Right choice for a duck boat

Discussion in 'MichiganWaterfowl.com' started by westbay, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. westbay


    Started duck hunting with "seasoned" buddies a couple of years ago. I'm ready to start to put together my own gear now and want to buy a 2-3 man duck boat. We've been in a 16' jon-boat, console with a 30 merc. We build a pop-up blind on her. we've done fair as far as the hunt is concerned.
    Is a flat bottom my only choice? They are a tough ride in the wind. We have hunted the Bay mostly, but I'd like to try some inland lakes also. What features do the "veterans" recommend?

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. We also will be using our boat on water in North Dakota. We tend to hunt 3 and sometimes 4. Will a Tracker Grizzly 1654 and 25 hp Merc Bigfoot be adequate for 3 guys and ok for 4 in a pinch?


  3. I have a 16 mod v crestliner with a 40. It screams. 3 is about the max you can get in it. Look at a 16 deep v or an 18 if you are gonna have 4 all the time. I had an 18 smokercraft alaskan we would haul 3 a dog and enough to camp for the whole opening weekend
  4. In the Bay I use a 16 foot Crestliner Fishhawk, deep V, 60 horse. It has the standard paint job with stripes and all but I built a blind that sets up in 2 minutes, covers the entire rig, did not require any holes drilled in the boat, fools the ducks and keeps momma happy that I did'nt paint the boat olive drab. Can also use it for fishing , tubing, etc. I have transported 5 guys out for hunting and have hunted 4 out of the boat several times. Its a big enough rig for towing layouts also. My blind frame is made out of conduit with strap hinges on the gunnels. It can be folded down for trailering, retrieving ducks, and getting in and out and folds back up in seconds. The hull is covered with the lower half of the fastgrass panels with bungees passed thru them horizontally and pulled tight and hooked to the rear eyelets.

    Bottom line is get what you want (size, power, comfort) and it can always be adapted for duck hunting with a little ingenuity.
  5. I have both a mod v jon (I use only inland and for the marshes) and a 16 foot deep v starcraft. If planning on big water hunting I wouldn't even consider a jon, there's no real advantage to it and there are some real disadvantages. #1 being saftey in rough waters. I know a TON of guys have them and use them and come back safe but if I get stuck out there in 3-4 footers I want to be in a deep v. Just my opinion, and you know what they say about them:)
  6. I tried something different this year. With everyone moving to big boats for comfort, space, etc I decided to buy a 14' mod v alumnacraft (200 lbs dry) for portability and shallow water. Then I equipped it with a clamp on mud buddy hyper 12HP. This past summer I built a conduit blind for the boat. Now I have great portable duck hunting machine. It's a little small for big water applications, however, I hunted the bay a few times this year without any problems (just have to use common sense). It's a perfect setup for 2 guys, dog, and a couple of bags of decoys.
    My buddy already has a 21' Xpress with a 90hp and boat blind. We use his setup for layout hunting, big water hunting, etc. It's difficult to find the perfect boat for all of the unique conditions we have in MI. Be sure to think about all of your options, especially where you plan on doing most of your hunting. Good Luck
  7. Korasdad, My buddy and I have a Grizzly 1654 with a 16 hp Godevil. We love this boat. Very stable and tough. Lots of room. It's not fast with only 16 hp. but fast enough for us. We have not been on big water with it yet, but if you pick the right day, I'm sure it would do the job.
  8. I hunt out of tracker 1648 mod-v and mostly hunt the river, marsh, or inland lakes. There is a boat for every type of application out there. I think you need to think what type of water you'll be hunting and go from there. I'd say if you're going to hunt the bay that you'd prefer/enjoy the ride of some type of v-bottom. If you want to hunt inland lakes you may not want too deep of a boat if you need to hug the shoreline for cover.

    Sorry I can't help with any specific models. Good luck in your endeavors!!

  9. The truth of the matter is not one boat can do it all, I spread my "duck boat budget" out by ourchasing the necessary boats for our hunting conditions at garage sails and auctions. You don't really need a brand new boat to hunt ducks do you? ask your self this do the ducks really care how much money you spent? I own a 16' mod -V a 9' jon and a canoe, with three seperate outboard motors. in total I have less than $1500.00 in the whole "giddy-up". anyway my point is not one boat can do it all. I do enjoy cooking braekfast on the bay before shooting hours (16' er) but there are some days when I find myself in shallow water in the jon boat. In the end buy what you want life is short.
  10. Seconding this......It all depends on the conditions you plan to hunt in. Between myself and my main group of hunting buddies, we own a 12 ft. alum. V, 14ft. deep V, 16 ft. deep V.,and four canoes from 12 ft. to an 18 ft. Grumman. Every condition requires a bit different boat. For the open bay, we normall use the 14 or 16 ft. deep V. , but we've used the canoes in the tighter areas of the bay (I.E. Pigeon Road, or off Nayanquing Pt.). The managed areas require either one of the canoes, or the 12 ft. alum. We also have 5 different motors among us, from elec. trolling motors, to a 15 hp yamaha. And we take ours to North Dakota as well...normally two canoes but we have taken the 12 ft. V. So there's no right or wrong answer here.

  11. I will third that...

    I primarily hunt divers and have an 18' deep v (and layout) two canoes 12 &16 and two flat bottoms. Then their are the motors...

    Ya just gotta make sure your crew is adequately equipped. To equip yourself with the ideal boat for all conditions, you would need a fleet of boats and motors.
  12. My back yard looks like a used boat show room, then the motors, one would not believe how handy one can become with all these motors laying around! Thanx again IBoats.com
  13. 16 MV
    Every brand makes em and they're quite a versitile boat.
  14. My hunting partner and i bought a 20 foot tracker and had it out in some pretty rough stuff this year. The johnboat style gives you the ability to run shallow and the semi V lets you cut some waves. I am sure that a deep V would give a much better ride in bigger waves. But i know there were times that we would have never been able to go places we went if we had a deep V. We never hunted more than 3 at a time although i think 4 would still be comfortable. It seems to me that hunting 4 in a 16 might be pretty cramped and could lead to some unsafe conditions. But heck i may just be spoiled. I am supersized and i like having the extra room.

    I do agree that there is no perfect boat for every type of conditions. The key is to get as much boat as you can afford. After that make sure you use the most important piece of saftey equipment you have. Your head! If the weather looks like 4 footers plus it might be time to find someplace protected to stay out of it.
    The only time i wish i had a 16 footer is when i was trying to get the 20 into the garage. Had do dang near grease it down to get it in with about 4 inches to spare. Next year it will be time to build a pole barn. Anyone know what the best sized pole barn would be??:lol:


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