- 4 elbow bent aluminum blind frame piped
- 2 joining collars for pipes
- front blind bracket
- 2 (long) ss bolts for rear with nuts and washers
- 2 (short) ss bolts for front with nuts and washers
- 4 ropes
- 2 ratchet ropes
- 4 stainless steel pad eyes with washers and nuts
- 2 lengths of netting
- 20-25 black tie strap clips
- 30-35 self-tapping screws
- cable ties
- 10 sheets of Fastgrass
- 2 lengths of PVC pipe
Mount front blind bracket to the front deck. Make sure you don’t mount this bracket too far forward. We understand you want to cover as much of the front deck as you can with the blind, but mounting this too far forward will allow the blind pipes to hang over the gunnels when the blind is in the down position. This makes it easy to rip off or damage the blind if you hit a dock or tree as you pass by. A slight overhang is ok, but not 10”. The narrower your boat is, the more the blind will have to hang over by default. In a 38” or 44” bottom boat, the blind pipes must hang over the gunnels more than wider boats or when you pull the blind up, it will be too short and your head and shoulders will be sticking up out of the blind. You can mock up the blind height with one of the elbow bent pipes and the front blind bracket at this point to check for perfect placement. Know that you will have to cut the short end of the elbow bent pipe 90% of the time. Only on very wide boats will you not do this.
Note, on very wide boats (62” or 70” bottoms) you may need to cut this bracket in two and spread them apart to get the pipes to be long enough to reach the outer gunnels.
Mount the zip tie clips along the gunnel. You want to screw these into the gunnel so that the screw comes out inside the gunnel and not exposed on the outside. Space these clips about 15” apart from the back of the boat, all the way to being even with the front blind bracket on the front deck. Do not install further forward than the front blind bracket.
Drill your two holes in the back of the transom where the two longer SS bolts will go to hold your blind pipe. Typically, these holes need to be about 26” from the corner of the transom. However, this is not always possible and doesn’t always layout for each boat properly. You can adjust this measurement to fit your boat best. But 26” will give you a good starting point. You can take a piece of your elbow bent pipe and mock-up rear blind pipe as you did on the front blind bracket to get proper placement of holes.
If you do not have a huntdeck, your holes will most likely be as close the motor mount as possible, one on each side.
Drill your holes in the gunnel to slip your ropes through. These holes will go all the way through and through the gunnel so you can slip the rope through and tie a knot. Your holes should be drilled 15” to 20” from the transom in the back, and from the front blind bracket in the front. One on each side, front, and back, for a total of 4 holes.
Cut your PVC pipe to length. You want it to start in the rear near the transom and end even with the front blind bracket. Cut off excess. If your boat has a rear gusset bracket, you can cut the PVC pipe nearly in half to make it bend and follow the contour.
Unfold your netting and lay it out lengthwise. Do not start threading the PVC pipe through the netting at the very end. Come back about 3′ from the corner and then start slipping the pipe through the bottom run of netting holes. Back and forth, in and out, not missing a single net hole. Then stop about 3′ from the other end. If your boat is shorter, you will not even go that far, as you will cut off excess netting. Begin by using the zip ties to secure the PVC pipe with the netting slipped on in the rear (transom) allowing your 3′ of extra end hang over. You will use this later.
Pulling the net tight as you go, tie strap each clip to the PVC pipe. Once you get to the end, you may have more than 3′ of extra netting hanging off. This is ok, we will cut the excess later. At this point, place a tie strap in between each black clip. This secures the netting to the PVC, independent from the boat. This will keep the netting in place when you remove the blind for summer storage. Repeat this on both sides. Let the netting hang overboard for now, out of the way.
Mount the bent elbow pipes by first placing the rear pipe on either side in the general area it will go. You don’t want it to overhang the gunnel any more than it has to, in order to reach desired blind height when up. Mock this up by placing the short end in the general area the bolt goes thru the transom (or front blind bracket if you choose to start in the front) and then raising it up as if it were pivoting there while you sit on a dove bucket or chair in the boat. The top rail of the blind should be about nose level when pulled up to hunt.
Mark your line to cut the excess short end of the elbow bent pipe. Leave room to drill a hole in your blind frame pipe as seen in this example of mocking up the pipe attaching to the front blind bracket. Do the same in the rear.
