My homemade layout boat build

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MoWaterfowl
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 7:47 am
Location: Kansas City, MO
Location: Kansas City, MO

My homemade layout boat build

Post by MoWaterfowl »

I'll first start by saying, I'm not a professional boat builder. This is in fact, only the second boat I've built. Like the first, I set out to make the most incredible layout boat that could ever be built. I'm close, but there is always room for improvement. I welcome constructive criticism and feedback.

When designing the vessel, I had several goals I wanted to accomplish.
1. Durability
We hunt ice here. We hunt rivers with logs, boulders, and other nefarious obstacles. We hunt flooded timber lakes where the biggest threat lies just beneath the water. Thin remnants of trees that could high center a boat skewering it like a pig.

2. Payload
We haul a lot of gear here. Some days we put out over 12 dozen duck decoys just to shoot 4 mallards each. Other days we pack in every goose decoy we can get, and even tow another boat behind us with even more gear. On top of all that, you have a hot-wing-eating-beer-drinkin-bastard like me at 6'1" 240lbs.

3. Low Profile
Most of the marshes here are moist soil with thick but short grass to hide in. However, there is some standing corn to be found for late season hunts. The boat needed to be low profile enough to hide in the short grass.

4. Performance
I wanted to make something that balanced weight, durability, and payload using materials that would provide unmatched strength while minimizing weight.

5. Boat Ramp Envy
If I'm going to all of this trouble and expense, why not create something that on sight inspires in every other guy at the ramp, the hate and envy of a runner up at a beauty pageant? I'm talking about a giant slice of envy pie washed down with a tall glass of extra strength haterade.
Vessel Specs:
Overall length: 13' 10"
Overall height: 16"
Transom height: 15"
Construction Type: Stitch-N-Glue Fiberglass
Layup Schedule (Bottom-inside/out): 6oz plain weave > 5oz kevlar > 19oz triaxial
Layup Schedule (Top Half-inside/out): 6oz plain weave > 12oz biaxial > 6oz plain weave
Core Material: Plascore PP-Honeycomb (weighs .4 oz per sqft)
Transom Material: Marine Grade Plywood
Nose & Cockpit border: Cedar
Bottom Coating: Gator Glide G4

Given I'm a computer geek by trade, it's only fitting that I started at the computer. Using a 3D CAD program, I spent months (literally) tweaking and refining my design. Gotta have something to do in February and March...

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Another 3D View

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The real advantage of the program is that it can loft out the pieces for me to use as a construction pattern.

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Once I have the lofted plans, I can output them on a plotter and lay it down on the material like a sewing pattern and start cutting.

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With all of the pieces cut out, I could then "stitch" them together. In this image I used some cut dowel rod to form a spacer to keep the interior edges aligned.

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Here you can see the jump stitches on the bottom starboard seam trying to cure (it was somewhat chilly, hence the heater).

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The rear deck and transom area. The bottom of the deck was glassed with kevlar as well (I had some extra) to add tension strength.

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Because Plascore doesn't have a finished edge for fiberglassing, I used wood to accomplish this. Here is the nose of the bow made with cedar. (NOTE: the top edge looks wavy only because of the grain of the wood with the light...it is perfectly flat and straight)

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This image shows the bottom of the boat post sanding and installing the runners. The yellow is the kevlar in the layup schedule. The brown is the fairing compound used to smooth the irregularities in the hull and fill the holes from the stitches.

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Next post...the finished product.

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jmscherrman
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:25 pm
Location: PC, Iowa
Location: Prairie City, IA

Re: My homemade layout boat build

Post by jmscherrman »

Dude! I need to get down there and hunt/build boats with you!

That boat is a work of art man, seriously. 8-)

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MoWaterfowl
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 7:47 am
Location: Kansas City, MO
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: My homemade layout boat build

Post by MoWaterfowl »

After about a year of actual work on the boat, I finally finished her.

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Here you can see the bottom, coated with Gator Glide airboat coating. You will also notice a custom bow eye plate I had CNC machined just to enhance the overall finish.

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The transom with skupper drain, nylon step/handles, and aluminum plating laminated to the transom as added reinforcement from the motor bracket.

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The finished rear deck has two independently sectioned compartments. The port side holds an agm battery for onboard electronics and starting the mud motor. The longtail's engine has a 3.5amp alternator built into it, but isn't quite enough juice for reasons explained soon. You can see the electric wire for the motor coiled up. I used a marine vent cover to give it a finished look.

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Here you can see the port side console with my switch panel, a small dry storage compartment, and some liquid tight flex conduit (in two places). ALL of the electrical wiring in the boat is run in conduit between the battery, switch panel, and device. The panel is mounted via insert nuts into composite decking material (stair tread). Amazingly enough, composite decking bonds with epoxy VERY WELL. You can also see the bilge pump and all around light pole mounting bracket. (embarrassingly enough, you can see a spot that I missed while sanding on the corner of the storage compartment)

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The switch panel is custom CNC'd that I designed and did the artwork for myself.

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Here is the starboard side console complete with two over-sized cup holders, two drop in bins and between them a glove box (complete with USB phone charger). I'll explain the flex conduit you see there in a second, there is actually another section like it on the port side if you look closely enough.

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Originally, I had some nice pretty pictures of the boat's interior lighting but can't find them. I ran outside just now to take a couple so the boat is nice and broken in. :D

The short sections of conduit cover an LED light rope I have concealed underneath the entire cabin. It runs ALL the way around it, continuously in and out of, each compartment as you can see here. The biggest benefit to the lighting being indirect, is that it doesn't screw up your night vision.

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All electrical is in marine grade tinned copper duplex wiring and is sized according to ABYC standards. In this image, you can see my battery leads run to power posts, that then split to the switch panel and to the engine. I crimped every end myself and used dual wall, adhesive lined marine grade heat shrink to protect and insulate every terminal.

