July 25, 2013 journal entry:

   left for Bloomington, Illinois around 6:30 pm to pickup my new Four Rivers Migrator
   marsh boat (home after 7.5 hours)......the owner, Tom Boehmer, was on a trip from
   Missouri to Ohio for a oat show (with a full load), he went out of his way to make the
   delivery of my "package".....Thanks!!!...Tom
             note: after spending several months looking at alternatives, I always
                      seemed to come to the Four Rivers Migrator, after seeing mine
                      "in person" it was absolutely the correct decision


       This is a photo of it in the "tender" position on my mud rig after the "ride" home.
                               This was a potential "tender position" for hunting.
After loading the Migrator, I was certain that at my age it would be a challenge to load
on to my mud rig at camp and nearly impossible in some remote hunting spot standing in water and mud. When you are 73 years old nothing is easy anymore. Since it has a
tow ring built in, the plan will be use that for hunting and build a dolly for duck camp
 update: The loading issues have been greatly simplified using physics and ingenuity. 

On August 2nd, a new project was to take advantage of the Migrators structure and use
it as a sculling rig. 
Duck Boat Scull - YouTube (link)  Using an old oar
that came with
my Carsten Bluebill, I scraped and sanded off the paint. I noticed a pronounced warp
in the paddle end which probably was produced by years of standing these oars in a corner when not in use......that's turned into a good thing......I won't have to bend my fabricated sculling oar
 . The 36" blade will be shaped and fiberglassed in place
(still need to think about what length is best).                                   

On August 3rd, a sketch was measured/designed for a sculling screen on the Migrator, bought Titebond III wood glue and the Scotch-Weld contact adhesive arrived for the Hydro-Turf application. 

During August 5-11, the sculling oar progressed with no hitches and positioning of a sculling screen and boat hardware were laid out. All the patterns for the Hydro-Turf
were cut. There was just barely enough from the one sheet (45"X87" & no margin
for error).
                                                                             (left click on thumbnails)
                            "rough cuts"
      "floor down"

August 12-14, found most of the Migrator hardware installed and the boat dolly was
completed. All the work in making PVC wingers made this job a breeze. The best price on wheels were at the local Menard's store.

August 16, the pre-assembled doors to the Migrator were added and the "camo" cover was positioned. The predrilled holes for the doors made mounting much simpler. In addition, being able to decide where to place the deck hardware where I want them was a big plus (easy to do, too). Openings for easy access through the Cordura cover to deck hardware was accomplished using an old pointed soldering iron. It neatly cuts and melt/seals the Cordura fabric.

The next project is to "mud" the cordura (too much "shine", but it sure looks "purty"). My initial Mississippi River clay/mud slurry was too watery and I will need to use a thicker paste with rubber gloves. Smearing and drying should leave enough residue to reduce the shine. 

Also, the shotgun, shell holder panel, just like the one in my Predator, arrived and it will be "glued" to an inside wall. There will be no more fumbling for shells from wet boxes or spilled on the floor everywhere (especially
swatter loads in the "heat of a battle").

                                                                            (left click on thumbnails)
                              "shell strip"
          boat "dolly"

August 19th, the plan is to finish off the transom side sculling bracket. The initial design poses one question "Will the section below the waterline on the starboard side cause too much drag?" The possibility is the "right turn" caused by any drag will be offset by the "torque/push" from the starboard thrusts of the sculling oar.

The bracket will slide down over the vertical section of the transom (easy on and off). 
Construction will be laminations of marine plywood on two small, shaped sections of  2X12's. The oar lock section will use a laminated insert made of hard rubber.
                                                                              (left click on thumbnail)
  sculling bracket prototype cardboard cutout
Aug 20-21, began lamination of the sculling bracket, sculpting/designing around the transom is going well, the TiteBond III has a small window to work with and it's "messy", but so far no "screwups", doing incremental layers seems to be the most efficient and
safest way to assemble it.......two more pieces to go. The next steps are to grind, file
and sand edges for a smoother look, seal it & add the hard rubber oar "holder", the sculling bracket fits over the transom like a sleeve and held in place with a thin, hard rubber wedge (on and off with no holes))
                                                            lamination steps

Aug 25 continued work on sculling oar by finishing power planning and sanding, then 
            glued and clamped the "blade" to the handle......my first sculling oar is almost
            finished, next steps are epoxy the gaps and fiberglass the "joint" area and
            blade, then give it some "color" (stain, seal and/or paint - not sure) - 7'11''
            long including a 42" x 4" blade
                  note: it is slightly heavier in the handle when on the "oar lock" and the
                           fiberglass step may just give it the right balance   

(left click on thumbnails)
Aug 26 finished shaping & thinning the sculling oar blade giving it more "flex"
Aug 28 epoxed the sculling oar "gaps", arranged bungee setups on boat and
            glued in the shell "belt" to the wall of the gun shell (right side)
Sept 3rd mudded the Migrator with a thick slurry of Mississippi mud from a clay
              bank, used a cold weather decoy glove to rub it in, doors easier if not on
              the boat but the main cover has to be on to keep it tight and flat, will wait
              until dry remove, brushed excess and then cleaned the boat hardware
                                                                               (left click on thumbnail)
Sept 4th finished the portable keel roller which will be used to load the Migrator
              up and into the "big rig"
                                                  "Got wet" September 6th     







 Sept 7th first hunt - Illinois early teal season - see "Maintenance Mode" (link)
              worked on Migrator at duck camp - camo spray painted, small raffia hanks
              added plus an Avery Ultra-low Dog Hide plus woven in willow branches
                     note: later added round insulation foam along each side of the front
                              deck to make kind of a platform for holding decoys (see photos
                              in the Sept. 1013 hunting link below) 
                                                                             (left click on thumbnail)
               grassed (raffia)

  spray painted


      plus willows
     dog hide view
                                                  One Man Loading Rig
                     note: A strategically placed rope cleat is extremely useful. This
                        allows for a quick, easy locking of a position (at any time).

 "rope cleat"           
                                                                             (left click on thumbnail)
           loading zone
   physics apparatus
        line attached
    bow on keel roller
            full view
          rolling on
          full view

             full mount
          (use rear cleats)
          bow view
        start rotation
       (remove gear)


      tender position
         (tied down)  
                                                         The Alternative

 In Action
         Migrator "tucked"
        "down river"
      "next morning"
            update: fall of 2014 installed extension oar brackets for rowing.
                               Transportation Mode to/from Duck Camp

               updated 12/27/14