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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I wanted to tail off of the earlier post on where to buy boats.

I am saving up to purchase my first duck boat and I am wondering what size/type I am going to need. The largest water I would be hunting is Lake St. Clair with 3 guys and a dog. Eventually I plan to use the boat as a tender, but initially I would want a blind. I figured something with a deep V an a minimum of 16 ft would be ideal.

Can you please let me know your opinion on a good starter boat for this situation. I am curious what size boats and motors you guys use and any info or advice that you might have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What do you plan on using the boat for 90% of the time you go out?
I plan to fish and use it for recreation over the summer on inland lakes, but the main use would be duck hunting. 90% of the time on lake St.Clair in mild weather, nothing extreme. In moderately shallow water in St.Clair Shores area or out in shallows near Harsens and with 1 - 3 guys and a dog.

Thanks.
 

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20 ft Lund Alaskan, there is one for sale on the other forum
 

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With water levels up, deep v is fine. We're seriously considering ditching our flat-bottom for a v-hull so that it's more user friendly in the Sny on a south wind (oy vey). If we see another drought like we did a couple years back, though, it gets real tricky real fast. We've got a 16ft flat bottom with a 25hp which is about perfect for 2 guys and a bunch of dekes on a rough day. Get's trickier with 3 guys. I'd be worried about it with 3 guys, a dog, and enough dekes on a rough water day. I'd be looking at 18-20 if you're going with that much weight.

If you're going to use it for recreation/fishing in the off season, I'd go v-hull all day.
 

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I have an 1860 mod v with a 60hp that I take on erie and st clair every weekend in the summer to bowfish and use it as a tender during duck season. I Wouldn't want to go any smaller if your spending much time on the big water. A 16' can get sketchy real quick if weather rolls in as I found out in my buddies boat.

Then save up and buy a smaller 14-16' flatbottom with a mud motor for running inland lakes. That's what I have found to be a good combination for me.
 

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Go big or stay home!! I say that in the kindest and most sincere way.

No matter what the size of your guys are, the generally only get bigger, as does the number of decoys, gear, etc, etc. I run an 18" Lund with a 50hp engine out to an open water blind on Saginaw Bay, which I think would be similar to your venue. With some of the loads I have onboard, it will be all she wants. Add in some rough seas and you can have an accident looking for a place to happen.

I made the switch back in the mid-80's when the water peaked at its all time high - went from a 16' StarCraft with a 25 up to the aforementioned boat. With the high water, we were getting 4 footers inside the islands :yikes:. When the bottom dropped out of the lake, things did become a little more problematic and did limit were I could go. I never did transition to a mud motor like a lot of my buddies as the low water also negatively impacted the puddler hunting in our area.

I am an open water guy, that like you intend to do, started with a blind on my big boat and used it in the marsh when it was accessible. With the water levels where they are at now, I'm sure I could recreate that but have other opportunities that are readily available.
 

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Go big or stay home!! I say that in the kindest and most sincere way.

No matter what the size of your guys are, the generally only get bigger, as does the number of decoys, gear, etc, etc. I run an 18" Lund with a 50hp engine out to an open water blind on Saginaw Bay, which I think would be similar to your venue. With some of the loads I have onboard, it will be all she wants. Add in some rough seas and you can have an accident looking for a place to happen.

I made the switch back in the mid-80's when the water peaked at its all time high - went from a 16' StarCraft with a 25 up to the aforementioned boat. With the high water, we were getting 4 footers inside the islands :yikes:. When the bottom dropped out of the lake, things did become a little more problematic and did limit were I could go. I never did transition to a mud motor like a lot of my buddies as the low water also negatively impacted the puddler hunting in our area.

I am an open water guy, that like you intend to do, started with a blind on my big boat and used it in the marsh when it was accessible. With the water levels where they are at now, I'm sure I could recreate that but have other opportunities that are readily available.
I will second all that. We run LSC/Ducks, detroit river/Walleye and we run an 18 foot lund. guys all got bigger over the years, we bring more stuff to be comfortable..etc....buy the biggest you can afford. 20 foot lund is what I have my eye on next...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Guys! I really appreciate all of your feedback. I am trying to talk my brother into going in on it with me. I am going to try find a larger boat.
 

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I always err on the side of caution, but especially with LSC. People underestimate it because it's a 'little lake' but it can get to be a mess out there in a hurry.
 

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As Urriah states, shallow lakes with large surface area can get some big waves with short wave periods very quickly when a wind "comes-up". I would go the Lund Alakan 20 route for gear with that many people and a dog. I would also put some Walleye back-troller wave deflectors on it to offset the shallow transom height.

