The Best Duck Hunting Boats of 2022 (2022)

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Written By David Rearick

Published Aug 15, 2022 4:29 PM

After hunting my way across the U.S.A. chasing the North American Waterfowl Grand Slam, I can attest to the importance of selecting the right duck hunting boat for specific waters. While all boats offer some versatility, no one could have convinced me to hunt king eiders on St. Paul Island, Alaska in a marsh boat. Likewise, I would have shaken my head if I was in a TDB while hunting tree ducks in a shallow Florida marsh. Simply put, you need boat for your hunting scenario, and factors including maneuverability, concealment, safety, and size all play an important role in making the appropriate choice for the best duck hunting boats.

Best for Big Water: TDB SeaClass

The Duck Boat Company

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Why It Made the Cut

Designed in Maine for the tough waters of the Atlantic, the TDB SeaClass was made with safety at the forefront. Built from fiberglass and with a wave-cutting hull, this duck hunting boat can handle the roughest waves when the weather kicks up.

Key Features

  • Available in 14, 17, and 21-foot lengths
  • Shallow drafting (9 inches for the 21-foot configuration)
  • Molded-in hull flotation
  • Kevlar reinforced bow

Pros

  • Handles big water like the Great Lakes or sea
  • Can hunt in open-water or along a shoreline with attached blind
  • Hard-top hull design keeps you dry, even in rough water

Cons

  • Not as versatile as other options
  • Duck-hunting specific

Product Description

I’ve hunted out of numerous TDBs on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and they offer superior peace of mind when the water gets rough. This hull design cuts through waves with ease, which means less operator fatigue and a more comfortable ride. The attached blind and hard-top hull keeps you out of the wind and dry while hunting, and it hides extremely well with some moderate chop. For sea ducks and divers, the TDB is great for open-water gunning.

The Best Duck Hunting Boats of 2022 (2)

Since they’re made from fiberglass (heavy), they can be difficult to load on a trailer, especially in heavy winds. The 17 and 21-foot versions require two to three hunters for easier handling, but the 14-foot can be managed with one man. While they excel on big, open water, and you can hunt them on smaller lakes, they aren’t ideal for rivers or small marshes. But, if you hunt mostly big water and prioritize safety, a TDB SeaClass of any size is an excellent choice.

Best for Small Water: MOmarsh Fatboy DP

The Best Duck Hunting Boats of 2022 (3)
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MOmarsh

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Why It Made the Cut

The removable transom on the MOmarsh Fatboy DP makes this a versatile duck hunting boat that allows you to hunt open water divers or backwater teal with ease.

Key Features

  • Optional detachable transom
  • Weight: 95 pounds
  • Only 4 inches of draft, fully loaded
  • Screw in drain plug for easy draining

Pros

  • Easy handling for one person
  • Fits in the back of a standard truck bed
  • Can transport one hunter, their gear, and a retriever

Cons

  • Only hunts open water with certain conditions
  • Holds one person

Product Description

The MOmarsh Fatboy DP (dual-purpose) is suitable to hunt layout-boat style in open water for divers one day and then in shallow water marshes the next. It can be paddled, push-poled, or even equipped with a small outboard motor with the addition of an optional transom.

The DP is perfect for solo hunters, and their retriever and can be outfitted with a door system that turns it into a field layout blind for ultimate concealment, including a dog door. The Fatboy DP can’t handle big waves, so you’ll have to wait for perfect conditions to hunt bigger waters. But, if you enjoy solo hunting, the DP is an affordable, versatile option.

Best for Timber: Pro-Drive X Series TD Edition

Pro-Drive

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Why It Made the Cut

Expanding on Pro-Drive’s popular X series, the Timber Deck (TD) Edition is a versatility option for hunting in the timber. This hull can maneuver in the tight quarters that are common in flooded timber, and it offers easy in-out access at the rear of the boat for hunters and four-legged friends.

