The No Fly Zone (NFZ)
Much like the Hellcat, this is a design I had been tossing around in my head ever since I installed a Mudbuddy Hyperdrive on my original Duckhunter. While the Duckhunter design is adequate for mudmotor use, it has never been optimal. The excess rocker in the rear of the boat, weight of the mudmotor (200lbs) and relatively narrow transom resulted in planing issues. Also the length of the mudmotor handle wasted a fair amount of cockpit space.
I know what many of you are thinking, "A mudmotor on a wooden boat??" Hopefully at this point I can begin to put your mind at ease. I ran a 21hp Hyperdrive on my original Duckhunter for almost 5 years. At no point did I shy away from any area that I wanted to reach to hunt ducks. During that time I encountered many a rock, beaverdam, downed logs, stumps, sand bars and mudflats and the boat has handled it all admirally. Mind you the original DH was not built with a mudmotor in mind and was built entirely from exterior grade ply and had a single sheathing of 6oz glass on the hull.
With that being said, let me briefly introduce you to the design features I have incorporated into this boat with a mudmotor in mind. The bottom of the hull to the rub rail is sheathed in a layer of 6oz fiberglass, a layer of 5oz Kevlar, and another layer of 6oz fiberglass. The lower half of the hull is coated in graphite/cabosil thickened epoxy mixture, making this a super slick, tough, hull. Lastly the keel strips are machined from UHMW plastic (nearly indestructible!) The rear deck moves the handle back to eliminate wasted cockpit space. The transom, like the other Toller models, has the 1/8" aluminum bracket that sandwhiches the transom. The transom is 2.25" of laminated 3/4" marine ply that is tied into the floor, sides and rear bulkhead of the boat.
Furthermore, my goal in designing this boat was to not only create a boat that would get you into the skinny but allow you to hunt it without sticking out like a sore thumb. There is no where that I would be afraid to take this boat under normal hunting circumstances, by this I mean, if your goal is to see how much air you can gain jumping dikes then this boat probably isn't for you. However, if you goal is to go where you need to go and blend into the environment once you get there then hopefully you'll consider the NFZ.
After building and selling the NFZ in 2007, I was approached with the chance to buy it back in 2012 at a steal. While I had visions of turning a profit, the NFZ quickly became my go to boat. She is a beast and handles everything I throw at her while coming back for more! Keep in mind as you browse the pictures upgrades to components or the way the boat is constructed will be incorporated in future builds.
Length: 18'3" OAL, 17' on the floor.
Max Width: 48" on floor, 62" on rail
Cockpit Opening: 10'10" x 36"
Interior Cockpit Dimensions: 11'10" x 48" (floor)/59" (side)
Capacity:1200 lbs of persons/motor/gear
The NFZ is constructed entirely of Okuome BS 1088 Marine ply and clear fir while all hardware is of marine grade. The entire hull is sheathed in 6oz fiberglass and encapsulated in epoxy, while the bottom has 2 layers of 6oz glass and a layer of 5 oz Kevlar. The bottom of the hull will have a final coat of graphite thickened epoxy for a super slick setup. I use only top of the line materials in construction including marine tinned wire and Lock Stock & Barrell paint.
Included in the price is:
Base Electrical - 2 Auxillary 12v outlets, Volt Meter, 6 switch circuit breaker panel, fuel gauge, 2 1000 gph bilge pumps (one manual switch and one auto float switch with manual overide), 72 Watt CREE LED light bar, 13 3" interior LED lights, Onboard 12v battery charger with convenient exterior access, LED running lights.
12 gallon permanent fuel tank
Two bench seats with water tight hatch for dry storage
Grizzly Grip Spray-In bedliner on the floor of cockpit, which further waterproofs the interior as well as adding traction and protection from gas & oil. Grizzly Grip spray on deck coating for sure footing
Battery mounting tray and battery quick-connects
Custom aluminum transom bracket/plate that serves to strengthen transom and distribute motor weight.
2 part marine foam in the fore and aft compartments as well as hunt deck to provide emergency floatation
Dry storage located in the running seat
Built in gun racks/pushpole holders.
Lighted splash proof glove box
Graphite thickened epoxy coating on the bottom along with UHMW keel strips.
Vinyl coated shelving flapper doors to act as a blind.