How big is too big for you guys?

A duck boat forum to discuss duck hunting boats, mud motors, and everything related.

Moderators: Dogman, NCSUDucker

How big is too big for you guys?

Postby uglymug » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:06 am

(Insert juvenile joke here)

How many of you have experienced upsizing your boat only to discover that now it's larger than you're really wanting for solo hunts? I got a 16 foot console jon boat this past year and I did notice that getting it in and out of the water plus setting out decoys took quite a bit longer. Much (or all) of this is probably due to it being a remote steer. That being said it does make drives across the lake much more comfortable.

How many of you have experienced the same thing? I've considered getting a smaller boat for just me, but then I'd have to figure out a place to store it.
User avatar
uglymug
hunter
 
Posts: 1460
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:50 pm
Location: Largest freshwater cattail marsh in the US

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby Bluesky2012 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:42 am

Shoot man, I run an 1854 through timber and marshes as well as big water. I’d still like to move to a 2054. Never once thought I’d go down...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
User avatar
Bluesky2012
hunter
 
Posts: 3390
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:14 pm
Location: up the creek without a paddle

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby uglymug » Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:00 pm

There's a non-zero chance that I'm just fat and lazy.

Big water means having a bigger boat is great.

I think what I actually want is a 24'er when I'm underway and then it turns into a 12'er when I'm trying to hide it.
User avatar
uglymug
hunter
 
Posts: 1460
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:50 pm
Location: Largest freshwater cattail marsh in the US

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby jeepman » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:39 am

You do make some valid points on solo hunting. I made a huge leap up from a 1448 Tracker Grizzly to a Duckwater Ocean 17. Although the length was only a few feet, the overall size and weight of the Duckwater boat was huge. I do really love the Duckwater, but I can't launch it in some of the areas that I used to launch the Jon boat. I also have areas that I haven't hunted in a few years since I upgraded because the Duckwater drafts more water and is significantly heavier. I think it is a trade off since I mostly hunt big water. I think it is impossible to have a perfect setup for all scenarios. The best anyone can hope for is to have a rig that suits the style of hunting they do the most.Down the road I plan to get an additional smaller boat for specific skinny water hunts, and to fish the small bodies of water that I did before I upgraded. :hammer:
jeepman
hunter
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:49 am
Location: Adirondacks, upstate ny

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby Bluesky2012 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:46 am

uglymug wrote:There's a non-zero chance that I'm just fat and lazy.

Big water means having a bigger boat is great.

I think what I actually want is a 24'er when I'm underway and then it turns into a 12'er when I'm trying to hide it.


Is your issue just simply the headache of getting it on and off the trailer solo, hiding it, or what?

For getting it on and off the trailer, there are options to really make that simple. My 1854 gatortail is easier to get on and off the trailer than my old 16’ express console due to some easy changes.

As for hiding it, its all about trade offs, but a 14 vs 16 vs 18 isn’t so drastic that it can’t be managed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
User avatar
Bluesky2012
hunter
 
Posts: 3390
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:14 pm
Location: up the creek without a paddle

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby Boatman » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:26 am

Never have I ever thought to myself, I would like a smaller boat,of course I have 6 boats ranging from 12 foot to 24 foot :lol3:
There are still things worth dying for and 1 of those things is freedom.

I love Geese
User avatar
Boatman
hunter
 
Posts: 5266
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 4:10 pm
Location: Atlantic

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby Mike the Fox » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:43 pm

Boatman wrote:Never have I ever thought to myself, I would like a smaller boat,of course I have 6 boats ranging from 12 foot to 24 foot :lol3:
That’s what I’m talking about! I maxed out with a fleet of 7 but I’m currently down to 2 and looking for a third


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
User avatar
Mike the Fox
hunter
 
Posts: 3871
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:58 pm
Location: good ol' Burnham

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby RustyGunz1960 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:51 pm