Key Features

  • Available in 18 and 20-foot lengths
  • Rear entry step (AKA Timber Deck)
  • Fully flush floor design
  • Triple-taper chine for increased responsiveness

Pros

  • Great for different shallow-water hunting environments
  • Timber Deck makes getting in and out of the boat much easier
  • Interior layout offers ample floor space and minimal trip hazards

Cons

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  • Currently no 16-foot variation
  • Flat bottom design isn’t great for rough water

Product Description

The X Series is the most popular hull in this Pro Series line, and the addition of the Timber Deck makes it easy to adjust your setup when you need to. If you’ve hunted timber before, you know the difficulty of getting in and out of the boat. Thankfully, the TD makes it easy for you and your four-legged friend to bail in or out without damaging gear or taking a spill. This entry method also reduces wear and tear on your duck hunting waders, gear, and body. Add this feature to Pro-Drive’s triple-taper chines handling ability, and you have a great duck hunting boat for tight timber.

Most Versatile: GO-DEVIL Surface Drive Boats

GO-DEVIL

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Why It Made the Cut

Designed specifically for use with surface drive mud motors, these GO-DEVIL boats are rugged and can handle a variety of tough hunting conditions.

Key Features

  • Available in 16, 18, and 20-foot lengths
  • Maximized bottom surface area for increased lift
  • One-piece hull design
  • Responsive at lower speeds

Pros

  • Suitable for everything from shallow rivers to flooded timber
  • One-piece hull design offers added durability, less failure points
  • Deep sides offer more cargo room and added protection

Cons

  • Not for deep, choppy water

Product Description

Putting a surface drive (AKA short-tail) mud motor on just any boat hull can lead to lackluster results. For example, you wouldn’t want to put a mud motor on a deep V-hull. To answer that call, GO-DEVIL knocked it out of the park with this Surface Drive hull specifically designed for integration with a surface drive mud motor.

With maximum bottom surface area, this hull will get out of the hole and get on plane quicker. This allows for faster response, which is important when you’re hunting areas of varying water depth to avoid getting hung up on obstructions or mud flats. Additionally, the tapered chine allows the hull to slide off banks and other obstacles with ease.

Best for Shallow Water: Excel F4

Excel Boats

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Why It Made the Cut

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Excel’s comprehensive F4 line offers a variety of boat hulls designed specifically for shallow water mud flats and marshes.

Key Features

  • Available in 16, 17, 18, and 19-foot lengths
  • Optifade Marsh camo pattern option
  • Multiple configurations available
  • Built-in gun boxes

Pros

  • Full flat floor
  • Five different F4 models with multiple configurations
  • Console and tiller configurations

Cons

  • Added convenience features can increase the base cost
  • Transom angle designed specifically for mud motors

Product Description

Excel’s comprehensive F4 line includes five different models with additional configuration options available for each of them. One of their most unique offerings is the Shallow Water F4 Pro Console, which pairs a fishing style console with a duck boat designed for a mud motor. In addition to the console model, their tiller Shallow Water F4 is loaded with standard features like gun boxes for your best duck hunting shotguns and dry storage for other gear.

The entire F4 line was designed to hunt shallow water, including mud flats, rivers, and even timber. The rugged hull design has a unique bull nose that can stave off unexpected bumps and bruises. And the only drawback is that transom angle is designed specifically for mud motors, so it may not be ideal for conventional outboards if you’re into that kind of thing.

Best for Mixed Water-Depth Hunting: War Eagle Blackhawk Series

War Eagle Boats

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Why It Made the Cut

While not a conventional deep V-hull, the modified V-hull on the Blackhawk series makes these boats a versatile option for hunting a variety of water depths.

Key Features

  • Available in 17, 19, and 21-foot lengths
  • 18-degree modified V-hull
  • Different paint/color options, including camo
  • Variety of standard comfort features

Pros

  • Modified V-hull cuts through waves with ease
  • Suitable for big water and shallow water edges
  • Doubles as a high-end fishing boat

Cons

  • Only available in a console configuration
  • Not as duck-hunting specific as other options

Product Description

The Blackhawk Series by War Eagle pulls double-duty as a versatile duck hunting and fishing boat. First, its modified 18-degree V-hull cuts through choppy water, which allows hunters to cut across bigger lakes with added safety and comfort but still get shallow when they need to. Second, you can fish this boat in the off-season, but it doesn’t sacrifice comfort or features like a lot of other competitors.

