Duckboats.net
Skip to Content


Home : Main Forums : Duck Boat/Hunting Forum :

Upstanding Boat Hook

Quote Reply
Upstanding Boat Hook
If you are like me you keep a pole with a hook on the end in your boat at all times. Mostly used for picking up decoys but sometimes used to maneuver around downed trees on creeks and as a walking stick. I read an article years ago in Woodenboat Magazine about the virtues of a boat hook that floats upright in case it is dropped overboard. It is probably a more important attribute in a larger boat that one cannot so easily reach the water's surface, which isn't the case in a duckboat, but it made me want to build one nonetheless. The boat hook I keep in my Broadbill took a bit of work to get it to not sink and float upright while being pretty short, but it does. Jeff and I talked about this concept in the past and it quickly became apparent the physics behind getting a pole to self-right and float upright is not trivial.

If you are looking for a fun and challenging project try this one. I think a cool competition would be to build the pole that stands the tallest.




Last edited by:

Eric Patterson: Jan 15, 2020, 7:22 AM
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
I really like the weighted idea, that is slick. I wonder if the water density difference (fresh vs salt) matters.

My boat hook is a combo boat hook and push pole (or push club at 9', not limber, but has worked well to push around and pick up decoys).




This is how I retrieve mine.


Last edited by:

tod osier: Jan 15, 2020, 11:23 AM
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
Eric Patterson wrote:
I think a cool competition would be to build the pole that stands the tallest.


Always has to be that one guy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, w00tw00t

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
Huntindave McCann wrote:
Eric Patterson wrote:
I think a cool competition would be to build the pole that stands the tallest.



Always has to be that one guy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, w00tw00t


Not that kind of pole, Dave. I didn't even think about the low hanging fruit I left out in plain view.
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
Tod

I don't recall ever seeing a push pole shaped like that. Your own design? Not a bad idea.

Eric
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
Eric Patterson wrote:
Tod

I don't recall ever seeing a push pole shaped like that. Your own design? Not a bad idea.

Eric


As far as I know, my design, but who knows really.

That combo has worked well for me, it gives you a nice long reach and when hunting the coast it is nice to push around the boulders that lurk between the surface and prop depth. It is cut to cockpit length. I have it in the bottom of the boat on the road and run with it on the side between the grassing rails and the combing (haven?t lost it yet). Needs a coat of linseed oil now.

Last edited by:

tod osier: Jan 16, 2020, 5:32 AM
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
tod osier wrote:
I really like the weighted idea, that is slick. I wonder if the water density difference (fresh vs salt) matters.

My boat hook is a combo boat hook and push pole (or push club at 9', not limber, but has worked well to push around and pick up decoys).

[img]https://i.imgur.com/Y5GSDRK.jpg[/img]


This is how I retrieve mine.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/eEbeTkz.jpg[/img]

.
.
That is GREAT Tod !!!!!
.
.
.
.
A LOT OF MEMORIES IN A MAN'S STOOL........
Duck hunting without a dog is just shooting
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
Eric~


Interesting coincidence! I just gave a friend this pick-up stick yesterday.






I had read the same WoodenBoat article years ago - and was wondering just how heavy I would need to make the brass "blade" so that it might float upright. Someday when my ponds are not frozen, I might experiment by lashing different decoy weights on my pick-up stick in my deepest pond. (Rather than calculate, I prefer the iterative approach....)



BTW: This stick is just an old mop handle - that once served as a Goose flag. I re-purposed it after watching my friend struggle last month with an old clam tong handle without a notch. It is just 47" long and fairly light. I have found that sometimes long poles (e.g. shovin' oars, push poles) serve well for picking up decoys, other times a light, short one is more convenient. I keep both onboard.


In any event, every long skinny implement needs a Turk's Head on its upper end.






from H. G. Smith's The Marlinspike Sailor:










All the best,


SJS





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


Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
Steve

Back when I was testing mine we were in a horrible drought and all the nearby ponds were about dry. So I went to the h/w store and bought a 4" dia. piece of PVC pipe and a cap. I strapped it to a ladder and filled it with water and it became my test tank. Couldn't prove my boat hook would self-right but I could verify it floated and measure how high.

Why the blade instead of a hook? Other uses?

Eric
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
Eric~


I use this "blade" because I had used traditional boat hooks and screw eyes and cup hooks.....the decoy line fouled too easily. I wanted something that was easy to free the line from once the decoy was onboard. I made it 2-sided so it doesn't matter which side is up or down in the dark (or turbid water). This design has served me well over many seasons.


