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marylandjon

Couple questions about Jon Boats

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Hi all, I am currently looking for my first boat, and have decided to go with a 12ft Jon Boat.  I need something small enough to fit in the back of my pickup and this type of boat seems to be the best fit.  I have a few questions I'm hoping someone can help me with.  

1)  Best Brand for the price (range is up to $1,000 for boat)

2)  Ram X material or Aluminum (I will be fishing mainly large lakes)

3)  36" or 32" bottom width?  Will it make that much difference?

4)  And finally...I have a small Mazda pickup, bed is 6ft long, will it be a problem transporting a 12 ft Jon?  The overhang will be 6 feet, but tied down securely and I will have caution flags.

Thank you for your time.

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go with at least 36", but for $1000 you should look at getting a 14' 48" beam jon boat with a trailer.

As for putting it in the back of your truck. Make sure the battery is in the back and that it is strapped down with a rope. I do this all the time and have never lost my boat out the back.

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I agree with CFFF. Is there any reason you don't want a trailer? I paid $850 for a 16' flat jon with a 48" wide floor and trailer.

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For the brand I wondered the same thing. I got a Tracker but that is because i was looking to spend a little. If you got $1000 I would  not look there. When looking at the boat, take along look at thickness of hull, riveted vs. welded, if you are putting a gas motor on it take a look at the transom, and how sturdy it is. What I would suggest, look at the tracker boat site, look at their jons, and grab the stats I mentioned there. Take those as rock bottom. What you want will be better than that.

Other brand names I have heard good things about but never used "Lowes", and "Alumacraft". Those are the brandnames I found around here. If I had to buy again I would probably get a Lowes. One thing I noticed at the construction sites hear here where they go over the lake/river. When they do have a Jon boat on site (and a lot of them do), they are almost always LOWES boats.

The wider the better, I got a 1436 that I love to fish with but you get 2 guys in there you can get it rocking. Not a problem with 2 young guys, but I get my grandfather in there and I got to worry about him flying out.

I went with Aluminum. It is lightweight, takes a pounding, and last a long time if you take care of it.

Also when you buy it, some good stuff to know ask them if they can repair your hull should you run over a log and pop a hole in it(not that anything like that would happen) :;)  I had to drive 40 miles to find a welder to fix mine.

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If you have a pickup, get a boat with a trailer.  Also, the wider the boat, the more stable it is.  I have a 16 ft jon boat that is only 36" at the bottom and it is a great boat, but pretty unstable.  

For $1000, you should be able to find a great deal on craigslist.

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Thanks all for the quick replies.  The reason I don't want a trailer is because I don't really have anywhere to store it at the moment.  As for the brand I was looking at Alumacraft, Lowe, and Crestline.  I will be using a Minn Kota 55# electric trolling motor as my primary means of propulsion, as the resevoir I fish on does not allow gas powered motors.  

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I have not seen the crestlines before. When I went looking for my jon (before I found this site) one of the problems was, I could not find a good site for reviews of these guys. I posted one on here or my Tracker 1436. When you go buy one, once you have gotten a chance to try it out a bit, post on here and let us all know how it worked for you. Maybe we can get some type of review base here.

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1 they all live up to expectations.

2 aluminum

3 wider

4 your bed is 6ft plus the length of the tail gate.  No problem.

Since you are only using the boat in an electric only situation hull thickness will only add unnecessary weight.  You will never be going fast enough to damage your hull.  If you don't mind used check Craigslist.com for a used one near you.  I think $500 should get you what you are looking for.  If you have the room for it you might consider 14 ft and as wide as will fit in the bed of your truck.    

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I think I've been sold on the Alumacraft 1236.  It weighs the least of all the other 1236's at 125lbs and can hold the most weight, 540lbs.  I found one dealer who was selling it for $810 and another one about 65 miles away for $730.  Wonder if I can see if the $810 guy will match the other's price  ;)  might be worth a shot.

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I have a Crestliner 1436 with a live well. It wieghs 185 pounds. It is a nice little boat. Alumicraft and Lowes are also excellent. One thing to look for is the one with the most ribs and also the bracing that supports the sides of the boats that goes across the inside of the bottom and up each side. I have seen jonboats that had the bracing inside the bottom but not up the sides. I bought mine to use on a private lake and never thought I'd need a trailer, but now I have a trailer and take it to a larger lake. Larger is better within reason. I have hauled mine on a F150 with a short bed and the tail gate dropped and it hauls fine. I bought mine new for $930. Have fun and let us know how things go.

Jim

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There is a shop near you where I bought a Crestliner jon boat. It is in the town named northeast md and called "Hooked on the bay". The address is 21 flint drive, northeast, md. 410-287-4290. I found out recently that there has been some back room dealings between jon boat companies. What I was told that not too long ago, Lowe was making the crestliner boats, supposedly now Crestliner makes their own.  Hooked on the bay had a good selection and seemed pretty cool to deal with back in 2006. You really outta consider a trailer and a bit more boat. We all have been thru it, you lose big when you switch up. If ya like fishing, you just cant go wrong getting something a bit wider and longer. I know money is an issue, gotta do what ya gotta do. enjoy whatever you settle on.

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I found Hooked on the Bay online and talked to them about their boats.  Their 1236 sells for $930 and weighs 140 lbs (15 lbs heavier than Alumacraft) and only holds 527 lbs max capacity (13 lbs less).  I just kind of figured that by those stats that Alumacraft may be the better boat?  Maybe i'm wrong, any advice would be appreciated.  

P.S.  Wyatts dad are you a Ravens fan?  Sorry i'm still steaming from the loss today, what b/s.  

Thanks

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I own a Lowe and proudly endorse them whenever I can. I use to have a jon, but traded up to a deep V 14 because its more versatile. Lowes are built to last. My friend owns an Alumicraft, and its thinner grade aluminum than my old one, and has shallower sides. I guess it all depends on what you're interested in. Strength -vs- weight. Dependence on electric though, I'd say weight wins. Pack light and don't forget the oars!

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look on craigslist or the used boat stores. i just got a 12/14ft jon boat with a trailer and a 5hp mercury for 900. you can get great deals on jon boats.

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