Advice for a Small Boat

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Advice for a Small Boat

Postby zee-unit » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:46 am

Guys I apologize in advance for my ignorance in all of this. This group is by far the best resource I have for solid experience and information.

I am hoping to get a small little boat that I can use for fishing this summer, and as a small duck boat next fall. I am on a super limited budget (like 400 max) so I am fully aware that I will get something beat up and used. I am looking on craigslist. I have a connection to a free 5HP motor that I can get from a friend, so I really just need a boat. I don't have room for a boat and trailer, so I want something that I can load into the bed of my truck - a standard 6.5 foot bed.

What do you suggest? There are a few options for jon boats with the flat bottoms or v-hulls. Is a 12 footer too long for the truck / handling with one person? Is 10 feet too small?

Any advice appreciated!!

Thanks guys.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby Woodrow03 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:57 am

"If you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body is never tired if the mind is not tired."
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby Woodrow03 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:02 am

http://brainerd.craigslist.org/boa/4347032548.html

I'll buy the trailer from you for 25$ if You buy this one
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby Woodrow03 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:08 am

I am partial to V-Hulls because I like to cut across the lake even with large white caps and I just don't trust a Jon Boat in those conditions. Just my opinion. I also dont hunt out of a boat. I use mine to get to spots where others can't go.

If you plan to shoot and hunt out of it a flat bottom is the way to go.

I find myself using my boat as a jumping point boat and for trolling/fishing.


If it's just you hunting and fishing maybe a yak of a 10 foot canoe.

A canoe you could still mount the 5hp on there if you wanted to.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby zee-unit » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:11 am

I have no clue how I could store that first one. I don't have room in my garage with my wife's car and our bikes / workstation and I live in Minneapolis so it would disappear in like 48 hours if I left it outside.

That second one looks pretty nice. I definitely don't plan to hunt out of the boat. I just want something that I can drop in at a public access on any lake and use it to get to a good spot. From there I will set up shop outside of the boat.

I was told to stay away from V-hulls for hunting purposes...but if I am going to just use it to get from A to B I think it would work.

And for fishing it should be fine I assume.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby MinneKans » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:34 pm

I used to hunt out of a 10 foot johnboat...complete death trap with any wind. Upgraged to a 12 foot lund ducker v hull. Much safer. Got it for $350 on craigslist with no trailer.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby goldfish » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:58 pm

I hunt and fish out of a 14ft semi-v (like those woodrow posted). I have zero problem hunting out of it. You usually have the boat jammed into vegetation to stabilize it but even when it's not I've never had an issue. It'll handle waves ok, but you definitely aren't fishing or hunting Mille Lacs on a windy day.

Look into the cost of a storage unit that it'll fit into. If you don't have room to store one on a trailer, where are you going to put one that isn't?

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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby zee-unit » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:47 pm

I was planning on just leaning it against the wall upright or on the side in the garage.

If I have a trailer, I actually will be filling floor space with the boat, which I don't have in my currently house.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby goldfish » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:18 pm

Tiny boats scare me, even though I use a kayak that I'm not afraid of. I'm sure it's some mental thing, but tiny boats seem to get over loaded quickly. Especially with a little motor that can't get you out of trouble quickly if need be. Maybe get a canoe for yourself, and find a buddy with a boat, lol.

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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby xrated » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:33 pm

We hunt from a 16' Lund V and have hunted from a 14' as well. Just gotta sit down when you shoot.

I'd be more worried about a 5hp motor. I'v used a 10 horse on a 14' in rough water, slow and steady.

A square stern canoe might work for ya but still has storge issues.

Lund makes a 12' V that is good for fitting in a truck bed. Small though
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby zee-unit » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:06 pm

Thanks for the advice guys. It sounds like the boats I have been looking at will work, I just need to find the right one and seal the deal.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby xrated » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:38 pm

Curious if you were given reasons on why to avoid a V for hunting?
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby MinnesotaDan » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:46 pm

Get a canoe! I'm just a canoe guy. Boats are awesome too, but I just like how easy canoes are. Unless your paddling into a strong headwind and you're by yourself, then they suck.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby xrated » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:13 pm

MinnesotaDan wrote:Get a canoe! I'm just a canoe guy. Boats are awesome too, but I just like how easy canoes are. Unless your paddling into a strong headwind and you're by yourself, then they suck.


Or two guys loaded up with dekes, into a head wind with the trolling motor cranked to 5 and you are barely making way. Then they suck even more.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby MinnesotaDan » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:26 pm

I had a situation like that this fall but we were paddling across a small lake. Got a little dicey keeping the bow pointed into the wind.

