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A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics)

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A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics)
Last weekend I made perhaps my last trip to Jeff's house to look for keepsakes. In his file cabinet I found the 1987 Old Guide Catalog where he first saw Devlin duckboats. Shortly after he contacted Sam Devlin for more info which lead to the construction of his beloved Black Brant II (BBII). Several years later I contacted Sam with interest in building one of his duckboats and Sam told me that a guy named Jeff Smith who happened to live in Huntsville built one and to contact him. Wasn't too much later I was hunting with a friend who told me his hunting buddy, who I had never met, planned to meet us on the river. That hunting buddy was Jeff and I saw his boat and hunted out of it that very day. I was sold on Devlin boats and Jeff and I immediately connected. Two years later in 1998 Jeff helped me build my first duckboat, Devlin's Scaup,and during that construction this site was launched. I never fathomed it would become what it did. The last picture below is of Jeff's BBII today. I intended to bring back to my shop and hang it from the rafters but I think she is too far gone. Sadly sitting outside for nearly 30 years without a cover and unmaintained in the later years led to its ruin. I don't think it can be saved, by my memories are fully intact.






















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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
Tough to see the boat in that condition, but time and weather will get us all eventually.

What a change in how information is disseminated from when the devlin ad appeared.

I did not know Jeff well, but I often think of him when I get myself down a rabbit hole on some bullshit esoteric project I get myself into. I remember him being teased about smelting his own iron to make fish hooks and what kind of ore he prefers. I have thought of it seeing the same thing in myself and shook my head over the years at my folly while figuratively smelting my own iron many times. He sure made the forum a rich place.

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tod osier: May 2, 2019, 6:06 AM
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
tod osier wrote:
Tough to see the boat in that condition, but time and weather will get us all eventually.


How true.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA “As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats.” —Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
tod osier wrote:
.... time and weather will get us all eventually.


But how lucky all of us who found "duckboats" way back when have been over the years. Smile Finding that magazine is a good reminder of the rich heritage of boat building, decoy making, etc. that Jeff, Eric, and duckboats has certainly played a role in keeping alive.

By the way, that black-cork mallard on the cover is just magnificent (as are all the rest of the birds pictured).


MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
MLBob Furia wrote:

But how lucky all of us who found "duckboats" way back when have been over the years. Smile




That is very true. I have found some great friends because of this website. Have had and shared some great adventures because of this site. Who knew....all because of someone wanting to share his experience building a boat....
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
My dad introduced me to this site years ago. One of the best surprises I ever gave him was the first traveling decoy, Woodrow. I now have it with me and all the memories. Thanks for creating and maintaining this site.
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
 
The photograph of that catalog takes me back. I purchased many items from the Old Guide, never a duckboat, but my buddy did.

Was a sad day when they closed up.

I imagine that if I rummage around in my magazine and catalog collection, I'll find a catalog or two.

For my money they sold the best braided nylon anchor line.


As for your photo of the duckboat, it is sad but common. Age and lots of time outdoors takes a toll, and not just on boats.


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
I had forgot about him making his own hooks. I do remember him making his own paint starting with raw linseed oil, pigments, and other ingredients he'd cook in a pot over an open flame.

I think one of the things that brings everyone together here is a fondness for methods and gear that aren't peddled anymore. Common memories of past hunts using things available at the time. A simpler pursuit.

Thank you all for the kind words.
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
Eric~


Thanks so much for giving us this bit of history!


I did not join the site until 2013 - after I was retired and had both the time and reasonable internet access. (We had dial-up here at the farm for a long time - more trouble than it was worth - literally.) So, I missed lots of great posts and a fine community.



I had occasionally visited the site previously (on the high-speed access in my office) - especially when searching for plans. I do recall recall "eaves-dropping" on one thread that was a discussion/argument about Sanford Gunning Coffins....


I, too, enjoyed the Old Guide catalog. I believe I have an old copy "filed" around here somewhere. I do not recall any color versions - just B&W - so I'm guessing I was dropped from the milling list at some point. Always good quality stuff.


