Do ducks like boats?

By WVduckchick · May 23, 2017 · Updated Aug 2, 2017 · ·
  1. WVduckchick
    So, this story starts with my neighbors wanting to get rid of an old dilapidated boat. She just wanted it out of their yard. It had a good motor and trailer (which my dear darling hubby was happy to take off their hands) and the boat floated the last time they checked, but that was about the extent of the usability of the boat itself.... Until my hubby jokingly said "we can bury it and let the ducks swim in it!" This comment quickly evolved into a how-to discussion and the wheels started turning.

    If it floats, then it should hold water, right? If we bury it down to the rim, the ducks could hop right in. But how do we drain to clean it? Boats already have drain holes, so he decided to cut the main drain larger and insert a valve, and add some drainage pipe. Then, knowing how messy ducks can be with making mud and holes, etc, we decided to add river gravel all the way around, to save from so much dirt getting inside the boat.

    Well heck, I could go on and on about it, but pictures tell the story better than I can, so here are a few progress pics and the end result. It took my dozen Call ducks a couple days to actually get in, but now they absolutely love it!

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    Editing to add pics of the trees we used to support the overhead netting.
    I couldn't carry the crossbeam, so we put one end on the 4-wheeler, I drove, hubby walked balancing it on his shoulder --- and while taking a picture... lol


    The uprights on each end are also trees, he cut "L" shaped notches in each, and the crossbeam, so they fit together. Dug 2-foot deep holes and set the uprights, then hoisted the crossbeam with a man-lift, using the jib and a chain. He secured it by driving stakes through each end, into the uprights, and added some strapping to further secure it. WP_20170507_15_55_51_Pro_LI.jpg

    Adding more pics of the bucket protecting the gate valve.
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Recent User Reviews

  1. mossychick
    ""best at reycycling award goes to you""
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed May 21, 2019 at 8:04 PM
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed May 21, 2019 at 4:08 PM
  3. Anonymous
    "Wow good idea for reusing something"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed May 21, 2019 at 3:16 PM
    could have used a bit more detail on how you did the drain bucket? thingy.
    WVduckchick likes this.
    1. WVduckchick
      Sorry! We cut holes on opposite sides of the bucket and installed the valve inside the bucket, so that it didn’t get buried and I can get to the handle to release the water.
      I’ll get a couple current pics and add to the article. Thank you!


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  1. dazza1965
    Wow lucky ducks. Well done
  2. aart
    Is drain pipe in side of boat or bottom?
    Where does the drain pipe go?
    Has it worked well for draining and cleaning?
    How often do you have to drain/clean?
    Sorry for the all the Q's :oops:
      biophiliac and WVduckchick like this.
    1. WVduckchick
      For the drain, we enlarged the original boat drain, it’s at the bottom center of the back wall, with a sump area. The drain goes over the hill into the woods. I did have to add a screen to keep from clogging, but it works quite well. I only drain it every couple of months, with rain water guttered to it for refilling. Thanks!!
      casportpony, aart and biophiliac like this.
    2. aart
      So do you have to scoop muck and leaves and such out?
      Ever found any egg in there?
      WVduckchick likes this.
    3. WVduckchick
      Big squeegee works well for the muck, then hose it out the drain. the netting overhead keeps most of the leaves out but I also use a pool net. I have found eggs in there! The feathers and muck is the worst. Needless to say, I need a shower after cleaning it out! Lol
      Miss Lydia and aart like this.
  3. ButtonquailGirl14
  4. Meg-in-MT
    What a great unique idea! Question: Do you get snow where you live? I've been wanting to put netting over my duck/geese pen, but I wondered if the snow would start to catch.
      WannaBeHillBilly and WVduckchick like this.
    1. WVduckchick
      Thanks!! We have snow right now! Usually (90% of the time?) it falls thru without any problem. The heavy wet snows can tend to build up, depending on how fast the snow comes down. I check it often when the snow is coming down, lift up on the netting to let the snow fall through, or this happens - :(

      Leaves are actually worse for me, as it is under a lot of trees. I use a leaf blower several times through the autumn, to blow them off.
    2. Meg-in-MT
      Oh my gosh, how disheartening! That was exactly my fear. I have to smack the roof of my chickens runs because of the same issue, except that it's wire and short enough for me to reach. Hopefully, this year they'll have a roof. The duck pen would be a lot taller, so maybe I'll invest in an extension pole ;)

