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FORUMS General Gear Talk DIY & Customizing
Thread started 17 Sep 2016 (Saturday) 22:23
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Floating blind

 
ShadowHillsPhoto
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Schoharie, NY
Sep 17, 2016 22:23 |  #1

This is a project I've wanted to get to for a while now. Finally went and got all the materials a few weeks ago and spent some time the last two weekends getting it built. Still need to seal everything and build a frame to hold some camo, but I'm hoping to have it on the water for some testing in the next few weeks.

IMAGE: https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8529/29122992604_90d74da1da_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/LnuX​59] (external link)FloatingBlind-3640 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8783/29122992424_9bfcc0e1bf_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/LnuX​23] (external link)FloatingBlind-3642 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8245/29638108952_57dbc310dd_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Ma24​du] (external link)FloatingBlind-3645 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8151/29638108542_2c2ccb1069_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Ma24​6q] (external link)FloatingBlind-3720 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8085/29124969603_a212d5afc4_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/LnF5​Lk] (external link)FloatingBlind-3714 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8101/29122991374_1de48ca2ab_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/LnuW​GW] (external link)FloatingBlind-3724 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8036/29714463036_06b00962a3_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/MgLo​Cd] (external link)FloatingBlind-3733 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr



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nc_killie
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Berkshire
Post has been edited over 1 year ago by nc_killie.
Sep 18, 2016 14:25 |  #2

Good luck. With my DIY skills it would bear a resemblance to the Titanic! Would be interested to hear how it goes, please keep us posted.




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recrisp
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Paris, Texas
Post has been edited over 1 year ago by recrisp.
Sep 26, 2016 14:49 |  #3

ShadowHillsPhoto wrote in post #18131471 (external link)
This is a project I've wanted to get to for a while now. Finally went and got all the materials a few weeks ago and spent some time the last two weekends getting it built. Still need to seal everything and build a frame to hold some camo, but I'm hoping to have it on the water for some testing in the next few weeks.

How fast is this thing? :)

Really, I like this, I have seen something similar but I have not seen a 'How To' on one, which is a nice job on your part.
I looked into this myself at first before buying my kayak (that I rarely use) and saw an older guy on YouTube that built one that was nowhere near as streamlined as yours, maybe you saw his too.
This ought to serve your purposes fine, I don't see a thing that looks anything that needs changing really, you seem to have it 'nailed down', so to speak. :)

I am wondering why you made the cut-out for your body the shape it is though. Why not round or oval? Maybe it's a trim issue, you'd want to be able to use edge molding or some sort.

Is there a formula that you followed to get to ensure its floating abilities?

This appears that it would be plenty stable though, turning may be slower, but it is not designed for speed, I know. To be able to turn this on a dime is a good thing, that does solve the problem that most have with canoes, small boats, and kayaks. They are severely restricted in their abilities to 'follow' their subject, although on a flying bird or fast moving subject this probably couldn't turn fast enough, hopefully that's not the case though.

I am going to assume that you only plan on being in waist-deep waters? The reason I say that is, I wouldn't think you'd want to be any deeper, but you could go shallower if needed, although that could be a possible leg cramp-fest. :)

With any more wind resistance (camo) it might be a better idea to try it out first beforehand, I mean, I know that just being on my kayak with no camo I have not seen any animal or bird that seemed to be afraid of me, so camo may not be needed. I know though, I love my camo, 'cause it has helped me too many times and has made me a believer. Still, a little wind can really screw up a good time out on the water, but that is when I have not had my feet firmly planted on the bottom too, so I am only mentioning it, I don't know what will happen.
Since you have gone farther than I have I am sure you know more about the subject.

Since you are in New York I am surprised that you mention going out and trying it out soon, 'cause I think you have snow/ice up there... heheh

Anyway, I think that from what I see you have done a really good job on this and I bet it'll inspire others to try their hand at one also.

Randy


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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by ShadowHillsPhoto. 2 edits done in total.
Sep 26, 2016 17:44 |  #4

recrisp wrote in post #18141147 (external link)
How fast is this thing? :)

I'm thinking if I slap a 20hp outboard on it and get it up on plane it should zip along pretty good...  :p

Really, I like this, I have seen something similar but I have not seen a 'How To' on one, which is a nice job on your part.
I looked into this myself at first before buying my kayak (that I rarely use) and saw an older guy on YouTube that built one that was nowhere near as streamlined as yours, maybe you saw his too.
This ought to serve your purposes fine, I don't see a thing that looks anything that needs changing really, you seem to have it 'nailed down', so to speak. :)

I am wondering why you made the cut-out for your body the shape it is though. Why not round or oval? Maybe it's a trim issue, you'd want to be able to use edge molding or some sort.