When I upsized it was for an all purpose boat, in my case an 18ft Sundance Skiff. I don't do as much waterfowling as I did when I was younger but I do fish, clam, crab and take the family out in the boat. I use it when I hunt divers on the bayshore, to get away from the land-bound crowds and usually with friends. It serves as more of a tender, used to get to the site, then to set out decoys and pick up kills, otherwise hiding it in a creek nearby. But I more often hunt alone these days, simply dragging a pond box across the salt marsh to a tidal pond or paddling creeks in the marsh with my canoe or kayak. As I get older, simpler is better and minimalist hunting satisfies me much more than dragging everything Cabelas sells out there with me.
RustyGunz1960
hunter
 
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:16 pm
Location: Little Egg Harbor

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby mudpack » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:39 pm

jeepman wrote:You do make some valid points on solo hunting. I made a huge leap up from a 1448 Tracker Grizzly to a Duckwater Ocean 17. Although the length was only a few feet, the overall size and weight of the Duckwater boat was huge. I do really love the Duckwater, but I can't launch it in some of the areas that I used to launch the Jon boat. I also have areas that I haven't hunted in a few years since I upgraded because the Duckwater drafts more water and is significantly heavier. I think it is a trade off since I mostly hunt big water. I think it is impossible to have a perfect setup for all scenarios. The best anyone can hope for is to have a rig that suits the style of hunting they do the most.Down the road I plan to get an additional smaller boat for specific skinny water hunts, and to fish the small bodies of water that I did before I upgraded. :hammer:

This ^^^.

While there may be a 'perfect' boat for a particular situation, there will never be a perfect boat.....maybe not even a 'good' boat.....for every situation.
Often wrong, never in doubt...
mudpack
hunter
 
Posts: 10857
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:40 am
Location: Central Kansas

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby Coyote03 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:23 pm

I had a 15’ excel that was perfect for the backwater I was hunting. We had to back the trailer off the side of the road down a steep bank. That boat was plenty stable for 3 guys plus guns, gear and decoys. And it was pretty easy to hide. Recently upsized to a 17’ war eagle because I was doing more fishing than hunting. Pretty sure it’s gonna be more difficult to load/unload the boat and more difficult to hide as well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Coyote03
hunter
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:30 am

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby okduckdude » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:30 pm

I have a 2048 with tall transom and high sides. Its perfect size for just about everything.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Arise, Kill, and Eat. Acts 10:13

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philp. 4:13

I apologize to those I have yet to offend. Wait just a little longer and I will get around to you too!!
User avatar
okduckdude
hunter
 
Posts: 1764
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby mudpack » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:48 am

okduckdude wrote:I have a 2048 with tall transom and high sides. Its perfect size for just about everything.

:lol3: :thumbsup:
Often wrong, never in doubt...
mudpack
hunter
 
Posts: 10857
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:40 am
Location: Central Kansas

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby Yuchi1 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:21 pm

A buddy has a 2272 and while it is roomy and super stable, have watched him having to flank it into tight turn pockets.
Sent from my Sumerian tablets

Jeep went to war, to make it safe for Land Rover to go to soccer practice.
Yuchi1
State Moderator
 
Posts: 2752
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:15 pm
Location: Creek Nation of Oklahoma

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby California Sprig » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:50 pm

I will always take a larger boat over a smaller one. I’ve been hunting in my 19’ Alumaweld heavy gauge aluminum V hull. It’s set up for fishing but it’s camoed out and set up for duck hunting in the winter. I’ve never had a problem launching or retrieving it solo with the exception of super windy days or where there are strong currents and tides. I like a larger boat because they are generally better in rough water than smaller boats and are therefore safer. I hunt big water where I’ve been in 4 and 5’ waves numerous times. Here’s the thing, I stopped hunting solo in my boat years ago. I did so because I felt hunting solo from boats especially in big water is dangerous. Now I don’t take the boat out hunting unless I have one or two buddies going along. It makes the whole experience easier and safer. I’ll walk or drive into duck hunting places solo but no more solo boat hunting.
But as far as bigger vs smaller way more reasons to go bigger and just learn to deal with and overcome what ever problems you have going bigger.
Hunting, fishing, Labrador Retrievers and at the end of the day a glass of Forty Creek Barrel Select Canadian Whisky - Life is sweet
California Sprig
hunter
 
