If you are looking for a stable platform to fish from, a Jon Boat might be a viable option for you. It is very simple in design, so don’t expect the Ritz here, but what it lacks in comfort, it makes up for maneuverability.
It has a very shallow hull, making it possible to skim the surface of the water rather than sink deep into it. This makes it ideal for traversing shallow areas of water.
The downside to the shallow hull is that it is not suitable for choppy conditions. It rides the waves, rather than cuts through them.
Are Jon Boats Safe?
That depends on the conditions on the water. If the water is very choppy, there is a danger of it flipping over. Of course, getting out from under the boat is fairly simple as there is no cabin or cables that you can get snagged in.
There are usually two or three planks that act as seating. You can always find folding fishing boat seats that make a nice upgrade. There really isn’t much way to strap yourself in, so it is recommended that you use life jackets.
In terms of working them, they are easy to control and steer. This makes them a pretty good alternative for less experienced sailors.
Are They Comfortable?
On calm water, yes. But the design is super-simple, and most amenities have been stripped out. The boat is pretty stable but offers little protection against the wind and cold. So, if you are going out in winter, wrap up warmly.
How Much is a Jon Boat?
Prices vary quite widely, depending on the material it is made from and the upgrades you choose to add. They can be made of wood, fiberglass or aluminum and you can either choose to paddle them manually or add an outboard motor.
Still, the price is pretty reasonable when compared to other boats that you could use for fishing. If you want to, you can put in some extra money and get one that has floors and a deck, live wells or bait wells, different accessory mounts, etc.
You can get a basic model and add to it as your budget allows. The bonus with this option is that maintenance and upkeep are inexpensive. With so few moving parts, there is very little that can break down.
You would need to service the motor at least once a year, and, if it has been in salt water, rinse it thoroughly after using it. Aside from that, there is little to be done. If you have a wooden model, you will need to refinish it from time to time, of course.
Where to Buy a Jon Boat
They are fairly easy to get. Your local fishing store might be able to point you in the right direction if they don’t carry them. Most marine retailers will stock at least the basic model. If you still aren’t having any luck finding them, check online.
Overall, if you are going to be fishing in relatively calm conditions, this is all you need. It gives you a stable base to work from, is big enough to hold the gear that you will need and is a budget-friendly option.