      Thank you for your prompt response!
      biophiliac and WannaBeHillBilly like this.
  5. ejtrout31
  6. ejtrout31
  7. Chilly Lizard
    I absolutely LOVE this!!! We rescued two ducks and I sometimes wonder if I should find a better home.
    1. WVduckchick
      Ducks can be happy in many environments. They don’t need a huge pool like the boat, they can be happy with a kiddie pool. Love, attention, food and keeping them safe goes a long way! I’m sure they are happy to be rescued by you.
    2. Chilly Lizard
      Thank you! They are sweet and do love their kiddy pool.
  8. kwhites634
    It's not every duck pond that has a steering wheel
    1. WVduckchick
      I'm still trying to teach them to drive. :)
  9. kwhites634
    It's not every duck pond that has a steering wheel
  10. Micaela.ph15
    Love love LOVE the boat idea!! way too cool!
  11. Abriana
    Whoops, I meant to rate it five stars but this iPod is really hard to click on things with, so I accidentally rated it four stars, but I think it deserves five!
  12. orrpeople
    This is super cool!! Love it!
    1. WVduckchick
  13. WVduckchick
    I'd like to thank everyone for all the nice comments and ratings. I really just whipped this together to show a few of my friends. I'm honored that it was chosen to be a Featured article this week, and happy that so many people liked it! :hugs
  14. Maddyluvschickens
    That is such a great idea! It looks so cool and the ducks look happy!
  15. ClubDana
  16. silkie10
    :D:bow:goodpost: can't get over it! So awesome!!!!!!!!
  17. Laurel Meadows
    Love seeing all the progress pictures! You guys did an awesome job! :bow
  18. eatbeef14
  19. biophiliac
    I too wondered how? Your Hubby gets things done!!!:bow
    1. WVduckchick
      Thanks! He loves a good project. He's awesome really.
  20. Nardo
    Wow, how the heck did he get that center joist up there onto those tree posts? Awesome.
    1. WVduckchick
      We used a man-lift with a jib and chain. He drove a large stake thru them, then added some strapping to hold it more securely.
    2. WVduckchick
      I edited the article and added some pics of that process. Thanks for pointing that out. It wasn't easy! lol
  21. MagpieDucks
    Uh oh don't show this to my ducks, they'll go on strike. I can just see them carrying around their "down with kiddie pool" signs.:lau Great setup!
  22. Gray Farms
    That's about the coolest darn thing I've ever seen!!!
    1. WVduckchick
  23. N F C
    That's great! Thanks for sharing :D
  24. jtn42248
    Absolutely a brilliant idea. Now I have the urge to go our and get an old boat.
  25. room onthebroom
    I LOVE THIS! This is beyond a great idea... Its brilliant! Make such a cute duck yard too! :love
  26. silkie10
    :bow HOW DID YOU THINK OF THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
    1. WVduckchick
      It honestly started out as a joke! We didn't know how else to get rid of the boat without taking it to a landfill or something, so we joked about burying it. Then the idea just came out!
    2. silkie10
      That sounds like something I would do,
      Looks like a lot of work, though!
  27. blackdust951
    wow this is brilliant!!!! i've got to try this
  28. darkbluespace
    Crazy adorable!! My ducks can only dream...
  29. 17 chickens
    That is the coolest!
  30. penny1960
  31. Abriana
    So cute! That is a GREAT idea for a duck pond. Those duckies look like some happy boaters!
  32. 3riverschick
    Hey if you put a rotating red light on the boat to make it work... would that act like one of those predator deferring red lights they sell in the marketplace?
    1. WVduckchick
      Good thinking. It just might!
      Sparkle110 likes this.
  33. 3riverschick
    That's the craziest thing I've ever seen !! I love it !! that's great. what an imagination, it's so cute.
    1. WVduckchick
      Thanks! It's been in for a few months now and seems to be doing well!
      WannaBeHillBilly and casportpony like this.
  34. GldnValleyHens
    I love this! So creative! My 6 Calls would love this. I want to build them a pool but am at a lack of where to put it. For now they swim in a kiddie pool, which does the job fine
  35. EggSighted4Life
    LOVE it!!! :weeIt's creative and whimsical and environmentally friendly. :love We have dilapidated boats everywhere here. I probably won't, but would it bother you if I use your idea? Can you please describe your drain set up? Thanks.
    1. WVduckchick
      Wouldn't bother me if you do it too! That would be great! Hope you would send me pics :)
      We cut the existing drain hole larger and inserted a valve, extended drain pipe out about 50 feet. Works great!
  36. sourland
    night lights are needed.
    1. WVduckchick
      I have a couple of solar stick lights, and a motion sensor light in the area. But wouldn't it be cool if the boat lights lit up?
    2. kwhites634
      At least a white stern light & a rotating red/green bow light.
  37. Dharmachick
    Wow! I love this!
  38. scottcaddy
    Nice setup your ducks have!!:love
    I see the running lights are still installed, are they wired up for nightlights yet?
    Thanks for sharing this!:hugs
    1. WVduckchick
      Thanks Scott! :hugs actually thought about making the lights work, never know what we might do!
  39. biophiliac
  40. Hybridchucks
  41. casportpony
    What a great idea, and I love your predator proofing!
    1. WVduckchick
      We have a few hawks, so the netting was a must. Plus i won't have to clip the Calls wings. I had a serama fly into the net the other day. It works! Lol
  42. Nifty-Chicken
    WOW! @WVduckchick this is AMAZING!!!

    Thanks so much for posting this. What a fun and fantastic idea!
    1. WVduckchick
  43. lomine
    I love it. So funny to see a boat full of water and ducks.
    1. kwhites634
      Sure is, unless it started off with YOU in it.
  44. Ravynscroft
    Great idea and it looks awesome!!
    The 5 gallon bucket for the drain valve is just genius!! :thumbsup
  45. Pork Pie
    Great job of up-cycling, WV :thumbsup
  46. mustangrooster
    Hey! Now I can see how you made it! Love it!!
  47. Whittni
  48. DwayneNLiz
    I Love the duck sitting on the dash!!
    Great repurpose!!!
    1. WVduckchick
      Thanks! They will dive in from there too! It's adorable.
  49. Kusanar
    That is so cute! You didn't mention, what did you use for the ramp?
    1. WVduckchick
      Its a piece of steel grate, like you'd cover a storm drain with (?) wrapped in heavy plastic fencing/netting. Found it in our pile of junk after I realized the water level wasn't going to be high enough for them to easily climb back out.
    2. Kusanar
      Cool, I don't currently have ducks, but I want to get some muscovys when I move the horses to my farm and even though they don't NEED water, I want to give them something to play in.
  50. perchie.girl
    so adorable.... Do you have a float valve to keep it topped off?
    1. WVduckchick
      I don't, but since the water level is low, they don't splash much out. I guess some will evaporate, I assumed I'd just add more as needed, but definitely something to think about. Thanks a bunch!
      casportpony and scottcaddy like this.

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