Make Your Own Custom Layout Boat for Under $250
They have come out with some crazy things for duck hunting. Some people are partial to hunting out of floating or permanent blinds... but something to consider is the not so new idea of a layout boat. A layout boat can cost you as little as 3 or 400 for something used to as much as 3,000 for something new with all the special extras that aren't included in the regular prices. The most expensive layout boat I've seen with all the accesories was 4,399 plus shipping. That is INSANE. Especially when you can build one custom to fit you for less then 250 bucks!
While all the boats are custom and you can use what wood you want... we used some 1/4 inch plywood,1/2 inch plywood, and some pieces of 2X4. You'll obviously need screws and nails to fasten your boat together and it's as simple as it looks... I can't tell you specifically how to build your boat because you will want to build yours to fit you. It took approximately 4 hours to get the boat assembled and ready for the next step. (Including time for sanding).
After your boat is together you'll need some fiberglass matte or fiberglass cloth. There are several different kinds you can buy we used the cloth because it is lighter and uses less resin then the matte. The matte will likely be stronger but will dramatically increase the weight of your boat. You'll need resin and the a few things used to mix it. We used fiberglass cloth to cover the seams twice and the bottom twice. The rest of the boat was coated in 1 layer of cloth and resin. The inside seams should also be done twice. In our first boat we put cloth and resin on the inside of the boat but you can just resin it to ensure it's waterproof. We had a little incident with the first couple mixes of resin.... and this was our first boat... so between the first and second layers of fiberglass and resin and time to completely dry the resin and drying process took about 2-3 days.
And finally after the resin is completely dry we have ourselves a layout boat... on the boat above is a full grown man, a full grown lab, and mud motor. This was before we even put the foam in the boat for buoyancy. Below is another picture of me standing up and dancing in the boat to show it's stability. Please note that I fully trusted my particular boat because this is not shallow water by any means.....
So we have a boat that floats... paint it however you want... all together from putting it together, to resin and fiberglass, then onto the floating test, and finally paint it took about one week. The total cost for this boat? This boat from start to finish including all materials was around $230... and it would have been less if we hadn't had to go back and buy more resin and mixing stuff after we messed up. Let me ad these boats can be made to use with a mud motor or as you see above a paddle. Good luck trying to get to your favorite hunting spot before shooting hours with a paddle. By the way... I am not responsible if you build a boat and you sink it... because this is just to give you a general idea on how easy it is to build your own boat. It cost less then $900.00 to build four layout boats. It took about a month to build all four with the foam and all... You will need to check into your state laws about registering the boats... MAKE SURE YOU KEEP RECIEPTS on your supplies in case you wish to register your boat. If you don't keep reciepts to show that you paid taxes on the supplies you will probably have to take your boat to a boat dealer and have it appraised and then pay taxes on the appraisal value. I know that you can register home made boats in Tennessee... but your state laws may vary....
Your layout boats can be any shape or size. I'm sure there are people on here that have done this before... if so I would love to see some pictures of your home-made boats. :)
Heather Carver KY Pro-Staff