10 Best Layout Boats for Duck Hunting and More

Best Layout Boats

Ah, the allure of duck hunting! It’s a game played out amid the chorus of whistling wings against the backdrop of a marshy dawn, intercepting the echoing calls of scattered ducks. This isn’t just chasing ducks around the wild. No, it’s a tradition, an art steeped in skill, passion, and patience that is passed down from generation to generation. It’s as thrilling as it is immersive, where you become part of the wild. And, just as a craftsman needs his tools, in this tradition of ours, the right equipment is essential.

One crucial aspect that often goes overlooked in this battle of wits with the aquatic birds is the choice of the right layout boat. This humble vessel is not just a means to navigate the marshy labyrinth. Quite contrarily, it’s your command center set in the heart of the action. It is your hideout, your camouflage, your eyes and ears within the wild. It’s substantial and yet discrete, often providing you with a home in the wilderness, braving the elements, making sure you have the best chance at outwitting your quarry.

Every day out in the wilds hunting is a different story—sometimes the waters are calm and the sail smooth, while at other times, the waves rise high and the sail gets choppy. An efficient, trustworthy layout boat ensures that no matter what the circumstances, you are ready to weather it—prepared to make the most of your experience out in the wild. Join us, as we dive into the nitty-gritty, laying the groundwork for selecting that perfect layout boat, cutting through the waves towards our prize!

What is a Layout Boat?

A layout boat, in the most basic terms, is a small, lightweight watercraft specifically designed for waterfowl hunting such as duck or goose. This form of hunting involves lying low— quite literally— in your boat that’s cleverly camouflaged to blend in flawlessly with the surrounding environment. This concealment technique provides a distinct advantage to the hunter, as the game is unaware of your presence until it’s too late.

But the real power of layout boats lies in their intricacies. They are compact to remain unnoticed but include just enough room for the hunter to lie down— this is where the term ‘layout’ comes from. Most have a recessed cockpit, allowing the user to lie flat on their back with a perfect vantage point to watch over the decoys. The edges often have a lip or ‘coaming’ where camouflage such as native plants or a blind could be attached. Whether on a river, marsh, lake, or open waters, it is built to provide a stable shooting platform, ensuring safety while enhancing the hunting prowess, making it an essential tool in the arsenal of any waterfowl hunter.

Layout Boat

1. NXT GEN UFO Layout Boat

The NXT GEN UFO Layout Boat steals the show when you’re on the hunt.

Details and Features

This boat offers unique features such as rotomolded construction, raised floors, and 1-piece construction. It measures 10 feet and 2 inches in length, is 63 inches wide, and is 14 inches high. The UFO layout boat weighs 135 lbs and can carry a maximum weight capacity of 450 lbs. The boat’s discrete design keeps you hidden from the prey while providing maximum flexibility and comfort.

Why It’s Unique

What makes the NXT GEN UFO Layout completely unique in the market is its all-stainless steel hardware and adjustable spray shield that helps keep you dry under severe weather conditions. Plus, the raised floor design keeps you above the cold water, while the two molded foam headrests add an extra layer of comfort during your hunt.

Price: The price is approximately $1,650.

NXT GEN UFO Layout Boat

2. Hercules One-Man Layout Boat

The Hercules One Man Layout is a duck-hunting virtuoso’s dream.

Details and Features

This boat measures 14 feet in length, weighs 250 pounds, and has a substantial beam of 4 feet and 4 inches. It’s built with sturdy hand-laid fiberglass, stainless steel, and aluminum construction that can withstand the harsh marine environment. This layout boat explicitly designed for duck hunting has been recognized by the US Coast Guard since 1987.

Why It’s Unique

Its lengthy design combined with solid construction materials makes it one of the most robust one-man layout boats around. The fact that it has been recognized by the US Coast Guard for over 30 years speaks volumes about the boat’s safety and performance in even the roughest water conditions. So, if you’re hunting solo, Hercules should be your go-to companion.

Price: The price information is not directly available, but similar boats from the manufacturer are priced around $1,6502.

3. Revolution Two-Man Layout Boat

The Revolution Two Man Layout Boat makes hunting a team sport.

Details and Features

Crafted especially for two hunters, this boat assures plenty of stability and space for gear. The boat is 14ft long, weighs 400 lbs, has a beam of 7ft, and is 17 inches deep. The roomy construction ensures plenty of room for both hunters and their gear without the risk of being displaced by the other.

Why It’s Unique

The Revolution Two-Man Layout Boat stands out for its smart design that accommodates two hunters with plenty of room left for their gear. This is an excellent pick when hunting with a partner as it ensures that both hunters have ample space to operate without disturbing the presence of the other.

Price: The price is approximately $4,4503.

4. Pumpkinseed One-Man Layout Boat

The Pumpkinseed One Man Layout Boat is an excellent pick for solo hunters.

Details and Features

The boat’s low profile and unique design provide a stable shooting platform that blends seamlessly with the natural surroundings. While the weight has not been specified, the 10ft length and a 56-inch beam provide a fairly spacious environment. It’s US Coast Guard rated for 300 lbs.

Why It’s Unique

What sets the Pumpkinseed One Man Layout Boat apart is its distinctive design which aids in excellent camouflage. The low profile design ensures that aquatic birds won’t see you until it’s too late, making your hunting endeavor successful.

Price: The price information is not directly available, but similar boats from the manufacturer are priced around $1,650.

5. Ambusher Layout Boat

The Ambusher Layout Boat is the epitome of comfort and slyness in one package.

Details and Features

The boat, fashioned for comfort and a low profile, measures 10ft in length with a 4ft beam. The cockpit width is 26 inches, the above waterline height is 7 1/2 inches, and it weighs 115 lbs. It also provides easy access to the drain plug and bilge pump for added convenience.

