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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is the right spot for this or not. I live in Florida on the east coast and duck hunt alot. Over the years my hunting style has changed and become more geared toward my dog, I hunt stuff that is safer for him (low alligator risk) even tho it may not be the best choice for that day.

The IRL is a prime spot for me to do this and pick up some divers, mottles, mergs ect.. I have always done so in inpoundments or other areas that are walkable, wadable ect. But I want to start setting some big open water spreads and would liek to do so out of an Erie style or pumpkin seed style layout boat. Problem is no one builds one around here or within a 12-16 hour drive honestly. So I want to build one, typical.

I see alot of guys on here building conchfishs or what ever in a strip style of what im assuming is foam core and glassing over it to produce a light weight hull

Maybe some of you guys can school me a bit on if I can basically build something from scratch in this method.

I know I can build one out of plywood and glass over ect, and have plans that show how to do so. Problem is finished the thing will weigh 150 pounds, not exactly easy to deploy to and from my skiff, so id like to core it and build that way.

upload_2019-7-17_14-20-10.jpeg


these are examples
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I
Since these layout boats are not powered, you can basically use any foam you want, including the blue closed cell foam sheets they sell at lowes. Epoxy and a layer or two of 6oz cloth will be fine
Is that blue foam flexible ? Can I make some contours with it ? Hot glue to hold together or something before I glass ?
 

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Yes I would make a spot for him behind where I would lay. He’s small in hunting season around 55lbs.
Have you looked into a 4rivers style layout?

Might be a little easier build, if you want to go that route, over the roundish layouts. Plus more cockpit space for your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you looked into a 4rivers style layout?

Might be a little easier build, if you want to go that route, over the roundish layouts. Plus more cockpit space for your dog.
Yes I own 4 other layout boats two with mud motors and two without.

Looking specifically to build an Erie style open water boat.
 

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Brandon, FL
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I have built one just like the one on the left. It is hanging in my shed.

I built it out of marine ply. The bottom is made from 3/8 and the top is 1/4. Mine is 78 lbs and you don't deploy it. When at the ramp I carry it and put it in the water. Launch the boat and attach the tow rope. The boat rides right at the v from the boat and stays right in the track. Because you are anchored to the bottom of the river you need a second person in the boat to go get the ducks. The ones in your pics are towed.

The first step is to build the box with the sled ramp. Then the flat bottom and attach them.

Then you make some supports to attach the top. There needs to be a 1" riser around the perimeter or the top won't fit right.

I built my duck boat custom and I built it so the layout boat will nestle right on top for traveling. The box fits right inside the cockpit and it straps right into place.
 

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Is that blue foam flexible ? Can I make some contours with it ? Hot glue to hold together or something before I glass ?
Most resins will react with most foams, unless the foam is specifically made for the purpose. However, I have had very good luck with the foil faced foam. The Home dept guy showed me how flexible the 1/2" foam is, but most of my jobs required rigid, so I would use 2" for a nice flat surface. Use masking tape or duct tape to hold it in place prior to glassing. Duct tape will get a little soggy and rubbery. Several layers of masking tape may be the best choice. Patch any holes in the foil with a little piece of tape. Let no foam be exposed to the resin.
 

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Brandon, FL
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The pink and blue stuff will dissolve on contact with poly resins. Hot glue will melt them. They also have a plastic sheet on both of the outsides. Peel this off and epoxy will hold it all together.

Or you could buy regular foam in the 5lb rating and have completely compatible core. If you look you might be able to find some 2lb.

The next one I make I will use foam for the box and the floor but the top I will use door skins. Once I get them dry fit I will coat the underside with epoxy and let it flash a bit then do another coat and install. Then cover the outside with glass. I have used mine quite a bit and never needed the strength of how I built it.

I am guessing that I will be able to bring the weight down another 20 lbs or so.
 

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Dude, if you’re in NE FL...I’ve had the same plan for the same reasons and would be happy to help and have another person to go with. Come 4 am, it’s hard to find someone willing to show up!
 

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I have also used the FRP wall board, from Home Depot, 4'x8' sheets as a "Core", or starting point for projects. It is fiberglass itself and polyester resin adheres very well to it. Just prep the surface with a quick sanding and you can lay glass on it, building it to the desired thickness. The bumpy side will need a little more sanding, but all the color need not be removed. The FRP or fiberglass reinforced panel, will become part of the project, no need to remove it.

