Introduction: the Rod Donkey Diy Bait Boat

hi all like most who want a bait boat me and 2 mates toyed with the idea of building one and from that idea the rod donkey was born
I wrote this blog a while ago now please check it out all the dimensions and plans are there for your reference. And it saves me re writing it all

Its always amazing what you can do if you set your mind to it we are 3 normal guys who like our fishing and or garage projects so we though we would combine the 2 over the winter and build our selves a rc bait boat so we brainstormed made some plans and a miniature scale model and off we set.
after 6 weeks work the Rod Donkey was born and out for its 1st real fishing trip it would have been sooner but we had to wait for parts from china to arrive
The donkey cost around £300 to build and for that you get quite a high spec boat if you where to buy a boat from a store at the spec we have built ours to you would pay in excess of £700
The Rod Donkeys spec
When we decided to do this build we started off with big ideas and to our surprise we have achieved them all so far
The rod donkey is a
twin jet powered catamaran ideal for going over weed
over 200m range
Ultra bright front and Rear lights
independent duel release hoppers they carry aprox 1.5kg of bait each side (3kg total ) with flashing hopper notification lights.
Curved snag free nose
an estimated running time of around 2hrs on 2x 6v 7.0amh batteries with 2 spare batteries for the boat
engine cut when out of range £300
Closest shop brought spec
Huge 500 – 1000m range depending on conditions.
Heavy-duty motor system – high speed efficiency
Massive 4 kg carrying capacity
Totally dependable bait dropping mechanism – guaranteed to deliver every time
Covert baiting – the ultimate stealth boat
High visibility LED’s for improved vision at range
Long battery life – over 2 hours at maximum speed
Front lights to aid baiting against visible features and marker floats £750

Step 1: Step 1

A how to video and parts list of a DIY bait boat build with time lapse video.
After hunting through many fishing forum and searching the internet there appeared to be lots of post about bait boat builds There are many ideas of what size , shape , Manafacturing process to use. So we cracked on with our plans documenting in with a gopro in step by step photos.

We started of with standard house hold floor/ wall insulation there are many makes celotex. Kingspan. Etc we chose floor mate as I doesn't come wrapped in a metallic outer sheet. It comes in all sizes we chose 70mm as it's probably your most standard.

It's not cheap but we work in the construction trades and came across some off cuts on site. If your passing a new build housing estate it's worth stopping and asking the site agent if he has any off cuts as the final mould will be filled and sanded so it's possible to join bits together. Although it goes without saying the less joins the less filling needed

Mark out your desired dimension on the sheet then go round that size adding another 5 mm to 10mm
(see my second blog part 2 for plans of our dimensions )
this allows for deviations when cutting out and a small margin to sand back smooth. Once the form was finished we taped the entire mould with gaffer tape (masking tape or similar would also surfice ) this is to protect the foam from the fiberglass otherwise it would melt and become disformed.

Starting to Fiberglass....

Before fiberglass we put some 6mm ply on top the foam and screwed it down
( instead of ply you could use mdf hard board or chipboard this allows us to form a lip on the hull for fixings later)
We then added some 2x1 timber on top around the hopper openings make sure you wax the insides of the timber so the fiberglass releases

After we did this we used some off cuts of any thin timber sheets to make shuttering for the inside of the hoppers they should be a nice tight fit .
Make sure this is waxed and the waxed side goes against the fiberglass. We Also cut some small ruff blocks of foam to put inside the hopper opening to keep the timber pushed up flush whilst the glass sets
The glass itself
Cut sheets of fiberglass Matt to fit in designated locations ie we cut 8 sheets the width of our hoppers and the depth of the hull then 8 strips at the depth of the hopper but around 40mm wide this allowed us to lay the large sheet inside the hoppers then lay the thiner strips up the corners to form a nice square corner. How we thought of it was as embroidery with liquid e.g in embroidery you cut your meterial to the pattern then stitch it together. We applied that idea to fiberglass and lay all the sheets out cutting out or shapes then built up with thin joining strips to fill in the gaps and corners.
We started inside the hoppers as it was the hardest to reach

Mix the resin as it says on the tin then brush it on to the taped mould. In small workable areas then add a layer of fiberglass Matt and roller down with a ribbed roller then repeat the process across the entire mould adding as many layers as you want.
We did 2 layers of Matt then 1 layer of fine topcoat to finish it off. This gave us a 3-5mm thick hull. Once we finished we put the shuttering for the hoppers inside the hopper openings and packed it in place with the foam wedges to give us a square and smooth finish inside the hoppers

Hull after foam had been removed

That's it for part 1 part 2 will be up soon

If you want any help or advice or feel I have missed anything please feel free to comment

Step 2: Plans and Dimensions

click for top profile plan

click for side profile
The hull was built in 4 sections the main body then 3 pontoons

Side profile of the pontoon height we did change the plan slightly and made the front point follow to the bottom rather than half way down

Middle pontoon is around half the height of the outer ones so it only sits in the water when fully Loaded

Step 3: Video

Please read the full blog hear