Top Ad

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

I have a question about jon boats. I know they are not safe nor stable for large bodies of water, but I wanted to know if anyon

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I have a question about jon boats. I know they are not safe nor stable for large bodies of water, but I wanted to know if anyon

    I have a question about jon boats. I know they are not safe nor stable for large bodies of water, but I wanted to know if anyone has a clue just of how big of lakes a jon can go on. For example, what size of lake could for say a 16' riveted bottom go on? If someone could come up with sizes of lakes appropriate for different sizes of jon boats it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • #2
    I have a 16 ft riveted jon with a 25 hp Johnson and feel pretty comfortable on pretty much any large lake including Smith Mountain Lake here in VA, only time I get a little hesitant is when there are high winds, but never had any problems.

    Comment


    • #3
      Boating safety has little to do with the size of your boat - the Titanic sank because it was captained by an idiot. You can sale the smallest boats on the biggest waters, and do it safely, if you have the experience and are mindful of conditions. That being said, if you want to take a jon boat to England, there will only be one year in a hundred when you can do it without drowning.

      If you do not want to worry about conditions, a small jon boat will be limited to waters of no more than a few acres. But if you are not going to factor in weather and the like, not even the biggest boat will save you.

      Comment


      • #4
        It has more to do with the height of the waves and how close they are to one another and how much the wind is pushing them(white caps). Weight of a couple people also affect how the boat handles waves.
        Take it easy and don't push it, also,if you are on a lake, keep an eye to the sky for approaching storms.

        Comment


        • #5
          All good answers. Another big factor is the width of the boat and how deep the sides are. My ex-bro-in-law had a 24 feet SeaArk that was an absolute beast and could be used in all but the largest of lakes. Took a 250hp mercury just to push the damn thing.

          Comment


          • #6
            jhjimbo hit the heart of the matter. Your safety factor has nothing to do with the size of the lake, but the size of the waves that are generated by the wind. Some lakes are long and narrow and are oriented along the direction of the prevailing wind and it may not take too much to build up some dangerous waves. As he also said, the interval between waves is important because even though the waves may not be too high, if the boat doesn't have time to recover from one to the next, you're going to be calling for Mama and the rescue squad. Use good judgement and stay off the lake if bad weather is imminent and look for shelter if you get caught out there. Have life preservers handy. Take seamanship courses if available and use good judgement.

            Comment


            • #7
              Jon boats really shine in slow moving water, like big rivers. Depending of how you load them, and how much you load them you can get them to draft really shallow. And that gets you up streams and creeks and into fishing holes only a Kayaker on a good day can get to. Mine is a 12 foot extra wide, with an old 9.9 Merc. If speed is not important, big lakes depending on how big, (the great lakes are too big out) and the horse power limit of other boat) are not a problem. Mine never gets to plane. But I don’t care. A few extra minutes in transit is not an issue for me. It allows me to drink my coffee and think my strategy. Fishing is not a competitive sport for me. I also add and subtract weight depending on what water I am fishing. If I am on a river, I keep mine light. On a big lake I add all the extras an weigh it down, so it is more stable.

              I have only been in 1 surprise storm with heavy winds and waves. I picked a low spot on an island and beached it. Pulled it up on land. pulled on my raincoat and waited out the storm.

              BTW: WIth these new no profile life jackets, there is no reason to not wear a vest anymore.

              Comment


              • #8
                There is much that Fezzant- Country Road and Rocky Squirrel haven't already said. But I'll reiterate that it doesn't much matter how large or small the water is, if the wind lays on it right you can get in trouble as water can turn from "flat a$$" to trouble in about 5 minutes. Know how far from safety you are, know what directions the bad winds come from. Know where the lee's are on the water your fishing. Keep your bow or stern to it, unless the waves are big enough to break over your stern. Always remember that there is a bigger wave out there, if one scares you, another could kill you. Laying side to a ripple is fine, but I've been side to waves in a 45 ft boat and thought about the odds of myself eating dinner that night, or being shark dinner instead. Often times the small chop can become big swells in minutes, and the big swells can start breaking into white capped waves in seconds. Just some food for thought, sorry it's written so poorly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There have been times on the water when I've thought about the line from "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", "Nobody knows where the love of God goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All are great answers! I will have to go out and try

