Featured Jon Brands
Lowe Jon L1436L2022Request Price
Compact and built strong, the L1436 Jon is easy to transport, easy to use, and easy to afford. A tough-as-nails build and easy-going attitude are hallmarks of the L1436 Jon boat from Lowe®. Whether your plan involves fishing, hunting, or work, its wide transom, convenient grab handles, spacious bench seats and proven aluminum, riveted construction, it gets the job done with ease.More…1
Lowe Jon L14482022Request Price
Durable, stable, and roomy, the L1448 Jon is a compact workhorse for all your boating needs. The strong and stable aluminum Lowe L1448M Jon provides lasting performance and superior value in an affordable package. Enjoy features like a center seat with livewell/storage compartment, two strong lifting handles, and a Mod-V bow, flat-bottomed hull design for a smooth, dry ride.More…1
Crestliner 1760 Retriever Jon Deluxe2022Request Price
Hunt or fish, you need a hard-working jon boat that can help you snag a few trophies, and you’ll find that in the 1760 Retriever Jon Deluxe. And with the option to add the durable, low-maintenance Crestliner interior, you’ll have a boat that’s as tough on the inside as it is on the outside.More…13
Lund 1852mt Jon Boat2022Request Price
Fish and hunt where others can't with a rugged Lund aluminum Jon boat. These 18 foot utility waterfowl-hunting boats and utility fishing boats have an aluminum flat-bottom design so you can easily access shallow water when fishing or hunting ducks or geese from a boat. They deliver rugged strength and ease of transport in a fishing or duck hunting utility boat.More…6
Lund 1448M2022Request Price
Fish and hunt where others can't with a rugged Lund aluminum Jon boat. These 14 foot utility waterfowl-hunting boats and utility fishing boats have an aluminum flat-bottom design so you can easily access shallow water when fishing or hunting ducks or geese from a boat. They deliver rugged strength and ease of transport in a fishing or duck hunting utility boat.More…6
Lund 2070 Predator SS2022Request Price
The Lund 2070 Predator SS (side console) is a dependable catfish and camo hunting boat for the outdoors enthusiast. Incredible jon boat durability combined with no-frills functionality, this jon boat is the perfect waterfowl hunting boat and has a textured flat bottom for security and stability when moving about.More…4
Crestliner 1261 Outreach2022Request Price
Sometimes enhancing your time on the water means simplifying it, and the 1261 Outreach is perfect for just that. This durable 12 ft aluminum boat is affordable, spacious, and can accommodate up to four people. Other features include convenient transom handles for easy mobility, three bench seats, and a portable fuel tank. The lightweight aluminum construction delivers a boat that is easy to transport with the strength and dependability you want in a utility boat that’s perfect for remote camps, lakes and resorts.More…2
Lowe Jon L1852MT2022Request Price
Ultra-durable and easy to power, the L1652MT is built strong to fish, hunt, and work hard. With a Mod-V bow and a flat bottom at the transom, the MT-series riveted aluminum jon boats are stable, smooth, and versatile—and the Lowe® L1652MT is a great choice for hunting, fishing, or any other on-the-water job you need done. With proven construction features like formed-in keels, extruded ribs, strong lifting handles and a durable paint finish, The L1652MT will provide years of fishing, hunting, and boating fun.More…3
Crestliner 2070 Retriever Jon2022Request Price
The 2070 Retriever Jon is a 20-foot jon boat built for those who appreciate the simplicity of the outdoors. This low-maintenance option was made for the avid hunter or fisherman who doesn’t need the frills to limit out.More…7
Lund 1870 Predator SS2022Request Price
The Lund 1870 Predator SS (side console) river boat is a tough and easy-to-use jon boat. Ideal for fishing or hunting, this camo river boat is perfect for the outdoorsmen who demanding durability. Built to commercial-grade, the 1870 Predator side console delivers driving ease on rivers and lakes. There's also abundant storage capacity for duck hunters decoy needs.More…4
Crestliner 1648 CR Jon2022Request Price
Your passion for fishing knows no bounds. Same with your work ethic. Good thing this aluminum jon boat is here. With just enough fishing features to keep you going like formed-in spray rails to keep you dry, the 16 ft CR Jon is also durable enough to handle whatever the you--or the water--may throw at it.More…2
Lund 10402022Request Price
