DIY platform for my kayak duck hunting dog, by Gary Byrne

Well finally managed to get it all together. Built the top for Charlie to sit on. Used plywood and covered in vinyl runner.
Today was the first day when I paddled out with him on it. It was a little windy and a bit choppy on the lake. When he moved around behind me I thought we were going in!! But after a while he and I got used to it.
What do you think? How easy would it be for him moving around to tip it? My experiences on my own are its really stable and I think it’s a case of just getting used to the extra weight and some shifting of it when he moves around.
Interestingly since its a nice platform – he has no issue jumping off with minimal effect on the kayak. Now getting back on is the problem when his feet aren’t touching ground. Might have to see if there’s something I could use/build/improvise that could attach to the platform or kayak and make it easier for him to get back up onto the platform from the water. Any ideas??

Gary Byrne
Ontario, Canada

kayak duck hunter and his dog on board
Gary and Charlie, his kayak duck hunting dog

More from Gary and Charlie >

6 thoughts on “DIY platform for my kayak duck hunting dog, by Gary Byrne”

  1. Looks great!
    Thanks Gary.
    It looks to me more like a ‘software’ solution than a ‘hardware’ one. In other words, Charlie seems perfectly capable of hopping back on board your kayak without further modifications to it, and all he needs now is to learn how to do it.
    I bet you could get some online advice from other duck hunters who fish from small boats and get help from retrievers.
    If Charlie finds it too hard to climb back on board, you could try installing a lower, smaller, intermediary platform directly on top of the hulls, i.e. 3 inches lower than this one.


    PS –I forgot to mention that Gary’s platform is built on top of a light frame consisting of a pair of saddle brackets and a couple longitudinal beams.

  2. What a fine looking dog!
    I’d build a folding step on the platform side, in case he has trouble hopping from the water directly on top.

  3. Gary- If you put a ramp/stairs out the back (between the “feet”) it would eliminate the tipping effect as Charlie hoists himself back in from the side. He would be “centered” automatically along the boats longitudinal axis with a fair amount of the W500’s buoyancy at work beyond the point of downward force. Also, your weight will then be working as a counterbalance which is not the case if he comes in from the side.

  4. Nice job, and yes I agree, make the ramp fall between the hulls.

    It will be a lot more stable and I’d bet easier for the dog to board.

    You’ll get used to the movement of the dog, and the dog will get used to balancing.

    My dog sits in a lawn chair, and loves it. 🙂

    Tight lines and Mopaddle, and hunt safely.

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