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In the end our goal is to provide you with the information necessary to decide how each will meet your specific needs. Jon boats are generally available in any of three hull types- the flat bottom, the v-bottom and the modified or utility; a combination of both the flat and v-bottom designs which, as the name suggests, is common on work or utility boats.

Each design has its own advantages and disadvantages. Although often interchangeable there are situations in which one or the other is better suited for the task at hand. The flat bottom is one of the most common jon boat designs and one of the most versatile. The basic design combines a wide beam width and flat keel which translates to a an extremely stable platform.

It is this increased stability that makes this design so popular with sportsmen. Anglers can stand to cast and hunters can move about to shoot or retrieve gear without fear of capsizing. The flat keel also makes this design best suited for shallow water. It can navigate rivers by running over top of riffles and boulders with very little water needed while also transiting the muddy flats where other boats would soon be stuck.

Users can take even greater advantage of this feature when they outfit their jon boat with a shallow running jet drive outboard. A final advantage is that the flat bottom translates to a greater amount of deck space as well. This means you will have an increased area in which to store gear or move about without interference.

This is especially attractive to those who use the boat for commercial purposes as well as sportsmen. The flat bottom jon boat does include some disadvantages. One, it exhibits very poor handling in rough water and at high speeds. The limited keel means that the boat will ride on top of the waves and this results in bouncing from wave to wave, or worse, dipping into water between waves.

In either case the occupants are in for a wet, rough trip. Likewise, when operated at high speeds the hull will slide or skip when turning, making it difficult to navigate with precision.

The users will find this design best for calm water including large lakes, ponds and even rivers if the weather and conditions cooperate. It is especially well suited for those who need to access shallow or rocky areas or those who need a stable platform to perform tasks likely to involve standing.

This design incorporates a sharp v shaped keel, like those you would see on most row boats, while retaining the wide beam and a flat stern. The greatest advantage this v-shaped hull provides is the ability to cut through the water, rather than glide over it as the flat bottom design does.

This means that the boat will provide a smoother, safer ride when confronted with waves. As this design generally incorporates high transom height it will also reduce the amount of water that enters the passenger area during use in rough conditions. A secondary benefit of the v-bottom design is the increased maneuverability, especially at high speeds. The v-bottom on the other hand includes a keel that runs the length of the hull, meaning continued contact with the water.

Again, you are cutting through rather than riding on top of the water. The v-bottom does however have a few drawbacks. First, the shape does not allow users to access shallow or rocky areas as easily as other designs.

Second, it is more prone to hull damage due to hitting rocks or other submerged objects. Third, the interior shape limits available space. Even if a flat deck is installed it will be narrower than that found in other designs, resulting in a loss of total area. Finally, while the v-bottom is more stable when operated in waves or rough water it is less stable than the other designs when sitting still.

Standing is not as easy and even leaning over the side can cause instability in smaller craft. This combination of features makes the v-bottom jon boat best suited for use on deep water or those areas prone to frequent wave action, although you should avoid rocky or shallow areas.

Smaller designs are well suited to rowing and larger models are often able to be fitted with small outboard motors. While not as stable at the flat bottom when stationary its increased stability when underway allows it to be operated at high speeds which makes it a better option when getting from point A to point B is your focus.

As the name implies this design is a combination of the flat bottom and v-bottom designs, with a sharp v at the bow which quickly morphs into a flat area from near mid ship and rearward. As the name also indicates it was most likely first developed by those who used the boat for work purposes and needed the advantages both designs provided.

The result is a compromise which allows the boat to be used in a wider range of conditions but also includes a combination of the drawbacks as well. By having the deep v shape at the bow, you can cut through the water, achieving a superior ride in a variety of water conditions, including waves. An additional advantage of the modified hull is the wide variety of final designs that can be built using this principle.

Watermen who need room for crab pots, oyster bins or fishing net have used it to develop an extra wide hull that more closely resembles a flat bottom. Although the limited bow v allows operation is less than ideal conditions it relies on the wide hull and low profile for stability while retaining usable deck space.

Anglers on the other hand have leaned more towards the v-bottom for their preferred combination design. In this case the bow has a much steeper shape, which also extends further back along the keel. The remainder of the hull although flat is much narrower, which allows for greater speed and handling. The deck will be built higher within the hull to allow a more practical area when it comes to moving about or storing gear. Disadvantages of the modified are also a combination of both other designs, with a nod to both the flat bottom and v-bottom but more modest.

It is not as stable as the flat hull but more so than the v bottom. While it can access shallow and rocky areas much easier than the v bottom it still falls short of the flat bottom in this aspect. The list continues. Faster than flat bottom, not as maneuverable as the v-bottom. More deck space than the v-bottom but less than the flat bottom. It is in other words a middle of the road design in most aspects, but by being better in some areas and not as bad in most it excels overall.

As far as uses, the utility hull is suited for almost any use one would choose either a flat bottom or v-bottom for, although some consideration would need to be given to the specific features of the individual boat selected since there are so many variations available. This is probably the most popular design among sportsmen, especially anglers, due to its ability to be used on a wide range of waters and various conditions with confidence and safety.

It is unlikely you will buy a Jon boat, new or used, that has already been setup for bowfishing. So before you choose one make sure it can accommodate all your equipment, if using lights for instance, and that it offers enough stability and room for accurate shooting. Although it is not a major requirement for a bowfishing boat it is advantageous to have a deck or a platform on the boat with enough space for you to aim and shoot.

