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Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other?

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Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other?
After scouring for the past week or so I?m looking for some friendly advice. I currently own a fleet of kayaks, one with a motor attached, but I?ve been trying to reduce the armada number and upgrade to a larger boat that can store a good number of decoys, or at least get some of them out of the basement so the girlfriend can get off my case about the decoys in the basement (apparently she?s okay with a CC boat and a separate duck boat- seed planted). I?m also real tired of lugging decoys in kayaks. Or in my case, using one kayak as a barge and motoring with my 3hp merc on the motoryak. Would be nice to just hop in the boat and get under way.

I co-own a 2 man layout that we use in Long Island Sound for sea ducks when the time is right, so what I?m looking for is a marsh boat. Obviously if I could have something that could serve as a LIS boat and marsh boat, that would be great, but I?m not looking to drop $20k on a forester?s salary.

My kids (girls) are 6 and 8, and already itching to get out there, even if just to watch. I?ve toyed with the idea of something like a TDB where I can really get them cozy, but also have been eyeing a SBDB due to the fact that the marshes I hunt have almost no cover. I realize the SBDB won?t be 3 person friendly, but it may get me through the next few years. A few TDBs around for sale, most within 4 hours distance, but almost all are 14 classics.

Looking for advice from folks who?ve been in my situation. Photos to help with marsh coverage.

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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
I should have added that building a boat isnt in the cards right now. Too many projects on the new house. Budget is preferably less than $7k
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Good morning, Nick~


Have fun hunting for The Perfect Duckboat!


From your photos, the cover looks tall compared with lots of Great South Bay. So, sitting up in a boat should be fine and not compromise your hide. Does you cover get much horter later in the season - after snow and ice?



Here are a couple of South Bay Duckboats - with different approaches to hiding. The boat on the left has fairly tall flap boards - the one on the right is more conventional - the stock boat.







A bigger challenge might be hunting 2 - or even 3 - from one duckboat. On Long Island, the tradition has mostly been one gunner per boat. So, 2 or 3 in a party means 2 or 3 boats.


The South Bay was designed as a 1-man boat - but more and more are being rigged to gun 2 - usually shooting over one side. Unlike most Sneakboxes, Scooters and other grassboats, the South Bay is spacious enough to hunt 2 guys in reasonable comfort.



The TDB-14 is designed to shoot 2 gunners - and I imagine you could squeeze in both daughters at times.


One thing I have always liked about smaller gunning boats is the ability to get them into and out of smaller waters: skinny water that might run out on you when the tide drops more than or sooner than I thought it would. If I get screwed up by the tides, I like to be able to manhandle my boat and get it to deeper water. Truly shallow draft - 3 or 4 inches - is the best feature, but light weight so it can be pushed or pulled off a shoal is also important.


Hope this helps!


SJS





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


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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Take a look at the Arthur Armstrong Broadbill. No longer produced but can be found on used mkt. Rigged w a 20 or 25 motor will carry the load easily of you and girls. Up right blind can easily be rigged for them and just enough room in cockpit for you and 2 smaller ones. They actually use to come with a fiberglass cockpit cover for closing off interior when not in use(decoy storage). Will float in about 3 to 4" water. Can be man handled a bit to get out of mud and most important a seaworthy hull if going gets a bit nasty. Boat, motor and trailer on used market usually go in $2500 range . Their Blackjack was a foot shorter and slightly shorter cockpit area. Good hull. I ran one several times w/2 kids when younger but its tight. Those TDB,s would serve you well also. If you can access your spots with no more seas than a kayak will handle that Classic would definitely handle it and more.

Last edited by:

roy brewington: May 9, 2020, 5:01 AM
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Thanks for the comments guys. The cover in one location is usually pretty scarce. Looks like I didn?t post a pic of it, but in the bigger rivers I can get coverage easily, it?s just the mud I fight with, so those comments are noted. Can you muscle a south bay out of the mud as easily as a TDB?

