How to camo your boat PROPERLY?

Hey guys, I just picked up a 12ft aluminum jon boat for less dirt cheap to be a project boat. The hull is in great shape (no cracks, holes, or any leaking of any sort) but has no engine. I am debating on whether to power it or not because I will have to register it and go through all of that to make it legal and what not. I want to ask the experienced hunters here on what you would do in my situation:huh? First off, I am replacing all of the hardware on the boat and switching it to stainless and also repainting it camo for sure. My questions are: Do you have any color schemes that seems to work better than others? Have you used any primers or other products that make the paint last longer? If so, what brand and quantity? What is your favorite way of creating your camo pattern (use palms, misc sticks, etc)?

I have looked at several videos on how to camo, spoke with friends before hand, but want to get as much information as possible before starting the painting process. I am debating on whether to just keep it as a gigging/hunting boat and keep it simple. Or put more work into it for duck hunting purposes and power it with trolling motor or put a gas engine on it. Any good incite is appreciated. :cool:
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Replies

  • mccrackermccracker Posts: 354 Deckhand
    I like the typical palm frond stencil, the trick is having a good base color. If you start with green as your base, you'll have to use tan or whatever color for your stencils and if you're using it in a marshy area with reeds and saw grass it won't blend in all that well but if you were to start with tan as the base color and add green to make the stencils then you'll have tan plants and blend in a little better. Just need to pick a pattern that looks where you will use it most, but camo is camo and you can't really go wrong with it...
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,418 AG
    mccracker wrote: »
    I like the typical palm frond stencil, the trick is having a good base color. If you start with green as your base, you'll have to use tan or whatever color for your stencils and if you're using it in a marshy area with reeds and saw grass it won't blend in all that well but if you were to start with tan as the base color and add green to make the stencils then you'll have tan plants and blend in a little better. Just need to pick a pattern that looks where you will use it most, but camo is camo and you can't really go wrong with it...
    Tan or marsh brown is a good base coat to start with. No need to spend 100 bucks on expensive stencils to spray in grass or reeds either. Get a cheap box cutter, go grab some free cardboard boxes out of a dumpster somewhere and go to cutting out your patterns in the cardboard boxes. Make a bunch of them so while one cardboard stencil is drying out after a few sprays you can use the other ones you've already cut. After drying they can be used over and over and over, repeat and replace. Let them dry good before switching them around so you don't get paint gonnoreah (the drips and smears). lol

    It is also important to tape the stencils securely to the area you are painting so that you get clean shots without smudging or just plain lousy detail. Do in stages, take your time, you can overlay the same stencils over previously sprayed (and dried shots) to get the woven shadow/marsh grass effect. Obviously camo is just there to help blend you in but a nicely done job is pleasing to the eye and you'll be happier with your end result.

    A big consideration before doing anything is make sure your transom is sturdy and able to hold up the weight and stress of whatever power you choose to put on it. Some transoms are rotted out and some may not be worth fixing without some considerable expense. I believe if you have a bill of sale and can find registration papers you shouldn't have an issue registering. It helps to know someone who works in the Title Clerk office or that you are friendly with, can make a pain in the rear a very simple fix. :) You don't have to register it in the county you buy it in.............some friend of yours somewhere knows a clerk somewhere in some small town that can make this happen easily. Ask me how I know this. LOL
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,186 AG
    12 footer?...

    I wouldn't spend much time or money....burlap is cheap and fronds are even cheaper.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,418 AG
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    12 footer?...

    I wouldn't spend much time or money....burlap is cheap and fronds are even cheaper.

    This from the guy who only shoots over G&H decoys or hand carved cork? :grin

    It is all in the satisfaction of the beholder. A 12 foot boat with the right motor can be a duck assassin machine for a solo hunter. Burlap and fronds are good window dressing, but he might not only enjoy doing his project but may pay big dividends on open water. Hundreds of ducks took one for the team in a rig like that before I made a change.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • David BDavid B Posts: 1,881 Captain
    I love painting aluminum boats. If done properly the paint will last for years.

