This Jon Boat Buyers guide in a frequently asked questions format is for jon boat sized eight to fifteen feet.
Are Jon Boat Ratings or Jon Boat Reviews worth reading?
We don't allow customers to review or rate jon boats on our web site because it is usually full of "purchased reviews", so probably not. We get offered by many different companies to "purchase" positive reviews for both our company and or products. We absolutely decline this concept and trust that consumers are not so gullible as to put their faith in a five or four star made up rating system, or distrust someone or something because of some complaints. We have also found that most customers that have bad reviews of a jon boats usually put the boat in the wrong situation and or did not fully understand what they were purchasing. No one boat does everything in every situation. The good news is we at directboats.com want you to make an informed decision so you will fully enjoy the john boat you are planning to purchase, please read the rest of the buyers guide below.
What is an editors review?
If we feel that there is widespread misconception made about a boat we will create on the item an editors review. The editors review is usually an effort by directboats.com to keep a product from being sold to a group of people that the item was not designed for. For example a factory claims on their web site and the corresponding competitors sites that their jon boat is great for use on a stump infested river, well that is vague loaded assumption and exact details of that claim would need to be substantiated. If simply removing the assumption from directboats.com doesn't stop the public from falling prey to it, we would post a review in order to keep customers from calling us and being mad, even though we didn't post the claim. Another reason for directboats.com to post an editorial review of a pedal boat would be a sudden bad batch of parts that are not covered under warranty. If the boat manufacturer develops major problems we, directboats.com will post an editorial review to warn as many people as possible.
Jon boats vs. mini bass boats
There are so many differences in jon boats and mini bass boats it is hard to even start. Jon boats are mainly flat bottom mono hulls, which makes for a more shallow draft when loaded in the water. Mini bass boats are tri-hull or pontoon hulls that draft deeper, but that isn't a big difference in the small fishing boat market. The difference may be only two or three inches depending on the boat. The main factor one should look at is weight capacity vs stability. A pontoon hull is more stable than a mono hull. A tri-hull gives a smoother ride with added stability. V hull drier ride in rough water.
What are Jon boats are designed for?
They are designed to be a multi-purpose utility boat. Their flat bottoms make them very stable and only require a few inches of water to float. The basic issue is the wider the boat the more the stability right to left. The beam or top width of jon boats also improves stability if wider but not as quite as much as bottom width. If you are on a river or pond and the shore to your landing area is shallow for a long distance... a jon boat may be what you need. If you want the most stability at a stopped position, look at mini pontoon boats.
What is a tunnel Hull?
A tunnel hull is a cut out of the back center of a jon boat or flat bottom boat. This cut out allows the outboard to be raised up and protect it better from falling prey to a stump. But of course this is only helps, does not prevent this type of accident.
Is a wide Jon boat better?
Although wider boats improve stability and capacity, it increases friction which slows down the boat and eats more gas, requiring a larger motor. So a fuel efficient jon boat is narrow, and a more stable jon boat is wider.
What is a Modified V Hull Jon Boat?
Once you have determined that a flat bottom jon boat is for you, decide next if the water in the lake, bay or river has a fair amount of chop on it. You may need a modified V hull. The front of the boat is shaped in the form of a V to cut the chop and provide a safe more comfortable ride. We think you rarely sacrifice stopped stability on a modified V, if you don't overload the front of the boat. If the boat you are interested in is 8' to 10' there are no modified V production units in the market, because at that point you would sacrifice stability. If the chop on your lake sometimes gets over the height of the bow, a modified V hull would be much smoother and provide a drier safer ride. If the chop is regularly over your bow, we would recommend you look at a taller boat or full V hull boat with a deeper bow. If you are unsure which boat is right for you call toll free at 877-924-8155 and ask for a boat sales specialist.
Are riveted aluminum jon boats ok for me?
Rivets in aluminum boats have a tendency to leak if they hit rocks or stumps... if you constantly going in those conditions we recommend you go with a rivet free jon boat.
What about a jon boat on sand or beach use?
The thicker the gauge in both poly and aluminum the heavier and longer the boat will last dragging up on the sandy shore. However we have found that fiberglass holds up best in this setting because of the abrasion resistance is by far superior to the other materials.
What is the difference between a skiff and a jon boat?
Actually skiff is an old term for a small two man row boat with a pointy bow, we would call them row boats or dinghies on directboats.com. Several manufacturers have taken the name skiff and put it on all their boats as a brand. This has confused the market, most of those boats are different sized fiberglass jon boats.
Is a double hull(bottom) better than a single hulled jon boat?
We would say no. Supposedly you get extra safety in your boat because if you puncture your first hull the other hull will keep you afloat. Well actually the foam in the boat will keep you afloat level. That is a US coast guard floatation requirement that is strictly enforced. So with the placement of the foam in the correct locations around the boat, the boat will perform the same for each boat design in a swamped situation. However, on the bad side of a double hull, water can and will get in between the outer(bottom) and inner hull/deck(top) causing quite a few problems.
Whats so bad about water trapped in my double hulled boat?
There are many things that create problems with trapped water. The first problem is weight... call a few neighbors to help turn it up on its side to drain. Not only when this happens does the boat weigh a ton, but the rushing of the water and twisting of the boat can cause seals to get blown out causing the problem of water getting in there to get worse. Mold and mildew that stinks isn't fun because double hulled boats don't dry out good. Most people say add a bilge pump... wrong, you would have to cut a hole to add the bilge pump, thereby voiding the structural warranty of the boat. Not to mention if there is wood in the inner hull, that would rot.
The boat transom(engine mounting area) is commonly reinforced with wood in both aluminum and double hulled polyethylene boats... keep in mind wood rots eventually. Polyethylene boats don't dent like aluminum boats and are great for rocky rivers, just check out whats hidden in between the hulls and how they are attached and you will know what your boat can take and how to maintain it. Polyethylene Jon boats boats have typical construction problems with the rivets that join the hull and deck together. The glue that is used does not dry because really nothing much sticks to polyethylene, unless you heat weld it. Currently none of the poly jon boats are heat welded so therefore the seam fails as soon as the never drying thick glue slides down the boat. This is a slow process and it will usually stay at least through the warranty period of the boat manufacturers put on them. Once the seam fails water gets in between the hull and deck even if it rains... and especially when you use it. This can be challenging to say the least because the boat ends up weighing a ton.
Fiberglass boats are proven to hold up in salt water no matter what. Aluminum boats can be used in salt water, but the gauge, type of aluminum, transom construction, type of rivets, paint coating all play a roll in how long it will last.
My USCG sticker says my boat has different capacities than the DirectBoats.com web site, why?
If you see a United States Coast Guard sticker on a boat it means the coast guard regulates the person capacity. Some boats are not required to have a USCG sticker for example most canoes and kayaks are not. Most of the capacities we post on the web site are manufacturer max capacity numbers which include persons motor and gear. Some customers get the person capacity mixed up with the max capacity, the USCG stickers read X persons OR Y lbs. The "OR" means you can put either that many people OR that much people weight. The coast takes the highest mortality rate boats then puts a rating on them with safety factor built in to help protect the public.