Also, as for snow cover, it?s really hit or miss as I?m sure anyone in LI is also experiencing. We didn?t ice up at all last year, and I wondered what the word ?snow? even meant last year. All kidding aside, usually the snow does squish down the vegetation to maybe a foot tall at the most, when we get it. Most of my hunting is coastal, I don?t want to drive 2 hours to my early season spots with a bigger boat, kayak is good enough there, so the vegetation is roughly the same throughout my hunting locations. Biggest thing is being able to handle fighting the flow of the larger rivers (CT, housatonic, etc). I have a local who keeps telling me to get a TDB, but seeing a South Bay for 1/3-1/2 the price is always tempting. I?ll check out the broadbill, maybe one will surface before the season starts.
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Steve, I?ve scoured your website and a lot of your sbdb posts lately. Any idea what a fair price for one is these days? Stock model, no motor, good condition
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Nick~


I seem to see them in the $2000 - $3000. Usually not necessarily "mint" or all tricked out, but in good, serviceable condition.


I will let others chime in, but I believe the South Bay would be easier to horse off a shoal than a TDB. The TDB has some deadrise (V) up forward which I believe adds some draft. The South Bay is flat and eases gently up at both ends. I've gunned out of both but never owned either.


All the best,


SJS

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


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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Nick,
I think a 14? TDB would be cozy for 3. I just happened to see your post after searching Craigslist. I saw this 17. Not as easy to hide but you would be able to tend the layout or open water hunt from it also. I know some guys who have no trouble getting them out of the mud at the mouth of the river.
https://longisland.craigslist.org/...-tdb/7111043099.html


Gunning from the FOWL HOOKED
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Thanks T. I?ve seen that one. I messaged the guy, said he was turkey hunting a week ago and would send photos. Didn?t hear back, messaged again about 3 times. Nothing. Clearly doesn?t want to sell it to me
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Nick,


Lot's of considerations come into play here re: vehicle you have for towing, the type of waters you hunt, ramp facilities for access to those waters, how you store your boat at the house, available budget, your ability to "customize" whatever boat you have for decoy bags/racks, whether you always hunt with a retriever, etc.
Although the TDB 14 can't be beat for the gunner who hunts solo (& solo with a retriever along); to be honest, I don't see where the TDB 14 has many advantages for the hunter who will consistently have the need for a boat for hunting with a second (or third) gunner. Even now, if I bring a second adult along, I'll usually drop them on the bank while I set decoys. I even prefer to leave them on the bank until I have the TDB's blind set up,and I'm ready to tie off, just because it saves time and because I can move around in the cockpit a lot more efficiently with that second person out of the way (...the dog knows to just crawl up into the bow shelf). Same drill when it's time to pick-up. Three adults in a 14? Bring a shore blind for one of them, 'cause it ain't gonna happen! Wink If you consistently hunt with one or two other people, you'd probably be better off with a more open, small john-boat or V-hull configuration equipped with a hoop blind, etc.

For an occasional outing with two younger children, well..... let's just say you'd better not hang your purchase on that scenario. You could get it done, but the novelty would most likely wear off pretty quickly (for them and you). My best advice on the purchase of a TDB 14 or SBDB is to base your decision on how you are most likely to hunt it. You'll be way better off than with a kayak, but still need to think 2 people at best.

Hunting with one of my sons. He's on the bank taking pics while I set up....
Cockpit looks very roomy, but angle of blind when set cuts down on space considerably when blind is set up. I have seen some folks rig a blind extension for the 14.






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

Last edited by:

MLBob Furia: May 9, 2020, 7:24 AM
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Well put bob. It?s very rare for me to be out there solo unless it?s mid season and a weekday before work. A sidekick may have a boat- usually a kayak- but between the two girls and Andrea, I almost always have a second Hunter with me. Not to mention all of the 25-30 year old somethings that Andrea keep recruiting for me to drag along. Pulling it is no problem, have a Silverado 1500 that?s a little beat up, so I don?t mind where it goes.

As for the John boat, for most of the places I hunt any blind on those things stick out like a sore thumb. Just too tall. Maybe I just haven?t seen one that works well enough for that kind of area. I enjoy the TDB and duckwater look, but used searching for a 17 has been hit or miss. Or in this case, a hit but no reply. The ability to open water hunt, drag a tender, and still get in some of the larger marshes is ideal, but Buying new isn?t going to happen, not with the 3 year old Kubota sitting on the farm staring at me and sucking money out of my bank account.
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Steve Sanford wrote:
A bigger challenge might be hunting 2 - or even 3 - from one duckboat. On Long Island, the tradition has mostly been one gunner per boat. So, 2 or 3 in a party means 2 or 3 boats.


