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Jon Boat stable?
22 replies to this topic
Posted 01 July 2008 - 07:56 AM
I have a novice question. How do Jon boats rate in stability?
I rented a 14ft Jon last weekend and took in out on the lake for about 6 hours. It was proetty stable even when I stood up to give my back short breaks.
I notice that some guys upgrade their Jon boats with flat decks and carpet, and they look really cool. How do they rank in stability?
I have a 10 month old daughter and my wife and I are thinking of a small boat to take out on the weekends.
Is a mod V better in stability? What would you recomend as the most stable type for a guy who is overly concerned with safety? (Is it best to just stay seated?)
I really like your Jon boat conversions, thank you for any help you can offer.
Posted 01 July 2008 - 08:50 AM
Both boats (v-hull and jon) can be very stable. I'd suggest you decide on a style depending on the type water you will most likely use.
If you plan to fish primarily small lakes and ponds such as pay-to-fish and electric-only, the jon boat will do fine. A good 12 volt hand controlled electic motor with a deep cycle battery or a small gas motor will suffice.
If you are going to use larger lakes where you might encounter large boat wakes and wind-blown waves you would be better served using a v-hull. These also tend to have higher sidewalls that will contain the child better. And they will probably take a little higher power engine.
Don't overlook the foam-filled plastic coated boats available at big box sports stores like Bass Pro, Academy & Cabelas. Walmart and Dick's Sports may also carry them. They are light weight and fit the back of a truck or SUV/Van.
Jon boats might lend themselves better for modification due to the flat floors and bench seats. Clamp on seats and some coolers will make comfortable seating in most any of the small boats.
Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:56 AM
Thank you for the information, I will keep my eyes open for a used boat. I really like the Jon boat projects.
Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:31 AM
I would say the may factor in a jon boats stability is the amount of surface area it puts on the water. The longer and wider the better. If you are wanting to go fishing with a growing family, a 12 foot jon boat won't last very long; they are only rated to carry a little under 300#, is only 32" wide and is rated for a 3 hp engine. If you try to add a few creature comforts and you may overload the boat's capacity. Be sure you don't go to small.
Posted 01 July 2008 - 07:34 PM
Bruce & wannabe .. gave you some good advice.
Just a little further .. I would not get one shorter than 14' .. Highest sides and width .. several Jon boat builders make a semi V and would look for one that the V extends to the transom .. speaking of transoms .. go ahead and get the deep one while you are at it ... this will get you a good platform to build on .. great in small or on big waters (big waters with caution .. depending on your skill ) Another thing that will cost a little more but more than save the difference in the long run and that is to get an all WELDED hull. ... Been there done that .. Love my Aluminum boats ...
Hope this helps a little
Posted 02 July 2008 - 06:20 AM
I am new to boats and I know there is a lot to learn, I have been looking around. A guy down the street has a fiberglass bass boat tfor sale that looks new, he said he paid 14K for it and will sell it for 8K. He said it has 14 hours in the water (Lake Anna)
Seems like a great deal but I do not have 8K, it sure looks nice though.
Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:57 AM
I agree with getting a welded construction boat. Go to the manufacturers site; look and read. You'll see that some build better boat and have been doing it that way for years, and that tells you what used boat to look for. You are going to be truly amazed by all the boat site and manufactures there are . Good luck
Posted 14 October 2008 - 01:36 PM
I have a 14ft Jon with a deck like a big bass boat and a foot controlled trolling motor. when i am fishing alone i love it! but when i bring a friend to fish out of the back it can get a little tough. If one of use moves a foot it will really move the boat. I haul mine with a Mercury tracer which is a really small 4 cylinder car without a problem. I work at bass pro and from what I have heard from people I should upgrade to a 16ft to solve the stability problem and be able to fish open water a little more(which I do a lot). Its great for ponds or small lakes which is all i really do. But bringing a friend makes it a hassle really quick. Hopefully that gives you a little bit of something to think about!
Posted 14 October 2008 - 06:56 PM
Miles it sounds like you have gotten a "narrow" 14 footer .. Low sides as well ????
You have to consider the width and the height of the sides all as part of adding up what will work the best ... Sounds like you have one of the narrower 14 footers.
14 and 15 footers wide and deep will handle a lot of situations ... for open waters get one with a v bottom (I am speaking of Jon Boats) not the v hull. A V hull will take the rough waters better but I find them not to be as stable as the "Jon" boat.
Hope this was not confusing
Edited by JSC, 14 October 2008 - 07:00 PM.
Posted 11 November 2008 - 09:31 PM
14' jon can be very stable. Get a wide one! 48" floor and 72" beam (widest point across the gunwales).
i use one this size for hunting and fishing and its very stable.
Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:33 AM
I waited until I retired to buy this boat, what I should have done twenty years sooner. It likes one inch being eight feet wide in back and is 20' 3" long. I made the center console and boxes. It is a super stable jon boat. (Modified vee)
Edited by Musky Glenn, 31 July 2012 - 09:40 AM.
Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:00 AM
here we go again. semi v john verses perfectly flat bottom jon. i find myself benifiting from a modified semi v to handle rough water bodies that have some shalllows. some of the older boats have semi v running from the front to roughly 1/3 way back and flat rear end. when you run them they plane out well in shallow water. I dont know about the "V-hul being more tipppy than a flat". if your in 4ft waves or higher either is going to be tippy. i would be more afraid to tip a flatbottom that has allot of top heavy weight.
Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:41 AM
A "small boat" and family are not a good fit. Length is the savior though. The flat-bottom boat has it all over the "V" type hulls. As far as stability in a small boat goes.
"V`s " are better for rougher water than a flat bottom . Bass Pro sells a nice boat you might look at.