On a Jon boat without a modified shooting deck you can still stand on the deck or the seats to aim your shots and the boat should remain very stable while in calm water. However, this is not always the best option as you will see. It is true that many Jon boat buyers will settle for a smaller motor when the boat they are buying is capable of accommodating a bigger one. Although this may be true if the Jon boat is being used as a utility boat or for transportation, or even if there are large areas between hunting or fishing grounds, it is not always a good idea to get a bigger motor.

Most hunters and anglers will prefer a reliable, quieter engine over a more powerful counterpart for obvious reasons.

A noisy engine will scare away fish and airborne prey alike and big engines can be heard from a fairly long distance away. So the rule-of-thumb is to get as big an outboard motor as your Jon boat can handle, especially if you need speed or you travel long distances in your boat, but if you hunt or fish in relatively small waters a smaller quieter motor is a better choice. For this reason when it comes to bass fishing and bowfishing many Jon boat owners prefer quiet engines and they will also ensure their boat has additional manual means of propulsion such as oars or a paddle so they can navigate hunting areas quietly.

On that note, regardless of what size of motor you use, you should always have some form manual propulsion in your boat for safety reasons anyway as we outlined in the article how to drive a flat bottom boat.

Arguably the most popular manufacturers of aluminum Jon boats are Lund, Lowes and Tracker though there are other companies that make boats equally as well. Of course there are other manufacturers and you should shop around for the best deal on the boat that fits your particular needs best. Fiberglass Jon boats are much less popular than aluminum ones.

You will find some one sale online that are unbranded but they are few and far between. The cost of buying a new Jon boat will depend on the make, the size and the construction material used on the boat. You can also make your own plywood Jon boat for just the cost of materials as we demonstrated here. Lund has a wide range of Jon boats.

They start at 10 foot and incrementally increase in size up to 18 foot. Lund Jon boats are made from aluminum making them very durable, expect in saltwater. Saltwater corrodes aluminum much quicker than other materials. If you plan to take your boat in saltwater you would be better with a wooden or fiberglass Jon boat. If you plan to take your Jon boat into the ocean I strongly recommend you read the article can Jon boats go in the ocean as there are real safety concerns about doing this.

All Lund Jon boats offer great quality and durability and your choice of vessel will depend on the size of boat you need. It seems Lund is no longer the best Jon boat manufacturer though their boats are just as good as other, sometimes cheaper, brands. So shop around. Tracker Jon boats are very popular. They have a wide range of Jon boats to suit every purpose and wallet.

What we love about Tracker boats is that they offer models that are designed to be suited to specific activities. Check out the Topper on the Tracker website. A top-of-the-range Jon boat for serious water enthusiasts.

See the Little Jon L at Lowes website. Check out the Big Jon at Lowes website. Even if you have the funds available for a new small or medium sized boat it may be more advantageous for you to consider a larger used Jon boat.

When it comes to buying a used boat you need to inspect the vessel properly before ever handing over any money. Small hairline cracks, especially in fiberglass boats, are not usually that big of a deal and are often just cosmetic in nature. Cosmetic cracks can be easily fixed by applying a simple fiberglass fill or by using a cheap fiberglass repair kit like this one. However, if a crack is larger than 2 inches beware!

Large cracks may be an indication of much greater problems than mere cosmetics. Large cracks are often an indication that a collision has occurred. In addition to large cracks or multiple cracks all over the boat , a mold build-up is also a bad sign. As is, bending and also the presence of moisture in both fibreglass and wooden boats, such as in the hull, the transom, and the boat floor. Any one of these could be a sign of rot in the wood, or deterioration of the fibreglass.

If you see any of these signs, walk away. In the case of a plywood Jon boat mold can be an indication of delamination of the plywood. A boat with these problems is not worth buying. The following advice may seem a bit extreme to some readers but following it could mean the difference between you getting a great boat or buying a complete dud. The boat will need to be positioned in some type of dry dock � on a trailer or stand for example.

It should then be filled with water. If the boat has leaks then these leaks will start to bleed water. If the boat is leaking quickly then extensive repairs are needed and that may be a sign of serious damage.

However, if there are only small, slow leaks coming from a bolt or rivet these repairs are minor. You should use them as an excuse to drive the price down though 10 Foot Jon Boat For Sale Australia as it will cost you time and labor to fix them.

If there are signs of extensive repairs to the boat you will probably want to keep shopping around. Large patches and different colored paintwork can be a sign of repair work. Fiberglass filler patches are a strong indication of previous repairs. Corrosion is bad.

Corrosion on an aluminum boat will show in the form of peeling paint usually indicating the boat has been used in saltwater. If you see a corroded area on the boat, press that area lightly with your finger to see how stable it is.

If the area is very badly corroded you may even form a hole at that spot. If your finger goes through a part of the boat you press on walk away. If the corrosion is superficial then you will probably be able to complete repairs yourself but if there is widespread or extensive damage then it is best to pass on the sale. The transom is the place where very often cracks and rot will appear first.

So it is worth having a good look in that area. If transom needs replaced then you can usually do it yourself reasonably cheaply but if you have to pay someone else to do it then it will become an expensive job. Cracking and lose oarlocks can be a sign of corrosion or it may merely be due to loose bolt holes that have widened with use.

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