Buying First Jon Boat--Fit on my Pathfinder?

Discussion in 'Boating' started by chrislrob, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. chrislrob

    chrislrob New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    illinois
    Hi all,

    Beautiful site.

    I've read a couple of dozen threads here over the last few days. I am a newbie fisherman buying his first jon boat. I plan to use it on small lakes, ponds, and rivers in Illinois and Indiana.

    After a lot of research, I am thinking a used 12 to 14 foot flat bottomed aluminum.

    I've got two problems. First, I am 6'1" and weigh 285 lbs.

    Second, I do not want to use a boat trailer.

    I am worried that I won't be able to either transport my boat safely or that I will struggle to get it on and off of my 1997 Nissan Pathfinder SUV.

    I have become extra-worried now that I realize that I need as wide a boat as possible. This probably means that I will have to cartop--it won't fit inside.

    I think I've read most of the threads touching on this, but does anyone have any advice, encouragement, or experience with throwing a wide body 12-14 footer on top of an SUV, that I might have missed?

    Thanks.

    Chris

    P.S. This site is a goldmine for a city slicker like me! :big_smile:
     
  2. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,623
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    Chris sorry i can,t realy help you with your question on hauling your boat ,but i would like to welcome you to the B.O.C..
     

  3. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Personally, I found that "car topping", even with just a little ten footer, gets old very quick.
    I can't imagine that a wide 14 fter would be anything but plain aggravation to "car top" on a regular basis.

    Round my parts we have a couple of Muskie fishermen who just use a small flatbed utility trailer (looks like a Harbor Freight special) to haul their's. It's not pretty, but it gets the job done and is useful for other purposes.
     
  4. roadkill636

    roadkill636 New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    warrenton misso
    you can always stuff it in your trunk, Hee Hee Ha Ha Ha !!!!
     

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  5. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    I would find a small boat trailer......especially if you plan on putting a small outboard on it.....and once you get it rigged it's not gonna be that light. I have a 1436 which is a pretty small jon boat, with an 8hp mercury, battery, and rod holders and it's probably pushing 400lbs.....
     
  6. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    I agree after about 10 times of trying to wrestle that sucker up on top of your suv,you'll wish you had a trailer,or a different type boat. There are some helpful gadgets like roof rollers that attatch to the luggage rack,but still it a serious pain in the rear. why don't you want to use a trailer? And welcome to the boc!
     
  7. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

    Messages:
    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    i have a 15 foot jon boat that i put in the back of my truck, however i wish that i had a trailer. for many reasons, if for no other, than the convenience of not having to unpack and repack it everytime i go from truck to boat or boat to truck. there are very few spots that i have found that i can't just back a trailer down to. if your scared of backing a trailer, you should go to an empty parking lot and practice. it just takes a little time and practice, over correcting is most peoples problem...
     
  8. chrislrob

    chrislrob New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    illinois
    Hi all,

    Really appreciate the responses. And the welcomes!

    My main reason for not wanting a trailer is that I have no place to put one. I can put the boat on its side by my house, but no room for a trailer. And no easy way to get one in and out of my backyard (which is where I'd have to put it.) I have to go through my side door.

    The boat will fit. The trailer won't....

    But maybe it would...:confused2:

    Anyone have any idea how much a trailer for a 14 foot boot might weigh?

    Can I muscle that sucker in on it's side by myself? I assume they weigh a lot.
     
  9. Waterbug

    Waterbug New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    Arkansas
    Hey Chris, welcome to the BOC.

    I've done a lot of fishing out of 12', 14', & 16' flatbottoms; currently have a 14x36 & 16x48 in my arsenal. I know from experience that anything beyond a 12' boat is killer to handle by yourself w/o trailering it. 12'ers can be a pain for that matter. The only boat that I’ll transport off the trailer is my little Bass Hunter plastic boat. If you plan on outfitting the boat with any extras at all you will almost definitely need to trailer it. I don't know your situation, but the best bet to transport without a trailer would be to get a truck. A smaller aluminum boat transported in a truck bed would be much better than any kind of jon boat transported on the top of an SUV. Maybe look into storage companies; it might be worth paying a small fee to store your boat and trailer and have the convenience of being able to hook up and go.

    A boat most definitely opens up much more water to fish, but there is still a lot of fishing to be found from the bank. Be patient, do your research, and you'll find what you need.
     
  10. ste6168

    ste6168 New Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I live in an apartment complex in Annapolis and one of my neighbors has a little trailer (looks like a harbor freight special) that breaks down at the end of the day. He uses it to tow his scooter :smile2: behind a Mazda 3. When he wants to use it, he throws the wheels on, some metal bracing, a sheet of 3/4 ply, and its about ready to use! I feel a little trailer like that, with some nice straps, would be a hell of a lot easier to use than car topping. If your interested, I would maybe go out of my way to ask him about it, get some details, and relay the information to you (have never said more than Hi to him :wink:)!

    I tow a 15ft doublewide Jon and there is now way in heck I would want to car top, I would even want to throw it in the bed of my truck for that matter! Back into the water, unhook, pull out and I am fishing. Unloading and loading the boat every time would definitely cut down on the amount of times I use it a year!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  11. pabloracer4748

    pabloracer4748 New Member

    Messages:
    283
    State:
    Kansas
    No way you can muscle a 14 ft john boat around. Unless your a superhero or something.

    If you want something easily portable look into something like this.
    http://www.memphisnet.net/product/3602/boats

    Only weighs 60 lbs and cheap as

    I think it would be so cool to put a 5 hp gas motor on one of these
    Wouldnt be a big river boat though
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  12. littleman

    littleman Active Member

    Messages:
    540
    State:
    Illinois
    One of my friends rents a storage unit to keep his boat in. I think he pays around 50-60 a month. You might think about that instead of trying to get a boat and a trailer threw a house door.
    This past spring I went from not having a boat to owning three jon boats.(2 12's & a 16) My problem was finding space in my yard to put them all. Since I mainly fish with the 16 footer I put that in the driveway. But the 12 footers I keep in the backyard. I have to unhook the trailer from the truck and then push them into the yard. Since I'm 5'1'' I have to get someone to help me push them into place. This got old really quick and I stopped using both the 12 footers all together.
    By the way welcome to the BOC!!
     
  13. chrislrob

    chrislrob New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    illinois
  14. chrislrob

    chrislrob New Member

    Messages:
    4
    State:
    illinois
    I hear you. And I figure that wrestling a 14 footer and a trailer out of my garage side door every time I go out is going to cut down on my fishing too!

    I presume the trailer could be heavier and more unwieldy than the boat itself.

    But you all make cartopping sound sooo unattractive.

    So much so that I was starting to let the tail wag the dog by trying to figure out the smallest boat I could get away with...

    But nope.

    I'll cartop or trailer or store, but I'm going to get a boat big enough for me to actually float in!
     
  15. pabloracer4748

    pabloracer4748 New Member

    Messages:
    283
    State:
    Kansas
    Its rated to hold 325. im sure it will hold more. and that 50 dollar boat is bigger and looks like a great deal. Im sure it will support more weight.
    I had one for creeks and lakes and never had a problem I weigh about the same as you