I believe it`s the Bass Tracker. Have a look see.
Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:19 PM
I would like to add on to this information.
If you buy a boat that has a V bottom it will rock around in the water more but it will not wear you out as fast as a flat bottom boat if there is any chop.
Every little movement of the water will be felt in a flat bottom boat.
A V bottom boat when getting some water in it, becomes more stable because the water collects in the middle of the V bottom.
It a flat bottom boat if water gets in it, the water will want to go to one side or the other of the boat from movement of people in the boat or the waves., and can become more unstable.
The higher the sides the more reserve stability the boat has.
A flat bottom boat has high initial stability but not as much reserve stability.
Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:48 PM
I'm all in for a 14' or bigger semi v, the boat gets up and goes is stable can handle rough water unlike a flat bottom and in those time when the wind whips up you're more likely to stay dry I've had a semi v for 30 years 3 different ones and to be quite frank the flat bottom jons I've been in are noisy in chop so no sneekin up on the fish that day. Mine is referred to as a backtroller and I'm out on the mighty tidal Delaware river with large cargo ships passing by and can tell you stability is excellent.
Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:38 PM
It depends on the jon boat of course. I've got a 50" wide by 16' long jon that is nutso stable. In a v hull only the well designed bigger glass boats are more stable. On the other hand my dad once went out with a guy who had a narrow short jon, and they dumped it, so he has the incorrect perception that jon boats are unstable. The problem in his case was a narrow boat. The narrower the boat the less stable it is.
However as other alluded to, that is not the end all. Often a DEEP - V with a lot of freeboard and a round chine will weather rough seas better even though in theory it is less stable. It rolls with the blows but has so much freeboard it doesn't swamp.
Contrary to centric views a lot of people have about whatever boat they have, THERE IS NO BEST BOAT. There may be a best boat for a very specific application, but THERE IS NO BEST BOAT. You need to decided how you will use your boat, and make the best compromise between function, budget, and comfort. For some people there is no better answer than to have two or three boats. I've got the jon boat I mentioned and its my best compromise for fishing and shallow water. Its also pretty good at punching into tight waters my 20' glass boat wouldn't dream of. On the other hand if I really want to explore tight spots, small streams etc I take my canoe.
Even for the canoe waters there may be better options. A plastic kayak is a lot lighter and easier to drag over beaver dams. A narrower canoe handles better, but has less payload and is more dangerous in open water were waves and wind are an issue. A wider longer canoe will carry gear for boat camping for two guys for a week if they plan well, but the narrow one might only be good for 2-3 days.
Again, no matter what some egocentric boater may try to convince you, THERE IS NO *BEST* BOAT.
I've got one buddy who only wants to go fishing places where I can launch and fish effectively with my 20' bass boat. He likes the comfort and ease of fishing from those big casting decks. Another buddy loves it when I want to take him to some back waters where we have to cross water, portage, and punch brush to get there.
Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:37 PM
Remember, a happy wife is a happy life. Nothing ruins a family outing quicker than wet, cold kids and wives.
If you're taking your family/kids out in this boat, make the stretch and buy one with foam infill, so it's "unsinkable", and with a deep V and higher sides.
If you're really smooth, you can use the extra safety as a bargaining chip with the wife to get a little bigger/better boat, and you won't be lying. And don't skimp on the motor. An under powered boat in windy/choppy seas is a recipe for discomfort, at the least, and can lead to disaster.
Keeping the family dry and safe is too important to fool around.
Build a project jon boat for duck hunting, not family fun.
Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:51 AM
You know when I bought my bass boat (04 Cougar FTD) I was considering a fish and ski for the reasons you mention. More room for family outings etc. I already had a bass boat at the time I was selling to finance the new one (Baker Custom Tunnel - I miss it). I talked with my wife about it, and she said, "We hardly go out with you on the river anyway. Just get a regular bass boat if that's what you want." The point is I communicated with her, and the overall consensus was that getting an FS wasn't really enough of a benefit to us. I only took out both kids and the wife once or twice in the last 8 yeas I've owned the BassCat and it was adequate. One kid in the tube getting pulled, one spotting, and my wife just relaxing.
P.S. With care and attention I can run that Basscat at 60+ in 3-4 foot chop. More than that and I get really nervous. I have to back it off to the mid to high 40s and lower the trim a bit to keep a good bite for control in the water.
P.P.S. On the other hand any planing speed is a wet ride in the jon boat with anything over 1 foot of chop. On the other/other hand with 6-8" chop that little jon lifts up out of the water, rides on top of it, and goes stupid fast for a flat bottom boat. I've GPSed speeds in the mid 40s in perfect conditions when the air is cold and dry with my 50hp Merc.
Edited by Bob La Londe, 15 October 2013 - 09:58 AM.
Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:03 PM
Something I don't think anyone has touched on is the effects on the boat of running it in rough water. If the water your running in has a tendency to get rough it can lead to to leaking rivets or cracked welds. Especially on longer distances. It's not something that will happen in a trip or two, but gradually sneaks up on you over a number of outings. Another thing is how weight changes the running attitude of the boat. It's much more noticeable in an aluminum boat than it is in a big fiberglass rig. Proper weight distribution and knowing how to handle rough water goes a long way in making a good decision about what boat to buy.
just my ,
Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:15 AM
That's why my first bass boat was a welded hull Tracker. But the welds wound up failing, so I got it replace under the CA lemon law, when it was in the shop 6 out of the first 18 months I owned it.
It actually was a dryer ride than my Ranger, because it sat higher in the water, but it was a sail in the wind.
When I got rear ended and it got totaled by a hit and run driver on the freeway, I moved up to a fiberglass boat, and it's much easier to fish out of, but it is a wetter ride in rough weather.