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