At my family cabin, you can walk out about 200 yards and its only about 4 feet of pure sand, so on nasty windy days when I was younger I would take the canoe out just to practice in the summer, and it was kinda fun.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby xrated » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:43 pm

Yeah this was more than a few years ago headed up to a less popular spot on a flowage. It sucked and after that we decided it was worth losing space to add a 4 horse and gas can to the canoe. Course I don't think we ever took the canoe back out there.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby zee-unit » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:03 am

Curious if you were given reasons on why to avoid a V for hunting?


I was told that it would be easier to hunt out of a flat bottom boat because you have more room to lay things down, they don't roll to the middle, and it would be easier to stand and shoot. As I read your responses, it sounds like it may have not been the most credible source.

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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby mauserfan » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:12 am

That little 12' alumacraft that Woodrow pointed out is a great boat. Just fyi- If you can go to 14' it would be worth it. As far as stability goes, just shove your push pole, paddle or oar into the marsh bottom and lash to it. Sometimes you'll be on the cattail bog and this is pretty sound. We shoot standing out of canoes all fall and have never had an issue. Just use a little common sense and wear a life jacket when moving. Have fun....mauser
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby zee-unit » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:34 am

I know!! I want that one that Woodrow posted....I emailed the guy and he hasn't gotten back to me. I just emailed him again.
He says to text him, but leaves no number. I would pull the trigger on that immediately if he got back to me.

As for stability, I do plan to just use it to cross a lake or whatever and then beach it in some cat tails...so hopefully stability won't be an issue for standing and shooting.

For fishing, I plan to hunt small lakes anyway...so hopefully a 12 foot V-hull will do the trick!
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby chasing the GREEN » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:13 am

I have a little 12 ft jon boat with a 4 hp motor on it. works great for me. can be a little dicey on windy days, but I just take my time coming back in and hug shore lines. never had an issue. I also have a fiber glass canoe I got dirt cheap on craigslist - had a few soft spots and some minor cracks but still floated. went to fleet farm and bought fiberglass patch kits, went to town, painted it up - now its strong stable and still light. Canoes are awesome - if the birds aren't flying good, you can move around easy, depending on where you are at you can try jump shooting with them or move down, get out and put the sneak on them. they are easy to hide in reeds and so on. even when ive had a group with I just made them walk the shore as I carted decoys. then I just picked up one guy at a time and dropped them off. more work for me, but it got all the gear and our group out to a tough to get at spot in a safe manor.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby Woodrow03 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:35 am

You got room to store this?

Image
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby goldfish » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:50 am

Woodrow03 wrote:You got room to store this?

Image

Duck killing beast right there!

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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby xrated » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:54 pm

I can honestly say this first year was the first time I ever stood up in a boat while shooting birds, minus a water swat on a crippled diver.

Like I said we hunt have hunted a large amount of time from a 16 or 14 V. On occasion ran up on floating bog edges, mostly though it is anchored in a reed bed. This year when I did stand up to shoot it was a completely different setup in that it was a wide 14' john wedged between to clumps of bull rushes so it was very stable.

I will say that the open floor plan on a john boat is awful nice for gear. The middle benches in a V can make for some odd seating positions while heading out or in with dekes, but once out we just straddle the bench and call it good. But in all honesty if I ever score a boat that isn't shared for fishing and hauling kiddos I wouldn't hesitate to chop out all but the very front and rear bench to free up floor space.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby kbooger » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:45 pm

Funny I usually am standing when shooting. I've shot sitting from a boat maybe twice. And I've hunted out of a 10' jon, 12' V, 9' kayak, 14' V. We are usually secure in the thick stuff tho so you aren't rocking.

A 10' jon is pretty pointless. If you want to take a kid or want to have trouble rowing yourself then maybe they are ok.

Kayaks are nice but then you have to paddle or get a trolling motor (and have it fit). They don't have a ton of space and are for hunting by yourself IMO.

I'd try to get a light 12' v boat its ok with up to 3 guys with gear it will get tight. I load a 12' up in my F-150 and it looks just fine that sucker is heavy though and hard to handle by myself.
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Re: Advice for a Small Boat

Postby goldfish » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:17 pm

xrated wrote:I will say that the open floor plan on a john boat is awful nice for gear. The middle benches in a V can make for some odd seating positions while heading out or in with dekes, but once out we just straddle the bench and call it good. But in all honesty if I ever score a boat that isn't shared for fishing and hauling kiddos I wouldn't hesitate to chop out all but the very front and rear bench to free up floor space.


Granted, my boat is a 76 or so, and my dad got it dirt cheap because another boat had hit it, but he removed the middle bench for room and never reinforced the sides and it's wobbly now. I can watch the front moving differently than the rear if I'm crossing waves sideways. I'm always imagining the boat just splitting in half, lol. Putting some sort of bracing would be recommended


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