to get my back as close to where the deck meets the gunnel line in order to stretch out my 6’-3” frame.

I ended up with a 10% dead rise for the shallow vee hull. I was going to go 6%, but Zack Taylor’s Sneakbox widgeon and other sneak boats seem to use a 10 to 12% dead rise angle for a planning hull. (Zack Taylor was a Field and Stream editor and author of many duck hunting articles. His book, Successful Waterfowling, 1974, is an excellent book on the subject and includes numerous plans. I did built his scull boat in the 70’s, but it was not a good design. He is best known for his Zack Box.)

1. The front of the cockpit will have a vee to split waves during rough conditions. It will also have round holes or slots recessed in the cockpit combing. During rough water rides, I can drop in a raised, canvass windshield. The windshield will have Velcro attachments to the outside of the cockpit combing. (Similar to Barngat Bay sneak boats.)

2. The cockpit combing should be three inches wide to accommodate aluminum pipe or schedule 40 plastic pipe set flat into the cockpit combing. Into these spaced holes I will drop in different size camo screens for different cover or different heights.

3. Devlin’s (www.devlinboats.com) boat plans promote the recessed motor mount. I have used this in past designs, but I have never been convinced they hide the motor any better moving it forward. To accommodate this shift in weight of both the motor and the operator, Devlin puts in a 2” rocker in the stern so that his scaup and his other sneak boats will pull up the nose of the boat in choppy conditions.

I took an idea from Gator Trax boats. What Gator Trax did for the transom and motor mount was to add a shallow deck on the stern section. The motor mount is raised up in the center to 16”, but the 20” deck is maybe 10 inches high. The operator controls the tiller inside the cockpit, which establishes the true water line for the boat. The purpose of this lower rear deck is for allowing an easy entrance to the boat for your retriever. This back section is filled with floatation. I am really excited about this lower rear deck. It will also make it easier for me to enter and exit out of the boat. (I am at that age where I don’t even want my son to see me as I moan and groan trying to get my legs up and over the cockpit combing with heavy waders.)

Another idea that I will take from Gator Trax is anchor poles. GT put rings both fore and aft to drop in a pointed aluminum pole to anchor the boat. When I went out to collect my decoys, I would use one pole up front. It made it so easy to collect dekes without using an anchor to keep your boat from floating away. “Stay where you are when are backs are turned.”

4. I will have navigation lights and a head lamp, but what I am thinking of now is a safe place for my new Mr. Heater Buddy. Years ago I found a guy on-line who made an aluminum oven for his heater.

Well, if you love duck boats the way I do, you will no doubt have some ideas that I have not thought of. I hope you will share them with me. I am guessing that the height from the waterline to the top of the combing will be 18 inches.

Dave Archer
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Re: The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby darcher » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:38 pm

I can't believe so many readers and no feedback on what makes an ideal duck boat. Well, I am not really surprised after seeing how well field hunters do across this state. I am disappointed that I will have to buy a used outboard. I just have so much anxiety about buying used, even though my 20-year old 15hp Johnson has served me so well.

I will buy locally and have a professional check it out, but I suspect it will be hard to find a 25hp separated from a boat. I am going to keep detailed records on how much this new boat will cost. I am guessing by the time I add hardware, lights and seats, it will be between $2000 and 2500. Materials are horribly expensive, especially resin. I know I will have close to $1600 for resin, fiberglass and incidentals. But by God I have a winter project!
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Re: The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby lundin-loading » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:02 am

TL;DR
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Re: The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby TopWop » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:10 pm

My ideal duck boat is made of aluminum, has some sort of shallow running
motor....

As far as being tricked out, it all has kinds of great stuff I'll never be able to afford.
I'd also need to be able to fish out of it as well. The best part about my dream
duck boat is that I will buy it with all the crap already in it and other than a
little maint. I will never have to touch it other than to use it.
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Re: The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby darcher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:09 pm

I built my last boat out of aluminum. I have to say up front that I sometimes neglect to take care of my boats. The sun is brutal on boats. Aluminum is a park it, walk away and no worry kind of material. This is why I decided against a marine plywood boat encased in epoxy. Fiberglass is heavy, but it too is a boat that you can cover with a tarp and have it rot and blown away and you don't have to worry much. I have been thinking about the prospects for fishing out of this new boat. I think it will work well on smaller lakes. I took out my Mud Buddy motor fishing just once. Even at idle speed the wake is tremendous and the transfer noise under water is horrible.
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Re: The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby Troutslayer » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:27 am

If I had to get another duck boat for MT it would be this: http://www.adiposeboatworks.com/power.html
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Re: The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby HaydenHunter » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:10 am

I've got a lot of experience owning and running flat bottom aluminum duck boats with shallow water motors, but what you are proposing is a modified V hull boat out of fiberglass. I can't help you there other than to tell you that I have owned a couple of GatorTrax boats with the Hunt Deck option and have liked them very much. I did own one 6 degree mod V boat with mud motor and it did not do well in the shallows over rocky shoals. So if you are looking for a Yellowstone River boat you will not like the V hull but if you are looking for a big water Reservoir boat you probably will. There are tradeoffs to everything.

How are you going to power this boat?
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Re: The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby darcher » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:39 am

Yes, selecting a boat is all about compromise. I will probably settle for a two-stroke, short shaft 25hp outboard. I do very little river hunting, and the reservation has a limit of 15hp and under for the Flathead River. My old Mud Buddy was a 35hp. I loved the boat and motor, but it was not the boat for a guy with a gimpy shoulder. I have to say that when I owned a Gator-Trax 17' I was impressed, but I always like hunting out of a boat that I designed and built so I sold it. My motto when selling a boat is buy high and sell low...(sigh).
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Re: The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby Slack Tide » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:54 am

As for the ultimate anything, function will dictate what makes one "better" than another, and a fantastic boat in the swamp will suck on the river etc..
One thing I have learned is that "duck boats" on this forum pretty much refers to whatever you shoot a duck out of! I'm not into that. Here on Long Island, we have clam boats. It's a clam boat, not a boat that you dig clams out of... You can throw a rake over the rail of anything I guess, but a clam boat is a flat, long deck with a wheelhouse at the rear....not some center console that you rake off of.
At the end of the day, a bucket of clams is a bucket of clams, and a duck is a duck, but for me, I prefer the real deal
"I've been left for dead before but I'll still fight on, don't wait up, leave the light on, I'll be home soon"
Chris Smither
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Re: The Ideal Duck Boat

Postby Duplex lover » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:08 pm

I have a Hewescraft 18 foot sportsman with a 175 sport jet. It takes me almost any where but is a bit BIG when you do get it stuck. Very little worse then getting in to the water to push when its 0*. When I get rich and famous I'll get one like this... :beer:


Image :thumbsup:
The last best place.
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