    The first thing that I do is either pressure wash it or take it to the car wash. After the initial cleaning, I wire brush all loose paint. I use a stainless steel cup brush on a 4.5" grinder to do this. After having completed that task, I wash it again. This time I utilize either alumi-brite or some indoor/outdoor air coil cleaner. I pay close attention to getting any grime off of the inside of the boat. Use a stainless steel scrub pad. I wear gloves and eye protection. Once your are certain that it is clean, rinse it with fresh water and let it dry.
    For painting: I first apply a coat of zinc chromate primer. It can be found at parts stores or anywhere that sells automotive/aircraft paints.
    Zinc chromate ensures that the top coats of paint have something to bond with.
    I prefer duck boat paint. Companies like Parker duck boat paint can be ordered through Cabelas, Macks PW and the likes. We spray our boats when applying this paint. It can be thinned and brushed on too. A
    After applying the base color (several coats), we take sponges and apply different colors that you would find consistent with a marsh. Again we use Parker Paints for this. If these paints are allowed to dry for several days or so before any use, they should last you for quite a long time. We painted the boat that we use each season around 7 years ago. Other than the aluminum bench seats and the very bottom of the hull, there is little difference than when it was first painted. This boat gets used year around for numerous activities and has been run through woody brush and the likes since day one.

    This whole process may be more than what you had planned. If so, degrease the boat, spray it krylon camo and enjoy. Cut your own stencils out of stencil board or cardboard and have at it. I have done many boats this way in my younger days.
    Increasing MMGW or climate change, one twist off at a time.
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,418 AG
    David B wrote: »
    I love painting aluminum boats. If done properly the paint will last for years.

    The first thing that I do is either pressure wash it or take it to the car wash. After the initial cleaning, I wire brush all loose paint. I use a stainless steel cup brush on a 4.5" grinder to do this. After having completed that task, I wash it again. This time I utilize either alumi-brite or some indoor/outdoor air coil cleaner. I pay close attention to getting any grime off of the inside of the boat. Use a stainless steel scrub pad. I wear gloves and eye protection. Once your are certain that it is clean, rinse it with fresh water and let it dry.
    For painting: I first apply a coat of zinc chromate primer. It can be found at parts stores or anywhere that sells automotive/aircraft paints.
    Zinc chromate ensures that the top coats of paint have something to bond with.
    I prefer duck boat paint. Companies like Parker duck boat paint can be ordered through Cabelas, Macks PW and the likes. We spray our boats when applying this paint. It can be thinned and brushed on too. A
    After applying the base color (several coats), we take sponges and apply different colors that you would find consistent with a marsh. Again we use Parker Paints for this. If these paints are allowed to dry for several days or so before any use, they should last you for quite a long time. We painted the boat that we use each season around 7 years ago. Other than the aluminum bench seats and the very bottom of the hull, there is little difference than when it was first painted. This boat gets used year around for numerous activities and has been run through woody brush and the likes since day one.

    This whole process may be more than what you had planned. If so, degrease the boat, spray it krylon camo and enjoy. Cut your own stencils out of stencil board or cardboard and have at it. I have done many boats this way in my younger days.

    Parkers is the bomb for the base coat. I didn't spend a lot of money prepriming but a friend told me the Navy used vinegar to etch battleships back in the day so I used that for primer. Something that works good for places that get a lot of wear from dirt and sand where you stand do well with truck bed liner or undercoating...........then paint that part. I guess if you want to get real fancy after the base coat and Krylon stencil camo you could shoot the boat with a matte/flat clear coat finish to seal it in...........and not make it real shiny and reflect a lot of sunlight. Boat projects are fun but not something to embark on a week before opening day. :grin
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,186 AG
    navigator2 wrote: »
    This from the guy who only shoots over G&H decoys or hand carved cork? :grin

    .

    The boat just transports those nice decoys.....

    If you want to kill more ducks....leave the boat and camo YOURSELF.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,186 AG
    David B wrote: »
    I love painting aluminum boats. If done properly the paint will last for years.

    The first thing that I do is either pressure wash it or take it to the car wash. After the initial cleaning, I wire brush all loose paint. I use a stainless steel cup brush on a 4.5" grinder to do this. After having completed that task, I wash it again. This time I utilize either alumi-brite or some indoor/outdoor air coil cleaner. I pay close attention to getting any grime off of the inside of the boat. Use a stainless steel scrub pad. I wear gloves and eye protection. Once your are certain that it is clean, rinse it with fresh water and let it dry.
    For painting: I first apply a coat of zinc chromate primer. It can be found at parts stores or anywhere that sells automotive/aircraft paints.
    Zinc chromate ensures that the top coats of paint have something to bond with.
    I prefer duck boat paint. Companies like Parker duck boat paint can be ordered through Cabelas, Macks PW and the likes. We spray our boats when applying this paint. It can be thinned and brushed on too. A
    After applying the base color (several coats), we take sponges and apply different colors that you would find consistent with a marsh. Again we use Parker Paints for this. If these paints are allowed to dry for several days or so before any use, they should last you for quite a long time. We painted the boat that we use each season around 7 years ago. Other than the aluminum bench seats and the very bottom of the hull, there is little difference than when it was first painted. This boat gets used year around for numerous activities and has been run through woody brush and the likes since day one.

