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Trailering Grassed Boats

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Trailering Grassed Boats
Curious how y'all handle grasses boats while trailering. My DW15 blinds (newly restored) is very convenient To just roll up for trailering. Also is nice for ingress and egress on the boat with the blind down as the boats shrinks a lot when the blind is up. When I purchased the boat. The previous owner had rolls of fast grass with pvc pipe hangers zip tied to them for easy attachment. Basically they just hook into the nylon webbing sewn all around the blind. Problem is I need 7 rolls to grass in the boat (including the rain cover). What I've been doing is rolling them all up and bungeeing them in the motor well, but it's a real pain in the rear to set them up every time, especially when I'm hunting with someone who doesn't know Exactly how the setup works. Even getting the blind up with someone else proves difficult at times. Also, the fast grass doesn't quite blend in with my hunting spots. Looks more like cattails you me and we either have spartina or phrag in most of our spots.

My question is, I have nylon webbing everywhere on the blind. Is cramming the webbing full of spartina enough for trailering? There's a good number of days we trailer on 95 (albeit I'm probably only going 60mph on it). I'm not sure if the spartina would handle rolling up well without breaking, and the rolling would be against the grain of the grass, if you catch my drift. Also, yay or nay to the rain cover? The webbing is the same direction on the rain cover, which also rolls up separately and clips to the side of the blind (or unzips completely).

Photos for fun and what I'm working with, rain cover and not. Note, resident geese are great to hunt where you can go out in a t shirt and they don't care about lack of camo like me in the last photo.




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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
I still have those youth waders.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
tod osier wrote:
I still have those youth waders.



Ah yes I need to snag those from you. Took the girls out for the first time yesterday, if i could post a video I would. Youngest was beating oldest with a broom made of cattails. It was quite entertaining. Didn't get anything but saw lots and shot a few times for effect. They enjoyed it. I'll give you a buzz this week when I'm running around.

Last edited by:

Nick Zito: Sep 20, 2020, 6:16 AM
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Nick Zito wrote:
tod osier wrote:
I still have those youth waders.



Ah yes I need to snag those from you. Took the girls out for the first time yesterday, if i could post a video I would. Youngest was beating oldest with a broom made of cattails. It was quite entertaining. Didn't get anything but saw lots and shot a few times for effect. They enjoyed it. I'll give you a buzz this week when I'm running around.


No rush, I just wanted to reinforce that the offer stands.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Goes down the road at 65mph on many days. I'll sometimes zip tie grass that is stuffed under the canvas loops or stuff it under multiple loops, usually the latter. The grass tucked under the grassing rails need to be packed tight. I take the butt ends, fold them back upon themselves about 8 inches before pulling/pushing the doubled over portion, under the grassing rail. I have a 3/4 inch gap, so doubling helps fill that gap.



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: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
  





I attached a ghillie blanket to the blind canvas and then raffia, the whole thing will roll up and I made some quick release web straps to hold the blind when rolled. I have trailered it at 75 mph for 4 hrs with no issues. Deploys in about 5 minutes when we get ready to hunt.

Last edited by:

Bob Collier: Sep 20, 2020, 1:27 PM
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
I also have the quick release straps, just didn't know what would blend in well enough And also have roll-ability. I assumed salt hay would just break and fall apart. Raffia would work for sure, though not sure if it would blend in with spartina
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Being a Midwesterner I am embarrassed to say I don?t know what Salt Hay or Spartina is. I would think if you went on the J Sterns website you could find some raffia that would match the color you need.
Good luck.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Google image spartina. It's that grass you see (or not being in the Midwest) in salt marshes.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Nick~


I would be tempted to lash small bundles of grass (Spartina or anything else) to your nylon straps. Here is how I do it on my gunning coffins:






I tie square knots in twine - and not zip ties - so it's biodegradable when I need to replace the grass.


My thatch rails on my boats have a 3/16-inch space between the rail and the deck. Packed tight, they have always traveled well at highway speeds.


All the best,


SJS


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


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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Ok
Googled it, does it turn more brown in the fall? I can see why you are concerned that raffia may not have the same ?look? as the grass but I think you could get close in color and vary the shades of raffia to give it depth.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
What Steve posted is about what it turns into.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Hanks of Rafia can be dyed with Rit dyes if j. Stern doesn,t have a color to your liking. All i use on my rollup cordura blinds . Stuff as many hanks as you can into Turkey fryer pot full of at least 140 degree water and let hanks soak for at least hlf. hr. Dark Brown mixed in with taupe 50/50 will give you those fall marsh grass color your after. First pot load will always be darkest on either color so you can actually get variation within the same dye mix to an extent. Mix together all your color batchs when dry.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Steve Sanford wrote:
Nick~


I would be tempted to lash small bundles of grass (Spartina or anything else) to your nylon straps. Here is how I do it on my gunning coffins:






I tie square knots in twine - and not zip ties - so it's biodegradable when I need to replace the grass.


