Lightweight marsh boats

Discussion in 'Boats, Blinds, & Gadgets Forum' started by smallmunster, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. smallmunster

    smallmunster Refuge Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    Iowa
    I have been researching lightweight marsh boats since I used a 12' aquapod for the first time this past season in North Dakota. I am looking for a stable craft that will haul my dad and myself, a dog, and decoys. It must be light enough for me to load on top of a Ford Excursion and haul out to potholes by myself as my dad is getting up there in years and it not much help. It would be used mostly on potholes in ND, SD, and marshes in Iowa. My main marsh has rip rap around the edge I usually hunt but there is boat ramp to use there. The rest would be carrying the boat in up to 1/4 mile or so and putting it on cattail choked sloughs and potholes. Any big water would be near the the shore or in a bay or backwater mostly.

    Using the search function I have found many options, but some are no longer in business. I am looking for names of companies that I may have overlooked.

    I am looking for 500 lb capacity minimum, must be stable enough for my dad to hunt out of with a dog in (I usually stand in the water if possible), no more than 70 lbs, and paddle up to 1 mile at most (probably will not use a motor). Cheaper is better, but am willing to spend up to $1500 to $2000 if it is the right boat for me. May also get a sled to float the decoys behind to save space in the boat. Would also prefer as short as possible for the top of the truck.

    I have researched:

    Aquapod - I like these, but they are expensive and the weight rating is at the bare minimum. Cockpit would be tight and they are the great at paddling the one time I used one to get some downed ducks.

    Hellbender - fits most of my needs, 12' holds 550 lbs and weighs 70. Still waiting on the builder to email me back after my first email and phone call 5 weeks ago.

    Top two choices so far are Hoefgen and a meyers sportspal canoe around 13' long. I like the Hoefgen, but I am not sold on the 15' length if I can find shorter and the lighter kevlar is $2000. I like the sportspal with 600 plus lb capacities, but I am not sure if the hoefgen would be more stable? I am also not sure about the longevity of the foam inside and out with dogs and pushing through heavy cover.

    Any info about these boats or another company would be appreciated.
     
  2. caniborrowsomeammo

    caniborrowsomeammo New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    So why not build a boat suitable for your needs? Mine will be 10.5 x 46" weigh around 80 lbs., should hold 2 fat guys with a trim 75 lb lab. Not made for open water though, but for the marshes around here, it should be no problem. I plan on making more throughout the year.
    The chine on the Hoefgen being rounded doesn't give the stability of a true flat chine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  3. caniborrowsomeammo

    caniborrowsomeammo New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    That's my second 7.5 footer in the background waiting for resin/glas.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  4. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    6,134
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Central Kansas
    Any boat that meets your requirements will be a very tight fit for two men and a dog. I'd look real hard at the Hellbender 12.
    NO 10 foot boat would be safe carrying two big men AND a Lab.
     
    JFG likes this.
  5. 1bigduck

    1bigduck Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    217
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County, New York
    I have gotten, several times, two grown men, my 80lb lab, decoys, guns, other gear in my 12' Aquapod with no problem. The fiberglass model is a on the heavy side, I don't know if they still do but they use to make a Kevlar model, expensive but half the weight. I assume you are not hunting out of it just using for transport.
     
  6. JFG

    JFG Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,338
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Coastal NC
    I’ve got the 12, 10, and two 8 foot aqua pods. Love them, stable as can be (8’s can be a little sketchy) but they each have their limitations. I too can put me and my buddy and my dog with a few decoys in the 12’ but the water needs to be very, very calm. No way I can do that in the 10’, simply not enough room. I had heard good things about that hellbender but that was many years ago.
     
  7. smallmunster

    smallmunster Refuge Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    Iowa
    I have not seen an option for a kevlar aquapod on their site. I will use it mostly for transport, but dad will probably hunt out of it. He can't walk in a marsh, if it is shallow enough he may sit on a marsh chair. I like the Hellbender, but have been waiting to hear back from them for over a month after I talked to the on the phone. The 12' aquapod I used was nice, but is about $1000 more than the Hellbender with less capacity. I have thought hard about the sportspal for even more capacity, but am not sure if the Hellbender would have more stability and am not sure how the foam will hold up on the sportspal.
     
  8. CountryRN

    CountryRN Refuge Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    When I was looking for a small haul in type boat for hunting the swamps and creeks around eastern NC I looked at purchasing a Nucanoe Frontier. Hull weight on the 12 foot model is 77lb. They will hold two people and up to 650 pounds of people and gear. They are rated for a 2hp motor if needed. There is a layout style duck blind that you can purchase to go with it. I ended up purchasing a creekboat, but this just sounded like it would be an option worth looking at per your requirements. Plenty of videos on the net showing these things off.
    https://www.nucanoe.com/nucanoe-frontier/
     
  9. drahthaarducker

    drahthaarducker Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    6,472
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    somewhere in Cali
    sportpal canoe will do everything you listed. My buddy is a D.A.V. and we used them all the time with dog/decoys etc etc
    never once felt tippy, they are NOT fast
     
    Dogface likes this.
  10. smashdn

    smashdn Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    11,881
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Palmyra, KY
    Check the various carsten boats. Also alumacraft ducker if you can find one.
     

Share This Page