Nettleton’s nitpick blind is built onto an 18-foot aluminum johnboat with an open hull design. The boat blind has a 27-inch high front section and a 36-inch high back section, with both sections curving into the boat gunwales contours. The boat blind is 14 feet long, stretching from the forward deck of the boat to the transom. Nettleton had tried many different materials for constructing the frame and skin of other blinds. Nettleton found aluminum sheeting about half the thickness of his johnboat hull at a metal supply company. Uncertain about welding the frame because he had no welding experience, Nettleton went home and checked his garage. The U-bolts fit over handle-like conduit loops welded to the bottom of the frame and projecting to the interior of the boat. To cover the access aisle during hunts, Nettleton cut camouflaged Cordura fabric to fit and fastened with zip ties along the high side (back) of the blind. He has owned and built 12 boat blinds over many years of waterfowl hunting, including three commercial blinds and nine of his own design. If the blind has an open top, he has noticed that many ducks flare away as they spot the hunters attempting to hide inside.
He found the materials he had used — canvas, burlap, PVC and other materials — were not durable.


He also found 1-inch square tubing, but it was expensive, and he was advised to weld the frame for durability, rather than bolt it together.
Nettleton discovered that cleaning the aluminum with alcohol and using a base coat of metal primer help paint adhere. But he decided to use woven palm mats because of their greater durability and lighter weight.
It holds three hunters, and can hunt a fourth if everyone is familiar with the blind’s confines and layout.
The front and back sections curve an equal distance inward from the gunwales, leaving the access aisle open in the center for great stability when hunters are walking amidships. But the bow of the boat is not covered, leaving the factory installed forward deck platform open for easy hunter access.
Then, the nuts were tightened and the tips of the U-bolts cut off and ground to remove sharp edges. He painted the blind with a finish coat of flat tan and added dark stripes.Using metal pipe straps, he fastened sections of 2-inch-by-4-inch wire fence to the outside of the boat. On a typical hunt, the two decoy bins hold 15 Canada goose, 20 super magnum mallard, 60 magnum mallard and 12 standard mallard decoys.
The forward deck also provides a place for a retriever to shake off water outside of the blind and allows better visibility while the boat is underway. For additional support, conduit fasteners were also screwed to the frame and gunwales using self-tapping screws.


Each hunter rolls up the section at his shooting port and the fabric stays in place at the ports without hunters to keep out the elements and assist in hiding the blind.Each hunter station also has a grass mat that folds down to cover the aisle.
Additional features include decoy storage, gun storage, stove and heater, and hunter seating.
To remove the blind, take out the U-bolts and the screws holding the conduit frame to the boat.
A piece of 4-inch-by-4-inch wire fencing secured with wire ties folds from the rear to cover about half the distance across the aisle. A gun rack welded to the top of the frame secures firearms in soft cases.The blind is almost completely enclosed when set up for hunting. A grass mat is secured to the fencing with wire ties, leaving enough grass to hang down to provide cover for the shooting port.
The doors lay flat for easy access and also rotate into the decoy bins to create shelves for gloves, ammunition and other gear during the hunt.



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