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. […]
Spring seems to be here finally. I’ve been out and about enjoying the season. Mushrooms are popping up and I have found two batches, enough for dinner each night. Turkeys are gobbling but that season opens up mid next week and I thankfully have a week of vacation to enjoy it. I’ve also been transplanting a bunch of trees at the woods to create a screen and increase some habitat. its a lot of work but very satisfying. I was able to get some fishing in these last two days. First showing a friend how to fly cast and in the process caught a couple of small Blue Gills. Today I tromped through a river with a friend and caught nothing but still enjoyed the time out. While in the river we heard a tremendous crash of a rotten tree. When finished and drove back to the spot where I had left my truck we came across the tree. It was completely blocking the road. Lucky for us it was rotten so pretty light. Our only trouble was a couple of dazed squirrels who refused to leave their now destroyed house. My Bees are out and moving. I had two hives going into the winter and one survived and it is going pretty strong so hopefully I’ll be able to get a little bit of honey off of them. But it depends on the weather and spring honey flow.
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.
I was able to go fishing yesterday. It was really the first all day test of the boat and it worked great. It was windy but still a nice day to be out. My friend at flatswalker caught a little guy on the surface. Video link below. https://vimeo.com/64122944