Because framing out a square hole with 1x4 is a lot easier than framing a round hole, and I'm lazy. I don't think I would have made the maximum width/depth any greater with a round hole, so really this is just a round hole with the corners cut out. :lol:

Is there a formula that you followed to get to ensure its floating abilities?

No, but I'm really just following in the footsteps of others so I have a pretty good idea what to expect.
https://davidstimac.wo​rdpress.com ...ill-be-the-death-of-me-2/ (external link)
https://www.naturescap​es.net ...ng-from-a-floating-blind/ (external link)


This appears that it would be plenty stable though, turning may be slower, but it is not designed for speed, I know. To be able to turn this on a dime is a good thing, that does solve the problem that most have with canoes, small boats, and kayaks. They are severely restricted in their abilities to 'follow' their subject, although on a flying bird or fast moving subject this probably couldn't turn fast enough, hopefully that's not the case though.

There are compromises to be made no matter which way you go. I can cover a fairly good arc in this although not quite as much as I can when handholding in my kayak. My main goal here is getting that very low perspective right along the water.

I am going to assume that you only plan on being in waist-deep waters? The reason I say that is, I wouldn't think you'd want to be any deeper, but you could go shallower if needed, although that could be a possible leg cramp-fest. :)

Yes, for the most part I'll be in waist deep water. Sitting/kneeling in shallower water should work also. I think I'm going to add some kind of safety strap that would prevent you from taking a dip if you unexpectedly step off into a deep spot. I expect to be able to haul out and sit on the rear deck and one thing I want to test is if I can slowly paddle along in that position. There are a few small ponds I would like to shoot at and being able to cross them with a paddle to get into shooting locations would be nice. If that doesn't work I may try towing it with my kayak.

With any more wind resistance (camo) it might be a better idea to try it out first beforehand, I mean, I know that just being on my kayak with no camo I have not seen any animal or bird that seemed to be afraid of me, so camo may not be needed. I know though, I love my camo, 'cause it has helped me too many times and has made me a believer. Still, a little wind can really screw up a good time out on the water, but that is when I have not had my feet firmly planted on the bottom too, so I am only mentioning it, I don't know what will happen.
Since you have gone farther than I have I am sure you know more about the subject.

I don't expect to use it in windy conditions. Around here it's rare to get within 200 yards of a great blue heron before they fly off even in a kayak; king fishers are almost as bad, and most of the waterfowl aren't much better. Having a full camo cover should help with that.

Since you are in New York I am surprised that you mention going out and trying it out soon, 'cause I think you have snow/ice up there... heheh

Haha, no not quite yet. Usually there isn't any ice build up until some time in November at the earliest and lately it's been quite a bit later. There's usually a few weeks where it's just skim ice as well which is pretty easy to break through. ;-)a My main focus is having it on the water next spring when the waterfowl are migrating north, but I would like to get the sea trials out of the way this fall!

Anyway, I think that from what I see you have done a really good job on this and I bet it'll inspire others to try their hand at one also.

Randy

I haven't been able to put in as much time on this as I would have liked the last two weekends but last night I finished filling all the joints and seams with marine epoxy and got it all sanded smooth today. My original plan was to just coat the entire thing in CoatIt at this point, but I picked up some fiberglass for the edges and now I'm considering fiberglassing the entire bottom of the hull. Need to decide if I want to add that much weight, but it would definitely make the whole thing durable. Whichever way I go I should have the hull finished this coming weekend.




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recrisp
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by recrisp.
Sep 26, 2016 20:10 as a reply to ShadowHillsPhoto's post |  #5

Thank you for you answers, (I really like your humor, I wasn't expecting that!) and I am a convert of the design and, camo, I have been aware of the guy (Steve) in your second link, I aspire to those shots of his. I can get fairly close to Blue Herons and a lot of things, but the Buffleheads are what drives me crazy, they are really hard to get next to.

Good luck on this, it appears that you have it all under control, please remember to come back and let us know what happens on your first trip out, I for one am really interested in hearing about that, I am sure that it'll be a positive review and a fun time. :) I agree with 100% of what you have said too.

Oh yeah, judging by your link to your Flickr shots you ought to have some VERY good results with your new creation, I am really impressed with your results already, so here's hoping to even better stuff in the near future, I can't wait to see.

Thanks!

Randy


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mkkaczy
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Poland/Ireland
Oct 03, 2016 08:57 |  #6

Nice one. Is it not too heavy for caring? In Poland we use just PVC pipes filled with foam and a plywood on top.
http://photography-on-the.net ...showthread.php?p=17​560830


http://500px.com/mkkac​zy (external link)

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recrisp
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by recrisp.
Oct 03, 2016 15:04 |  #7

mkkaczy wrote in post #18146923 (external link)
Nice one. Is it not too heavy for caring? In Poland we use just PVC pipes filled with foam and a plywood on top.
http://photography-on-the.net ...showthread.php?p=17​560830

Cool setup, I like what you have done here also, and it does appear to be quite a bit lighter.
Stability accounts for something too, not that yours is going to flip, but the wooden one is definitely for those that want to 'feel' REALLY stable, at least that is what I would think from the sheer weight of it.
I am a PVC nut, if it can't be made out of PVC I probably won't make it, so I can definitely relate to yours, but also his too.