Why It’s Unique

The Ambusher Layout Boat’s biggest draw is its design, which emphasizes comfort and low profile together. It pairs a spacious and comfortable structure with a stealthy profile, perfect for waiting out ducks while ensconced in comfort.

Price: The price is approximately $1,2005.

6. TDB SeaClass

The TDB SeaClass pairs capacity with performance for a memorable hunting experience.

Details and Features

With a length of 17ft 3 inches, a beam of 6ft 3 inches, an impressive weight of 875 lbs, and a cockpit depth of 26 inches, the TDB SeaClass has plenty of room. With a maximum person capacity of 6 people and a weight capacity of 1,550 lbs, including boat, motor, and persons, the SeaClass is the perfect boat for a hunting party.

Why It’s Unique

The TDB SeaClass truly stands out with its large capacity design that does not compromise performance. Comfortably accommodating large groups and gear, the boat provides a sturdy and reliable platform for a hunting trip.

Price: The price information is not directly available, but you can contact the manufacturer at 508-385-2180 for current pricing.

7. MOmarsh Fatboy DP

The MOmarsh Fatboy DP Layout Boat is where compact design meets stellar performance.

Details and Features

The boat’s size specification includes a length of 13ft, a width of 44 inches, a height of 13 inches, and a cockpit length of 7ft with a width of 29 inches. It also comes with a specific draft depth for both empty and loaded states, recording at 2 inches and 4 inches respectively. The boat can comfortably carry a capacity of 370 lbs.

Why It’s Unique

The MOmarsh Fatboy DP stands out due to its compact design without sacrificing any of the bells and whistles expected from a top-notch hunting boat. Its large cockpit and slim design make it ideal for getting into those tight, hidden spots that duck love to hide in.

Price: The price is approximately $2,199.

8. Pro-Drive X Series TD Edition

The Pro-Drive X Series TD Edition offers a modern design with superior functionality.

Details and Features

This boat’s dimensions include a length of 18ft, a bottom width of 54 inches, a beam of 74 inches, and a weight of 625lbs. Key features include the new design timber deck series, flush floor design, and a heavy-duty T-Rail gunnel system.

Why It’s Unique

The Pro-Drive X Series TD Edition distinguishes itself with a modern look, flush floor design for a sleek lower profile, and the heavy-duty T-Rail gunnel system for a high degree of resilience. This boat is the perfect blend of style and function wrapped in one package.

Price: The price is approximately $37,385.

9. Go-Devil Surface Drive Boats

For a blend of robustness and maneuverability, opt for Go-Devil Surface Drive Boats.

Details and Features

These boats are available in models with lengths of 16ft, 18ft, and 20ft, accommodating a variety of hunting needs. The width options for the boat include 48 inches, 54 inches, or 60 inches. The marine-grade aluminum hull ensures durability, while the compartments provide dry storage. A front deck allows for trolling motor or gear, and a pointed bow makes for dynamic maneuverability.

Why It’s Unique

The Go-Devil Surface Drive Boats are truly unique due to their variety, rugged construction, and convenient features. Whether it’s the versatility of size choices, rugged aluminum structure, or convenience brought by dry storage and equipment storage, everything about these boats screams practical.

Price: The prices range from $15,295 to $49,957, depending on the model and specifications.

10. Excel F4

The Excel F4 brings finesse and adaptability in one neat package.

Details and Features

The Excel F4 is available in multiple models with varying lengths and widths. The distinctive features of the boat include a step deck transom design, slick bottom for gliding over obstacles, and tapered chine for ultimate turning capabilities. The hull thickness stands at .100 while the Max HP ranges from 50 to 70 depending on the model.

Why It’s Unique

Excel F4’s uniqueness lies in its accommodation of surface-drive motors and its advanced structure designed to navigate through challenging obstacles with ease. Whether it’s the step transom for added deck space, slick bottom for effortless gliding, or the tailored chine for perfected turns, Excel F4 leads the race.

Price: The prices vary, with one example being the 2023 Excel Viper F4 1751 priced at $28,999.

Table – Comparison of Top Layout Boats for Duck Hunting

Boat modelLengthWidthWeightNotable Features
NXT GEN UFO Layout Boat10ft 2 inches63 inches135lbsRotomolded construction
Hercules One Man Layout Boat14ft4ft 4 inches250lbsFiberglass, stainless steel and aluminum construction
Fiberglass, stainless steel, and aluminum construction10ft56 inchesNot specifiedUnique design for camouflage
MOmarsh Fatboy DP13ft44 inches95lbsCompact design and large cockpit
Excel F4VariesVariesVariesStep deck transom boat suitable for surface-drive motors


Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just starting, the right layout boat can significantly enhance your duck hunting experience. It is, therefore, crucial that you pick a boat that suits your needs best. The boats reviewed above range from compact designs for the solitary hunter to larger boats for group hunts, advanced options for a seamless hunting experience, and simple yet functional designs for the novice hunter.

Through this guide, we hope we’ve brought you closer to finding the perfect layout boat to aid in your duck hunting journeys.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why should the design of a layout boat matter when hunting ducks?

The design matters because a low-profile layout boat allows hunters to hide better and blend within the natural surroundings, making it hard for the ducks to spot them.

Which layout boat is best for group hunting?

The TDB SeaClass, with a person capacity of 6 people and a weight capacity of 1,550 lbs, is the perfect boat for group hunting.

Can the layout boats be used in any type of water body?

Most layout boats are versatile and can be used in various water bodies, but it’s always best to check the specifications before taking them out in certain conditions.

What is a step deck transom boat?

A step deck transom boat refers to a boat design that features a step up from the cockpit to an elevated rear deck, which helps optimize space and improve maneuverability.

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