While the dual-purpose is nice, depending on how may features you add, they’ll quickly take up space and add cost. Additionally, the hull design will not get as skinny as a true flat bottom that has a smooth surface and is designed to minimize friction. The Blackhawk was also designed for use with a conventional outboard, so there are limits when it comes to truly shallow conditions.

Best for Open Water: Layout Addictions GHOST 2 Man

Layout Addictions

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Why It Made the Cut

Layout boats are subjected to a lot of abuse, especially when they are deployed and retrieved with a tender boat. While fiberglass has long been the standard, this layout board adds durability by way of aluminum.

Key Features

  • Completely aluminum
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Locking and adjustable spray shield
  • Includes shell holders and head rests

Pros

  • Durable, welded aluminum design
  • Ample boot room for a layout boat
  • Doesn’t lack hunting features

Cons

  • Not as easy to repair as fiberglass
  • Can feel colder than fiberglass

Product Description

Layout hunting for divers has long been my favorite fall activity, even more so with a friend. After all, who doesn’t want to relive every layup miss they’ve ever made? The GHOST 2 Man allows you to do just that. This layout boat is super durable and made completely from aluminum. It hides very well, even in small chop, and includes an adjustable spray shield for rough waves. The only detractions are that the aluminum can be a little louder on calm days and transfers cold to your body easier than fiberglass, but those are minor drawbacks that the Hydro-Turf helps mitigate.

FAQs

Q: What is a good size for a duck boat?

A good size duck boat depends on your hunting style and the waters you hunt most. Having extra space is always ideal, but the bigger the hull the less maneuverable and the more difficult to handle. When you’re looking for a boat, consider the tightness of the areas you hunt, your average hunting crew, and if you ever intend to hunt alone. Armed with that information, consider buying a hull that has enough space for your average hunting crew without going overboard.

Q: What motor is best for duck hunting?

Again, depending on how and where you hunt will determine which motor is best for your style of duck hunting. The two main configurations for duck boats are conventional (think standard long shaft propeller outboards) and mud motors (both short and long-tail varieties). Selecting between the two comes down to the environments that you hunt. If you only hunt shallow water, mud motors are ideal. If you hunt deep water, conventional outboards are perfect, and if you hunt both, choosing between either is a little murkier, but short-tail mud motors will likely satisfy your needs. A better explanation requires a much more detailed article, but following these guidelines is a good place to start.

Q: How much is a duck hunting boat?

Duck hunting boats run anywhere from just under $1000 for smaller hand-powered marsh boats to more than $50,000. While cost is always important, nothing is more frustrating than choosing a cheaper option to save a few thousand bucks only to find it isn’t big or safe enough for your hunting environments. To get the most bang for your buck, do your research and investigate multiple options before you open your wallet.

The Best Duck Hunting Boats of 2022 (9)

Things to Consider When Buying a Duck Hunting Boat

When it comes time to make a purchase, start by listing out the environments you intend to hunt, the number of hunters in your party, any must-have features, and the style of outboard you intend to use. Once you have this information, you can quickly narrow down your options. It also never hurts to consider used boats, and sometimes you can find a great deal on these, as long as they’ve been maintained. Just like buying a used car, always operate in a buyer-beware mode, and make sure you check over any used boat you buy with a fine-tooth comb by looking for damage, signs of abuse, and user modifications that may be detrimental to performance.

Methodology

I’ve hunted some of the toughest ducks and other waterfowl for thousands of days over the past few decades and have had the privilege of hunting out of nearly every style of boat imaginable. To best evaluate the differences between different boat models and configurations, I always look at the finer, more subtle details that often separate one manufacturer from another. In most cases these details define the specific types of hunting environments that a boat’s hull will best fit.

