View Full Version : Any tips on converting a jon boat?

02-21-2006, 06:06 PM
I have a 14 foot 36 inch wide jon boat and I am planning on converting it to a more productive and confortable fishing CRAPPIE rig. Anyone got any tips.

02-21-2006, 06:38 PM
Check the website in my signature. You may be able to get some ideas from there.

02-21-2006, 07:43 PM
Swivel seats were a great ungrade. Sitting on the factory bench was cold and uncomfortable. Under the forward bench is the live well(storage compartment and drinks now) and I didnt want to mount the seat to the lid so I made a small box with 2x4 and a plywood top to mount the seat to. Ive got a few rod holders on the sides of each seat but want more. Ive been thinking about making a shelf or something to go over the gas tank which sits of the floor in front of the rear bench.

02-21-2006, 07:47 PM
Ive thought about putting down some flooring for comfort and noise reduction but dont want to add any more weight than nessecary. My jon boat will plain out now and dont want to lose that.

02-21-2006, 09:33 PM
Ive thought about putting down some flooring for comfort and noise reduction but dont want to add any more weight than nessecary. My jon boat will plain out now and dont want to lose that.

Preassure treated plywood plus carpet will add weight but will also make the boat more stable, quiter and more comfortable on your feet warmer and drier. Its also will reduce drifting in the wind. Because you deck the forward area too it doesn't
change the plane. Actually I think it improves it. Also the decking covers conduit and cables that might otherwise be exposed. In sum a good flooring installation will probably increase your catch and enjoyment. There is an alternative to 3/4" preassure treated plywood. 1/2" marine ply wood be best .
But it cost a fortune. Another alturnative would be carpet covered aluminum paneling. You could aquire an old jon for material and cut it to make a light strong floor that wont rot. It would be more work but it would be worth it. ;)

02-22-2006, 03:10 AM
I converted a jon boat about three years ago.I still have it and fish out of it.There is really no way to keep from adding weight to it the most you can do is hope to minimize it. here are a few websites that I got ideas from when building mine. www.debevans.com/mike.htm www.bassjons.com/mycustompage0025.htm secretweaponlures.com/odf/odfsite.html

unknown 5
02-22-2006, 06:16 AM
I would be careful adding seats. 36 inches seems very narrow to me and may cause your center of gravity to be too high if you put seats in, especially on pedestals. I have had narrow boats that would tip over easily.
I put rod holders on my jon boat rails. I put flooring in my boat also.

02-22-2006, 08:16 AM
I overhauled my 14' (48" bottom) jon boat about 3 years ago. I removed the middle bench seat, laid down plywood and carpet and a coat of paint. With the middle seat gone, it is much easier to walk around in the boat and gave me much more room. I was worried that the loss of flotation together with the added weight would be a problem, but the boat sits just fine in the water. I was also worried about the loss of strength to the hull by removing the middle seat, but it has been over three years and it has rode through some very, very rough chop at times. If you want to perform a quick weekend transformation, this is a nice change.

I plan to go snatch some up on friday, so while the boat is uncovered, I'll snap a few pics and post on here.

02-22-2006, 07:38 PM
I take my 10yr old and she cant run the bow mounted tm worth a flip so Ive been looking at some transom mount so we dont have to swap ends of the boat everytime we change fishing holes. At times its pretty hairy when she heads to the back. The swivel seat in the middle does make it easier plus we have gotten used to changeing spots and are getting more comfortable doing so.

02-22-2006, 07:50 PM
Try this link. I checked them out the other night, pretty nifty. I like the removal of the center bench, just be sure your boat CAN lose the support.

02-22-2006, 10:51 PM
I'm not sure how big of an issue the removal of the middle bench is structurally. I'm sure the plywood provides some additional support lengthwise. Otherwise, you may want to brace the gunwales. Like I said before, my jon boat performs very well. It made moving around the boat much easier and safer.

02-23-2006, 12:53 AM
I just added some plywood to my boat as a battery box cover and additional seat. Even if you use marine grade plywood, I'd suggest painting it (esp the edges) with "spar urethane"...Minwax makes it in spray and brush versions under the name "Helmsman" (green can) at Lowes. It just seals the wood up so that moisture is less of a problem. I didn't use marine grade but painting the wood with this stuff gave me great peace of mind. First rain the water just beaded up on the outside of the wood.

02-23-2006, 10:46 AM
I have set up three boats for fishing. I will be more than happy to send you pics or describe in detail how I accomplished this lovely task. Let me know.

02-23-2006, 11:44 AM
Here's what I did to my 1968 Sears Fiberglass boat...front fishing deck (removable) constructed of marine plywood, with pedestal seat...all controls up front for easy day of fishing...boat planes better, extra weight stabilizes...wish I had done it years ago...