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The Best Canoe for Duck Hunting

Most duck hunters find the sport much easier in a canoe or kayak, but what if you’ve never owned one before and you’re not sure how to start shopping for one? In this article, you’ll learn what to look for in your duck-hunting boat so that you have a good starting point. We’ll also go over a handful of the boats that real-life buyers have recommended to others so you can take a look at those. The right boat can make hunting ducks a lot easier and even more productive in the end, and below are a few things to pay attention to when you’re shopping for one.

1. Stability

When looking for the best canoe for duck hunting, you need a boat that’s stable because you’ll be constantly setting up your shot, adjusting your position, and experiencing recoil from your shotgun or rifle. This is why duck-hunting boats are usually made with a beam that is a little wider than average. This, of course, makes them a little slower than boats that have narrower beams, but since you don’t need speed when duck hunting, this shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Camouflage Appearance

A dull color palette or a camouflage appearance is what you want in a duck-hunting boat. Why? Because ducks have amazing eyesight that is two to three times better than a human’s. If you’re floating along in a red or yellow boat, they will notice immediately. You’ll want your boat to look like the habitat surrounding you. If you also wear a camouflage suit to match your boat, the ducks are even less likely to spot you and fly away.

3. Weight

Duck-hunting canoes have to be lightweight, especially because the weight will naturally increase once you place all of your gear in it. That doesn’t mean that you have to go with the lightest boat available; it just means you have to take the weight of the boat into consideration when shopping. Also consider the weight of all of the gear you’ll be loading onto the boat, and make sure it won’t be too heavy when you’re done.

4. The Right Seat

When you go duck hunting, you’ll be relying on the boat’s seat to keep you comfortable, which means you need a seat that has good back support and is cushioned. If you’re going to be lying down a lot, look for a seat that is removable so that you can remove it and lie down in the proper position. If you’re only planning to sit upright as you hunt, the seat just has to be comfortable for you. Other than this, the only other recommendation is for you to wear camouflage (e.g., a ghillie suit) to hide yourself from the ducks.

5. Durability

Let’s face it, your duck-hunting boat is going to go through a lot,
which means it needs to be durable. This includes scratches, dents, exposure to
the sun, and more. This is why you should look for a kayak or canoe that has a
UV-resistant coating such as polyethylene or thick, reinforced PVC, and one
that is specifically designed to handle the bumps and bruises that all
duck-hunting boats go through.

And in case you’re wondering about some of the best duck-hunting boats on the market, here are a few to consider:

Jackson Kilroy

Offered by Jackson Kayak, this sit-inside boat is the best and toughest canoe or kayak for duck hunting. Even if you’re a little rough on it, it will withstand the abuse. It is 12’ 10” in size and weighs 71 pounds, and you also get plenty of protected storage space, a hi-low sliding seating system, and a removable hard deck, among other things. It’s ergonomic design and strap down systems allows you to outfit the boat however you need for your hunt. You can fit a ton of gear in here, holding up to 325lbs of weight. It’s 31 inch width provides a lot of stability while also allowing you to reach secluded streams and inlets.  

Technical specs here.


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Seat is adjustable using one hand
  • Allows you to stand up without tipping over


  • Seat can be difficult to remove
  • No paddle keeper installed

This is a kayak-canoe combination that is multifunctional and weighs a mere 56 pounds. It has a hull made out of 3 separate layers and is extremely durable, especially when you consider how lightweight it is. The hull comes with a lifetime warranty, and it is specifically designed for hunters, even being equipped with a shotgun shell ammo holder, cup holder, and padded armrests. It sells for around $1,100.


  • Great hybrid design
  • Perfect for hunting with dogs
  • Maneuverable yet speedy
  • Lightweight


  • Cannot remove the cross beams and lie down
  • Unsuitable for hunters wanting to stand up

At a length of 12 feet and a width of 3 feet, this 132-pound kayak gives you a pedal system that allows you to get through the water much faster than you could paddle. The pedal drive uses fins and not a propeller, which makes maneuvering the boat in shallow water super-easy. It is a bit expensive at around $5,300, but it’s worth it if you’re a serious duck-hunting enthusiast.


  • Extremely durable
  • Easy to maneuver even in tight spaces
  • Great for covering a lot of distance quickly


  • A bit pricey for most people
  • May be visible due to its bright coloring

This is the perfect duck-hunting boat to consider if you wish to add a motor to it at some point. It is compatible with outboards and Torqeedo motors, and if you like you can even add a PIVOT Drive pedal system. It is a sit-on-top kayak that is both stable and durable, and it even has a sleek design that looks great. It weighs only 84 pounds but has a weight capacity of 650 pounds, and it costs around $1,800.


  • Very roomy and comfortable design
  • Weight capacity is higher than most
  • Super-easy to remove the seat


  • Stern space is limited
  • It is heavier than most hunting boats


The truth is, finding a high-quality duck-hunting boat is a lot easier once you know what to look for, and the information in this article is more than enough to help you get started. I would recommend borrowing a friends canoe or renting one from a local shop to make sure the craft fits your gear and hunting preference.

Overall, The Old Town Discovery fit the bill for me. It’s durable and the added features make this a great all-rounder whether you’re hunting, fishing, or want to scout out some coves. 

Good Hunting,

OP Editor