My thatch rails on my boats have a 3/16-inch space between the rail and the deck. Packed tight, they have always traveled well at highway speeds.


All the best,


SJS



Steve,

I love the idea of using twine. Is that just regular garden Jute twine? How well does it hold up during the course of a season?

Thanks
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Christoph~


I use either garden twine or baler twine. Either will last through at least one season.






I cut - with diagonal pliers - a big bunch before I begin lashing.


All the best,


SJS

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


Last edited by:

Steve Sanford: Sep 23, 2020, 6:03 PM
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
I have put a tarp over the grass.. but a pain... and not needed.


I zip tie prairie cord grass to grassing rails on the boat...

Some of the grass on my boat is going into the 6th season...I just add more grass, as needed. I run 2000-3000 miles a year.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
***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

Last edited by:

Phil Nowack: Sep 23, 2020, 5:16 PM
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
good to know. Thanks Phil. I didnt see this before. Also didnt realize some garden stores sell baled salt hay. A lot easier than harvesting it. Will just have to toss some of the taller spartina when i get to the shooting spot.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
I use sisal, manila, and hemp twines. Add more every year. I use zip ties to tie bundles to grassing rails, cordora blind, motor cover, just getting splotches of different colors and patterns to break up the outline. I have only had to replace bundles when zip ties break or come unfastened or those bundles on grassing rails along the water line. They get beat up over the course of the season. Those too far aft tend to throw spray.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Sometimes pre-assembly is a necessity. I used aviary netting fastened to pad eyes secured in with stainless steel blind rivets. The aviary netting is ultra tough. I take my raffia, pull out a handful. Bend it in half, cut with scissors so the length is halved. Then I pull it through the aviary netting and tie a tight overhand knot. Raffia is unbelievably tough. If you wrap a thick strand around your finger and pull, you will cut your finger before it breaks. In a few weeks I will throw on some salt hay. That gets zip tied on. Both raffia and hay are tough. Raffia can go 4-5 years and hay usually goes 2. Spartina does not hold up but looks nice early season to add some green to your boat. Spartina I am lucky if I get a season. Trailering pretty much destroys it.

This is my Duck Invader 13 minus the flaps. I store the flaps in the bed of my truck and put them on when I get to the ramp. They go on with pins and clips. All the grass you see around the gunnels is raffia. It eventually gets matted down and I patch in a little hear and there. Otherwise, very low maintenance and VERY tough.

Last edited by:

Jay K: Oct 14, 2020, 7:53 AM
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
I wouldnt worry about the trailering. On my DB15 I have used spartina for the last 6 years zip tied to the grassing loops on the hull and blind. I trailer that boat around 7000 miles a season and yes, I definitely loose grass throughout the year but I also keep a good supply on hand. What I have found really helps with loosing grass is to make sure you have a thin layer or salt hay or raffia beneath the spartina.

My roy boat is the same, only spartina but zip tied to aviary netting. I kept a very thing layer of some raffia beneath just to mix in for longevity.

In a perfect world I would go all rafia and do as mentioned by Jay k. Cut to length and tie tight half hitch to either aviary netting or grassing rails, but truthfully myself I have never been able to have a realistic looking color out of raffia and I always end up putting on natural spartina anyways. I know there are a lot of guys out there that have had better color luck or will die their own raffia or fast grass, but I am just not artistic enough to make my own. A few minutes on the marsh with a 20v hedge trimmer makes quick work for me to grass up 4 boats each season and personally dont feel you can beat the look of real grass.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
Rob,

I'm not sure where you hunt out of but if it's NJ/MD/NY/DE the "field green" raffia color I find to be a good mix for early, mid, and late season. I don't think here there is one perfect way to grass a boat. Pretty soon (if I find the time to cut some) I'll be adding some salt hay into the mix. I simply can't do without it. Early season I also bundle the spartina in for some green.

A lot of it has to do with how the grass is attached. I tend to go a little overboard with attaching because I'd rather put the work in up front instead of having to re-attach lost pieces down the road. Even then, I still keep extra raffia on hand to tie in throughout the season and grab hay as needed.
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Re: Trailering Grassed Boats In reply to
I've had this idea for two years but for the last two years hunting the river here was tough due to high water. I finally got around to finishing the idea this year. My blind is an aluminum frame and I use a camouflaged boat cover as a base on a 12' v-bottom. I zip tied paracord for an attachment point for grassing with raffia. in order to keep from losing the grassing I cover the boat with another boat cover while trailering. If this works the way I hope it works for next year I will "fit" the blind cover to the boat and fasten with snaps. This I hope will give me a dodger so I can worry less about the weather while I'm hunting.





Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford