From The Duck Boat owners family...
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from the family of TDB Company boat owners.
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AN OPEN LETTER - from Dean Clark
"As the co-founder of the original TDB Co. and primary designer of our unique hunting boats, I am excited to have Olsen Marine reintroducing and improving the TDB product line. Nate and Tom Olsen’s record of accomplishment and commitment to building quality boats combined with their passion for waterfowling make this a great match: competent and caring people producing cutting edge product... reminds me of the original TDB Company!
I have spent considerable time with Nate and Tom and have complete faith in their integrity, their good business practices and in the skills and quality control of Olsen Marine. The TDB Company started with my brother Bill and me; now Tom and Nate (father and son) are at the helm. I have great confidence that under their care and direction the TDB Co. will quickly reclaim its status as the preeminent manufacturer of quality waterfowling boats in North America.
Nate and Tom Olsen respect the history of the original TDB Company and its commitment to its customers, product safety and functionality of design. In fact, it is their dedication to the founding principles of the TDB Company that motivates me to write this letter of support and encouragement."
~ Dean Clark, AUG 2, 2017
Anthony Babich, Island Outdoors
TDB Tales & Testimonials
Please enjoy our Featured TDB owner-submitted stories...
Reflections on My TDB, by Dennis Markway (photos, below)
When I chose THE DUCK BOAT as my next duck boat in 1994 I knew it would be my last duck boat. I chose the 14’ CLASSIC TDB primarily because I knew it would be a safe boat for my family and myself. I chose it secondarily because I knew that it would blend into any duck hunting area that I wanted to set up in. It has never disappointed me on either of these expectations. I have owned and/or hunted out of 14 to 21 foot Jon boats with homemade or commercial made blinds. None of them have been as safe or as easy to make blend in as my TDB.
I first hunted with my TDB on Pueblo Reservoir in the state of Colorado. The reservoir is a product of damming the Arkansas River. It is about 6-8 miles in length and about a mile and three quarters wide near the dam. Average width is about one half to three quarters of a mile. The sides on much of it are sheer, vertical limestone walls. It has feeder creeks and coves. Because this reservoir is near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains it is subject to sudden wind storms. Being a new resident of Colorado I did not know this.
On three different memorable hunts my TDB was responsible for getting my son or myself and I home safely. The first time was when I was hunting in the afternoon when it was dead calm. As the wind picked up I decided to pick up the decoys and get off of the lake. When I left the sheltered cove and reached the main body of the lake I realized that I was in for a rough ride. It was rolling out there! I had no cell phone then so I couldn’t call my wife to let her know what was going on. I decided to head for the north marina. The wind was strong out of the south and I had to go a mile east to get to the ramp. I made the mistake of trying to go on a diagonal across the lake instead of running down the more sheltered south side and then across. The waves were high enough from the wind but were worse near the north side where they hit the vertical rock walls and the rebound waves were even bigger. Luckily I had had the presence of mind to put all 4 sides of the blind up while crossing. I took on a few gallons of water over the top but made it back to the marina. I was so shaken by the experience that I did not go out to hunt again for over a week.
Another time my son and I were about a quarter of a mile from our hunting destination early one morning when the wind came up once again very suddenly and violently. There was no turning back so we made for the closest protected area to ride out the storm. Safe again.
The third close call was after a successful afternoon hunt with my son. We were picking up decoys when the wind started picking up out of the North. We were just a quarter of a mile from the South marina heading east. Then the wind hit us like a huge leaf blower on high speed! We were both soaking wet when we made shore but we had made it to safety. As I had said before... I bought it because it knew that it would be a safe boat for my family and myself.
Now for the hunting aspects of my TDB... It is so easy to hide because of the natural sloping front, back and sides. The grassing loops and rails will accommodate any natural or man-made camouflage material. You just customize it to fit the area you hunt. The shallow draft gets you close to shore if you choose to hunt there. The outstanding stability allows you to hunt over open water safely. I am 6’ tall and weigh 221 pounds. My son is 6’3” and weighs 210 pounds. We can both stand up quickly from our seats and shoot rocketing Redheads and Goldeneyes without moving the TDB enough to mess up one another’s shooting. It is a very stabile shooting platform. Because this boat hides so easily we shoot most of our birds at 25 yards and less. I hunt this TDB on the lakes of Colorado and Missouri, the Osage River in Missouri and the saltwater flats of the Texas Coast. I hunt in water shallow enough for Texas rigging and deep enough that I use long lines to rig the decoys. We have killed 25 different species of waterfowl from this boat. That includes puddle ducks, divers, sea ducks and geese. I can carry up to 80 decoys in and on this boat. Most of them are the big armored body Herters. That also includes another hunter and a 95-pound Chesapeake. Decoys are easy to set up from this boat. Throw them out with the sides up in shallow water or drop the sides to set long lines in deep water. No matter where or how you hunt waterfowl, you will have a distinct advantage with a TDB.
I am almost 70 years old. My wife, children and grandchildren have hunted and fished out of my TDB. It has given us years of memories...and continues to help make memories. This next week will see us with some of our grandkids fishing from our TDB on Lake of the Ozarks. Three generations sharing hunting and fishing adventures in a 25-year-old TDB.
Some people may hesitate to purchase a TDB because they consider it an East Coast only duck boat. This is a safe, well-designed, affordable hunting, fishing, crabbing, or just having fun boat that fits in any state. I am so pleased to see it back in production. Thank you, TDB.
Past TDB Tales & Testimonials submissions...
