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Anyone have any ideas on how to break ice with my boat? I have a 14' flat bottom that is so light it rides right on top of ice, that's even with 3 dozen duck decoys and a couple goose floaters. I was thinking I could invent something to put in front of the boat to break the ice but I haven't got much past there. What have you guys done?
 

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Purchase an All Welded semi V hull boat, something in the 18X50 size range that weighs 500+ lbs. and you may have a chance at breaking ice. The only problem is when the ice gets so thick it doesn't matter what you are in you will end up on top of it. Heck, keep the 14 footer and use it like a sled and pull it across the ice, when you hit open water run it again.:cool:
 

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So this begs a question, how thick of ice would you be willing to try and break? I have a 15x42 riveted jon. I was breaking ice at FB on Tuesday that was in the range of 1/4 to 3/8 maybe. Not a problem but got me thinking what would happen to my hull if it was much thicker. What are your thoughts?
 

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I wouldn't be breaking ice much thicker than 1/2" with any thin skinned boat. As was mentioned what are you going to do when you end up on top of the ice and can't break it and don't trust it to walk on it?
 

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So this begs a question, how thick of ice would you be willing to try and break? Depends how heavy your boat is and if it's a riveted or all welded boat. I have a 15x42 riveted jon. I was breaking ice at FB on Tuesday that was in the range of 1/4 to 3/8 maybe. Not a problem but got me thinking what would happen to my hull if it was much thicker. What are your thoughts?
Once you break through the ice the edges can tear through the skin, or at least dent the shi+ out of the hull and sides of the boat. I mean dent it like cave the sides in to where the aluminum is ready to tear. We tore up a boat last season on the last day of the hunt driving through broken sheets of ice. Not a good idea!-O,-
 

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If you have to go slow and get the front of the boat up on the ice and let it fall though. We break a lot of ice late in the season. Don't think you'll ever get use to hearing it. Of course we just run on plane and let the boat get beat up. Tough old boat .125 and we've had to weld on it a few times.
 

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I've daydreamed about making a removable ice-breaking bow for a boat for quite a while-something that would reinforce the front of your boat and let you batter through ice without worrying about tearing your boat up. I say daydreamed because I think in the long run the effort would exceed the reward, and there are usually better ways to get around on the ice or better spots to hunt if it's iced up.
 

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Much like pumpgunner I dreamed up different ways to do it for years. In the long run I actually came up with and designed, fabricated and tried a few different ideas.
Bottom line, when it's too thick to break there are better ways to do things.
All of the commercial devices available, are only rated for 1/2" or so, and are mostly designed for breaking soft ice, and not tear up your boat.
For the ice around here, the best thing to do is wait one more day and then walk on it. Really, that's the best thing to do.
Later,
Kev
 

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As was mentioned what are you going to do when you end up on top of the ice and can't break it and don't trust it to walk on it?[/QUOTE]

Well boys looks like we're here! Starting throwing the blocks!!!:D:D
 

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The thicker the ice the better. Now you can use your boat year round.
Now THAT'S a surface drive!

Duck hunters have been trying to find ways around this problem for a few hundred years now-one of my old waterfowling books from the late 1800's has a chapter on ice shooting and talks about the South Bay scooters that were used on the Great South Bay of Long Island. They were a small whaleback boat that looks a whole lot like a modern layout boat that had skids built onto the bottom-the hunter had a push pole with a hook and claw on the end of it that he would use to push his way across the ice, and if he came to an open spot he could cross it and use the claw to pull himself out onto the ice on the other side. Really interesting concept that would still be viable today. This guy restored one from the 1920's and still hunts from it-really cool little boat!

http://stevenjaysanford.com/2013/09/04/great-south-bay-scooter/
 
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