Fish and hunt where others can't with a rugged Lund aluminum Jon boat. These 10 foot utility waterfowl-hunting boats and utility fishing boats have an aluminum flat-bottom design so you can easily access shallow water when fishing or hunting ducks or geese from a boat. They deliver rugged strength and ease of transport in a fishing or duck hunting utility boat.More…6
Lund 12402022Request Price
Fish and hunt where others can't with a rugged Lund aluminum Jon boat. These 12 foot utility waterfowl-hunting boats and utility fishing boats have an aluminum flat-bottom design so you can easily access shallow water when fishing or hunting ducks or geese from a boat. They deliver rugged strength and ease of transport in a fishing or duck hunting utility boat.More…6
Crestliner 1469 Outreach2022Request Price
The 1469 Outreach is built for one reason: to provide you with a durable, uncomplicated way to get on the water to catch fish. This small aluminum utility boat is lightweight and easy to move making it great for camping or as a dependable resort boat. The 1469 features stern split bench seating for easy engine access, two additional marine-grade vinyl wrapped bench seats, and transom handles for easy transportation. Whatever the weather, the 1469 Outreach’s resilient design and sturdy construction will give you the peace of mind and confidence to get on the water and simply enjoy your fishing experience.More…2
Ideal for freshwater fishing these Jon boats vary in length from 10ft to 23ft and can carry 2 to 14 passengers. These powerboats use the following propulsion options: outboard engine. There are a wide range of Jon boats for sale from popular brands like Tracker, G3 and Lowe with 661 new and 53 used and an average price of $14,995 with boats ranging from as little as $924 and $45,015.
Jon Boats Guide
Of all the different kinds of fishing boats on the water, jon boats are one of the most common. And it’s no wonder why. Available in simple small versions which have no accessories beyond a hull and bench seats, they can serve as incredibly inexpensive yet essentially bulletproof freshwater fishing boats. Larger models can be outfitted with features like livewells, casting decks, and swivel seats, and can serve as basic saltwater fishing boats. Jon boats even make great platforms for alternate boating adventures, like crabbing with a trot line, waterfowl hunting, or even gator wrangling.
This Lowe L1648 MT Aura is a classic example of a jon boat.
What Is a Jon Boat?
No matter which specific purpose you need a jon boat for, all the different makes and models do share some basic parameters.
- They are more or less flat-bottom boats.
- Bows are fairly squared-off or partially pointed, as opposed to coming to a full V-shape, to maximize interior volume and stability.
- They are almost always built of aluminum.
- Most are fairly small and will fit into the under-18-foot category.
- Simplicity also a common jon boat trait, and although no one can draw a firm distinction as to when it becomes more accurate to call a boat a jon as opposed to naming it a skiff or a bass boat, models with a lot of complex accessories certainly enter a gray area of sorts.
As one might expect, one thing that all of these traits add up to is affordability. And while there’s no hard and fast limit on the cost of a jon boat, most people certainly expect them to be inexpensive as compared to other types of boats.
Jon Boat Construction
Although there are a few fiberglass skiffs out there which could more or less be called jon boats, the vast majority of this genre are constructed from aluminum. And when it comes to this type of boat many people would argue that aluminum is unquestionably the better choice; read Aluminum Fishing Boats: Light, Economical, and Seaworthy, to see some of the arguments for and against constructing boats out of this material.
In many cases, jon boats are outfitted with bench seats which do double-duty as structural members. The same is true for small raised foredecks. Along with these, the boat depends on ribs for added structural support. The spacing of these ribs is important, and while you can’t nail down an exact distance between them as “proper” (because it changes with the boat’s size, the thickness of the supports, the presence of bench seats and other structural members, and other variables) as a general rule of thumb, the closer together the ribs are the stronger the boat will be. Larger jon boats may have stringers (structural supports running fore and aft instead of side to side) in addition to ribs, while smaller jons commonly have ridges or channels (also running fore and aft) in the bottom which adds strength and rigidity.