Posts: 948
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Out There Somewhere

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby Yuchi1 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:08 pm

As the largest of it’s time, the Titanic was proclaimed unsinkable. Seamanship still counts for +51%.
Sent from my Sumerian tablets

Jeep went to war, to make it safe for Land Rover to go to soccer practice.
Yuchi1
State Moderator
 
Posts: 2752
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:15 pm
Location: Creek Nation of Oklahoma

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby California Sprig » Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:17 pm

Yuchi1 wrote:As the largest of it’s time, the Titanic was proclaimed unsinkable. Seamanship still counts for +51%.

When you are bucking 5’ waves in a 30 mph wind in a 14’ boat you can have all the seamanship a person can have but you are still going down like the Titanic. I agree though seamanship, experience and knowledge count for +50% , probably a lot more.
Hunting, fishing, Labrador Retrievers and at the end of the day a glass of Forty Creek Barrel Select Canadian Whisky - Life is sweet
California Sprig
hunter
 
Posts: 948
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Out There Somewhere

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby Smith » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:56 am

California Sprig wrote:When you are bucking 5’ waves in a 30 mph wind in a 14’ boat you can have all the seamanship a person can have but you are still going down like the Titanic.

Well, no. Plenty of 14' boats can and have survived 5' waves and 30 mph winds. There's a lot more to seaworthiness than boat length. And, as has been said, the value of seamanship is hard to overestimate. The problem with this thread is the lack of detail regarding the conditions or range of conditions in which the boat will be used. Without that, it is pointless to recommend a particular boat size or style. And, oh hell yes, there are LOTS of times I opt for a smaller boat.
Smith
hunter
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:48 pm

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby QuackerSmacker498 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:53 pm

I think it depends on your hunting scenario. I hunt mainly salt water tidal flats. This can be a huge problem for a large boat with its large foot print on the water.
I have experienced this over the years and noticed as the birds get a bit more spooky later in the season, I kill way more birds over my 1448 versus my 1648. That being said, the 1648 has a huge blind on it and the 1448 has a very low profile blind and can be hunted from a seated position on the floor boards.

Either way, all the information in the posts above have validity but what may work well in one scenario may not work well in another.

My preference is to own a couple of boats for different scenarios.
QuackerSmacker498
hunter
 
Posts: 913
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:48 pm
Location: California

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby okduckdude » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:40 am

I went from a 1448 to a 2048. I love my boat. Marshes to timber.
Arise, Kill, and Eat. Acts 10:13

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philp. 4:13

I apologize to those I have yet to offend. Wait just a little longer and I will get around to you too!!
User avatar
okduckdude
hunter
 
Posts: 1764
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby okduckdude » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:41 am

okduckdude wrote:I went from a 1448 to a 2048. I love my boat. Marshes to timber.
I just realized I answered this thread previously.
Arise, Kill, and Eat. Acts 10:13

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philp. 4:13

I apologize to those I have yet to offend. Wait just a little longer and I will get around to you too!!
User avatar
okduckdude
hunter
 
Posts: 1764
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: How big is too big for you guys?

Postby Yuchi1 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:29 am

Regardless of the craft you are piloting remember this: "there are old duck hunters, there are bold duck hunters however, there are NO old, bold duck hunters".
Sent from my Sumerian tablets

Jeep went to war, to make it safe for Land Rover to go to soccer practice.
Yuchi1
State Moderator
 
Posts: 2752
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:15 pm
Location: Creek Nation of Oklahoma


Return to Waterfowl Boats, Motors, & Boat Blinds

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests