Good layout boats are low profile, have gently sloping sides that cast no shadows, are painted a neutral color, such as battleship gray, and are light enough to be carried by a single person. The sides must be tall enough to conceal the hunter when he reclines. These camouflage boats allow waterfowl hunters to "hide in plain sight" on open waterways.
Hunters often wear face masks and gloves and cover their boats with bits of vegetation. Once in place, the boats don't move. The hunter, who is dressed in camouflage, can comfortably "layout" in the boat, then quickly sit up when it's time to shoot.
Some layout boats have small motors, but many are hauled out to the hunting site by motorized tender boats. These tenders usually anchor away from the layout boats and remain ready to retrieve any birds taken, thus not giving away the hunters' positions.
Hunters using layout boats usually surround their location with duck decoys that are anchored to the water bottom using long lines and heavy weights. Some hunters also put decoys on long lines and attach them to their boats. Seasoned hunters set a whole flock of decoy ducks around their layout boats, hoping to attract the real thing.