Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

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Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:03 pm

Well I've finally got around to posting my blind project I built on my 16 ft. jon this year. It took less than a week to put together (not full time).

First off I'd like to pay homage to the Blind Masters: Ichabod97, Astrobud311, and CarolinaGreenhead. Ichabod's and Astrobud's Blind Design served as a great resource. It was a great guide in helping you prevent making mistakes, along with a lot of tips and trucks. Additionally, Carolina's posts of his work, and also PM's from these guys were a great resource. Lastly, OldButNew was also a great resource for many engineering tips and tricks, letting me hunt out of his boat blind, as well as keeping me honest when I told him I was 95% complete, he reminded me that it will always be at 95% because you be constantly tweaking it....LOL

I guess I can call this a modified scissor blind ( but open to other names) as it is really not a scissor. I tried to design the benefits of a scissors blind as well as a fold top blind.

I've got to hunt out of it several times, and It worked well. I have come up with one tweak for next year regarding hunting with an open top for early morning, Currently I am in the re-engineering phase in my head...LOL, but I think I know where I want to go with it. Secondly, I'd like to maybe add some Raffia grass to break up the outline...

Without further ado, here she is:

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Enjoy,
ZMan079
PS: I have more pics of the design, and I will post in reply's since attach limit is 5...
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby deltacottonboy12 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:39 am

Nicely done. Glad to see all of the blind tucks inside the board when not in use. Many over look how important thats is.

Blind Looks great. You are right about the amount of useful information available on this website. Folks here are here to help out no matter the cause.
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:49 am

Thanks Delta!!! Yeah these guys are great for helping you out!!!!

Yeah, to be honest I did not know how compact I'd be able to get it, but after a few times of figuring out which way to fold things, it tucks away nicely.

My goals for this design were to be able to have max concealment (especially with a dog), room for gear, have somewhat of a low profile, but still have enough room to get up to move. I think my top is at best 3ft above top of boat, I was aiming for 2, but need to make it proportional to front. I needed about 18 in. for dog opening. Another goal was to have a Dog Entry, currently I have only one, but I will make another opening towards the front, that is where I originally wanted it, but since the Avery DD, does not work well, and time was limited, I only made the one at the rear seat point (see pic).

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I have hunted early morning with top folded back (see pic), it worked ok, but I want to maintain as much cover as possible, so I will probably put a pivot point in middle of the top. this way I will still retain some additional cover when folded back, and still be able to go completely concealed when folded down.

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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:33 pm

Here are some more pics of blind building in progress:

Enjoy,
ZMan079

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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:57 pm

Here are some more (#2) pics of blind building in progress:

Enjoy,
ZMan079

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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:06 pm

Here are some more pics (#3) of blind building in progress:

Enjoy,
ZMan079

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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:43 pm

Here are some more pics (#4) of blind :

Enjoy,
ZMan079

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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby husker_hunter » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:23 am

how does your framework hold up to the weight of your net material? and or in high wind?
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby deltacottonboy12 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:16 pm

Looks like your shooting windows are really far forward. How does this affect shooting?
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:43 am

husker_hunter,

as you see in the one pic it was a very windy day when I was working on the blind and the material was blowing all over the place.

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At that point I did not have any of my weights 1/2" PVC established at the base. initially I was going to use 1/2" EMT , but I was worried it my be too heavy for the blind material. believe me it is tough enough to use the EMT.

I have 3 layers material/fence/netting, they are all very lightweight. when I set up I have them fastened at front and rear, and with weights in place it does not move in the wind....

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As far as the structure goes, all of my long spans are 3/4" EMT are stuffed with a 10' x 1/2" EMT, I centered them by measurement, instead of just reinforcing the joint, I did that for extra stability/strength. The extra weight cause a little bend in the 3/4", but it is rock solid.


Hope that answers your ?'s, Let me know if you have any more.