BTW: I like a heavy (about 1/8"d - 72 pound tarred nylon) decoy line so it doesn't foul or knot as easily as the finer stuff. I struggled with some very fine lines yesterday (another's rig) - not for me.


All the best,


SJS





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


Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
Hey Tod, I wonder how many times and how many places that grab pole was invented...LOL
We've been doing them like that since before forever... usually used an old clam tong handle with the notch cut out...
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
Steve

I hear you on the line thickness. I use 9/64" diamond braid line that is VERY STIFF. It resists tangling, holds knots, and won't break if it gets in the prop when trolling around decoys. It stalls the motor instead and is easily unfouled. I recently bought a 1000' spool so my son and his friends will use it so that way I never have to handle a decoy that uses kite string again, if I can help it.

Eric
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
All~


BTW: The "blade" is 1/8" thick brass - and not sharp. All edges are eased so it does not chafe the line (or hands or dogs or boats or decoys). It is set in BoatLife Marine Caulk - and fastened through with a copper rivet & rove.









SJS

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


Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
I did this years ago for a railboat push pole. It only stuck up a little bit in deep water but stayed afloat. My method was to weigh the wood pole, then estimate it's density. If it's ash, roughly.75, doug fir roughly .55, it varies greatly by species and specific pieces of lumber within a species. There are tables available online like this one

https://cedarstripkayak.wordpress.com/lumber-selection/162-2/

Fresh water has a density of just over 1 in real life because of minerals, but lets call it 1.

If I recall correctly this is the method: Lets say it's your ash pole weighs 3 lbs. (48 oz). The buoyancy to be (partially) overcome is (1/.75) x 48 = 64 oz. In other words the pole will support another 16 oz before it is awash and neutrally buoyant. Because the hook or weight will be a very dense metal (unless it's Tod"s all wood model), neglect the buoyancy of the water displaced by the hook. Because you want it to stand up, it needs to be slightly more than 1/2 difference in the weight of the pole (48) vs the buoyancy (64), so about 10-12 ozs seems about right. This is how I did it, you still need to fine tune it but it gives a good starting point. Better to start heavy and remove material than try to scab some on. I'll be curious to hear how this works if someone tries it.
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
SJ Fairbank wrote:
I did this years ago for a railboat push pole. It only stuck up a little bit in deep water but stayed afloat. My method was to weigh the wood pole, then estimate it's density. If it's ash, roughly.75, doug fir roughly .55, it varies greatly by species and specific pieces of lumber within a species. There are tables available online like this one

https://cedarstripkayak.wordpress.com/lumber-selection/162-2/

Fresh water has a density of just over 1 in real life because of minerals, but lets call it 1.

If I recall correctly this is the method: Lets say it's your ash pole weighs 3 lbs. (48 oz). The buoyancy to be (partially) overcome is (1/.75) x 48 = 64 oz. In other words the pole will support another 16 oz before it is awash and neutrally buoyant. Because the hook or weight will be a very dense metal (unless it's Tod"s all wood model), neglect the buoyancy of the water displaced by the hook. Because you want it to stand up, it needs to be slightly more than 1/2 difference in the weight of the pole (48) vs the buoyancy (64), so about 10-12 ozs seems about right. This is how I did it, you still need to fine tune it but it gives a good starting point. Better to start heavy and remove material than try to scab some on. I'll be curious to hear how this works if someone tries it.


This is one of those times solution by trial and error is probably easier than mathematical modeling, unless someone is incredibly gifted in physics and horribly inept in the workshop :) Keep in mind if the pole is too buoyant it won't self right. Instead it will lay on its side supporting the bronze hook. So now you would need to model the center of gravity and center of buoyancy and how these interact. Not for me. I opted to test and do it trial and error.
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to
 

Quote
This is one of those times solution by trial and error is probably easier than mathematical modeling, unless someone is incredibly gifted in physics and horribly inept in the workshop :) Keep in mind if the pole is too buoyant it won't self right. Instead it will lay on its side supporting the bronze hook. So now you would need to model the center of gravity and center of buoyancy and how these interact. Not for me. I opted to test and do it trial and error.


Trial and error is probably the smart way to go, and the most fun! Smile
Quote Reply
Re: Upstanding Boat Hook In reply to




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


Last edited by:

Steve Sanford: Jan 17, 2020, 4:43 AM