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1,920 Posts
Bankes and MightyLayoutBoys appear to have the best products commercially. They are within 10% of each other on the cost ($995 for the Bankes and 1,100 for MLB). I did alot of reasearch on this subject over the past few months. The FatBoy and some of the others that are similar claim to be layout boats, but are not true layout boats for the open water - in my opinion. Too much profile, narrow etc. They are more for soft skinny water.
I will be building my own this spring, in fact just a few minutes ago sent for the plans. I hope to save a couple dollars, but more important is the project itself, and knowing I made something that contributed to my hunting experience.

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2 Posts
Hey Fella's,
Really late post on the topic. Just found this site.... looks pretty cool. Thought I'd toss my opinion into the ring. If your looking for a true big/open water layout I'd buy a Mighty. Darn nice boat for big water layouts. It's built really well and those guys will take care of you if you have any problems. If your looking for something that is usable in open water but is a great marsh boat as well, check out the Fatboy DP. I'm kind of partial to it though so my opinion may not matter! I make 'em. Thanks for the space.
Joe Herndon

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90 Posts
You have to go with the Mighty Layout Boys.... I had Eiders landing 5 feet from me and I also had a bluebill try to take my cap off..... Layout hunting is way to underrated... I love it....

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9 Posts
Mighty Lay Out Boys are the best. We have two one mans and they rock. The one we got last season and the other we got like three or four years ago. They're easy to transport and you feel pretty safe in them until you fall asleep with your gun beside you loaded in one. I've done that twice.

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88 Posts
All modern layout boats that we know of today are modeled after the original John Kalash pumpkin seed style. So I say Kalash. :thumbsup: They ride better and are wwwaaaaaayyyy low profile. I've gunned out of Banks, Mighty, Busiks and other home made hack jobs.

If I had to go with another besides a Kalash it would be a mighty.

I don't have any real world experience with any of the really new models out there. :mrgreen:

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88 Posts
Yep, I was John's neighbor for 25 years in Gibraltar. I moved to the U.P. over 7 years ago for a job relocation. Shure the hell beats the smell of the downriver area and concrete jungle.

I was also his fiberglass "kid" for many years as a summer side job. Glassed many layout boats that are problably still in action today. :salude:

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34 Posts
For readers searching for information about layout boats and manufacturers here is some information compiled by Wildfowl magazine:

Boats By Busick
174 Edgewood Dr.
Amherst, OH 44001
(440) 988-7160

PO Box 185
733 West Main
Melrose, MN 56352
(320) 256-3919

Devlin Designing Boatbuilders
3403 Steamboat Island Rd.NW
Olympia, WA 98502
(360) 866-0164

Four Rivers Layout
Kitco, Inc.
505 West Dryden
Odessa, MO 64076
(800) 455-8606

John Kalash Layouts
3595 Dennings Rd.
Moscow, MI 49250
(517) 849-5022

Lock, Stock, and Barrell
36568 Boyce
St. Claire Shores, MI 48080
(586) 790-2678

Mighty Layout Boys Waterfowling Equipment
1215 State St
Hobart, IN 46342
(877) 652-3695

Perche Creek Outdoors
1110 Cosmos Pl.
Columbia MO. 65201
(573) 445-8888

Ron Bankes
14 Mill Road
PO Box 370
Port Rowan, Ontario N0E 1M0
(519) 586-2544

Whiskey River Boat Shop
1910 Kloha Rd.
Bay City, MI 48706
(517) 686-4314

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65 Posts
It is a personal choice because all of the major layout boats have good designs but different attributes. Some ride higher then others and some are heavier then others, which makes a difference in both choppy and calm water. I have hunted most of the major brands over the last 30 years and have to agree that John Kalash boat is my preference. I also know John from many years hunting the Canadian side of the Detroit River mostly around Fighting Island. His two-man layout boat has been the standard by which most builders go by for many years despite its weight disadvantage. My second choice would be the Busick Boat or MLB Mag. I recommend you buy your first boat to see how everything works and then build one as a hobby or a great summer project. I love building them because you can incorporate all the features of the best designs. For instance I increase the depth and size of the box for my comfort and lower profile. I also know were the weak points are and use more glass for reinforcement. Make sure you find someone who knows what there doing if you have never been layout shooting. I help newbies 2 or 3 times every year on lake St Clair.

Be careful and have fun :lol:
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