Buying a jon boat

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by james, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. james

    james New Member

    Messages:
    747
    State:
    Blue Ridge texa
    Ill be getting a jon boat here in the next couple weeks. looking for nothing bigger than a 12 footer just going to throw on a trollin motor i already got. who makes a goob jon boat? anything i should watch out for?? im looking to get a brand new one bare bones ganna carry it around in the bed of my partners truck. any tips?
     
  2. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Messages:
    489
    State:
    Spring Hill, Kansas
    Where will you be fishing at? i.e. Rivers, lakes, or small bodies of water. If your fishing rivers, I would recommend getting a boat that is fairly wide and deep. If you buy a riveted jon boat, just keep a close eye on the rivets.

    chris
     

  3. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    The wider and deeper, the better the stability of the boat. I would also try to get one with the thickest hull, makes for a stronger boat. I have never had an all welded jon boat, so I cant compare with a riveted. Over time the rivets in a riveted boat will loosen and need to be tightened. I have had to tighten the rivets in my jon once, its a 84 model.
     
  4. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Guess jon boats are a lot like people. Each are different. One of my fishing partners has a jon boat he equipped out as an air boat. Runs it on the Cimmaron River and has gone from Kinfisher, OK to Keystone Lake - road distance is over ahundred miles,so have no idea what the river distance will be... ran it for years. The point I am beating around the bush is, that with all the flexing, turning, bouncing, dry stops the air boat has made, none of the rivets are leaking (yet). That boat has far more strain placed on it than any jon boat fished in a lake or river with a trolling motor. Just keep your eyes on the rivets, but don't think that because a boat is riveted, it is not as good as one that has been welded.
    I don't think that you will find the make of the boat that critical fishing around Lewiston. All the boats will be about the same. As stated, your going to be happier with a boat with a lot of width and side height. You can load one of those puppies down where the freeboard is just plain scarry.
     
  5. jsharper

    jsharper New Member

    Messages:
    293
    State:
    TX
    As stated before, wide, with fairly high sides, important if you lean over to land a fish on a line or the wind and waves get up. More important if your buddy leans over the same side with you. I went swimming on one of those deals and lost some gear too.
    Jim
     
  6. Pogo

    Pogo New Member

    Messages:
    96
    State:
    North Carolina
    I've seen the rivets versus welded arguments for years and can only say that I have a 1983 12 foot riveted semi-V Alumacraft and a 14 ft 1980 riveted Polar Kraft jonboat that have never leaked a drop nor loosened a rivet and I used to carry the 12 footer around in a truck bed a lot (when I had a full sized truck).

    Carrying it, flipping it and sliding it in and out of a truck bed puts a lot more torgue and strain on the hull than off and onto a trailer ... still ... no leaks.

    I'm about to sell the Alumacraft (don't need two so close in size), but it's been a really sweet ride and I'm sure I'll miss it sometimes.
     
  7. solomon

    solomon New Member

    Messages:
    735
    State:
    MS
    There's really nothing wrong with a riveted boat. The only thing I have found about them is that (and I could be wrong) I was looking for a new boat and couldn't find a riveted one the size that I wanted. If you decide to get a welded boat, look at the hull guage. Try to get as heavy a hull guage as you can for the size you're looking for. Some companies to look at are Southfork, Weld-Craft, Alweld. They all custom make welded boats to your specs.
     
  8. james

    james New Member

    Messages:
    747
    State:
    Blue Ridge texa
    Ill be mainly fishing the elm fork of the trinity river not very wide at all pretty shallow. prob will fish a couple small lakes i dont plan on getting way out in a big lake with it mainly stay in the coves and stump fields. thanks for the info
     
  9. graybeard

    graybeard New Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Iowa
    If you aren't a big guy, a 12 foot with a 36" bottom would probably work alright for you on smaller water. I used to have one to float with, it's a little tippy, just gotta be careful. Now I've got a 14 w/ a 36" bottom that I use on a small river, but I wish it was wider. When I've got some extra change, I wanna get something with a 48" bottom. I've got a 16' vee I use for lakes and bigger rivers.(much more stable) I'd definitely go as wide as you can, but I don't know if you can find a 12 footer any wider than 36" Good luck, you'll enjoy whatever you get.:)
     
  10. slimepig

    slimepig New Member

    Messages:
    666
    State:
    Kerrville Texas
    since yer gunna be luggin it in n outta yer truck and will be fishin small bodies of water, i recomend a narrow low profile thats light enough that 1 person can easily load and unload. nothin wrong with a rivoted boat either that a lil or in my case a lot of j-b weld wont fix.
     
  11. ronnycl

    ronnycl Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    NW/MS
    I would recommend an.80 gauge rivet boat. It will be light enough to handle if you went out by yourself. And I/ve had no problems with rivets and I am rough.... jumping logs duck hunting, etc.
     
  12. hobocatfisher

    hobocatfisher New Member

    Messages:
    29
    State:
    Texas
    Most boat related deaths are from boats under 14 foot long. Something to keep in mind. My jon is a 16 foot river boat and I do wish it were a bit wider. Be mindful of the weight limit on the boat you buy. Higher weight limits are better and flotation foam keeps the boat stabler.
     
  13. james

    james New Member

    Messages:
    747
    State:
    Blue Ridge texa
    I once seen a guy that had a decent size jon boat he had two wheels attached to the back of the boat i seen him pull his boat out of his truck trun it upside down and just steer the boat to the water then flip it back over and pull a pin out of each wheel and toss them into the boat and off he went. pretty good idea looked like it made it alot more easy than dragin it or carryin it around i think im gonna see about doin the same if i get one
     
  14. Opelousasrob

    Opelousasrob New Member

    Messages:
    15
    State:
    Texas
    You really have to be watchin what yer doin in those 36" bottom 12 footers. You'll go swimmin' when you least expect it!!! I like a 1448 or even better a 1648 - gives you a margin of safety when you lean over the side to get a big ol 'Op in the boat.

    Got to keep an eye on those big pesky gators here too as they sure like the taste of fisherman arms here on the Texas Coast.:wink:
     
  15. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    I don't know what size truck bed you are using . I haul a 14 ft. jon in my
    full size long wheel base no problem. My float fishing boat is a 14' rated
    for 6 h.p. weighs 100 lb. Weight is a big factor but its not more important
    than safety. Its no fun having to watch every move you make and if you
    try to stand it tries to run out from under you. Beware of a little narrow
    jon boat its lite but its going to be trouble.
     
  16. raybait1

    raybait1 New Member

    Messages:
    210
    State:
    SE Texas
    I love my 1436 but I wont stand up in it. Also! I bought me one of those cush seats that clamp down to the bench seat.
    I have to remove it when I get settled and start fishing. Being raised up that extra 8" you better not try to touch the water over the side.(May not be as bad for you, im 6'4" 325)
    You can lock the tiller and lean side to side to steer it, like a scateboard! :)