It’s finally that time of year to start making preparations for duck-hunting season. Here in Florida, I always start rummaging through all of my gear just after the early teal season in September. The main things I check are the decoys and their rigging, waders (leaks, proper size. Etc.), clean the 12-gauge and of course make sure the boat and trailer are ready for a 60-day season of wear and tear.
Let’s be real, as duck hunters, our boats and their maintenance get set on the back burner during the season. Therefore being prepared is an absolute must.
After completing the almost annual trailer rebuild and navigation light repairs, I decided that I wanted to camouflage my boat this year, but within a relatively low budget. After searching the Internet and catalogs I came up with a cheap and easy solution.
Step 1: Stencil Building
Materials consist of masking tape, permanent marker, razor knife, cling wrap, cutting board and your desired camo. (I used mossy oak shadow grass)
I started by folding my shirt into flat square. I then taped the cling wrap down on all four sides so I could trace the pattern. Keep in mind most camo patterns consist of a few different layers, so prepare to do this step about 3 times.
After you have traced the pattern you can then slide your poster board under the cling wrap drawing. I used poster board because of efficiency and cost but a double laminate plastic would be ideal.
Make sure you don’t forget to back the poster board with a cutting board, as this protects your table and improves your cutting accuracy.
I made three stencils to camo my boat; this is the bark layer, which really brought out the effect I was after. The work is tedious but not difficult.
The stencils I made were saw grass, general army mesh and bark. I recommend using these as a stencil and trace a back up stencil in case the paint fouls the poster board out.
Step 2: The Paint Job
I used the Krylon camouflage spray paint in brown, green, black and khaki. I base coated the whole boat in a darker drab colored khaki (a bit darker than the Krylon camo khaki). You can use whatever you want for paint but it is imperative that it is satin or “flat” colored. In this picture you can see the darker base coat covered by the first stencil pattern of the army mesh, which I painted with the brown. I followed the first stencil with a light patchy freehand spray of the green.
After 30 minutes or longer of dry time I painted over it with the bark stencil in black. Please take your time and allow the boat and more importantly the stencil to dry before proceeding. I painted small portions at a time.
When you get to the saw grass stencil you want to be extra careful, this is what will be the most visible. I would recommend making at least 3 stencils out of the poster board for this pattern because of the amount of paint. Start by using the darker khaki drab paint and intermittently paint a pattern every other stencil length around the boat. Next you will take the lighter khaki color and fill all the spots that you skipped over, therefore there is saw grass covering it all. To really make the saw grass standout you will then take the same stencil with black now and lightly graze the edges of the saw grass stencil making it look like shadows.
Remember to take your time throughout this project, it will pay off in the finished product.