You have no idea how many times I've stressed to people that when everyone shows up to the launch in their own sneakbox they will be far more effective. My long time partner Jeff understood it and it was one of the reasons we clicked. We'd show up and launch two boats and get into places and hunt from our boats in ways a jon boat just couldn't. Now I know this isn't always possible, especially if hunting big water, but I see a lot of hunters opt for the biggest jon boat they can afford and load it to the brim with gear and friends and hunt the same places that allows them to hide the monstrosity, all the while passing up numerous places say three separate sneakboxes could have set up and been very successful. I know this doesn't apply to what Nick is asking, but I do want to take the opportunity to say that when you break free from the "one big boat for me and all my buddies" mindset and transition to "I'll bring my sneakbox you bring yours" you will have gained more than lost, IMHO.

Eric
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Let me venture and ask how the South Bay handles in larger water. Problem in CT is launch spots are limited. Some of the marshes require straddling the beach for a mile or two... or three. On calmer days I imagine this is a non-issue?
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Bob & Eric & Nick~


Thanks for so nicely articulating my sentiments so well! I have enjoyed gunning out of my partner's TDB 17 many times, but....


Big vessels are fine for what they are - but are a whole different ballgame when compared with a traditional one-man duckboat. Bigger vessels provide an undeniable comfort and camaraderie but nevertheless they have real limits viz. hiding and access to gunning spots - at least on Long Island's south shore saltmarshes. There have been plenty of hunts where the birds have tended well, but others where we have bemoaned the birds passing us by whilst I would muse (silently) how...were I in my Sneakbox, I'd be right up in that little creek or cove...and be watching birds drop into the rig unawares....



I especially appreciated Bob's thoughts about the challenges of rigging with a body or bodies in the way. In a one-man - and I've owned a few - one develops a system for storing, rigging and gunning that just plain works. I've built 2-men, added a sit-up blind, towed a coffin box or two - but nothing compares with a well-equipped one-man.


All the best,


SJS




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


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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Nick ,
That?s part of the fun with Craigslist. Lol!
I think the rest of the guys hit the nail on the head. It hard to hide well in those areas with a boat that?s designed for more than 2 people. It can be done in a larger boat but the results may suffer some, but the versatility or time with your daughters and friends may be worth it. You can never have enough duck boats. I can tell you from experience that after boat number 4 my wife gave up. Best of luck in your search. I will keep an eye out for you.


Gunning from the FOWL HOOKED
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Andrea will be wife #2 and already conceded to more than one duck boat. Well see. I aim to keep the number low enough to not be single Smile
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
I have a SB I recently bought with trailer amd no motor for 900, but that was from a friend. It needs work though. I did hunt it twice last season, once in weather conditions I shouldnt have been out in. I was coming home across open water with waves big enough they were just rolling into the boat and 50mph gusts in my face. I bailed water with one hand and tillered with other. The south bay got me home. It is great for 1 person, same as my barnegat bay sneakbox, both provide great hiding and a stable, easy to move across mud platform, but there are risks involved especially if you hunt alone like me.




12' BBSB & 14' South Bay
South Jersey

Last edited by:

Rossja: May 9, 2020, 5:58 PM
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
I don't think you can go wrong with a TDB Classic 14

---------------------------------------------------------------------
***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: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Phil Nowack wrote:
I don't think you can go wrong with a TDB Classic 14



GREAT photo Phil
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A LOT OF MEMORIES IN A MAN'S STOOL........
Duck hunting without a dog is just shooting
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
14' TDB Grass it up right and you'll all be cozy & comfortable. Handles well, plenty of room and stable. I've had mine for about 4 years now since I sold my 14' SouthBay Duckboat. I hunt the south shore of LI plenty of places to hide the rig. Good luck!


Long Island, NY
http://www.Island-Outdoors.com

Last edited by:

Anthony Babich: May 10, 2020, 10:22 AM
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Good morning, Anthony~


Great photos - of course!


Question: What does your TDB draw - with 2 guys and gear aboard but the engine up, as if you were poling it out to deeper waters?


All the best,


SJS

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


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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Anthony is your TDB a classic or sea class?
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Hey Steve,
With 2 guys + all the gadgets / gear I draw about 3-4?

Long Island, NY
http://www.Island-Outdoors.com

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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Hey Roy,

This is a 1992 14 Classic Maine Built.

Last edited by:

Anthony Babich: May 11, 2020, 7:19 AM
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Re: Marsh boat- TDB, SBDB, other? In reply to
Anthony~


Thanks - just what I was hoping.


SJS

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