There are many considerations when getting into a boat. These obviously include safety, comfort and logistics. This list goes on and on, but the one thing anglers need to think about that other boaters do not, is noise.
It’s is a much bigger problem in hard boats versus rafts, but these quick tips can work for a multitude of different boat styles and are great starting points to generate ideas on how to keep your boat quiet while fishing.
1. Use a felt doughnut in between your rubber oar-stop and the oar tower to minimize squeaking. It really works. This is pictured above. Yes, I also have I have my oar towers on ball bearings, but that’s another story altogether …
2. If you have trays seat-side where you lay fly boxes, tools or anything else, simply line these areas with it marine felt, boat carpet, or Hydrafelt (Google any of these). SeaDek is an even better product that is specifically made for this kind of thing on boats and it’s a phenomenal product.
3. Are your floors loud? Simply cut up some commercial kitchen mats and viola, problem solved. Again, using Seadek here is a classier and better option, but could be more expensive depending on size. Plus, you can take rubber mats out whenever you want.
4. “Pro-tip” your oar blades with Sawyer’s Dynel/kevlar tip protector. Not only do they make less noise when hitting rocks, they make your oars last infinitely longer.
5. If possible in summer, simply go barefoot. It’s not always the safest thing to do, but if you’re in a relatively calm piece of water it drastically reduces the amount of noise on the boat.
6. Does your boat consistently scrape the bottom in very shallow water? Consider having one angler get out and walk with the boat when casting to feeding fish. This lightens the load. Said person can also double as a human anchor.
7. If you’re getting “hull slap” on the front of your bow from waves smacking what is essentially a flat bottomed boat, simply cant the bow a degree or two to the port or starboard and it should help some.
8. If you use a jon boat frequently where “hull slap” is a major problem, consider this ingenious idea called “The Silencer” I found over at Coastal Angler. It seems to be an amazing DIY fix.