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37 Best Jon Boat Mods with Ideas for Decking, Seats, Fishing & Hunting Mar 05, �� DIY jon boat to bass boat for under Epic video from home showing how to turn a jon boat into an awesome bass boat. Apr 06, �� Check out this video series of a really badass Jon Boat to Bass Boat build. These videos were created by myboat054 boatplans member Nate Eckhold. Nate does some awesome work on aluminum boats. I have had a few online chats with Nate, and I . Adding a raised deck can offer many advantages � more stable platform when moving about, ability to avoid water that collects in void and even under deck storage areas. This is a DIY project that can help make your jon boat your own. Swivel Seats. Seating on most jon boats is one of the most disappointing feature for many users.
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Take advantage of this by getting the maximum sized engine that will fit your boat. Ensure your outboard motor has a suitable shaft length sized to the small transom of your Jon boat.

Ensure the motor has an electrical start to cut down on weight and so you will get started quickly. Trolling motors are a standard bass boat and Jon boat power accessory that will allow you to quickly and discreetly navigate your favorite fishing spot.

Mount a trimmable trolling motor at the bow or stern of your Jon boat. You can get high powered trolling motors that can be easily dismounted and trimmed. The trolling motor on a Jon boat is steered by a tiller action. Obviously this is impractical on a bass boat. You must therefore add remote steering to the outboard. Follow the instructions in the video below to easily and quickly fit a steering mechanism to an existing motor. Always get an outboard motor that offers power assisted tilt and trim so that you can enjoy superior maneuverability when in shallow or obstacle-ridden waters.

Opt for teflon-coated steel, altering diameter and changing pitch to give a marked boost in performance. You will instantly notice the difference between this type of prop and the one you probably have on your Jon boat currently. Make sure your prop is capable of propelling the extra load from your bass boat conversion add-ons by attaching one with an increased number of blades.

Bass boats accommodate the angler with decked areas from which one or two anglers can cast off while standing up without overturning the boat.

Obviously a Jon boat differs greatly from this with its open deck area. The good news is that the flat open deck on a Jon boat lends itself well to the installation of level decked spaces. This deck area can also be carpeted for added comfort, a better look and additional grip underfoot. Jon boat to bass boat framing projects allow you to create plywood decked areas that are supported within the hull of the boat by a metal or wooden frame.

You will need to carefully consider the distribution of weight in the boat to ensure you will retain stability on the water. Too much weight can dangerously affect your draft and increase the risk of being swamped or even capsizing. Unfortunately not every Jon boat is suitable for decking. Some smaller Jons are just too narrow, and those with flat sides can find these to be a disadvantage during the conversion process.

Jon boat framing projects can also be used to create bespoke storage that can enhance the utility of your space. A well planned design can incorporate spaces to stow your gear, hide your battery and create live fish wells.

Adding these type of storage upgrades will truly transform your Jon boat into a fully functional bass boat. The great thing about the flat hull of a Jon boat is that it provides pretty level seating for one, two or even three anglers.

But, the hard basic molded bench seating cannot compare to the comfort and luxury of high-back bass boat seating. What you will lose in seat capacity from your conversion you will gain in comfort and functionality. Most Jon boat owners will automatically want to remove the standard bench type seating in their Jon boat to make way for high-back bass boat seating. We do not advise this! Instead of removing the bench seats in the Jon boat use them as support for your new decking and as mounting points for your new high-back seats.

All boats used at night should be carrying the legally required navigation lights for safety even small kayaks must adhere to this law , but some additional creative lighting can boost the appearance and utility of your boat. If you love to go night fishing or idle on the water after dusk, creative lighting options will mean you can keep visible and move about safely on the deck of your boat. LED lighting is low energy and easy to install meaning that you can create a range of custom lighting effects with ease.

There are 3 basic types of light installations you will need to consider adding to your Bass boat conversion. In the video below you will see how easy it is to install hidden deck lighting on your Jon boat to match the look and functionality of a more expensive bass boat. Being seen at night is not the only reason to install lights on your boat. You also need to be able to see. If you plan to hunt in packs then a smaller Jon boat would be impractical.

Even 1 person on a 10 foot Jon boat with full duck hunting gear can make the boat feel rather cramped. While a 17 foot Jon boat should be able to accommodate 3 experienced men with gear, in optimal weather conditions, if the weather turns bad or you have inexperienced passengers onboard you could run into trouble on the stability front.

It will probably also feel a bit crowded. A 18 foot Jon boat should be big enough to haul dogs and decoys in large lakes. It should also be stable enough to handle fairly rough waters within reason. If you hunt in small lakes and ponds then a small Jon boat, 10 foot or 12 foot, will be more than enough for the job.

Many hunters argue that a semi-v hull is better than a flat bottom but bear in mind that this will cause problems should you need to access very shallow areas such as banks. We recommend sticking to a boat with a flat bottomed hull as it has a very shallow draft that will allow you access to many more hunting areas.

Although most bass fishermen prefer to use a Bass boat , Jon boats are still very popular because they can be used for other activities as well. The same rules apply to using a Jon boat for fishing as they do for duck hunting. So, answer the following questions:. Unlike hunting, which requires a bigger boat, small Jon boats fare quite well when it comes to fishing. However, the same thing applies when fishing on a Jon boat the size of your boat largely depends on the size of the waters you are fishing.

Flat bottom boats are perfect for bowfishing as the shallow draft of the boat lets it access areas that deeper draft boats could not enter read more about shallow draft vs deep draft here. They are also exceptionally stable in calm water. The flat bottom design also makes it easier to add a shooting platform on the deck as shown in the image below. As with bass fishing and duck hunting you need to consider the size of the bodies of water that you intend to fish in as this will determine the best size of Jon boat.

Aluminum Jon boats are a very popular choice for bowfishing. Although aluminum is exceptionally long lasting in freshwater it corrodes easily in saltwater.

So, if you intend to also use your boat in saltwater you may be better with a fiberglass boat or you can build your own wooden boat as we demonstrated here. Be aware that a Jon boat is not the only choice for this type of activity though they are by far the most popular. For example, a fiberglass flat-bottomed skiff is also very popular among anglers for bowfishing. As most of skiffs will be powered by a trolling motor you need to take that into account as the boat will have a deeper draft due to the propeller whereas a Jon boat can have its engine disengaged and be moved via manual propulsion in very shallow areas.

Pontoon boats also serve really well as bowfishing vessels as they are both very stable in calm waters and offer a very wide platform to shoot from.

A pontoon boat gives you the added advantage of installing more lights should you wish to bowfish in failing light or at night. Although the same basic rules apply to buying a bowfishing Jon boat as apply when wanting a boat for bass fishing or hunting, when it comes to bowfishing you should really go for the biggest boat you can afford. A larger boat offers more stability and will give you much more room and space to move thus helping to improve your shot accuracy.

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!




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