As many of you know, I'm a dedicated waterfowler. Nothing stops me from getting out to where the birds are - but I'm always looking for ways to make it easier on myself. I currently use a canoe or kayak to access shallow honey holes that are distant from the launch. But with the addition of a lab and traveling greater distances to hunting spots, those tactics are about ready for a change. A Huntemboats layout boat is the perfect solution.
I discovered Huntemboats when I met the man who makes them, Ralph Harr, on Twitter. Layout boats have always been a fascination of mine, but being a fairly recent college graduate with a wedding coming up next fall has put a lot of my wants on the back burner (Maybe next year!). I did some research and learned that Ralph makes all his boats in his home state of Missouri. He's also a passionate waterfowler with an eye for quality. It was easy to gravitate towards his craftsmanship, and so I decided to interview him for my #HuntAmericanMade series.
What is the name of your company? When was it founded?
"Huntemboats was founded in 2008."
What events lead you to starting this business?
"During the 2008 turkey season, one of my best friends lost his life in a boating accident trying to cross a slough in a small canoe. We had previously been using one of the layout boats that I had made for duck hunting. After that I wanted to make my layouts boats for people and to be able to have a boat that was going to be safe."
How many employees currently work at your company? Family or relatives?
"I currently do not have any other employees besides myself."
What type of products do you manufacture? Features/benefits?
"The current product that I make is the WIDEBACK. It is a layout boat deigned for duck hunting but has many other uses. One of its main attributes is how the width of the boat stays consent throughout. The WIDEBACK is extremely stable and with the coast guard ratting allows for a 5ph motor. It also boasts a huge 7-foot long cockpit, which is perfect for duck hunter’s gear."
Do you have any personal favorites that you take pride in?
"I take a lot of pride in all of the WIDEBACKS. I deigned this boat form the ground up and watched it start out as a piece of foam and turn into a versatile and safe layout boat."
What is the single best thing about producing a product made here in the States?
"The best thing about producing my product in the USA is that I know the process and I’m confident in every boat I sell will live up to the standards I have set for my company. Letting people enjoy nature in a way most people would never dream of, and allowing them to make it back safe every time out."
Order your boat today at Huntemboats.com