I once had a fiberglass box, about 36" x 48" in need of a cover. I temporarily fastened bent battens across the top, to create a dome effect, so rain would not puddle on it when completed. I then taped 1/8' x 2", plywood strips around the top edge, to make the cover to have a loose fit. Remember, fiberglass shrinks as it cures, so the 1/8" was a good fit, once it cured. I then fit a piece of FRP to the top, and radiused the edges at the sides and ends, taped it down with masking tape. I masked the sides of the box against spillage. I layered 5 layers of fiberglass over the top and down around the sides, over the 2" strips. When cured, you could almost stand on it. We opted to be able to sit comfortably or stand on the box, so I added 3 more layers of glass. The first 5 were matt, 2408 structural, matt, 2408 structural, matt. The second 3 were the same Matt, 2408 woven, matt. When cured, cut away the excess matt and woven with a wizz wheel, radius the edges to prevent cuts. Color to desired color with gel coat.

When completed, the box cover retrained its slightly domed shape, it was tight enough and heavy enough that a good breeze could not remove it, and a man 275lbs could stand on it without it caving in. The guy I built it for, simply wanted something he could sit a couple of grand kids on as extra seating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thank you guys this is great info. Seems like i can build my base and box from thicker foam since those pieces will not need to have any complex bend or roll to them. As far as the top I like your method Jim with the strips and that was actually what I was thinking of doing except instead of ripped down ply using a foam core of some kind that is ripped into strips.

Ducknut - I would prefer not to tow if at all possible that was kind of the idea of making it lighter weight so I can deploy it easier from the skiff.

I actually live in Vero Beach; which is central east coast. we have a good fiberglass place about 30 min from my house called Fiberglass Depot, Id guess they may have some of the standard 5lb or 2lb foam that you referenced.

Ive seen here everyone referencing different types of foam, is there a preferred foam core ?

I would like to build it in two parts basically box and base being one



and then the cap as another

 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Is that blue foam flexible ? Can I make some contours with it ? Hot glue to hold together or something before I glass ?
Hmmm I don't know how to answer the flexible question: will it bend over a four foot span? Sure, but I certainly would categorize it as flexible. It does really well with epoxy resin. You can always shape it by sanding. I have never tried hot glue with it, only epoxy.

Also, BoatBuilderCentral is pretty close to you in Vero Beach (Oslo Rd and US1 I believe). They have foam, marine ply, glass and epoxy and could probably help answer some questions for you...
 

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thank you guys this is great info. Seems like i can build my base and box from thicker foam since those pieces will not need to have any complex bend or roll to them. As far as the top I like your method Jim with the strips and that was actually what I was thinking of doing except instead of ripped down ply using a foam core of some kind that is ripped into strips.

Ducknut - I would prefer not to tow if at all possible that was kind of the idea of making it lighter weight so I can deploy it easier from the skiff.

I actually live in Vero Beach; which is central east coast. we have a good fiberglass place about 30 min from my house called Fiberglass Depot, Id guess they may have some of the standard 5lb or 2lb foam that you referenced.

Ive seen here everyone referencing different types of foam, is there a preferred foam core ?

I would like to build it in two parts basically box and base being one



and then the cap as another


Sorry, I did not make it clear about the battens and plywood strips. They were just there temporarily to create the shape that I wanted. As soon as the project was done, they were removed and discarded. The battens created the dome effect and the ply strips enlarged the box slightly, so that when the cover shrank from curing, it would fit loosely. If it was too loose, I could have layered a layer or two, just inside the flange, to take up a little slack. As it turned out in my case, the cover fit perfectly, easy to remove, yet snug enough not to blow off in a 50mph breeze.
 

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Not to mention, the cover weighed guessing, about 15-20lbs when complete. I suppose if one needed the cover more secure, a bungee snapped over the top, would secure it in a hurricane force breeze. We had one of those breezes once, years ago on Groundhog Day. It is now know to history as, "The Groundhog breeze". The wind gauge at the Coast Guard was holding quite steady for a while at right around 100mph, from what I have been told.

I am not convinced that my cover would blow off in 100mph, but I wouldn't take that chance, especially if I were down wind. As Ron White says, "It is not that the wind is blowing, it is what the wind is blowing". "If you get hit with a Volvo, it really does not matter how many sit ups you did that morning".
 
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