The Best Duck Hunting Boats of 2022 (10)

Final Thoughts

The best duck hunting boats have come a long way over the past decade. Boat manufacturers have seen the need for duck hunting specific hull designs and features, which has given buyers plenty of options for boat hulls that are specific for their hunting environments. This includes everything from obstruction-choked timber to the ocean. So, whatever hunting styles and waters apply to you, there’s a boat that can fit them.

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FAQs

What size boat is best for duck hunting? ›

A 16-footer is a good all-purpose size for hunters who hunt smaller lakes and who typically don't bring more than a couple of other hunters and their gear. A 48-inch width is a good all-purpose width, too.

What is the lightest duck boat? ›

The W700 is still the lightest boat for duck hunting in the mud flats.

What motor is best for duck hunting? ›

Mud motors have changed the way many people hunt ducks. Designed to ride over obstructions, they offer much greater shallow-water capability than traditional outboards with a rigid lower unit. Mud motors are available in two general configurations: long-tail and surface-drive.

What kind of boat do you use for duck hunting? ›

A 10- or 12-foot aluminum jon boat is the classic choice, and they still work fine, especially if paired with an electric trolling motor or small outboard. If you're paddling, a fiberglass canoe is faster, and it can haul more gear and hunters without capsizing.

How much is a new duck boat? ›

Prices On Used & New Duck Boats
Type or ModelFeaturesPrice
2018 SeaArk Mud Runner 180It has a bilge It contains Nav Lights It is painted in Shadowgrass Camo Paint It is a B & M trailer$8,817
2018 SeaArk Mud Runner 180It is a Haul Rite Trailer It contains Nav Lights It has a bilge It is painted in Breakup Paint$9,798
8 more rows
10 Jun 2019

How much does a duck hunting boat cost? ›

Prices range from $980 all the way to $11,000. Some of the higher-end ones like the 1648 Jon come with a basic center storage area. The flat bottom of these boats makes them extremely stable and able to easily accommodate you and your favorite retriever.

How much is a duck hunting boat? ›

Duck hunting boats run anywhere from just under $1000 for smaller hand-powered marsh boats to more than $50,000. While cost is always important, nothing is more frustrating than choosing a cheaper option to save a few thousand bucks only to find it isn't big or safe enough for your hunting environments.

What state kills the most mallards? ›

We killed about 510,000 mallards in Arkansas, or about 35% of the total. That dwarfs the number killed in Minnesota (166,366), which was second. In Oklahoma, they killed 113,463 mallards.

What is the duck hunting capital of the world? ›

This is it: Stuttgart — The Rice and Duck Capital of the World. It may look small and commonplace, not unlike dozens of other small cities scattered across the Delta. But in the world of waterfowling, Stuttgart is hallowed ground.

Do you need a mud motor for duck hunting? ›

A mud motor is used for hunting waterfowl in the marshes, bogs, and waters where ducks are often found. Depending on the size of the mud motor, these shallow water boats carry large loads of decoys, guns, ammunition, food, fuel, hunting companions, dogs, and more, so you will never go without on any of your hunts.

Do I need a boat to Duck Hunt? ›

Hunters frequently need a boat to pursue waterfowl, but new camo-covered boats and outboards can definitely be budget-busters. Instead, consider buying a used rig and camouflaging it yourself. Just be sure to buy enough boat to hunt safely on the waters where you'll be hunting.

Can you duck hunt from a jon boat? ›

Fish and hunt where others can't with a rugged Lund aluminum Jon boat. These 10 foot utility waterfowl-hunting boats and utility fishing boats have an aluminum flat-bottom design so you can easily access shallow water when fishing or hunting ducks or geese from a boat.

What are small flat bottom boats such as duck hunting boats prone? ›

Be aware that small, flat-bottom vessels are prone to capsizing or swamping. Keep weight low and distribute gear evenly in the vessel.

What is a sneak boat? ›

Definition of sneak boat

: a boat used in approaching unobserved especially : sneak box.

How should you pass a fishing boat? ›

According to the US Coast Guard, you should always make an effort to pass on the port side (left) of the vessel. This means you must steer toward starboard, that way both vessels are passing each other on their port sides. When ready to pass this way, you should honk your horn once.