    This whole process may be more than what you had planned. If so, degrease the boat, spray it krylon camo and enjoy. Cut your own stencils out of stencil board or cardboard and have at it. I have done many boats this way in my younger days.

    Good advise for a top notch job....
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • BuckDaddyBuckDaddy Posts: 644 Officer
    Let's see some pics of finished paint jobs !
  • Bite 1Bite 1 Posts: 482 Deckhand
    Good God, so much work,Olive drab a few fronds and sit still, what else can there be.? Just like camo guns. If ducks can get close enough to see my gun they should be dead . Will never use camo gun. Want a gun to look like a gun. Old school,so what, works for me 40 years.
  • Bite 1Bite 1 Posts: 482 Deckhand
    Young bucks with all u r money. Cover u r boats, guns,because if not scarring all ducks away. OMG never to be seen again LOL can't help it
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,418 AG
    Bite 1 wrote: »
    Good God, so much work,Olive drab a few fronds and sit still, what else can there be.? Just like camo guns. If ducks can get close enough to see my gun they should be dead . Will never use camo gun. Want a gun to look like a gun. Old school,so what, works for me 40 years.

    40 years? That's all? You watch Duck Dynasty too don't you. :grin

    That wasn't a shot taken at you but the red canoes at STA McDuck Farms are a bit over the top. Couple of pics. Usually fish out of the one with the outboard unless I need to run 7-10 miles in a nasty chop to hunt. The other one is a simple metal 14 foot Jon with enough longtail horsepower to kill you in the dark if you can't see good.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • mccrackermccracker Posts: 354 Deckhand
    Here's my little boat, the camo on it isn't for any particular place is somewhat of a hodge podge because I use it only for fishing.
  • Derek ArsuaDerek Arsua Posts: 2,474 Officer
    Well works for me is get you some spray paint I like to use rust oleum oregano for the base color then get some other colors like sand tan brown black and even grey. It really depends on what you plan on trying to blend in with mainly. But once I lay the base color I will then go over it in a stripe pattern of different angles starting with the lighter colors first and then the darker.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1423454815.704593.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1423454848.605285.jpg
    These should give you an idea of what I mean. As far as powering it 15 hp or less if you need to use the boat for running any real distances other wise paddle push pole or trolling motor for sneak boat
  • ecueagleecueagle Posts: 478 Officer
    , This blends in pretty well in cattails.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,186 AG
    For those with canoes..

    I have a camo cover made by Cabelas with three zippered openings that works very well in conjunction with natural plant material from the area....

    And for those Red canoe people....sink it in place....pick it up by the side when you kill your six Widgeon and the water runs right out....paddle back to your super secret parking spot #..... :wink
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,222 Captain
    Bite 1 wrote: »
    Young bucks with all u r money. Cover u r boats, guns,because if not scarring all ducks away. OMG never to be seen again LOL can't help it
    Hes painting a jon boat LOL such a high roller type project. Some people enjoy projects like this, others don't like to do anything. To each their own. Im sure we could find something superfluous or expensive with you're hunting as well.
  • TGunnTGunn Posts: 1,823 Captain
    Spend your time and money on the blind material. If not, spend your money on a real good pair of palm frond loppers and just paint your boat duck boat green.

    I believe in being well-concealed/camo'ed but to be honest the camo pattern on the boat is pretty insignificant. As long as it's a base OD green or duck boat green, your fronds or other choice of camo should obscure any pattern you have. No pattern or camp will make up for foliage or real blind material.

    You can get a 60'x30" roll of fastgrass delivered to your doorstep for $137. If you know somebody with a paint sprayer, I can PM you the Lowe's valspar paint codes for a color-matched piece of bulrush that I had Lowe's put in their paint color matcher.

    A gallon of paint is I believe $37. Hit the tan fastgrass with some green----don't overdo it. Buy as many plastic $3 clamps as you need and cut the roll of fastgrass to size. My 16.5' boat uses 4 8' pieces, one 5' piece for the motor, and a 4' piece for the front deck. I toss about 8-10 fronds in the boat itself to conceal from birds overhead.

