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A layout boat is a low-profile un-motorized oval-like boat that is used by diver duck hunters to hide in when hunting in open water. They are unique to a specialized form of waterfowl hunting called layout hunting. Most layout boats are used for diver duck or ocean duck hunting where open deep water waterfowl species frequent. Sometimes they are deployed in marshes for more traditional puddle duck hunting or goose hunting. Layout boats come in designs such as pumpkin seed, oval, box like just to name a few. They come in one- and two-man models. These boats are painted to match the color of the water and sit very low in the water. The main focus of the layout boat is to put the hunter very close to the decoys if not in them for additional concealment. This makes for very dramatic hunting scenarios where a decoying bird comes extremely close to the hunter and boat. They are used to target diver ducks such as bluebills (greater scaup), canvasback, goldeneye, scoters and eider to name a few. This is because divers often fly low on the water and will not notice the low sides of the boat. Layout boats are often placed within the decoy spread, so the decoys help further conceal the sides of the boat.
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A layout boat is much more than stated above. A layout boat is a precisely crafted boat for its intended purpose and weight range. Each and every layout boat design must be built with a specific weight limit in mind and to achieve that goal the boat must be built to specific specifications to create the ever important balance in the craft. A layout boat is designed to float level on the chines(edges) on the surface of the water. When searching for a layout boat for you the important things to consider are you and or your groups hunters height and weight. Use that to determine the layout boat that fits your specific requirements. Don't buy a boat because your friend said it was the best. What might be the best for your friend could cost you your life or worse one of your hunting partners. Look for a USCG capacity rating on the boats and purchase one that gives you and your crew plenty of extra weight capacity to allow for your gear.