I prefer a side or center console, others would likely recommend a tiller model.
 

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Just wanted to add in that I've been out plenty of times on LSC on days with good weather and relatively calm wind, and those waves can get big just from other boats and freighters. I've been in a 17' Boston Whaler just messing around fishing on days like that and it was bumpy. Wouldn't want to be in anything much smaller than that if I was crossing the lake or straying too far from shore.
 

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My buddy has a 17 tracker, for layout 2 guys and gear anything more is tight to say the least.
I bought the 2010 T Polarkraft 2 years ago (saved $7000.00 over the lund everything EXACTLY the same other than the hull). I wouldn't trade it for anything. I slip it and jig fish the spring run, use it for handlining, Steelhead/Walley in Wheatley, Salmon on Michigan, Remote trips in Ontario and of course layout shooting on St Clair. Big Wide and totally open. I get lost walking around in it:lol:
 

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I just went to Polarkrafts website and looked at the 2010 T and that is a really nice boat - you picked up a dandy there:yeahthat:
 

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My buddy has a 17 tracker, for layout 2 guys and gear anything more is tight to say the least.
I bought the 2010 T Polarkraft 2 years ago (saved $7000.00 over the lund everything EXACTLY the same other than the hull). I wouldn't trade it for anything. I slip it and jig fish the spring run, use it for handlining, Steelhead/Walley in Wheatley, Salmon on Michigan, Remote trips in Ontario and of course layout shooting on St Clair. Big Wide and totally open. I get lost walking around in it:lol:
I just ordered my new PK 2010T two weeks ago! Should be ready early March, bring on the walleyes!!
 

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you must of liked what you saw eh lastflight!!!

Doob like I said I've been extreemly happy, if I went back 2 years and had to do it again the only think I'd do different is make my final decision in a second rather than 2 months of comparing them.

I will admit I think the "fit" on a Lund is controlled a little better. What I mean is the gaps or edges where 2 floor boards meet are more consistent on the lund than on the PK. but for $7000 I'm ok with a little gap mis match......
 

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I've got a 20' Lund Alaskan SS with a 115 Merc 4 stroke. I take up to 4 guys with all their stuff and 180+/_ decoys. 3 guys plus everything else is very comfortable on a 20', 18' is ok, 16 not so much. We also take more comforts with us though, large coolers, heaters, lots of extra camo, etc... You need to pick your days no matter what. Deep V is preferred for any larger lake. A flat bottom will get you into shallower areas but the wind will push it all over and can make setting out and picking up more difficult than it needs to be.

When I bought my Lund I did my research. It was the best option for me, OD paint, open floor plan, deeper floor, thicker hull than all others, low enough to get in and out of a layout but tall enough to feel like I'm IN the boat and not ON the boat....

Dont forget to check out Alumacrafts, Starcrafts, War Eagle, Lund, the list is endless for aluminum both new and used.
 

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I plan to fish and use it for recreation over the summer on inland lakes, but the main use would be duck hunting. 90% of the time on lake St.Clair in mild weather, nothing extreme. In moderately shallow water in St.Clair Shores area or out in shallows near Harsens and with 1 - 3 guys and a dog.

Thanks.
You can go with a smaller boat if you stay in the shallows near Harsens, but if you want to be safe in the St. Clair Shores area....think bigger.

You don't want to be in an overloaded boat in rough conditions. Think about the gear three guys and a dog typically travel with. Unless you are all minimalist hunters, you outgrow a small boat fast.
 

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I've got a 20' Lund Alaskan SS with a 115 Merc 4 stroke. I take up to 4 guys with all their stuff and 180+/_ decoys. 3 guys plus everything else is very comfortable on a 20', 18' is ok, 16 not so much. We also take more comforts with us though, large coolers, heaters, lots of extra camo, etc... You need to pick your days no matter what. Deep V is preferred for any larger lake. A flat bottom will get you into shallower areas but the wind will push it all over and can make setting out and picking up more difficult than it needs to be.

When I bought my Lund I did my research. It was the best option for me, OD paint, open floor plan, deeper floor, thicker hull than all others, low enough to get in and out of a layout but tall enough to feel like I'm IN the boat and not ON the boat....

Same here. 20' Lund Alaskan SS with a 115hp. Hunted LSC this fall with a layout boat across the bow, four big men in the boat, and 8 dozen decoys. Had to be selective both days of hunting due to wind/waves that were super tight and came up in a hurry. Would of been off the water quicker in anything smaller. Like a barn, you never build one too big. Save a few extra and buy the 18'+ and you should be happy for years to come. (and safer than most). Best of luck with the purchase.
 
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