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.