ADVENTURE - from Tom Bell
We were hunting out of Cedarville in the Les Cheneaux Islands in my 14 footer last year when the winds came up to gusts of 40 mph and after a less than spectacular hunt we decided to head in from our calm island protected spot. I pulled the handle on the trusty 15 HP motor and ended up with the pull start handle broken off in my hand. My partner, being handier than I, made a makeshift repair and off we went. With winds as they were and us being the only boat that braved the winds, it was "get your life vest on" time and there were questions in both of our minds if we would make it back to the launch site. We made a plan to head straight upwind and then angle back down to home but as soon as we got into the wind the nose would go under and we took water over the front. My partner decided to move aft when going down the waves and forward going up the waves, all the time standing. It worked like a charm. When we got back to the launch, he looked at me and said he really wasn't sure we were going to make it and to that, I replied that I had had doubts as well. He thanked me for remaining calm and in control not knowing I had the same concerns. We loaded up and stopped for lunch when we saw a coast guard rescue boat go by and wondered if someone might have witnessed our own near demise and called them. Heading home we had to cross the Mighty Mac bridge and the wind was still whipping so we were forced to wait with other vehicles for escort and upon crossing they closed the bridge due to high winds. I bought the boat for safe adventures, but you can overdo it. Great boat!
OPENING DAY, November 24, 2016 - from Anthony Babich (check out his incredible pictures below, Island Outdoors)
“Hey Ant wake up it’s time to go” words I awoke to along with the smell of fresh brewing coffee filling the room along with the drone of an alarm clock here on this day we as duck hunters all await for.. opening day. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I suddenly came to consciousness and realized today was the day I’d get to finally return to a new season of waterfowling. The long-standing tradition that’s gone back in my family since I was a young boy heading out with my father on the salt marshes of Long Island’s Great South Bay. At this time I carried along a toy Monte Carlo cap shotgun unbeknownst to me, I wasn’t really the one bagging the ducks at 6 yrs old when my father knocked em out of the skies above us. Like many others here on the south shore of Long Island we anxiously await Thanksgiving day, not for the evening feast, but rather the amber-lit skies filled with a mixed variety of waterfowl making the morning flights across the marsh. After some quick breakfast we headed out the back door to the duck boat, she was a 1992 TDB Classic docked and awaiting her 24th opening day morning hunt. Built in Maine of August 92’ she made her way south towards North Carolina hunting some years in the bay until her sale to a man in New Jersey. After years of use in the Barnegat Bay, she was once again sold to a Mr. Richardson living in Ipswich, Massachusetts using the boat for strictly for waterfowl photography along the tidal marsh, until her sale to me here on Long Island, New York back in October of 2013.
We loaded up the boat and left the dock towards the faintly lit sky heading south towards an island located within the marshlands that my father and grandfather have hunted for over 60 years along with having one hell of an old retriever’s ashes left there many seasons’ ago in remembrance along the tidal bank so she could be with us on the hunt. I planed off the boat and we had steady winds out of the west 10-15 knots with a falling tide a hunter’s ideal conditions as waterfowl primarily feed along the marsh when the water recedes. I looked out at the familiar outlines of the islands I’ve come to recognize throughout my entire life growing up on the bay and tucked the TDB into the “perfect spot”. In order to have the ultimate deception for waterfowl here on the south shore, we use salt-hay to cover the duck boats up as our island marshes are primarily salt hay mixed with an array of other foliage. We pulled out a variety of decoys including Black Duck, Pintail, Teal, Brant, Geese and mallard puddlers. For me I like to hunt with both a shotgun and a camera, I find the thrill is in both capturing the action along with backing up my father’s missed shots! Luckily, I had both this morning, more importantly, I had the shotgun but that’ll come later on...
After the setup, we looked out at the rising sun watching the tide fall and could hear the whistling wings above us of flights crossing the bay. About 10 minutes before legal shooting time we had over a dozen Black Ducks commit to the decoys, the most I’ve ever seen clustered together land like that. At a moments notice the slightest click of my camera scared them away followed by a disgruntled look from my father.. after that we had some mallards give us a look landing in and I knew it would be a fantastic morning. As legal shooting time finally approached here came a single black duck gliding into the decoys with the camera ready I captured the shot and my father followed up with the shotgun bagging the first harvest of the 2016-2017 season. After that we watched the flocks of Atlantic Brant cross into the decoys, followed by hooded mergansers and the infamous cormorant. Suddenly there came a drake mallard off to the left my father pointed out the distance and rose up to fire taking two shots just behind it, I grabbed my “real” shotgun this time tried to call the bird back fearing he was gone for sure. After a few calls he came back swirling high above the boat I kept on with the drake call and he descended just out across the horizon I looked at my father as the drake quickly approached us once again and said “Let me show ya how it’s done” with the cocky confidence and pressure turned up I fired a shot just as the drake suspected something was up and with a bit of luck I watched the drake fold up and splash to the water just beyond the decoys. My father turned and with a straight face said “Not bad son…. Not bad” My overconfidence was quickly ended when while I was fidgeting with my camera my father suddenly pointed out a drake pintail overhead. We watched it flyover and disappear way out into the sky.
I then followed up on a blackduck, single hen mallard and we decided to get back home as the tide reversed and switched to incoming. As we were picking up the decoys my father suddenly looked up and saw what looked like the same drake pintail that flew over earlier that morning. He took the gun slung over his shoulder loaded up and crouched down beside the boat as I did likewise. We waited and the bird now reversed it’s direction and was heading straight for us! I couldn’t believe it my father yelled out “Ant don’t you mess this up with that damn camera now!” I slowly put my camera down and watched as the bird approached the decoys a bit weary but he stood no chance… my father raised up and fired a single shot and that drake pintail came down with a splash. He looked at me and said “now go out there and get my duck Ant” ahh! Once again he showed me up but all in good fun, we ended the day with our black duck limit 4 puddle ducks 2 brant and that single drake pintail which hangs over this computer desk here today. Like many others it was a memorable hunt for sure and just another opening day for the 14’ TDB!