What Is a Jon Boat?

A Jon boat is basically a boat that is flat and shallow. It incorporates one or more benches extending from one side to another. Very often it is made from wood, although there are some Jon boats made from aluminum.


A Jon boat is flat-bottomed. This type of boat is very shallow and typically is just a few inches above the water’s surface. Inevitably, for this reason, a Jon boat is restricted to being used when waters are calm and the weather is favorable because otherwise using the boat tends to be a bit risky. Due to this shape Jon boats do not manage to cut through waves, but simply ride over them. So, for safety reasons, it is best to limit the boat's use to calm waters and lakes. Jon boats typically feature a bench for the occupant to sit on. A large Jon boat may have one or two benches to accommodate more people. Basically a Jon boat has an open hull, without a bilge. For this reason the ribs are left exposed. However, some people may prefer to cover the ribs so as to achieve a level, even surface. Jon boats in most cases have a transom onto which an outboard motor is mounted. Jon boats can easily float evenly over a very shallow amount of water.


Jon boats are usually found between 8 and 20 feet long when bought ready-made. Jon boats usually have a width that ranges between 32 and 56 inches. Jon boats can be bought from marine specialists and suppliers, although some people may opt to construct them themselves since their design is simple and they can be built quite easily. For this reason there are also a number of Jon boats that are made in different dimensions.


Jon boats are used mostly by fishermen who like to go fishing in lakes, and also for family recreational purposes and boat trips. Their strong point is for shallow water fishing. Jon boats are also used for hunting purposes.


Jon boats are relatively easy to maintain since their design enables basic maintenance to be carried out easily. Obviously the maintenance required will depend on the material from which the boat is made, whether the material is wood or aluminum. Wood requires a bit more care and regular inspection. Aluminum Jon boats are in most cases single hulled so that the water never ends up getting trapped. Jon boats can easily be covered with a boat cover. Furthermore, they can also be upgraded in various ways for little money.