THOUGHTS ON MULTI-USE BOATS FOR THE OUTDOORSMAN   Leave a comment

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Putting a G3 boat through its paces caused me to do some thinking about the use of boats.  The G3 is a craft that serves the river angler and waterfowl hunter.  I wonder how many boats there out there that has such dual purposes.

All too often we think of a boat as a bass boat or a walleye boat.  The average sportsman needs a boat that will do other chores as effectively.  Perhaps too many of us just think of a boat as a single purpose craft when shopping for a new one.

Take for example a 16-foot Jon boat in camo colors.  The length and a good wide beam make it excellent for both fishing and hunting.  With a 20 inch transom, there is plenty of safety room for leaning over to pluck a bass or a decoy from the water.

The tiller system on the Yamaha 60 contains the controls for variable speed trolling to keep one on fish in river currents.  It would be handy when retrieving decoys as well.  A light aluminum hull moves across the water with excellent speed and stability.  The weight of the boat dry is 1200 pounds.  Additional gear and people will increase the weight.

Jon boats are rated for a maximum engine horsepower.  Most have plenty of engine power for the weight of two anglers or hunters.  Perhaps a boat load of dog, hunters, and decoys would benefit from increased horsepower.

The boat should contain a trolling motor with 40 pounds thrust which is adequate for river currents.  Fish finder could be helpful in waterfowl season as a way of judging depth of the water and avoiding submerged structure to get back into the river backwaters.

Rod boxes hold both light tackle rods as well as those heavy ones for that big catfish.  They also can be used as gun storage boxes during waterfowl season.  A livewell can hold those big fish that did not get away.

For the waterfowler a blind can be added to the sides to conceal hunters as they rest on a pedestal seat.  The seats can be covered with fabric in the same camo pattern as the boat.  Designed to hold up to nearly year round use, a diamond pattern non-skid deck adds safety for movement about the boat regardless of whether fishing and hunting.

The boat is just one example of an aluminum, waterfowl or backwater fishing boat on the market.  Thinking of buying a boat for dual purposes, then maybe now is the time to take a look at these dual purpose craft.  As we move into the late boating season it could be a time to find some good values if one decides ahead of time of all the things he wants to do with the boat and does some shopping.

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