It’s been a little chilly here so the painting has gone slower. I applied a couple of coats a deck paint to both sides and then added a camo pattern with spray paint. The pattern was made by lightly spraying over a mess screen first, like the ones people use for snow fences. I then carved out the cattail pattern and sprayed a green and beige color. I also cut out the padded foam for the bottom. They were 2’x2′ interlocking squares that you use to cover a work room floor. This foam will help me stay quiet and warm. the holes will help me stay out of the water that gets dragged into the boat. After painting I added the doors again and began to cut out the cloth that will cover up the boat. Its a combination of two layout blind covers. It will look a little piece mail but it will work once grass and other vegetation gets put into the stubble straps.
It’s down to the finish work at this point. I added the doors for the blind. I decided that I needed a set up front to allow me access to that part of the boat. My dog could rest here with the lid closed or more likely I can use the space for hauling decoys. Once all the hardware was in place I removed it and began painting. I’m using a simple deck paint that is pretty thick. I have no idea how it will hold up. Time will tell. Once it dries I’ll flip the boat over and finishing sanding the bottom and paint it. While it is flipped, I’ll work on a removable wheel yoke for easy transport.
The most time-consuming part of a boat, at least in terms of having a block of time to work on it, is putting the cloth and epoxy on the bottom of the boat. The combination of the cloth and epoxy reinforces and stiffens the bottom. It’s good to have 12 hours or so to dedicate to this as you have to keep building up the layers of epoxy and it works best if those layers don’t dry in between applications. If they do dry you have to sand it down before you add the next layer. Sanding would double the time needed for this project not to mention it’s almost impossible to sand it down and not destroy the cloth fibers. To apply the cloth, you first prepare the bottom and make sure the flat surfaces and the edges are sanded down. You then apply epoxy and get the area you will lay the cloth on wet. This helps the cloth to stay in place and makes it easier to saturate the cloth with epoxy later. Once the cloth is laid you then apply more epoxy. This first go takes a lot of epoxy to completely saturate the cloth. You have to get the epoxy into every fiber of the cloth. Its best to pour the epoxy out on top of the cloth and uses a squeegee of some kind to spread the epoxy evenly. Its work getting the glue into every fiber of the cloth. Once that is done […]
Over the last couple of weeks, I installed the false floor to cover the foam board. This required a lot of epoxy to fill, cover, and seal the floor. After that was accomplished I moved the boat outside to take advantage of the warm weather and do some sanding. I removed the wires by cutting them and heating them until they melted the epoxy and pulled through. The holes will be epoxied later. I then sanded the edges to round them out and smooth the surface. I will still need to use some thickened epoxy to fill in holes and gaps before I put the fiber glass and epoxy on the bottom to strengthen the hull. My father made a removable yoke to use to hold the layout blind doors. I set it up to get an idea of where the door brackets will attach and how the layout blind cover will fit. It was a little nerve racking cutting up a perfectly good blind but it will work nicely. I’ll need to add some more cloth on the front end so that the blind cloth completely covers the boat. I think I might make flap doors for the front so that it makes it easier to store items during transportation and also makes a blind for my dog to hide in while on the hunt.
Over the last couple of years, I have gotten into duck hunting. There is something about the water, birds, and the variety that both bring to the hunting experience that I have really come to appreciate. You get to pull the trigger more than once and it is certainly a challenge and humbling experience. I’ve heard a lot of waterfowl hunters say they are more bird watchers than hunters and that has certainly become true in my life. While you don’t have to hunt waterfowl over water to have success I find that water brings more beauty to the experiences. I had a lot of fun building my last boat and I knew that I wanted to build another boat if I had a chance. This is my chance. On my last boat I used the a design a friend made. This time I have created my own design. Obviously, the design is not that original or unique. You can do a simple search on the web and find plenty of boats that will look similar to mine. The main concerns I had for the boat were stability, size, and concealment. I wanted the boat to be stable and safe in the water. I wanted the boat to easily hold me and my gear and yet allow for one man to move it around. Finally, when I’m out hunting you need to conceal yourself and so I wanted to basically be able to turn the boat into a layout blind. […]
My friend Davin and I had a chance to get out on the water Sunday and Monday. Sunday was carp fishing and he was the only one who ended the day with a fish. Lots of shots but just couldn’t get them to eat. Monday we took Piscis down the river for the first time and had the best day ever on the river. Caught tons of fish. The normal size was 12″ but some 2lbers and a 3lber were taken. we even landed a 4lber and lost another. Overall an amazing day despite the rain. In fact I caught more fish Monday than I caught in the last years combine and more than doubled my biggest small smallmouth.
3-24-13 It is finished. Just in time for Easter and a late March snow storm. Maybe I’ll get it out on the water soon if it ain’t frozen. I’,m sure there are a few things that I’ll do to it like minor modification and such but its done. Now I just hope it floats.
3-18-13 I did very little work on the boat this week. Most of my time was spent fixing up the trailer. I did however get the VIN numbers on the boat and trailer that the state sent me. Conveniently the BMV was not open on Monday so I guess I’ll try Tuesday morning when they first open. The little work that I did do on the boat was to sand down and patch up the mess we made last week when we flipped the boat and pulled half the side off. I started to paint over the patched area and dad will finish it up this week. The trailer I purchased was not bad but it needed to be sanded and to knock of the rust and flaking paint. I then painted it with the bed liner paint that should help with scuffing. I also worked on the brace at the front of the trailer that will hold the wench. After I removed the old wiring Dad wired up the new lights. I also added some treated 2x4s which I will cover outdoor carpet. It looks better than it did and the only remaining problems are getting the license plate and the hull number plus getting some new tires for the trailer and we should be set. Next week should finish it up. Hard to believe. I started just after Christmas and pretty much did a day a week. So under 15 days.
3-11-13 Ooops. This is what happens when you flip the boat with only one screw holding the middle seat in place. The result is a bent screw followed by the epoxied board ripping off the side. They only positive thing was that I had a better reaction than my dad. I just struggled he was more annoyed that I had to do more work. It is odd to do my first repair before I get it on the water but this thing is made to work and not sit there so I’m sure more is to come.