In most jon boats the ribs are exposed, and may create uncomfortable tripping-points. Many people add a sheet of plywood to cover them over and serve as decking, and on larger, more expensive jon boats the manufacturer may offer either aluminum or ply decking. While this does increase both weight and cost, many people consider decking a major benefit in a jon boat.
This image of a larger and more complex Tracker Grizzly, before the deck is installed, provides a good look at ribs and stringers which will give the hull its strength.
Another indication of the boat’s strength is the thickness of the aluminum used in the hull and hullsides. This can vary quite a bit depending on the boat’s size. In the case of a 10-foot car-topper meant for use rowing in ponds and small coves, the hull may be as thin as 0.05-inches. You could probably punch through that with the swift poke of an icepick. Look at a ruggedly-built 18-footer designed to carry a 90 or 100 HP outboard, however, and the hull thickness will likely be twice as thick. Common sense tells us that thicker is better when it comes to toughness and construction quality, and it is, although you do need to remember that the thicker the aluminum is, the more the boat will weigh. And light weight is one of a jon boat’s biggest assets.
A final construction consideration is whether you should get a jon boat that’s riveted, or welded. It used to be that riveted boats often leaked after several years of hard use. However, modern construction methods have mostly solved this problem. Today, we wouldn’t hesitate to buy either a riveted or a welded boat. We’d also note that quite often these days, the warranties on these types of boats are extremely competitive. The bottom line? Disregard those old notions, because in many ways it’s a toss-up.
Jon Boat Accessories
If you want a jon boat but you also want it jazzed up, most manufacturers offer a number of accessories and options. Most, but not all – commonly you’ll see stripped-down, bare-bones models offered under the jon boat banner, with dressier versions listed under different monikers such as “Panfish Boats,” or “Multispecies Boats.” Whether you’re looking at a package put together by the manufacturer or pieces-parts accessorizing, some of the options you’re likely to see include:
- Up-sized power packages
- Trailer packages
- Additional seating
- Additional stowage compartments, including items like locking rod boxes for fishing models or gun boxes for hunting versions
- Track mounting systems for rod holders, tool holders, and cup holders
- Additional decking
- Basic electronics such as a fishfinder or fishfinder/chartplotter
- Electric trolling motors
- Camo pattern finishes or slick paint jobs, depending on the use of the boat
Some might add features like remote steering and a center or side console to this list, while others would say that once you start adding steering systems and consoles, the boat evolves into more than just a jon boat. The point is debatable, but it’s also moot – what really counts to you is simply that the boat fulfills your needs. And to that point, you may even want to consider adding items like a folding Bimini top, a stereo system, foam decking pads, or any number of comfort-boosters that generally aren’t seen on jon boats.
Jon Boat Power Options
When it comes to powerplants, you’ll see a huge mix on jon boats. In fact, sometimes you won’t see any at all – many pond-hoppers are simply powered with oars. Jon boats used in larger ponds or small lakes commonly have a transom-mounted electric motor, which only costs a few hundred dollars but can power the boat at jogging speed for a few hours of running time.
When it comes to gasoline powerplants, again, we see the whole gamut. On very small models, an outboard as small as five or six horsepower is all it takes to get a lightly-loaded boat on plane and cruising. Check out our video review of the Honda BF4, BF5, and BF6 outboards, which we tested on a 14’ Alumacraft jon boat, to see a basic package like this in action. At the opposite end of the spectrum you’ll find boats like the Crestliner Retriever 1860, which we ran with a center console and a 90 HP Mercury Four-Stroke, to speeds over 40 MPH.
Whatever size powerplant you choose, there is one common thread: because of their light weight and easy-to-plane hulls, jon boats usually require smaller outboards than most other types of boats of the exact same size, especially those built of fiberglass. That lowers both initial costs, and running expenses.
Small motors provide plenty of power for a jon boat, and in the long run that saves you cold hard cash.
Is a Jon Boat Right For You?
Those in search of a boat with comfy loungers and bucket seats are going to be happier with a pontoon boat than they will with a jon boat. People who want to have the fastest, flashiest boat on the lake should probably spend their time looking at speed boats. And if luxury is what you’re after you’ll be a lot happier with a cruiser. But if you’re searching for a boat that’s simple in nature, affordable, adaptable, and utilitarian, a jon boat fits the bill.
Expert Jon Reviews
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