First Boat Blind Raffia Installation

Discussion in 'Boats, Blinds, & Gadgets Forum' started by KwickLabs, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. KwickLabs

    KwickLabs Elite Refuge Member

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    Yesterday I began work on the boat blind installing raffia. There are several distinct issues that need to be dealt with. :nutz :h
    1. It is going to take a lot of time to finish this blind.
    2. Separating, cutting and sizing each small raffia "hank" and zip tying them twice is a "Pain in the Donkey".
    3. It is much easier to stick to a "fastening" session if one is somewhat "anal".
    4. Make sure you buy the bag with a thousand 4" zip ties.
    5. This blind is much easier to justify if one is retired and your wife has given up trying
    to modify any of your hunting obsessions.
    6. In the beginning, never step back to admire your work because the rest of the "empty
    netting" will become immediately imposing
    7. Do not expect anyone to volunteer to help .....including any close relative that may
    eventually be hunting out of your boat.
    8. No one else could do it the way I want it done.....anyway. :joker
    9. When finished expect two kinds of comments 1) That's nice. or 2) I would have done
    it differently.....both of which mean the same thing. :doh
    10. Don't worrying about the fire hazard....air dry and roll it up when not in use.
    11. It will be a huge relief when this one is finished.....except there is the goose blind for
    Thorson Pond which needs to be "covered"
    12. Take very good care of the blind. Thinking about making another will insure that happens.
    13. Hunting is a "dirty job"...but with a good dog, a few ducks and a warm shower "So what?"
    14. There are less than three weeks to go. I might get it finished.

    NOTE: I used ideas from this video.


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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  2. MJ

    MJ Administrator Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Looks good so far Jim. It takes a lot of time to complete it.

    I've got the same issue you have; nobody wants to help!

    My go to threat is, "If it's not ready by opening day the boat doesn't go with us." So far that's worked.
     
  3. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Senior Refuge Member

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  4. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Senior Refuge Member

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    Now that you,ve already started I,ll give my opinion and a couple pointers. Cut those hanks into about 18" to 20" lengths. Mix all colors in very large tub or mix to gether on floor. Have a lot of sisal bailing twine precut in lengths long enough to tie around a clump of raffia that will fit between thumb and pointer finger. Tie off each small bundle in center and throw into area for completed bundles. When done attach to netting or grass straps w/zip ties from bottom up w/ a little overlap of bundles. That blending of grass colors in my opinion matches terrain much better than single blobs of color. Now you can cuss me! I,m getting ready to cover a blind on a 20' boat next week this way so I feel your pain.
     
  5. KwickLabs

    KwickLabs Elite Refuge Member

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    I kind of figured there would be some "suggestions". That's one of the reasons why I began with the back side of the blind. :h

    Not sure of where I heard this, but "rattle can" spray paint can "touch up" raffia colors......some.

    I was thinking the sold collar areas would not look like just one big boat blind "outline". Does a duck see what we see? :no

    Not soon after the shooting starts, I've watched ducks move though the marsh like slalom skiers around/past boat blinds.
    Just trying to "not look normal" may be more effective. "Ya" only have to fool them once. :nutz

    I hunt mostly in the Mississippi river near Spring Lake. The American lotus is a predominate "cover" early on. The huge
    pads make a nice contrast stuck in boat blind raffia. It is public and the ducks know it. :reader
     
    duckbuster5901 likes this.
  6. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Senior Refuge Member

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    If you really want to match your backdrop raffia can be dyed very simply w/rit dyes.Just changed some hanks of color that weren,t to my likeing last week. Large turkey fryer pot w/heated water works great.The other slightly easier alternative is mix up some mud and slather that blind with it. once dryed shake off and gives it that lived in look! Always had to do this with fastgrass as it generally sticks out like a sore thum even in what its suppose to match. Spray paint just doesn,t seem to stay on that very well. And killin em close makes for easier dog work. I,m sure you can appreciate that factor!
     
  7. 10gaBBB

    10gaBBB Senior Refuge Member

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    Never bothered with zip-ties. Not really needed..take a handful of your raffia, loop it in the middle, push the loop through your straps or netting (some of the loops being inserted from the top down and some from the bottom up) and then pull your ends through the loop to secure. ( half-hitch? )Gives a bushier/shaggy look rather that all raffia hanging the same direction. No problems at highway speed or in weather. A lot faster grassing the blind too! Fyi
     
  8. KwickLabs

    KwickLabs Elite Refuge Member

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    Apparently there is no universal way to install raffia. :no Today was efficiency day. The "How
    can I do this quicker and easier?" mind set took over.

    This raffia design is an "on and off setup".....meaning the grassed netting comes off and rolls
    up when the hunt is over. The frame folds down quickly. One person can do this in short order.
    I'm 77 years old and "easy" is a significant motivator. :yes

    The back of the blind is almost finished. Doing the section first tends to allow for modifications
    on the more critical front side. All I need to do is drop the "roof" a few feet to the backside and
    grass that. The front will be much easier and have a somewhat different look......based on some
    suggestions in this thread. Thanks for that! :tu

    As for the learning curve, my primary motivation is to make things easier. The knot/wad on the
    end of a hank was left intact and sections were cut as needed. This maybe wasted about five inches,
    but made separating/pulling the smaller sections a whole lot easier (less loose scraps to salvage, also).

    When cutting down the lengths, there had to be a better way. I went back in the kitchen and brought
    a "bag clip" to clamp sections near the cut.......this was much cleaner and quicker. With no scattering,
    each next smaller hank was ready to go.

    Things were going so fast, I had to keep several zip ties in my mouth to avoid going back for more
    too often. This is not going to take nearly as long as I thought. :grvn

    If the raffia gets wet....no big deal it can be draped over the boat frame and air dry in the garage.

    As was mentioned previously, the "raffia attachment" technique was patterned somewhat like the
    video suggested.

    The big difference is "going down the road" will have no effect on the structure.

    As for changing the colors of my raffia, I had to dye every hank.....the wrong colors were sent and this was the best I could do. Refer back to another thread.

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    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  9. Kendall Steffensen

    Kendall Steffensen Senior Refuge Member

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    Looks good Jim. I used the same concept on my blind.

    Kendall

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  10. Dave Adamson

    Dave Adamson Refuge Member

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    Utah
    I used the overhangs loop method on my new blind after trying zip ties. It still took me about 25 hours to tie 35lbs but it looks great.
     

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