Duck Boat

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Duck Boat

Postby Mantanaman » Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:57 pm

Hey guys! I've followed the forum for awhile and finally decided to make an account and get involved and hopefully get a couple more Montana guys more involved on here too! I spent years as a kid paddling a canoe with my dad out to a chain of islands on the Missouri River between Great Falls and Helena, and we'd Always talked about having a little boat that we could actually run up the river a ways. As much as I'd love a flat bottom eagle with a jet, I'm a broke 21 year old with too many other priorities to spend a small fortune on something to shoot ducks and catch a few Wally's out of. Ive kind of been looking at 14-16 foot aluminums with little tillers on the back, but really have no idea what kind of horsepower I'd need to push 2 guys and decoys up the Mo. Suggestions, comments, concerns? It's September! We're almost there guys!
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Re: Duck Boat

Postby dan922 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:54 am

Are you looking for a jet or a prop? If you are looking for a prop, a 25 hp will do you just fine on a 14', 35-40 hp on a 16'.
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Re: Duck Boat

Postby HaydenHunter » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:42 am

Not sure about the current in that stretch of the Mo but my buddy has a 16 footer that will push 2 guys, dog and decoys 22-23-ish, on plane. As the previous poster said, a 35-40 is best for a 16 footer but it can be done with a 25.
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Duck Boat

Postby Abomb » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:14 am

I'm the guy HH is referring to. My boat is a work horse. It's gutted and light so I can haul a load with it.

I hunted that area a ton when I lived in MT. I ran a 14jon boat with a 25hp tiller, perfect setup in my eyes for that area. Light weight, walked it up a few shallow areas I couldn't run and slid it over the bank to launch where there wasn't one or iced out launches. I could get pretty much anywhere I needed to run. I did put a skeg/prop guard on it though as I found some shallow areas on most trips, esp the upper area upstream of Craig. The lower river I had no issues as it's deeper water with better channels. Find a boat with a reliable well running motor. I also tried to to hunt only upstream so as if I had engine issues, I could float back down. I put oar locks on my boat with a good set of oars so I could row down if need be. Which I did once when my lower unit froze, hunting in -25 weather.

The MO above Helena/ Canyon Ferry is a totally different animal. Lots of shallow riffles a prop boat cannot get up.
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Re: Duck Boat

Postby phutch30 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:15 pm

While there are areas you can run a prop on MT rivers and be fine. After running MT rivers for over 20 yrs, I personally think its crazy to use a prop. Sooner probably, rather than later your gunna hit bottom and depending on the location (100% chance in that stretch, heck we hit with jets all the time), flow and load you could find yourself in big trouble real easy. Theres a big difference losing a prob in the summer vs the winter when your loaded down with gear plus the rivers are usually low due to the impoundments refilling. Its hard to tell water depth when your running the river in the dark.....Stick to the bank till you can afford a river boat or ONLY hunt deep water stretches.....JMO
....its like taking x-lax when you have a bad cough. It wont clear up your lungs, but it sure stops you from coughing
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Re: Duck Boat

Postby dan922 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:51 pm

phutch30 wrote:While there are areas you can run a prop on MT rivers and be fine. After running MT rivers for over 20 yrs, I personally think its crazy to use a prop. Sooner probably, rather than later your gunna hit bottom and depending on the location (100% chance in that stretch, heck we hit with jets all the time), flow and load you could find yourself in big trouble real easy. Theres a big difference losing a prob in the summer vs the winter when your loaded down with gear plus the rivers are usually low due to the impoundments refilling. Its hard to tell water depth when your running the river in the dark.....Stick to the bank till you can afford a river boat or ONLY hunt deep water stretches.....JMO


I agree we ripped the foot off my buddy's jet boat above Canyon Ferry, i was really happy that he told me to kick rocks when I said we should go upstream. Not worth destroying a lower unit, or getting in a situation where you get thrown out of the boat into ice cold water far from your vehicle.
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Re: Duck Boat

Postby Mantanaman » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:43 pm

Abomb wrote:I'm the guy HH is referring to. My boat is a work horse. It's gutted and light so I can haul a load with it.

I hunted that area a ton when I lived in MT. I ran a 14jon boat with a 25hp tiller, perfect setup in my eyes for that area. Light weight, walked it up a few shallow areas I couldn't run and slid it over the bank to launch where there wasn't one or iced out launches. I could get pretty much anywhere I needed to run. I did put a skeg/prop guard on it though as I found some shallow areas on most trips, esp the upper area upstream of Craig. The lower river I had no issues as it's deeper water with better channels. Find a boat with a reliable well running motor. I also tried to to hunt only upstream so as if I had engine issues, I could float back down. I put oar locks on my boat with a good set of oars so I could row down if need be. Which I did once when my lower unit froze, hunting in -25 weather.

The MO above Helena/ Canyon Ferry is a totally different animal. Lots of shallow riffles a prop boat cannot get up.

Thank you thank you thank you! That stretch of river seems to be a breed of its own compared to the rest of the Missouri so finding someone who has experience running one on it is exactly what I needed!
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Re: Duck Boat

Postby Luke WL. » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:22 am

ive been running the clark fork with my surface drive. It has been doing its job well. I have hit a few times but they are pretty bullet proof. May be an option.
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