    You won't need anywhere near that much, you might be able to get away with a 30' roll and a few fronds.

    A6943748-BDDC-47AA-A6A0-A8DF90095A33_zpsrui8b2in.jpg


    My duck boat has a camo pattern on it. Can you tell me what pattern it is or how much you like the paint pattern in this photo?

    4AB29214-336B-42EA-AF16-7915F711B64E_zpslobxgbnu.jpg
  • duliferdulifer Posts: 180 Officer
    The pattern really doesn't matter much, and if you use cabbage Palm fronds, olive drab is good enough. Follow the advise on painting prep and don't skip the part about zinc chromate.

    Movement is what the birds see, and remember they fly over the boat too, so the better concealed you are regarding movement in the boat, the better.

    Here are two of my boats, examples of one extreme to the other...

    010607-02.jpg

    This rig you can get away with quite a bit, including a white t-shirt.

    Next photo is a simple pattern done using fern.

    Pull up some weeds and cover the deck on the Pud and it is equally deadly...

    102513-5858.jpg

    Hitch
    Help us fix Wetlands
    http://fwlf.org/

    Join UW-F
    www.uw-f.org
    The VOICE of Florida Waterfowlers

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,418 AG
    TGunn wrote: »
    Spend your time and money on the blind material. If not, spend your money on a real good pair of palm frond loppers and just paint your boat duck boat green.

    I believe in being well-concealed/camo'ed but to be honest the camo pattern on the boat is pretty insignificant. As long as it's a base OD green or duck boat green, your fronds or other choice of camo should obscure any pattern you have. No pattern or camp will make up for foliage or real blind material.

    You can get a 60'x30" roll of fastgrass delivered to your doorstep for $137. If you know somebody with a paint sprayer, I can PM you the Lowe's valspar paint codes for a color-matched piece of bulrush that I had Lowe's put in their paint color matcher.

    A gallon of paint is I believe $37. Hit the tan fastgrass with some green----don't overdo it. Buy as many plastic $3 clamps as you need and cut the roll of fastgrass to size. My 16.5' boat uses 4 8' pieces, one 5' piece for the motor, and a 4' piece for the front deck. I toss about 8-10 fronds in the boat itself to conceal from birds overhead.

    You won't need anywhere near that much, you might be able to get away with a 30' roll and a few fronds.

    A6943748-BDDC-47AA-A6A0-A8DF90095A33_zpsrui8b2in.jpg


    My duck boat has a camo pattern on it. Can you tell me what pattern it is or how much you like the paint pattern in this photo?

    4AB29214-336B-42EA-AF16-7915F711B64E_zpslobxgbnu.jpg

    Good points. Something else a lot of newbies don't realize, no matter how good you are camo'd up at the waterline, most ducks are checking you out from above. (unless they are lawn darts or coots) A boat is a rectangle hole in the water from above, if you can, set up a way to cover that vacuum of nature by sticking some fronds in the middle upright or at least laid down to cover up the void. It took me way too long to figure that one out before the light bulb went on. :) And one more thing, the pop up haystack blinds stick out like a sore thumb on the open water. Sometimes we will see who can count the most unnatural looking floating blimps on the way back in from a hunt. It can be amusing and fun to bet on the most spotted and loser buys beers and lunch.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,418 AG
    TGunn wrote: »
    Spend your time and money on the blind material. If not, spend your money on a real good pair of palm frond loppers and just paint your boat duck boat green.

    I believe in being well-concealed/camo'ed but to be honest the camo pattern on the boat is pretty insignificant. As long as it's a base OD green or duck boat green, your fronds or other choice of camo should obscure any pattern you have. No pattern or camp will make up for foliage or real blind material.

    You can get a 60'x30" roll of fastgrass delivered to your doorstep for $137. If you know somebody with a paint sprayer, I can PM you the Lowe's valspar paint codes for a color-matched piece of bulrush that I had Lowe's put in their paint color matcher.

    A gallon of paint is I believe $37. Hit the tan fastgrass with some green----don't overdo it. Buy as many plastic $3 clamps as you need and cut the roll of fastgrass to size. My 16.5' boat uses 4 8' pieces, one 5' piece for the motor, and a 4' piece for the front deck. I toss about 8-10 fronds in the boat itself to conceal from birds overhead.

    You won't need anywhere near that much, you might be able to get away with a 30' roll and a few fronds.

