What is a JON boat?

What is a JON boat?

All kidding aside, a JON boat  is not a lavatory on water.

Jon boats are FLAT boats, not built for speed, but are in fact designed to be slow. They are usually used on fresh water. When used on estuaries, use is reserved for calm non turbulent waters. A jon boat is a perfect boat for a beginner or an amateur. Even so they are used extensively by seasoned boaters for nature viewing, photography, scientific study, hunting and fishing. They are designed to float over the water, reeds, muck in quiet areas, and do not have a V-shaped hull/bottom. They are designed for smooth lakes, quiet rivers. Use of jon boats in turbulent waters, open ocean, tidal areas is not wise or safe. They are used near land or shore areas that are shallow with gentle or no currents.

A jon boat can have a flat front or a V-shaped bow. The V-shaped bow makes motoring a bit easier; the V-bow boats still have a flat bottom. Jon boats are not used for swimming platforms or water skiing.

A jon boat can be made of any material but most are made of plastic (polyethylene), wood, or aluminum. Because of the size and weight involved fiberglass is not commonly used; they become too heavy and bulky.  They usually have a square back or transom to which an outboard or electric motor can be attached. They are used for day trips and do not accommodate  overnight bedding. They are simple to use and care for; inexpensive to purchase and keep; storing them is a breeze. When cared for they last forever.

Sizes range from 7-8 feet up to about 20 feet in length, with a beam of less than 5 or 6 feet. They are an open hull. If they have ribs or beams (added for structural strength) across the bottom and sides, these are usually covered with a plywood flooring to make standing more stable. There are no bilges in jon boats. Jon boats are easily trailerable on light weight trailers pulled by a car or small pickup truck. Accessories include: boat motors (electric or gas outboard) padded seat, extra paddles, folding seats, swivel base for seats, fishing rod holders, anchors, drain plugs, boat covers, brakets, storage lockers, and battery mounts.

Improper use of jon boats can lead to tipovers; personal floatation devices , PFD, also called life jackets are required. If you carry passengers it is most wise to also have some type of liability insurance.

Although a jon boat is a safe boat in calm waters, you still need all of the safety equipment needed on a regular small boat, including, PFD, fire extinguisher (if you have a gasoline and a motor) paddles, anchor, and a small radio.

EXAMPLES of Jon boats include:

Tracker Grizzly 1860 cc jon boat

GRIZZLY-1860-CC_img8066_700 by Tracker

The above image is an example of a v-shaped bow, jon boat with motor and trailer made by Tracker boat industries. It has a center console. Their web site and catalog can be found at:       http://www.trackerboats.com/

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Flat bow, flat bottom JON boat by Alweld

The above boat is another example of a JON boat. Note the flat bow. More information and their catalog on JON boats from Alweld Corp can be obtained at     http://www.alweld.com/

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intruder_lg jon boat by Pelican

Intruder model of jon boat by Pelican

The above is an example of a JON boat manufactured by Pelican Paddlebats. Their web address is http://www.pelicanpaddleboat.com/

Pelican Intruder side image

Model of Intruder JON boat made by Pelican, showing side image. Note the flat bottom

intruder_top view by Pelican

The above two images show the flat bottom design of JON boats. Note, the ribs on the bottom of the boat add strength to the boat structure. Almost all JON boats have some type of ribbing or struts for added safety.

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Master KLI018 Jon boat by  Kl industries

Master KLI018 Jon boat by Kl industries

The above is an example of JON boats made by K L Industries. Their catalog and information can be found at : http://www.klindustries.com/

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