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My first boat was about 50 years ago. My father was raised on the St. Lawrence River. In fact my ancestors were the first non native american settlers. The Moore landing is named for them. When I was growing up, we had a camp next to the house that Dad was brought up in. When my grandfather died, we sold ours and moved into it for the summers. Unfortunately, we relocated to Oklahoma. I still regret it every day. There are so many things that affect a small aluminum boat, whether a jon boat or a modified V, My first boat was a small modified V, but have had a couple small jon boats along with full sized bass boats. Believe it or not, most of the problems you experience with a jon boat are the same as you will have with a semi V or a modified V. For years, most water accidents weren't explainable. Finally the powers that be decided most accidents came from overloading the boat, Finally, they decided to tell the truth, Most serious boating accidents are caused by a combination of several factors. The most common is not admitting that the water, just like the air, is 100% unforgiving. When you are in a jon, for the greatest part, you are on a very thin, light, platform that has a lot of contact with the water but very little grip. When that inherent problem is combined with many other contributing factors, it is very easy to get into that totally unforgiving area of the water. If you keep a positive attitude, you will have a much better chance in surviving the inevitable stress situations that occur far more often than we think. First, Understand what you are getting into before you get into trouble. Learn the basics of operating a tiller versus a motor with separate controls. It amazes me. I live in the midwest in a heavily populated area with few natural lakes, many rivers and resiviors. (spelling).The actual area is one of the windier areas in the country, in fact windier than Chicago. Every single time I go to the lake, I see at least one person operating a tiller from the port side of the boat. That may seem like nothing to most of you, but to an experienced boater, it puts up a yellow flag. You sit on the right side of the boat while facing forward and using a tiller. It is done that way for several reason, one of which is so all controls are universal. This tells the experienced boater that this person has had no training and should be monitored. Far too many people interchange caution (fear), age, and having a lot of education in being competent in too many things. I am sure that you know that by the NTSB and the FAA, along with all pilots, doctors make the worst. You should consider the depth of the water, the current and the possibility go things beneath the surface. Example. If you see a beautiful rock ledge extending into the water, there is a good chance that it continues. You should understand that it is better (in most cases) to try and ride the wave if it is going in the same direction as you, but if you are going into a wave, it is much better to hit them at somewhere between 15 and 60 degrees if possible. There are things that cause exceptions but you should prepare for the expected but be ready for the unexpected. Actually, the depth of the water can cause a totally different picture of the conditions. A deeper water level, such as the great lakes are very deep and can create massive waves that don't even cap. My suggestion is to get as much practice as possible. Become as confident as possible without becoming overconfident, pay attention to people that have been safely boating for years, especially those with tiller operated motors and WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET AND KILL SWITCH. Do this all the time, not just when the big motor is on. Remember, you aren't in a 20 plus foot boat with an 8ft beam. I have a bass boat but have always kept either an inflatable, a 2 man,or a jon boat for their convenience. They are great fun to work on, you rarely lose money and are really pretty valuable. I don't know if anyone remembers the Coleman Crawdad. In about 1990 Bassin' magazine had an article about a guy fixing one up into an actually mini bass boat. I did the same. I had a 4 hp Yamaha, a 28 lb thrust trolling motor, a good locator better seats. It was basically a composite jon boat. I loved it. One day while in a cove about 1/2 mile from the ramp, I got caught in some wind. Since it was deep water, the waves weren't too bad. It showed me that I could stay dry. I had a Honda Gold Wing at the time and for $100, I pulled it to the lake to get comments and make an easy $100. That is some of the bad judgement I talked about. Never pull a trailer with a motorcycle unless the trailer has the ability to move in more than one direction. Sorry to ramble, but here it is. Consider your experience and where you plan on using the boat. If you are planning on regularly getting in unprotected water, pass on it. A lot of times we think of where we fish but not how we get there. Who do we have to share the water with. Is there a boat ramp? That is bad because people have a tendency to think about themselves and not shut the power until they have to. That can make it tougher sometimes than running faster. Finally, do you have to share the water with personal watercraft? I would suggest looking for some small city lakes. A lot have great fishing. In fact the last two Oklahoma bass state records came from city lakes. When all you have to share the water with are others like you, float tubes and canoes, it is wonderful. I hope this helped. I have a bad habit of telling stories and missing the point. I have good intentions, though.

                      Comment

                      Welcome!

                      Collapse

                      Welcome to Field and Streams's Answers section. Here you will find hunting, fishing, and survival tips from the editors of Field and Stream, as well as recommendations from readers like yourself.

                      If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ for information on posting and navigating the forums.

                      And don't forget to check out the latest reviews on guns and outdoor gear on fieldandstream.com.

                      Right Rail 1

                      Collapse

                      Top Active Users

                      Collapse

                      There are no top active users.

                      Right Rail 2

                      Collapse

                      Latest Topics

                      Collapse

                      Right Rail 3

                      Collapse

                      Footer Ad

                      Collapse
                      Working...
                      X