Marsh boat ID help

David Sun

New member
Need help identifying a duck boat my father built around 1953. I believe it was a kit and don't think he would have made any significant modifications to the plans. He built the boat in Boston but most of his hunting was done in Ohio and Michigan so would have been influenced by those local designs. He was a packrat and saved everything except any documentation on this boat. He passed away a few years ago and I had the opportunity to ship the boat to me in AZ with some other items. It is marine ply on frame and the underside was glassed during construction. Many years later he attempted to fiberglass the decking. When I got the boat I was afraid the plywood had de-laminated but luckily it was just the glass cloth that separated from the wood (apparently he glassed over paint). In any event, I stripped the boat done to bare wood on top and interior and left the cloth in place on the hull. I then re-glassed the the entire boat with new cloth on the decking and epoxy resin. I made one small mod on the transom by sandwiching in an additional piece of 3/4 plywood for strength. The boat is now as good as new. The boat is 11'8" long by 40" wide, weight around 120-130 pounds (by guesstimate). I have either a 15hp Johnson or 8hp Evinrude for power to supplement the oars and push pole! Any help on ID would be greatly appreciated.


Sorry I cannot help with any ID - I ws born in '53. It's a very nice vessel, though, and I'm so glad you got it fully restored and ready to hunt.

The first duckboat I built was about that size. I suspect 8 horses will be plenty.

All the best,

I am gonna jump on board here and say that I too, have no idea who designed this boat either.

I DO however really like the design. I am intrigued by the way the bow is sharply "V" shaped, then transitions to a flat bottom. Should be awesome in shallow water.

A agree, the eight would be plenty of power for her. Fifteen might be dangerous on a craft of this size.

And by the way, you did an awesome job on your restoration!

I'm looking forward to seeing some photos this fall of her all camo'd up!

Like the others, I don't have anything to offer in regards to identification of the boat. But now I am curious enough of its design that I would love to see the bottom and perhaps and really good side profile. But only if you have time and you don't mind. That is a really neat looking craft.
David, I really appreciate you posting the rest of those photos. That boat is really neat. What a fine job on the restoration as well. I am sure your dad would be proud. Glad to see it have life breathed back into it.
I plan to keep looking around because I think your design is really neat looking and would like to know a little more about it.

I found this one designed by Glen-L called the Duck Boat Too. It looks pretty close. A little longer at 12' vs your 11'6". Not sure on beam. Obviously there are differences in the design of the cockpit combing and some general build principals, but going in the right direction to what you have there.
Thanks for the comments and you're welcome for the pics. It was a fun project because that boat and myself were started in the same year by my father (I took a little longer and wasn't launched til '54). Thanks for the link to the Glenn L boat; I'd seen that and while similar, too many differences for it to be the basis IMO. I wished I had asked my Dad more questions about it when he was still living. I've looked at lots of boats and pictures in many publications but still haven't seen one quite the same. I have a memory of him saying it was a kit (maybe frame and hardware), so think there might be some old ads. Even without the sentimental value, the boat really appeals to me, beautiful lines and a lot construction details that go beyond simple utility. I also really like the bronze bow handle and have not seen one like that either. The boat was very well built with the marine plywood and bronze screws and hardware. Not sure what the framing wood is but the keel is oak. The gunnels and transom suffered some deterioration from being stored outside for many years but were easily rebuilt even by a novice like myself. The fiberglass on the decking hadn't adhered properly and came off pretty easily with a heat gun and scraper. The only changes I made were to the transom and adding deck cleats and Hydroturf floor. The oarlock supports I had to remake but I tried to keep the original design. I just ordered a 1952 book, "Duckboats, Blinds, Decoys and Eastern Seaboard Waterfowling" by Raymond Camp that may have some more designs to compare. I have a 1996 Evinrude 8 hp that I plan to use primarily but need to experiment more with setup and prop as I didn't get the performance I anticipated (i.e. didn't plane with just me and the dog).
I had one of those in my collection years ago. I bought it in Michigan. I never could find info on the builder. I have seen others around. My guess it was built from a kit or a manufacturer . The ones ive seen are all the same in oar lock design , framing, and combing. The screw placement seems to uniform to be homebuilt. Bob
Bob, thanks for the input. Do you have any pics of your boat or are you relying on memory? Would like to see pics if available. As I stated, I'm pretty sure it was a kit and the Michigan locale would be appropriate based on the hunting experience of his youth. It was definitely home-built by my father. Only question is whether it was indeed a kit as I remember him saying and the degree of the materials provided or more unlikely just plans. The screw holes may have been pre-drilled in a kit but I wouldn't put it past my father to have devised a jig or template to space the holes to explain the consistency. Again, thanks for your input and please provide pics of the same/similar boat if available.
That is one nice duckboat. And you, sir, have done an outstanding job of restoring it. You have every reason to be proud of your work.
David, I can't help but wonder what that little boat would do with one of those 7hp long tails. The V at the bow gets flat pretty quick so for the most part it really is a flat bottom boat. I have to honk the draft is really shallow as well.