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One more post to go...

User avatar
MoWaterfowl
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 7:47 am
Location: Kansas City, MO
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: My homemade layout boat build

Post by MoWaterfowl »

Here you can see the bow with the LED light bar mounted. I will concede, my metalworking skills are pretty poor, but I did what I could to fabricate the cover. Mounted on top of it are the LED navigation lights.

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And here is my throne (I sit upright when I hunt). It's a reclining lawn chair I bought on sale at Academy. I cut off the legs and put rubber feet on the pipe. The armrests control the angle of the recliner, and it goes almost completely flat. I've already taken a few naps in her on some slow days.

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This is what the ducks see...

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Here's the boat running half throttle.

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And here's a great day we had on a river in Kansas (I'm not telling where...) taken right before a friend threw another bag of goose floaters on the boat and busted me in the face with them on accident. We were later checked by the game warden and he was pretty surprised at my busted bloody lip. As karma would have it, my friend got two tickets that day.

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SourMash
Posts: 602
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:24 am
Location: Covington, GA
Location: Covington, GA

Re: My homemade layout boat build

Post by SourMash »

That boat is awesome!!! You have done an amazing job for yourself. I'm jealous on so many levels now.
13' Gheenoe - 212 Predator
1436 G3 - 420 Predator

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ShadowWalker
Posts: 563
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:07 pm
Location: Minooka
Location: Joliet, IL

Re: My homemade layout boat build

Post by ShadowWalker »

Awesome build! I keep telling myself I'm going to build a hybrid layout, but haven't got around to it
Tracker 1542- Large Kit - 23hp Vanguard

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JD
Posts: 940
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:19 pm
Location:
Location: Palmetto, FL

Re: My homemade layout boat build

Post by JD »

Well, MoWaterfowl I think you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, cause I'm definitely envious! That is the most amazing layout boat I have ever laid eyes on. No production boat currently on the market even comes close in providing an interior that accommodating to the needs of the hunter. Beautiful lines, and the rake should break ice very well.
Plascore, Kevlar, and epoxy? Looks like you spared no expense with the quality of the materials. Unbelievable build that really sets the bar high for other duck boat builders. Can’t wait to see it in person.

OK, I’ll take the bait because we all want to know. I understand the red horn button, but what’s with the “Mallard Beacon” switch on the right side of the instrument panel?

jmscherrman wrote:Dude! I need to get down there and hunt/build boats with you! 8-)
Jmscherrman, be careful what you ask for….Anyone who’s ever hunted with MoWaterfowl understands why he is so particular about his boat. He practically lives in it from November through January. I've laid in a boat with that dude for 12 hours straight when the barometer was hovering at 19 degrees. During hunting season he flings Maslow’s Heirarchy of basic human needs out the window; with food, clothing, shelter, and sleep all taking a back seat to duck hunting. The man is relentless, and his wife is a saint. She practically never sees him all winter, and the rest of the year he leaves fiberglass dust all over her garage. Oh, and she cooks really good too. I seriously don’t know how he convinced her to marry him, but I’m glad he did :D

Really really nice build that'll bring home the birds :!:
Psalm 55:7 - Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.

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MoWaterfowl
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 7:47 am
Location: Kansas City, MO
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: My homemade layout boat build

Post by MoWaterfowl »

OK, I’ll take the bait because we all want to know. I understand the red horn button, but what’s with the “Mallard Beacon” switch on the right side of the instrument panel?
Yeah, I saw the special switch cover for the horn and couldn't resist. :lol:

The switch is for my vortex so I can turn it on/off without having to get out of the boat. I didn't have time yet to wire it in, but I'm going to use a trolling motor outlet to connect my vortex to a dedicated deep cycle battery. Currently I directly connect to the battery.

Another use is when I trout fish during the summer, I can plug a DIY cooler live well into the outlet and use the switch to turn the pump on/off.

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JD
Posts: 940
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:19 pm
Location:
Location: Palmetto, FL

Re: My homemade layout boat build

Post by JD »

Switch was probably made by Acme.
Wile E. Coyote would be proud! :P
Psalm 55:7 - Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.

User avatar
jmscherrman
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:25 pm
Location: PC, Iowa
Location: Prairie City, IA

Re: My homemade layout boat build

Post by jmscherrman »

JD wrote:Well, MoWaterfowl I think you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, cause I'm definitely envious! That is the most amazing layout boat I have ever laid eyes on. No production boat currently on the market even comes close in providing an interior that accommodating to the needs of the hunter. Beautiful lines, and the rake should break ice very well.
Plascore, Kevlar, and epoxy? Looks like you spared no expense with the quality of the materials. Unbelievable build that really sets the bar high for other duck boat builders. Can’t wait to see it in person.

OK, I’ll take the bait because we all want to know. I understand the red horn button, but what’s with the “Mallard Beacon” switch on the right side of the instrument panel?

jmscherrman wrote:Dude! I need to get down there and hunt/build boats with you! 8-)
Jmscherrman, be careful what you ask for….Anyone who’s ever hunted with MoWaterfowl understands why he is so particular about his boat. He practically lives in it from November through January. I've laid in a boat with that dude for 12 hours straight when the barometer was hovering at 19 degrees. During hunting season he flings Maslow’s Heirarchy of basic human needs out the window; with food, clothing, shelter, and sleep all taking a back seat to duck hunting. The man is relentless, and his wife is a saint. She practically never sees him from Nov to Jan, and the rest of the year he leaves fiberglass dust all over her garage. Oh, and she cooks really good too. I seriously don’t know how he convinced her to marry him, but I’m glad he did :D

Really really nice build that'll help bring home a limit :!:
Sounds like my kind of hunting!

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