I'm really glad that you both put these on here for us to see, there's a way for us all to think about how we'd like to put our expensive gear on the water.
(I also have a Canon 400mm 2.8 IS L lens, they only weigh around 500 pounds! heheh)

To be honest I would make either one of these, the bad thing for me is that I don't have one place that I can think of that I could use one anywhere locally or within my range, that's too bad too 'cause both of y'all are good photographers, I'd like to be like y'all! :)

Randy


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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Oct 31, 2016 21:53 |  #8

Finally have this just about wrapped up. The temperature here dropped off fast in October which really slowed down the process of putting Coat-It on the bottom and sides, the 12-hour cure time was more like 48+. A little over a week ago we did get one day that went back up to 80° so the night before I dumped on all of the Coat-It I had left (about half the can) and then pulled the blind out in the driveway before heading to work the next day. When I got home it was bone dry and fully cured.

Here's the bottom covered in Coat-It.

IMAGE: https://c6.staticflickr.com/6/5774/30068025773_ff72760a37_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/MP1u​vt] (external link)FloatingBlind-7425 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

The top after being sealed with Poly. The light spots are wood filler. Sides are Coat-It and fiberglass.

IMAGE: https://c4.staticflickr.com/6/5619/30613896571_79f36587e2_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/NDfd​SX] (external link)FloatingBlind-7426 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

And here is the top after painting. The camo isn't really needed because I will be using a cover over the blind, but it's there if I decide to stash the blind on the edge of a marsh somewhere overnight.

IMAGE: https://c6.staticflickr.com/6/5682/30068026853_bf4f6443d7_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/MP1u​Q6] (external link)FloatingBlind-5654 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

Removable frame for camo material. I'm planning to use some camo blind fabric from Wal-Mart for any excursions this fall. My mother-in-law is a pretty good seamstress though so I'm putting a custom fitted cover on my Christmas wishlist.

IMAGE: https://c4.staticflickr.com/6/5797/30613897891_a92c245104_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/NDfe​gH] (external link)FloatingBlind-5661 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr



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bmackinnonphotography
Hatchling
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Joined Oct 2016
Oct 31, 2016 22:16 |  #9

Awesome blind! I am currently modifying a belly boat with a frame. I was going to make one like yours but the weight and price were holding me back, how much does yours weigh and cost?

mkkaczy I think I may build a second model resembling yours for my shallow water version, very sleek and simple design.

Brandon




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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Nov 01, 2016 13:06 |  #10

I think it was around $200 for the two sheets of marine grade ply, the Coat-It, and the foam. A lot of the other stuff I had on hand but there's probably another $100 or so there if you were buying everything, maybe a bit more. I haven't weighed it yet. I think it's probably heavier than my kayak but it's manageable. It's not something you would want to carry for a long distance though.




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bmackinnonphotography
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Nov 01, 2016 23:44 as a reply to ShadowHillsPhoto's post |  #11

Thank you for the info! Yeah a little more than I was hoping to put towards it and a little heavier than I would like. I am excited to see some shots you get from it !




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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Nov 03, 2016 16:24 |  #12

Wow. Both great floating blinds.
Do you guys (ts and mkkaczy too) wear a special suit when in the water? I mean, doesn't it get awfully cold in there after a while?


Levina
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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Nov 04, 2016 21:47 as a reply to Levina de Ruijter's post |  #13

You wear chest waders, 5mm neoprene for when it's really cold with some thermal layers underneath.




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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Nov 05, 2016 11:31 as a reply to ShadowHillsPhoto's post |  #14

Yes, I've been googling a bit. Seems though that when you wear waders you have to really know the water you are stepping into as you don't want those waders to fill up! I looked at drysuits but they're ridiculously expensive.


Levina
Please quote when responding to a post!!!
There is no such thing as ect. It's etc. (with period) from latin et cetera.
Colours are not complimentary but complementary.
My flickr: birds (external link) non-birds (external link)

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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Nov 05, 2016 11:59 |  #15

It's usually not too bad, the bottom of most shallow ponds is fairly regular. I've had a few surprises wading around in beaver ponds though. There can be a sudden drop-off where the original stream channel was and you don't always know where it is. Also, if it's flooded timber where trees have died off and fallen over you can end up with holes where the roots were.




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