Thanks,
ZMan079
Last edited by ZMan079 on Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:02 am

Delta,

As a stroke of luck it worked out that my top is just high enough that you can sit in middle of boat on a director chair and see out of the front to shoot. from this perspective you lose a little of the sky. This set up would be better suited for more lateral shots or maybe where spreads where a little larger and you had to make more long shots as they came in.Typically, I hunt from the bottom of the boat, I put a boat seat on the floor from this angle you get more sky. if you slide to middle of boat you open up more vertical sky. The one photo looking out the center window is from the boat seat on a pedestal, so it is much higher than you would sit on a folding chair or on a boat seat on the bottom. sorry if that clouded the perspective

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This shot shows if you wanted to use the center up and a)either shoot through holes, or b) use them to see under max concealment, and then fold down front to shoot. this one is also shot from boat pedestal.

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Also, When I hunt I keep the back and front fold downs up and leave the middle open (folded down). This keep the gear stored up on front deck or dog in back under concealment (or visa versa)

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As I mentioned b4 I want to add the ability to fold the top back part way for early morning overhead shooting, still ironing out that concept......LOL. Additionally, I could have/can make the "top fold down" either a little shorter or slide it upward a little to shorten it. This will allow for greater vertical vision.

Keep the questions coming, it will help tweak the design for others, and make sure I keep my completion status at 95%....LOL


Thanks,
ZMan079
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby Marylandduramax » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:59 pm

I want to build a boat blind i like how yours looks, i was jsut wondering how you decided on the length of all your conduit. how did you figure out how long to make all the upright pieces of your fram to give you the proper height to your blind. Thats the biggest problem i am having.
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:17 pm

MD Duramax,

Sorry for the delay in response, I had typed a whole post explaining everything, and I timed out, which then erased what I had... I finally got a free moment to respond. I know when I got to this point I was scratching my head, and over thinking it. Carolina and Ichabod were a great help. I PM them with the same question and they steered me in the right direction.

So for the main frame it comes down to some simple Geometry, but in laymen's terms, my back of the boat (stern) was approx . 72" and the front (bow) was approx. 54". that leaves a difference of 18 inches. I made both my front and rear piece both 72" +- (whatever length made it lay on the gunnels from the bimini mount). this means I made a bend at 78" with the conduit bender because of the 6" offset. By doing this to the front piece as well, there was little chance of me getting the wrong measurement first time round.

Blind Design.jpg
Measurement Diagram


Once this is done you can lay 2-3 pieces of conduit across your boat and then lay your bent pieces across inserted into the bimini ends (but not fastened). Now to cutting the appropriate length can be accomplished in a couple ways, by using Geometry, or by eyeballing. Your front piece will definitely stick over the side of the boat, so it is best to minimize this as much as possible.
because of Geometry rules your piece should be shortened by at least 1/2 (to at most the full) difference between the front and the back. If you don't trust that then use the eyeball method. line up the pieces and measure the difference between. then cut that measurement off of the front piece that attaches to the bimini end. Reattach and check for alignment, trim as necessary.

Once you have your your alignment, then you need fill the gap between front and rear piece with conduit. measure the distance and cut a piece to that length. Then I chose to use a piece of 1/2" inserted inside the 3/4" and split across the entire distance of the back frame, instead of just at the joint. Starting at the back, Figure the difference , make a measurement and mark on the 1/2", subtract the length of the EMT coupler (from each side) and make another mark. slide that into a the 3/4" with a EMT coupler cinched up on it, and then line up your mark you just drew at the end of the EMT coupler. run self tapper through the 3/4" and through the 1/2". As you work your way to the front space out self tappers through both pieces to keep uniform. Repeat connection at front end. I chose to then drill the whole way through my EMT couplers and attach with nut and bolt, but you could use just a self tapper.

For the height I knew I wanted it to be 3 ft. or under for several reasons, lower profile, still room to get up and move around, I needed 18-24 inches in front for dog entrance (i judged this off of height of a dog blind). My transom is 21', so I found a piece of wood/metal etc. and cut it to the height that gave me my number (3 ft) for the back, and used it to hold the back frame up by placing it between the gunnel and back conduit frame.

Once I had this braced up and in place, I just cut a 10' piece of 3/4 in half, and inserted it into the front facing bimini mounts, lined up the conduit with the back piece and drill my holes for the pins. The following pics show it after the above has been completed. I then cut off the excess from the rear support. I was going to use conduit caps to plug them, but Lowe's did not have them in stock at the time.

