Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double #47: Duck Blind Planning

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 08-13-2020 03:49 AM 602 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 46: Performance Assessment Part 47 of Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double series Part 48: Electric Bilge Pump and Stern Rudder Pedals »

What Fits?
Duck season starts in MN on 9/26…I need to build my blind! Now that I know Copper will be riding in the back, the big question is “how many decoys can I realistically fit in the kayak?”

I’m able to squeeze a dozen full-size decoys between me and Copper and stay below the notional height of the blind. My blind bag and six decoys fit in front of my feet. I’ll wedge my shotgun and case on the floor on one side of the kayak behind me.

I’ll make the roof of the back half of the blind convertible so Copper can escape if we tip over while paddling. That will also allow him to sit full height as I paddle to and from the hunting site.

I own four goose floaters that I plan to transport between my legs during the paddle out and back. These are great confidence decoys that I won’t leave behind. During diver duck hunts, I’ll replace the goose floaters with two swan decoys…another great confidence decoy.

Layout Position
Hunting from a layout position is very comfortable and keeps you quite low for better concealment. A disadvantage is that you have limited visibility behind you. I experimented with how far back to place the layout support board and found a position that is just far enough forward to reach the rudder pedals when paddling and just far enough back to rest my feet on the pedals when in the layout position…nice.

This photo shows how Copper will have good visibility to mark the birds I shoot. It also shows how much you can stuff into this kayak. I plan to store some safety gear in the front and rear hatch compartments. I dressed in my gear and carefully weighed everything that I normally take hunting…I’m sitting at 320 pounds without the blind. I imagine a wet blind will weight about 40 pounds, so I’ve got perhaps 40 pounds to spare. Copper was getting a little “birdy” being around all the duck hunting gear!

Frame Design
I plan to use 3/4” aluminum tubing for the frame and assemble it with bimini fittings. This approach is light weight and durable. The layout board rest is the centerpiece of the system. An arched piece of tubing will run from one coaming edge to the other. Two struts will run aft from that and define the shape of the back of the blind. The flip blind doors will run forward from the rest. I’ll primarily duplicate the method I used and described in detail in my Kara Hummer blog.

Blind Body
I ordered solution-dyed, coyote brown, 500-weight Cordura nylon for the blind body. I’ve used this successfully on three layout boat blinds, my Grumman Sportboat blind, and a canoe blind. The brushing straps are 9/16” wide military-grade nylon tacked down every four inches. Any buckles or webbing are 3/4” wide. I’ll brush the blind out with various colors of Rafia grass to begin a good base and supplement it with natural vegetation during the season.

I’ve spent $190 on the blind body materials. That includes purchasing excess amounts to restock my canvas supply kit. I ordered the brushing strap material on e-Bay and the rest of the materials from Rocky Woods out of Colorado. I’ve also spent $170 on the aluminum tubing and the bimini fittings from Sailrite Kits out of Ohio. I already have enough Raffia grass that I previously bulk-ordered from Joseph Stern. If you had to purchase the raffia grass, that would push the total cost of this blind to over $400. That might seem like a lot of money, but this will be long-lasting, “tank” of a blind that is also easy to deploy.

Build the blind frame.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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