Duck hunting boats have changed rapidly over the past few years. But choosing a duck hunting boat that is right for your hunting situation has not. Below is a list of suggestions duck hunting boat buyers should be aware of.
The first step a duck hunter should make when getting ready to buy a duck hunting boat is deciding how you plan on using your duck hunting boat. This is the most important decision when buying a duck boat. A small double pointed duck boat will work great on small potholes where you can push pole, but will be very unsafe and not practical for duck hunting large bodies of water. Consider where you actually hunt compared to where you wish you hunted.
What region of the country you live in dictates what areas are most accessible to you. Someone who resides in the prairie pothole region of North and South Dakota will most likely be hunting small potholes and sloughs where dragging in a boat is the only option. A very light double pointed boat would be an excellent choice. Or you are from Arkansas and hunt mallard in flooded timber. A Jon boat with a short shaft motor or mud motor would be a good fit. Where you actually hunt is usually within an hour or two of your home. There is no need to buy Jon boat and mud motor because it looks cool when you actually duck hunt deep water lakes with large waves.
How many duck hunting partners do you plan on having in your boat? If you plan on hunting with only one other guy, a large duck boat is not needed. Just big enough to be safe. Perhaps you hunt with two other guys in the flooded timber with a dog. In this case you re going to need a much larger boat. Two guys can fit in a 12ft jon boat, but three guys and gear often need a boat of 16ft length or greater. Do not forget how much gear duck hunters have. This adds a lot of weight to a boat that makes it harder to get on plain.
Consider what style of motor is needed for your duck hunting boat if any. If you hunt ultra shallow water, a jon boat would be an excellent choice. To maximize this boats shallow water design, a mud motor would be a good fit. Or you hunt big water with a 16ft v-hull. This boat would duck hunt very well with an outboard style motor. Perhaps you hunting area has excessive weed growth that clogs up your outboard prop or water pump. This type of hunting condition is very conducive to a mud motor.
Using the above suggestions, choosing a duck hunting boat does not have to be complicated. I used the suggestions above and bought a 16ft shallow v-hull complimented with a large mud motor. I chose this duck hunting boat and mud motor combination because the area I hunt is big water water that is infested with floating weeds. The weeds are so thick they will bring an outboard motor to a complete stop, yet the waves can be very large. Using my mud motor and large boat, I have no problem getting through the thick mats of weeds and safely boating through the large waves.