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Thread: Build or buy new: Aluminum Jon boat

  1. #1
    Member Longkj's Avatar
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    Default Build or buy new: Aluminum Jon boat

    I hoping to get some insight on Jon boat builds. I want a flat bottom Jon but hate the prices of new Jon's on the market. After looking at pictures of other members on the forum doing past builds it makes me wonder how much they saved building their own boat. I'm not going to lie, I have never welded aluminum but I do have access to someone that can weld for fair prices. (beer, moose meat)

    So if you have done this before or would like to share cost, design, good times, bad times. Please chime in!

  2. #2

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    Call alaska steel in anchorage they have pretty good prices on aluminum sheets im pretty sure you could all your materials for around 1500 thats just the metal argons kinda expensive it would definately be cheaper though people that build and sell boats dont do it for cheap. Plus youd get exactly what you want. Get on the internet and google john boat plans or somthing like that iv seen sights that just give away plans.

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longkj View Post
    I hoping to get some insight on Jon boat builds. I want a flat bottom Jon but hate the prices of new Jon's on the market. After looking at pictures of other members on the forum doing past builds it makes me wonder how much they saved building their own boat. I'm not going to lie, I have never welded aluminum but I do have access to someone that can weld for fair prices. (beer, moose meat)

    So if you have done this before or would like to share cost, design, good times, bad times. Please chime in!
    If you place any value on your labor and the value of a friendship it'll be cheaper to buy than to build. You won't just have the labor of building you'll have the labor for jigs and fictures etc. The reason to build a boat is because you want to enjoy the process of building a boat, not to save money.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member Longkj's Avatar
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    I want that too, the main purpose of this is to get what I want and learn how to fix my own boat along the way while maybe saving some cash.

  5. #5

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    Check out SPECMAR online. You can order the build plans, and they will send the cutting diagrams to an aluminum cutter for you. That way, they ship all of the pieces pre-cut, to you on a pallet. I've talked to them a few times, as I've been considering building a skiff.

    By the time you buy the plans, buy the pre-cut boat parts, and have it shipped up here, it's going to cost you more than to just buy one new. At least that's what I've found on the ones I've been considering. But, I want to build one myself for the experience and know how.

  6. #6

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    Specmar is pretty awesome they have all kinds of kit boats. I was gonna build a john boat and put a high horsepower motor in it then decided not to if you got the time id definately build. If your friends into it and either you or him has a good welder your gonna be lovin the home made boat. Make sure you got a good welding set up. It will make all the difference in the world

  7. #7
    Member cormit's Avatar
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    How big of a jon boat do you want to build?

    Quote Originally Posted by Longkj View Post
    I hoping to get some insight on Jon boat builds. I want a flat bottom Jon but hate the prices of new Jon's on the market. After looking at pictures of other members on the forum doing past builds it makes me wonder how much they saved building their own boat. I'm not going to lie, I have never welded aluminum but I do have access to someone that can weld for fair prices. (beer, moose meat)

    So if you have done this before or would like to share cost, design, good times, bad times. Please chime in!

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I shouldn't have followed this thread, looking at the Specmar sight I've got a serious hankering to build their plan #912
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  9. #9
    Member Longkj's Avatar
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    20 ft. I would like a tunnel as well. I want something like a sjx or sea ark something that I can put a top on, haul moose and two people.

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