Why Get a Jon Boat?

Reality check: not everybody can afford a boat. And we’re not just talking sticker price here. We’re also talking the immense cost of boat maintenance and repairs.

Why get a jon boat

For those who can’t afford a fancy boat but still want to have a means of aquatic transportation, or simply go on small trips for fun, a jon boat might be the perfect solution. Jon boats are also great for people who don’t want a large boat, or who are tired of depending on friends who have boats to go on fishing trips or to the next sandbar party. If you’re just looking for a small watercraft to hop around in every once in a while, here’s why you should get a jon boat.

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What is a Jon Boat?

A jon boat is basically a small, lightweight aluminum or fiberglass boat with a flat or almost flat bottom and a squared-off bow, popular among freshwater fishermen and budget-conscious boaters. 

What is a jon boat?

Jon boats usually only have one or two bench seats built in, and depending on the size, can be powered with nothing more than a small outboard motor, trolling motor or a couple of oars. They’re also used as dinghies for larger boats, although it’s not recommended, since they’re designed mostly for flatwater use.

Jon boat fishing

Benefits of a Jon Boat

First and foremost, jon boats are incredibly popular because they’re very affordable. There are models you can buy for hundreds, not thousands of dollars. It’s the type of boat pretty much anybody can own. With few to no moving parts, jon boats require very little maintenance, so the cost of ownership and upkeep is practically a non-factor. Cleanup is also a cinch, as they require little more than standard washes.

Jon boat cleaning

Most jon boats are lightweight and therefore easy to transport. You don’t need a trailer to tow a jon boat. Once again depending on the size, a jon boat can be transported on a roof rack, on the bed of a pickup truck, or towed along with a small vehicle.

Simplicity is a plus, which makes jon boats popular for shallow-water fishermen who just want a skiff with a quiet trolling motor or small outboard. As for larger jon boats that need an outboard motor to run, they still don’t take much horsepower to get on plane. That means you don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on fuel costs, and you can find low-HP affordable outboards to power the boat.

Jon boat benefits

As far as storage is concerned, even the larger jon boats are small enough to put away in a backyard, garage or shed without a trailer, so there’s no need to pay a marina or storage facility to put it away when you’re not using it. 

Disadvantages of a Jon Boat

Any kind of boat has its disadvantages, and jon boats are no exception. One big disadvantage of a jon boat is there’s not much room for luxury or comfort. A jon boat in its most basic form can accommodate a bench seat or two, a few accessories like rod holders and a fish finder, a cooler, and not much else. 

Jon boat disadvantages

Jon boats aren’t exactly praised for providing comfortable rides, and a common complaint is an aching back after a long ride. The flat hull can make for choppy, unstable treks aross the water. And because they don’t have a lot of space, it’s easy to trip over stuff like coolers and tackle boxes. Of course you can customize a jon boat to add more storage space and make it more comfortable, like adding a swiveling chair mount and chair.

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Jon boats aren’t self-bailing either, which means they’re not built for shedding water. Without scuppers to drain out water, you’ll need room for a small bilge pump to keep the boat from sinking when it takes on too much water. And being lightweight with a flat bottom also makes a jon boat easy to blow across the water when its windy, so you’ll need room for a sturdy small anchor as well. 

Low Risk High Reward Boat

So, should you get a jon boat? Sure, why not? It’s not a large investment, the upkeep is easy and you have a skiff available for small trips. And if you buy a jon boat and end up not getting much use out of it, you can always sell it and only take a small loss on your investment. 



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