Consider these things while buying a new Jon boat

Jon boats are very popular boats for fishing. In this article, I mentioned about the things you need to check before buying a new Jon boat. Buying a new Jon boat will be interesting, but there are some things you should consider while buying a Jon boat.

  • How depth the Jon boat is?
  • Size of the Jon boat(especially width of the boat)
  • Type of hull you need(Flat or V-hull)
  • The thickness of the hull
  • Transom height
  • Price

These are the main things you should consider while buying a new Jon boat.

One theory of the origin of the name comes from the use of jack pine in the construction of the boats, “Jack” becoming “John” over time (the former is a common diminutive form of the latter), and the boat coming to be called the “Ozark John Boat.”


How depth the Jon boat is?

  • One of the main factors you should consider while buying a Jon boat is the depth of the boat from inside top to bottom. The whole comfort depends on this because this is the place where you will sit and relax.
  • If the depth is too short, then you can’t sit comfortably in the boat. If the depth is short, then you need to keep legs elevated position and it will give back pain. Though if it is too deep, we can adjust by keeping something under the foot.
  • Make sure that your fish collecting box height is less than the depth of the boat (if you have any fish box). That will be a perfect boat.

Size of the Jon boat (mainly width of the boat)

  • The standard size of the Jon boat is 12 – 14 feet long, 45 – 50 inches wide. It will vary for everyone depending on their needs. Jon boats are available commercially between 8 and 24 feet (2.4 and 7.3 m) long and 32 to 60 inches (81 to 152 cm) wide.
  • Width of the boat matters because the stability of the boat depends on the width. You might fall overboard if the width is very small. The boat might tilt while you are moving in the boat if the width is less or not sufficient enough.
  • So, make sure that, if you are buying a Jon boat, the width should be sufficient. In such a way that two people can stand side by side for fishing on the bow side of the boat.

Type of hull you need(Flat hull or V-hull).

There are two types of hulls when it comes to Jon boat.

  • Flat hull
  • V-shaped hull

Both are very beneficial in their ways. Especially both are good for fishing. Jon boat + electric outboard motor is an awesome combination for fishing. These are cheap boats to start with. If you are thinking to buy one.

Flat hull – when to use

  • We can use a flat hull boat if the water depth is very low.
  • We can use a flat hull boat in the calm water only.
  • We can’t use a flat hull boat in rough water.

V-shaped hull – when to use

  • We can use a V-shaped boat in rough water.
  • We can’t this boat if the depth of water is very low.

The thickness of the hull.

The thickness of the hull is essential for a boat. If the thickness of the boat is less, the hull might break when you are driving the boat at full speed due to any heavyweights. It will get cracks if you are drive fastly.

Charles Barnes is the inventor of Jon’s boat. It is not sure but, most of the credit goes to him.


Transom height (if you are using an old motor)

  • Check the transom height. If you are using an old motor, you need to measure the shaft height and compare it with the transom height. Else, the motors shaft length might not be sufficient. Many people faced the same problem.
  • Nowadays many outdoor motor manufacturing companies are not providing the perfect shaft sizes for the John boats. So, check the transom height properly and by the boat
  • The propeller height should just cross the transom height at the bottom. If it is too long then you won’t get enough thrust.


The average cost of a Jon boat based on length

Boat length in feetBoat price in dollars
10 ft$700
12 ft$750
14 ft$ 950
16 ft$ 2000 – $ 2500
18 ft$ 2500 – $ 4000
20 ft$ 7000 +

All these average costs vary a lot based on so many factors like region, manufacturing costs, material cost, etc. Still, you can find Jon boats for less too.

The average weight of a Jon boat based on length

Boat length in feetBoat weight in pounds
10 ft130 lbs
12 ft170 lbs
14 ft275 lbs
16 ft525 lbs
18 ft880 lbs
20 ft1200 lbs

These are the average weight of Jon boats based on length. It may vary a little based on the material used.

Check this website for more details on Jon boat click here (don’t worry, it will open in new tab)

The benefits of Jon boat which makes you buy one

  • These are lightweight and easily towable by your car.
  • These boats are awesome for fishing (especially Jon boat + electric outboard motor), very calm.
  • These boats are very stable compared to other normal boats.
  • With the help of the flat bottomed hull, you can go to the places where the depth of water is very less.
  • Easy for maintenance.

Drawbacks of Jon boats

  • These boats aren’t good for rough water, due to the bottom type.
  • These boats aren’t comfortable, because we are sitting on an aluminum bench.

Family of a Jon boat

  • Jon boat belongs to a family of Flat bottomed boats. There are 21 boats in the flat bottomed group. One among them is a Jon boat. These flat bottomed boats are awesome for fishing.
  • flat-bottomed boat is a boat with a flat bottomed, two-chined hull, which allows it to be used in shallow bodies of water, such as rivers because it is less likely to ground.

Check this Wikipedia page, for the list of all flat bottomed boats click here (don’t worry, it will open in new tab).

Why Jon boats are good for fishing?

  • Due to the flat bottomed hull, we can drive the boat through the places where small plants(phytoplankton) are grown in the lake. There you can find fishes, generally, fishes will hide near the small plants(grown closely) in the lake.
  • When you are going near then, if you are a gas outboard motor, it will make a bigger noise. If you use an electric outboard motor, it won’t disturb them, because it won’t produce noise like a gas outboard motor.

Related questions

1. What is the main difference between Jon boat and a normal boat?

The main difference between Jon boat and a normal boat is the hull design. Jon boat is a flat bottomed design, which makes it easy for fishing.

2. Whys Jon boats are not safe?

  • If water goes in the Jon boat, it is hard to take them out.
  • Due to this reason, we can’t use them in rough water, like seas or oceans.

3. How many types of flat bottomed boats are there in the world?

There are 21 types of flat bottomed boats in the world. Jon boat is one among them.


My name is Mahidhar, and I am passionate about boating. Every day I learn some new things about boats and share them here on the site.

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