This was another long term project from last year. I needed a blind for waterfowl hunting in my Wilderness Systems Commander 120. This was one of those projects you search on the internet for ideas someone did before and it seems no one has done it, or at least never posted anything on the internet that they did! I did some work on it, a little thinking, then some more work and a bit more thinking.
Here is the finished product, so your not skipping to the end. This my buddy Greg, pictured on the left, and my kayak just about beached up on the right. This is the sit up position in the blind and there is a laying down position to be covered later.
Now for the good part, not just what to so, but what I learned not to do! I had a roll of Cordura I had left over from making a blind for my Jon boat. If you don’t know, Cordura is that thick Nylon fabric they make backpacks and hunting blinds with. I got a hold of Magna Fabrics a couple years back and they had a deal for me. They had a roll of 14 yards of 1000 Denier Green digital camo for about $35 shipped. I jumped all over it and said I wanted it. What a deal I proclaimed, and it was. What I did not realize was how hard 1000 Denier Cordura is to sew when you do not have an industrial sewing machine! I should have spent the extra $10 and got the roll of 500 Denier, but its too late for that now. I thought it’s tougher, thicker and that all better, yea, sure it is.
My wife can sew much better than me, but I burnt that bridge last time. I could not get the blind for my Jon boat to work and she jumped in and saved the project. But this time she was the one cussing and upset and swore if this fabric was ever around to be sewn again, NOT to call her! So, here I am on my own now. :p I was smart enough to take Home Economics in high school and learned to run a sewing machine. Plus Mom learned fast and let me earn my allowance when the grass would not grow. But, none of that prepared me for this thick, unwieldy, fabric! I was taught to iron and steam creases for the edges before sewing. That hardly worked on this stuff. Sewing became a cursing spree. The sewing machine would start to run and the dog would leave, knowing I was soon to be irate and spitting words little children should not hear. 😀
But as you can see above, I persevered and was able to cut and sew the back half of the blind. It was on and I had something to show for my time. Now after being finished this was the first piece done and the piece I am still wishing I had another solution for. The wide round stern of the Commander does not allow the blind cover to grip it well. It would get bumped off while hunting where I finally added a bungee to hook down under the keel to snug it on. Maybe some more people will read this, make of of their own and offer some more ideas for changes.
Above is the webbing and clips that is on both sides to hold the back cover on the kayak. It shows how the webbing is sewn to the blind and how it clips around the seat bar. The seat is not in my Commander most of the time. I only using it in spots I want to sit up hunting and not lay down. I sit on the perch to paddle and fish in the same spot in the summer too.
Now on to the front cover and for this I have the dash board built, shown in another post, which is key to giving the front cover something to hook on to.Blow is two pictures showing how the webbing hooks around the dashboard and to the front strut to hold the blind into place. Notice on the second picture there is webbing on the side of the dashboard for each side. This was added to keep the wind from pulling up on the sides.
The front was much easier to make as there is a nose cone to be sewed and pulled to the dash board snugging it all up tight. Below shows the front made and sizing for length. The seems still need to be sewn.
Now, to get the front cover length I took some pictures of how I would be positioned in the sitting up mode and in the layout position. I tired the layout position with the back rest, a sweat shirt, PFD and full winter jacket. What seemed like tons of room tightened up fast with all that winter and water crap on!
Now I had it sized and I just had to cut the length and sew all the seams. Once that was done, it was to sew the webbing on for the stubble straps. Sounds like all the hard work is done, the raw blind is made and 90% of the work is finished right, Wrong! This fabric is hard to sew, I have covered this before, right? So when you take a hard to sew fabric and sew back and forth a bunch of times in the same spot the threads fill up and it becomes harder to sew. Then you think you got it going and I get faster, working real good and PING, another broken needle! I think the girls a Joanne Fabric laughed at me secretly after I was gone. A man to give foolish advice to and set him up for failure. I asked “I need the toughest needles you have!” they give me Denim needle. Wrong, I can break them easily and and have become come quite handy at doing so. I asked for titanium needles, but they said Denim what the strongest they had. But I pushed through and finally got the straps sewed on.
Here is the blind ready to be painted and after painting. You can see the digital camo just looks washed out in the sun. I had planned to stripe the blind like you see in the second picture so I could use grey raffia clumps next to rock breaks in the river, but that was so much work each trip, I just zip tied the raffia to the blind so it was unroll and hunt.
Now the finished product of the raffia cover blind. The colors are a little bright, but I later dusted it down with flat brown paint to darken it all up.
Now it’s your turn to give it a try. 😀