I have a lead on a possible manufacturer for a kit out of Michigan in your time frame, maybe a little earlier. I am waiting on some images to see if this boat was in their catalog. Looking into Brooks Boat Manufacturing Co. out of Saginaw, Michigan. Won't know for a week or so. They sold patterns and kits for boats raging in size from row boats to larger steamer type vessels. Not sure if they were still around in the ealy 50s though. Definitely were around in the 20s and 30s.

I will let you know when I find out.
Thanks CAnderson, I Googled it and certainly looks like a potential fit. Looking forward to seeing what you find out.

Based on continued research, this is what I know so far. Brooks Boat Manufacturing was still in business in the 1950s. This is based on several articles published in print magazines at the time as well as adds placed in the back of Popular Mechanics Magazine. Brooks seemed to be one of the leaders in "knock-down" boats. Meaning you purchased a complete kit ready for assemble. The kit would be shipped to your door. Brooks got it's start sometime in the earlier 1900s and is credited for paving the way to mail order houses that Sears & Roebuck, as well as others, were known for.

Due to the success of Brooks Manufacturing, several other "knock-down" boat manufacturers cropped up. Brooks was the largest and most well known in the industry. Two other companies opened up in Michigan and were also in business during the 1950s. They were Defoe Boat and Motor Works and Pioneer Boat Works. Schneider Boat Company was started in Milwaukee, WI around the same time frame. Adds also found in Popular Mechanics form the 1950s specifically advertised a duck boat available from Schneider.

Clark Craft was located in Tonawanda, NY and Cleveland Boat Blueprint Company was in Cleveland, OH.

All of this is to say that I got ahold of a catalog for Brooks Manufacturing from 1920. There is a duck boat listed and the picture shows it looking more akin to a Kara Hummer. Although the lines of several of the boats are similar to your duck boat. That is to include the pointed cockpit combing toward the bow of the boat.

I am not sure if I am really any closer to answer to this original question. I would like to see a catalog for Brooks circa 1950 to determine if they made another hunting boat available by that time. I haven't been able to do so.

I would also like to see a catolog for Schneider and Defoe. I haven't been able to locate them. There are a couple of books available that detail out some history of these companies, but they are somewhat pricey on the Internet. I was thinking about stopping by the local library to see if any are available.

That's it for now. Hope it gives you some place to go.
CAnderson, thanks for the outstanding and informative research. After your first post I was looking for Brooks catalogs also but the newest I could find was circa 1936. I found a Marine museum in Michigan that may have some more info. Thanks again for the research effort.
Hi David,
I know this is an old thread but I have some info that would be of interest to anyone that stumbles onto this?.
My brother and I built this same boat in 1996 from a set of full size plans we bought from Outdoor Sports for $18.75. The catalog says that it was designed by Schneider. We built it out of White Oak frames and sheathed it with 1/4? Luan Plywood.
Hi Kent, thank you for the info! Do you have any pictures of your boat and/or any links to Outdoor Sports or Schneider boats? I've tried Google but no luck so far. This is as close as I've come to identify the origin of the plans. Thank you! Feel free to contact me directly at 480-734-5822 or
Dave Sun
Many thanks to Kent Schoonover for his help in finally identifying my Dad's marsh boat as a Hunter's Dream by Schneider. Kent built one from plans in 1996 and hunted it in the Red River arm of Lake Texoma in southern Oklahoma with his brother and son. Ironically, his brother was a Waterfowl Biologist for the state of Oklahoma and my father was a Conservation Agent for Ohio before WWII: both made their own decoys. Great minds think alike! I started my waterfowling career in this boat with my Dad at the age of 10. Canderson, you were on the right track and thanks to all for the input on this thread.

Pics of catalog cover, specs page and Kent's boat.

And of course a real duck boat needs a picture of it's effectiveness. Looks like Kent, brother and son had a great hunt!

Kelvin (Kent's brother), Kent, Kyle (Kent's son) with The Hunter's Dream (circa 2000-2001)! All pics courtesy of Kent and printed with his permission.
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