What Are Jon Boats Used For?

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jon boat

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned fisherman, there’s no denying that Jon boats are the best aluminum fishing boats.

That said, a few models are made using fiberglass and polyethylene. 

The most significant difference between Jon boats and standard boats (V-shaped) is that the former has a flat bottom that makes it better suited for fishing in calm waters.

This type of boat is also ideal for other shallow water operations, such as hunting, transportation, and leisure boating.

Notably, Jon boats ‘sit’ on water rather than cruising through it.

Uses of Jon Boats

If you own a Jon, here are a few ways you can use it effectively


Due to the flat bottom design, these boats can’t submerge deep into the water – usually, the base doesn’t go deeper than three feet. 

This means that these vessels are unsuitable for lakes, oceans, and other deepwater bodies.

Therefore, if you must use them in such places, make sure not to go far from the shores. 

Besides depth, Jon boats are also unbefitting if you want to travel over rough waters.

You’ll need a bilge pump to prevent water from getting into the vessel, and this is an unnecessary investment. 

Leisure Boating

Because Jon boats work excellently in calm and shallow water bodies, many people use them for leisure boating.

As you enjoy your pastime, you can engage in recreational activities like fishing, cruising, hunting, etc. 

Many people who hunt and fish for leisure are unaware that Jon boats can help in increasing their catch.

jon boats

These vessels have a low draft, meaning they are less likely to disrupt fishes and other riverine creatures.

This, in turn, increases the likelihood of catching them. 

Moreover, the flat bottom allows you to fish while standing without the fear of tipping over.

Though small, this extra comfort can help you catch more fish. 

Fixing Bigger Boats

Most Jon boats are smaller than other water vessels and also have a limited freeboard area.

This design makes them the preferred choice for fixing the hulls of bigger boats. 

Although inflatable boats are an option, they are more susceptible to damage from sharp objects because they are mostly made of rubber or plastic.

On the contrary, many Jon boats are made using aluminum, a sturdy material that isn’t vulnerable to sharp objects. 

Furthermore, inflatable boats are uncomfortable and less stable when moving than Jon boats.

But, again, this is because of the materials used in their construction.

Constructing and Repairing Docksides

It can be challenging to install new features or conduct repairs on a dockside.

Fortunately, Jon boats have a small freeboard area that allows you to stay closer to the water level.

As a result, it easier to go under the dock and make the necessary installations or repairs.

This, coupled with added comfort and stability, makes Jon boats the best option for such tasks.

How to Choose a Jon Boat

Here are the top factors to consider when choosing a Jon boat.

Carrying Capacity

How do you intend to use your Jon Boat? If it’s for fishing and hunting, it will need to have a higher carrying capacity than a vessel designed for recreational boating.

The extra capacity allows room for accommodating your hunting and fishing gear. 


Jon boats tend to be slower than other types of water vessels.

For this reason, some owners equip their boats with huge motors to increase the maximum speed they can achieve.

Although speed thrills, this is an unsafe and unwise move.

Increased speeds reduce stability when the boat starts moving.

Even worse, it affects the vessel’s buoyancy, which makes it more susceptible to capsizing. 

It’s worth noting that every manufacturer indicates the maximum horsepower a specific Jon boat can handle.

Therefore, if you love speed, it is advisable to buy a model that can handle your desired horsepower without compromising your safety.

Usually, more horsepower means a bigger boat. 


Always buy a Jon boat that doesn’t hurt your budget.

Since most people use it for leisure, it doesn’t make sense to spend a significant portion of your income or savings on these water vessels. After all, you choose to hire one.

That said, cheap deals aren’t always the best – you might end up buying a vessel that needs frequent repair and maintenance.

Even worse, you might have to write it off after a few trips of use.

Wrapping Up

You don’t have to be a proficient sailor to operate a Jon boat. They are easy to use and versatile. 

When shopping for a Jon boat, go for flexible and sturdy models. But, more importantly, ensure that its carrying capacity and horsepower rating meet your needs.

Lastly, never compromise quality for affordability, as you might end up losing more money on repairs and replacements. 

How much is a used Jon Boat

We looked at over 20 Jon boats available online in the used market and the average price was $650.

Why are new Jon boats so expensive?

New jon boats are expensive due to the extras most people add to the final sale price. Plus the materials used to make them are expensive and the costs of production are rising.

Are Jon boats dangerous?

Jon boats are not as steady in choppy waters like a V-hull boat. But used in the right conditions and environments they make a great boat.