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Rear Main frame complete and supports in place #1
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Rear Main frame complete and supports in place #2
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Hope this helps, if you need anymore info let me know
I started to put a PPT together detailing most of my construction. (minus pictures, did not get them in there yet).

Thanks,
ZMan079
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby dduckman » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:02 pm

can you make this so you can adjust the height you lock it in at?

cool design i like it.
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:15 am

dduckman,

Glad you like the design....

In my original design I drew/laid out, I wanted the top front frame and bottom front frame front to be adjustable height. However, I built this the week prior to our season, so those luxuries, became low hanging fruit on list to getting the blind complete i time for the season. This could possibly be accomplished by drilling more holes in your support brace, that was my original plan. Only caution about adjustment on the front is that if you are building the fold down pieces, either make sure you make them big enough to compensate for adjustment, or just understand you must fold them down if you drop the front height. Additionally, if you are installing the doggy opening, this will reduce the size of the opening. You will also want to build it so that your material is set for max extension, and that way you can always work backwards.

As part of next season planning, I'm looking at a way that either I can:

a) fold the top back by putting a pivot point in the middle of the front top frame side by using a small piece of aluminum angle with a hole drill through angle and frame on each side of split. A bolt would be placed in the lower hole and a clip/clevice pin in the other. This would allow it to pivot back, but then also come to rest on the angle when fully extended. The 2 mount points of the bolt and pin against the angle should stabilize it to handle any pressure generated from when the front support mount is in place.

and/or

b) Shorten the top slightly (1 -2 "), so that the top leaves a little more vertical opening from when sitting inside, this would also require the bimini sliders to be moved up the rear mount a little. Any excess material would be absorbed the the front. I would just re-zip tie the material on the front of the front top frame.

or

c) Another option might be to just add additional holes for adjustment as I mention above, or swap out support longer piece and add adjustment holes

Thanks,
ZMan079
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby vincentpa » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:07 pm

John,
I don't know how I missed your thread. Nice blind build. It looks really good.
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:57 pm

Vince,

Thanks!!!, Glad you like the design!

yeah, she was all rolled up when we stopped at Perkins.

Maybe sometime we can get out together for a hunt out of it...

Sometime down the road I'd consider building a layout like yours, It was pretty sweet!!!

Thanks,
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Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby astrobud311 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:18 pm

Wow. That came out great. Glad everything worked out for you
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:33 pm

Ryan,

Thanks!!!! Glad you like it!!!, Yeah its 95% complete :smile: , As you can see I am already thinking of tweaks for next summer....

I thank you guys for the resources, and for the help while I was designing it. I look to you guys as the pioneers... :thumbsup:

Thanks Again,
John
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby barenn » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:00 am

Very nice Duck Xpress, looks very professional and well made. I had made one this year a little higher than this one wondering if it would hold up in the wind etc and so far so good. I do like your design
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby alhunter » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:34 am

What kind of netting and fence did u use and what about the wind blowing in the boat could u fit a wind break in it
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby alhunter » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:49 pm

I more thing where did u get those black swivel things that are hooked on the conduit
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:25 pm

barenn wrote:Very nice Duck Xpress, looks very professional and well made. I had made one this year a little higher than this one wondering if it would hold up in the wind etc and so far so good. I do like your design


Glad you like design!!!

So far mine seems pretty good in the wind once it is all set up, and I secure the pieces that fold over.
You have any pics of yours???

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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby ZMan079 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:35 pm

alhunter wrote:What kind of netting and fence did u use and what about the wind blowing in the boat could u fit a wind break in it

I used Cordura Material with DWR, Deer Fence, and Camo Systems netting. I chose the Advantage Max-4 pattern because I like it, but it was $20 more per pack. My suggestion is to try to buy the military surplus, it think it is made by camo systems too, but it has the nylon cord that euns throughout the netting. I think it was priced the same as the stuff you buy at Cabela's.

My only complaint about the netting, is that IMO it is fragile, meaning if it snags it tears...


alhunter wrote:I more thing where did u get those black swivel things that are hooked on the conduit


I got mine at Gander Mountain (online), Overton's also has them, and you can find them online or at most boat shops.

Hope this helps,
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Re: Duck Xpress - My Boat Blind Project

Postby alhunter » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:48 am

It does thanks. Trying to get ideas for my blind im goin to try and build
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