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Building a KARA Hummer Layout Duck Boat #1: Building the Lower Frame

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 05-11-2015 07:00 PM 4342 reads 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building a KARA Hummer Layout Duck Boat series Part 2: Assembling the Upper Frame »

The Requirement

I moved back to MN in June 2014, after nearly 30 years away, and my brother quickly introduced me to duck hunting. We’re not on any of the major flyways here, so we need to put everything in our favor possible. We read about the advantages of layout boats in providing maximum concealment from wary ducks and talked about it in the duck blind all last season. Our hunting party consists of my brother, my nephew, and me and we decided to build three one-man layout boats.

The Boat

We chose the KARA Hummer, a very popular and reasonably simple boat to build. Follow this link to, Rob Leonard’s, web site. The boat is 14’ long, has a beam of 45 1/2”, is 11 1/14” deep not counting the skegs, and often weighs in at about 120 pounds. It is supposedly very stable as a shooting platform. I plan to propel it in open water with oars that I will make from Chesapeake Light Craft plans . Once we get into the wild rice, I will propel it with a Superstick fiberglass push pole .

The Materials

Each builder will chose materials based on availability and budget. I bought premium white pine from Menards, when it was on sale a few months ago, for the framework. It is free of knots and quite light, but it is pretty soft. I chose 1/4” Marine Douglas fir plywood for the skin that I special ordered from Menards at $35 per sheet delivered. I’m trying Raka epoxy for the first time and will glass the inside surfaces of the boat with 2.3 oz. cloth, while the outer surfaces will receive 6 oz. cloth.

The Builder

I’m a fairly experienced boat builder. I’ve built two kayaks from plans, one kayak from a kit, and a small ski boat from a plan. I’ll depart from the plan occasionally to incorporate techniques from past builds.

Frame

The plan calls for 3/4” by 13’ 11” boards for the gunnels. Other blogs speak of these breaking while torturing them into shape. I decided to laminate my gunnels from two layers of 3/8” wood to make the bend easier and eliminate drama during assembly. I also chose to scarf 8’ boards together to meet the length requirement. These choices added extra steps, but were worth it.

The ribs and end pieces are dry fit with screws to the gunnels.

I paused the build to construct a pair of simple, sturdy saw horses.

The lower frame is assembled with screws and epoxy. All the clamps were needed to laminate the two layers of the gunnels.

Next

In the next installment, I’ll assemble the upper frame.

-- Mark, Minnesota



6 comments so far

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

5256 posts in 3341 days


#1 posted 05-11-2015 07:29 PM

Nice build.
This will be fun to watch.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View DustyMark's profile

DustyMark

342 posts in 1529 days


#2 posted 05-11-2015 07:40 PM

Thanks, I had sworn off blogging since it’s so time consuming, but I was apparently spending too much time in my basement shop this week. I can do the blogging upstairs and stay in my lovely wife’s good graces. I guess blogging will serve as my “governor” on this project!

-- Mark, Minnesota

View TheLorax's profile

TheLorax

41 posts in 697 days


#3 posted 05-12-2015 01:09 PM

Looking good! I’ve been thinking about building a simple boat lately. Something I can car top, so under 100 lbs and something I can row upstream in the slow current of the Augusta Canal that parallels the Savannah River here in Augusta, Georgia.

View DustyMark's profile

DustyMark

342 posts in 1529 days


#4 posted 05-12-2015 02:07 PM

Chesapeake Light Craft has amazing plans and kits for rowing craft. I’m sure they have one that would suit your purpose. This link takes you to their Eastport Pram.

I’m thinking the KARA Hummer would be too much of a “barge” for your intended use. It wouldn’t handle boat wakes of waves very well since it is so low to the water. It’s a highly specialized boat intended mostly for use in the marsh.

-- Mark, Minnesota

View TheLorax's profile

TheLorax

41 posts in 697 days


#5 posted 05-12-2015 02:21 PM

I’ve looked at CLC’s website among others. I’m somewhat of an armchair builder. :) I’ve had my eye on michalak’s pole punt lately. Not fancy or pretty but if built out of occume I think it could be built fairly light and with only a 3’ beam I’m hoping it would be able to row decent upstream. I like the fact that it’s fairly stable and has enough room to be comfortable for fishing but still small enough to pack it in to places a bigger boat won’t work.
http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/jim/polepunt/index.htm

View DustyMark's profile

DustyMark

342 posts in 1529 days


#6 posted 05-12-2015 10:14 PM

I’ve poled a punt boat in Cambridge, England years ago. They move along well in slow moving rivers. That is definitely a more straight forward build…

-- Mark, Minnesota

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