Cut the blind pipe and drill a hole near the very end of the pipe so you can slip your bolt thru and attach the pipe to the front blind bracket in the front, and to the bolts in the transom.
At this point, you will have a piece of elbow bent blind pipe attached in the rear and one attached in the front with the proper bolts. Do not over tighten as this will make it hard to swivel easily. Use a brass washer between the pipe and the front blind bracket, and between the pipe and the transom. Your pipes will likely be too long and overlap in the middle. Removing the pipe to make your cut is recommended.
Make a mark and cut off the excess pipe. Now your pipes will butt together and be joined by the provided collar in step eight.
Slip the collar over one of the pipes. Butt both pipes up to one another and slide the collar back over the other pipe and get about half of each pipe inside the collar. Simply slide the collar towards the bottom of the pic over the other pipe till both pipes are equally inside the collar.
Drill a 9/64 or so pilot hole through the pipe and into the collar, then insert a self-tapping screw.
You want to get two screws in each end of the pipe through the collar. And you want two different angles with those screws like below. Repeat on both sides.
Slip the rope from the top through the holes you drilled in the gunnels in step four. Once the rope has passed through, tie a double knot and pull the knot back up tight against the bottom of the gunnel. Do all four ropes. Once the knot is tied, just let ropes lay loose for now.
Drill holes in the top of the bent elbow pipe (blind frame) as close to the elbow as you can on each end and on both sides (port/starboard) for a total of four holes. Install the provided SS pad eye bolts. The ratchet ropes will utilize the pad eye bolts to secure the blind in the up position. You don’t want them too far in from the ends as they will take up hunter space.
Take the S hook on the end of your ratchet rope that doesn’t have the ratchet device and untie it. You will not use this S hook. Simply tie the rope to the starboard side rear eye bolt. Then run it across the boat and hook the S hook on the other end to the port side rear eye bolt. Do this in the front as well, except perform it the opposite way. Tie the loose end (after you discard unneeded S hook) to the forward port side eye bolt, and then hook the remaining S hook to the starboard side eye bolt.
You may be tempted to crimp this S hook permanently. Don’t. There will be times you don’t want the tripping hazard across front and back.
Raise the blind up and set your gap down the center. If you are not using headcovers (available from Gator Trax), you want your center gap to be about 18” – 20”. Any more will allow ducks to see down into the blind easily. If you are planning on using headcovers, set the gap 28” – 30”. We use a jig for this. But you can have someone hold a tape for you to set the gap properly. Make sure the blind pipes are centered and not leaning off to one side or the other.
Once the gap has been set properly, take your ropes and pull them up to the top blind rail and tie them so that the blind frame cannot be pulled any tighter than that gap you set. You don’t want to set your gap at 18” and then let the ratchet rope pull the blind all the way to 15”. This is the purpose of the ropes as the ratchet rope will over tighten the gap without the ropes.
Note- there is no reason to pull the ratchet rope extremely tight. Just taught is fine.
Pull the netting tight. Roll up any excess at the top rail and wrap it around the top rail then tie strap it securely.
Pull the netting up to the top blind rail. Do not start on the corners. Start in from any corner a foot or so, then go all the way down till you get about a foot from the opposite corner on the same pipe.
Now, as shown, you can wrap those 3′ loose ends you left hanging over back to the blind pipe and roll any excess up to the legs of the blind frame. Then tie strap securely and cut off any excess.
Secure the grass with tie straps all along the top, the middle and along the bottom just above the PVC pipe to the netting. Failure to attach three rows, top, middle, and bottom, at a minimum will not allow the grass to fold in half when you lower the blind. It will simply slide down when you close the blind and drag in the water. Before you secure, make sure you have the proper overhang. Not too much. Any grass touching the water will act like you are dragging an anchor. Once this corner is done, go to opposite end and do the other corner. Then fill in grass sheets between those corners. Do not start on one end and keep going to the other. Cut sheets if you need to. It will not unravel.
When you attach the grass, note that there are two ends. One has a shaggy/frayed end, and the other end has a straight rope end. Always start on a corner. Position your grass with the shaggy end down and the rope end up. The reason to start on a corner is so you can wrap that first piece around the back/front corners of the blind as well at this point.
Now wrap the rope end around the top blind frame pipe and bend it back over and secure it to itself with a zip tie. This makes the grass “flare up” at the top and looks more natural.