All the best!


SJS





Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
Hi Eric,

I remember that boat!! Not sure when, 1999? when I came down to see and test drive your Broadbill and we ran Jeff's boat. Both very impressive rigs!! I kept in touch with Jeff some time after that. I was living in Lexington at the time and he would call every so often. He was truly a brilliant man!

Best,
Steve
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
Steve

I remember that visit well. I had just completed the Broadbill so I bet that trip was in 2000 or maybe 2001. Bill and Tina were there too. Fun times.

Eric
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
It's sad to see his boat in that condition but nice that you have all the memories surrounding it.

Those who unfortunately missed those first couple years on here will never understand the amount of information sharing that went on. Before it was all just a google search away or the impersonal quick tidbits on Facebook.

Tim
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"Ah Nuts!"

http://snipehunterfishart.blogspot.com/
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
I started stalking this site.. in 1999 or 2001.... not sure when I became a member

---------------------------------------------------------------------
***Phil (Chesapeake Boy) Nowack***

http://www.mapleridgetaxidermy.com
http://www.philnowackphotography.com

Nothing like the north wind pushing snow at your back, a bird in your hand, and chessie with ice on his coat at your side.

Birds brought to you courtesy of Nikon, Benelli, Kodi, and Otter
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
TimJ wrote:
It's sad to see his boat in that condition but nice that you have all the memories surrounding it.

Those who unfortunately missed those first couple years on here will never understand the amount of information sharing that went on. Before it was all just a google search away or the impersonal quick tidbits on Facebook.

Tim


It sure was a fruitful and fun ride back then, you aren?t kidding.
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
tod osier wrote:
TimJ wrote:
It's sad to see his boat in that condition but nice that you have all the memories surrounding it.

Those who unfortunately missed those first couple years on here will never understand the amount of information sharing that went on. Before it was all just a google search away or the impersonal quick tidbits on Facebook.

Tim



It sure was a fruitful and fun ride back then, you aren?t kidding.


The other side of the coin is; It sure has cost me a bunch of money, ever since I learned that a duck hunting boat was something other than an aluminum Jon boat. And that decoys came in materials other than plastic. huh? Other than that, I guess this place is OK.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA “As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats.” —Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
Huntindave McCann wrote:
tod osier wrote:
TimJ wrote:
It's sad to see his boat in that condition but nice that you have all the memories surrounding it.

Those who unfortunately missed those first couple years on here will never understand the amount of information sharing that went on. Before it was all just a google search away or the impersonal quick tidbits on Facebook.

Tim



It sure was a fruitful and fun ride back then, you aren?t kidding.



The other side of the coin is; It sure has cost me a bunch of money, ever since I learned that a duck hunting boat was something other than an aluminum Jon boat. And that decoys came in materials other than plastic. huh? Other than that, I guess this place is OK.


Leave it to the old cranky guy to see the bad side. Whistle Wink
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"Ah Nuts!"

http://snipehunterfishart.blogspot.com/
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Re: A Little Early History of duckboats.net (Pics) In reply to
TimJ wrote:
Huntindave McCann wrote:
tod osier wrote:
TimJ wrote:
It's sad to see his boat in that condition but nice that you have all the memories surrounding it.

Those who unfortunately missed those first couple years on here will never understand the amount of information sharing that went on. Before it was all just a google search away or the impersonal quick tidbits on Facebook.

Tim



It sure was a fruitful and fun ride back then, you aren?t kidding.



The other side of the coin is; It sure has cost me a bunch of money, ever since I learned that a duck hunting boat was something other than an aluminum Jon boat. And that decoys came in materials other than plastic. huh? Other than that, I guess this place is OK.



Leave it to the old cranky guy to see the bad side. Whistle Wink


Tim, your conclusion is flawed. Where did I say the other side of the coin was bad? I've always enjoyed spending money. If you don't believe me, send some my way and I'll show you. The more you send the more I'll enjoy it. w00t

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA “As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats.” —Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging