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Thread: Jon boat capacity question

  1. #1

    Default Jon boat capacity question

    I have an 18-ft, 48-in beam jon boat with an older, strong running, 60/40 2-stroke jet. Center console controls.. How much weight should I be able to carry and reasonably get on step?

  2. #2
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    three guys with fishing gear, I had a 16-ft 48" John with a 55hp jet and it didn't carry as much as I wanted. Did good for fishing with two or three but two with hunting great it struggled.

  3. #3

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    So if i wanted to go up in horsepower, how big can I go without needing some float pods on the back? I'd get an older two stroke to keep it light. Could it handle 90HP at the head? 115HP? Anyone have experience with putting the biggest motor that's reasonable on an 1848? I'd like to be able to haul two guys, a moose, and gear all at once.

    Also, how big could I go with float pods?

  4. #4
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    My boat has a little metal plate on it that lists the max capacity (people and pounds) and max HP. Personally I wouldn't be too afraid to go a little above the max weight on mine if the water was flat (I have only run it on pretty calm rivers).

    Does your boat have this? Or maybe look up the boat specs online?

  5. #5
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    My SeaArk 1860's plate says 80hp so that could be a 115/80. I run an older carb Honda BF90/65. The new Merc four stroke 75-115hp is the same engine base, and it is lighter than my Honda. So you could run a 115/80 Merc no problem. Last week I ran myself plus three others up some real skinny water no problem. I don't have pods. I added pods to my old SeaArk 1652 with a 50/35 because it needed them, the 1860 doesn't.

    To the original question you should be able to take 3 people and some gear. Load it up so it floats level at rest. Another thing you can do to help plane out a load is add the $35 outboard metal trim wedges that allows you to time your motor down/in a few degrees down further.

    Sobie2

  6. #6
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    Ran an '01 1648 Lowe Roughneck welded tunnel for years. It had a 60/40 2-stroke and day trips 2-3 guys was max, four was too much. Switched to a 115/80 (max rated) 2-stroke and people/gear weight was not much of an issue anymore, water line was. 3 large dudes with 900lbs moose and it didn't have any issue getting on step. Pods helped raise the back 4-6" with the 115 and stopped sucking the jet into the rocks on shallow takeoffs. The biggest downside to the 115 it just punched holes through the bottom of the boat when we hit things, when the 60/40 was on it we would just skip over rocks. That extra weight of the engine killed the boat, the 115 also started peeling off the welds for the transom.

    Good luck!

  7. #7

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    Thanks guys. My boat is a 1978 so the spec plate has been unreadable for a long time.

    Thanks for all of the info. I'm thinking a 90/65 is probably the way to go. A nice balance of power vs weight.

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