    A6943748-BDDC-47AA-A6A0-A8DF90095A33_zpsrui8b2in.jpg


    My duck boat has a camo pattern on it. Can you tell me what pattern it is or how much you like the paint pattern in this photo?

    4AB29214-336B-42EA-AF16-7915F711B64E_zpslobxgbnu.jpg


    Good points. Something else a lot of newbies don't realize, no matter how good you are camo'd up at the waterline, most ducks are checking you out from above. (unless they are lawn darts or coots) A boat is a rectangle hole in the water from above, if you can, set up a way to cover that vacuum of nature by sticking some fronds in the middle upright or at least laid down to cover up the void. It took me way too long to figure that one out before the light bulb went on. :) And one more thing, the pop up haystack blinds stick out like a sore thumb on the open water. Sometimes we will see who can count the most unnatural looking floating blimps on the way back in from a hunt. It can be amusing and fun to bet on the most spotted and loser buys beers and lunch.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,418 AG
    dulifer wrote: »
    The pattern really doesn't matter much, and if you use cabbage Palm fronds, olive drab is good enough. Follow the advise on painting prep and don't skip the part about zinc chromate.

    Movement is what the birds see, and remember they fly over the boat too, so the better concealed you are regarding movement in the boat, the better.

    Here are two of my boats, examples of one extreme to the other...

    010607-02.jpg

    This rig you can get away with quite a bit, including a white t-shirt.

    Next photo is a simple pattern done using fern.

    Pull up some weeds and cover the deck on the Pud and it is equally deadly...

    102513-5858.jpg

    Hitch

    Good points. Something else a lot of newbies don't realize, no matter how good you are camo'd up at the waterline, most ducks are checking you out from above. (unless they are lawn darts or coots) A boat is a rectangle hole in the water from above, if you can, set up a way to cover that vacuum of nature by sticking some fronds in the middle upright or at least laid down to cover up the void. It took me way too long to figure that one out before the light bulb went on. :) And one more thing, the pop up haystack blinds stick out like a sore thumb on the open water. Sometimes we will see who can count the most unnatural looking floating blimps on the way back in from a hunt. It can be amusing and fun to bet on the most spotted and loser buys beers and lunch.

    ****...........multiple post fails.:banghead
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • flydownflydown Posts: 6,464 Admiral
    You can say that again..
    DYING for me was the most HE could do. LIVING for HIM is the least I can do
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,418 AG
    flydown wrote: »
    You can say that again..

    Multiple post fails. Happy now? :grin
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • TGunnTGunn Posts: 1,823 Captain
    Good points. Something else a lot of newbies don't realize, no matter how good you are camo'd up at the waterline, most ducks are checking you out from above. (unless they are lawn darts or coots) A boat is a rectangle hole in the water from above, if you can, set up a way to cover that vacuum of nature by sticking some fronds in the middle upright or at least laid down to cover up the void. It took me way too long to figure that one out before the light bulb went on. And one more thing, the pop up haystack blinds stick out like a sore thumb on the open water. Sometimes we will see who can count the most unnatural looking floating blimps on the way back in from a hunt. It can be amusing and fun to bet on the most spotted and loser buys beers and lunch.
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 806 Officer
    paint it with a can of that purple glitter paint Tracker uses on their bass boats...ducks will think your just a fisherman...never seen them spook from a bass boat..
  • turftechturftech Posts: 312 Deckhand
    My first attempt. Will redo this summer with darker base and a tad more green.
    2200v pathfinder and various rods and reels, ford f150 and various rifles, shotguns, and handguns.
    Ready to fish, Ready to hunt...
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,126 Officer
    There is no correct way to do it. Everyone has a style & technique they prefer.

    Cheapest way is to bury it inside a mess of palm fronds...
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,186 AG
    If you want to be invisible...stop moving around.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,015 Captain
    Movement has saved many a duck.....either stay under cover or motionless whatever camo you have.....and, yes, if the "blind" stands out to you it also seems odd to a duck......lower profile the better. Throwing vegetation that matches the area over the boat always helps give depth to the camo paint or camo netting... a layout with the hydrilla or water weeds scattered over the topside is deadly...if you don't move!

    I grew up hunting mallards in the Miss. River bottoms...from blinds and boats....as a boy, if I even looked up out from under the cover while my uncle or dad were calling it would bring a quick kick in the *** if I was lucky...a knot on the head if I wasn't.....they would "call the shot" and then everyone else got to look up to a sky full of fast dropping mallards....
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