How big are duck boats? ›

Duck boats are 31 feet long and 8 feet 3 inches wide.

Can you duck hunt out of a boat? ›

Hunting from a boat is a great way to utilize North America's public lakes, rivers, marshes, and swamps. A boat outfitted with a blind and the proper equipment will allow hunters to follow ducks that move as water or feeding conditions change.

How wide is a duck boat? ›

DUKW
Mass13,600 lb (6,200 kg) empty
Length31 ft (9.45 m)
Width8 ft (2.44 m)
Height8 ft 10 in (2.69 m) with top up 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) minimum
16 more rows

Can you duck hunt from a jon boat? ›

Fish and hunt where others can't with a rugged Lund aluminum Jon boat. These 10 foot utility waterfowl-hunting boats and utility fishing boats have an aluminum flat-bottom design so you can easily access shallow water when fishing or hunting ducks or geese from a boat.

What is the toughest aluminum boat? ›

War Eagle Boats are the toughest boats on the water! All welded and constructed from heavy gauge aluminum, we challenge you to compare our quality to any other aluminum boat. Our commonsense approach to overcoming real hunting and fishing obstacles drives us to create even better products for the future.

Why are Duck boats called Duck boats? ›

Called a “duck,” the vehicle was shaped like a boat. It had a hollow airtight body for buoyancy and used a single propeller for forward momentum. It was designed according to Army criteria and was based on the Army's 2.5-ton truck.

Do they still make Duck boats? ›

At Olsen Marine, we take pride in our long history of quality boat building. Now, we have the ability to offer duck hunters the same tradition, designs, reliability, and durability that made The Duck Boat Company stand out in the past.

Can you shoot ducks out of a moving boat? ›

Federal law prohibits shooting at waterfowl from a moving boat even if you are chasing a cripple.

What is the problem with using your boat's engine to drive it onto a trailer? ›

Using the boat's engine to load onto the trailer is dangerous to your equipment and the people around the loading area. It also erodes the material at the end of the ramp which leads to its deterioration. Power-loading also upsets the no-wake zone surrounding the loading and unloading ramp areas.

Do I need a boat to Duck hunt? ›

Hunters frequently need a boat to pursue waterfowl, but new camo-covered boats and outboards can definitely be budget-busters. Instead, consider buying a used rig and camouflaging it yourself. Just be sure to buy enough boat to hunt safely on the waters where you'll be hunting.

How many people fit on a duck boat? ›

The Duck Paddle Wheeler is sure to wow your guests and bring the smiles! Plus, there's plenty of room for the entire gang. The Duck comfortably and safely fits 5 people, with a fully enclosed back bench seat.
...
Specifications.
Dimensions5'9" H x 6'2" W x 11'2" L
Product Weight490 lbs
Capacity5 People

How many DUKW are left? ›

Only a few hundred are still in operation today. They have six wheels and can be driven in rear wheel or all wheel drive. In the Pacific, Marines used the DUKW as an assault craft.

How long is a duck boat? ›

The dimensions of today's boats aren't readily available, but the WWII vehicles they're modeled after were 31 feet long and weighed 13,000 pounds when empty. In many cities, the tours operate independently, according to CityLab, but in some places, they're run by a franchise like Ride the Ducks.

How do you turn a jon boat into a duck blind? ›

How to build a DIY Duck Blind on your Jon Boat - YouTube

How do you make a duck blind out of PVC pipe? ›

Homemade PVC Duck Blind DIY | The Sticks Outfitter | EP. 31 - YouTube

Videos

1. Prodigy Platinum 2.0 Walk Around...
(Prodigy Boats)
2. GatorTail Savage Series Mid Deck | Duck Hunting Boat Gator Tail
(Gator-Tail Outboards)
3. Duck-Fishing Boat—Prodigy
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4. The Ultimate Duck Boat: Built by Ducks Unlimited Magazine
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5. I BOUGHT THE BADDEST DUCK BOAT I COULD FIND!! (Full Walk Through)
(BobbyGuyFilms)
6. Ultimate Duck Boat Setup | War Eagle Boats
(Chris Schroeder)

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