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Thread: Jon Boat Question from the lower 48

  1. #1
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    Default Jon Boat Question from the lower 48

    I thought I would tap into all your experience with jet boats in rivers, haven't had much luck down hear in Idaho for smaller craft. I am after a smaller boat for fly fishing the South Fork of the Snake River hear in Eastern Idaho. I am kind of a boater without a home as I want a boat I can run up river but row down river. I bought a locally made boat "Rapid Craft Powerdrifter" that was advertised to be everything I wanted, not so. It has a 60HP 4-stroke Merc on it and won't hardly go upriver and rows like a pig. It is 14 ft 7 inches long and 54 inch wide bottom. It is listed to weigh 425 lbs but BS. I weighed the boat, motor and battery and they weigh 940lbs, way over what it should. Wonderful well built boat but it won't do what I am after.

    Anyway, I am looking for a new boat and was thinking somthing like a Crestliner 1648 Jon and wondering what you all would suggest for motors. With my Merc on the old boat I could only do 14mph upriver which was WAY to slow to be reasonable. I would like to do at least 20mph upriver with 3 adults and some fishing gear.

    Any suggestions on motors or boats??

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Two of us on this forum have and problems with Crestliner hulls. The hulls were ripping on us. Both were new boats as well. I don't know a thing about rowing a jon, so I can't help you there. Why row when you have a jet? I spill my beer when I try

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    Post 2 Cents

    I am the other fellow with the problems with Crestliner, I would stay away from them personally. Anyhow, I used to do a bit of rowing Jons, worked out ok for me since I had no motor and a little 14x32 cartopper. I am not sure there are any really great options for you though since river drifting requires some rocker and Jon boats are the true flat-bottom. Mine was all over the river and it was tough to keep in the channels.

    I will say I have liked having the slightly pointed bow on mine, really helps cut the waves in a wind, keeps me from getting as jarred and wet.

    Have you looked into the Go-devil Engines? The surface drive line might surprise you... check out http://godevil.com/ for some video and information. Essentially you get great fuel economy, run as shallow as a jet, and have almost no worries when it comes to watching out for weeds, mud, etc... you can pretty much plow through anything. I run a godevil longtail right now on my 16 x 48 and while mine is a bit undersized being the 9hp model, it still is a lot of fun and can take me places I never dreamed a boat could go on the rivers.

    Hope this helps... without knowing more details about the river you want to travel on and more details about what you have in mind, its the best 2 cents I can give...

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    Default Ripping Hull

    Can you two tell me where you were having problems. A guide friend of a friend has one locally and it was ripping in front of the rear corner reinforcing triangles along the gunwale. I was going to have the boat modified and put decks in the front and back to fish from and figured I could do some reinforcing to the area when I put the decks in. Is this where you guys saw flaws. Do you feel it was mostly from running the boat or trailering??

    Have you heard other Jon are better??

    Also, back to my original question. What engines did you run and how did they preform.

    For more detials, the river usually flows 14,000 cfs most of the year but drops down to 1,000 cfs in the winter. It is a cobble bottom with most rocks around the size of a flattened softball. There are some skinny spots but I have never dinged the hull on my RapidCraft so compaired to what you guys are describing I would really call it skinny. Worst case, probably a foot of water in places.

    Thanks for you help.

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    Default check out outboardjet.com

    check the website @ outboardjet.com... they've done studies and determined it all comes down to weight. get the specs on your prospective new boat (weight) figure in gear, fuel, fishing buddies, and weight of your motor... then track across their chart to see how much HP they recommend. (then go a little bigger ;?)

    most folks in AK run 70-100 on 16'+ johns (equates to 45-68 hp jet thrust +/-)

    good luck!

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    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Check out "engineer help" thread for pictures and discriptions of the hull ripping. I had a 60 hp jet on it. Well within the specs. It also happened on the water versus trailering. I checked it before going into the water. The water has not rough either. Simply a bad design, I think. All the reinforcing that Crestliner suggested is crazy; too much loss of space. I have a G3 now, but that may be too much weight for what you want to do. The 60 hp pushed my setup 27-30 mph either up or down the river. Never made any difference. BTW a foot of water is about 8 inches more than you need Oh and my Crestliner was not a true flat, but a mod V.

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    Between typical jon boats? An 18 will outperform a 16 or 14 with the same motor. Longer boats plane better. Wider boats will carry more weight than the same length boat with a narrower bottom.

    I can scoot up a river with three adults in a G3 1848 using a 15hp prop. I'll pass my neighbor in a 1648 with the same motor.

  8. #8
    Member Limetrude's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Ripping Crestliner Hull

    For me the Crestliner problem was a welding issue... their welds where the transom meets the floor were just tearing out over time, especially where they were subject to fatigue loads from trailering. There was a good deal of trailer wear as well (none to speak of from the river) so I completely removed the original bunks (a pair of 2 x 4s on edge - carpeted) and replaced them with a set of (4) 4x4s, added an inch of flexible high density foam, carpeted it... much better now. Still very unimpressed with their welding...

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    Default so -

    you can run the crestliner in 4" of water with a prop??

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    Wink Clarification...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    you can run the crestliner in 4" of water with a prop??
    Little confused who this is directed to... if you are referring to akshrop's
    BTW a foot of water is about 8 inches more than you need Oh and my Crestliner was not a true flat, but a mod V.
    note he was running a 60hp JET...

    Not picking on anyone, I am probably the worst at skipping something important when I read through a post... just don't want anyone thinking they can run in 4 inches with a prop thats not attached to a godevil...

  11. #11
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    Default you are right -

    thanks...didn't think so - but I was hoping

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    Default Clarification - Akshrop

    You say you had a 60 Hp Jet, was that at the foot or the powerhead, seems like I see it state both ways. Also are you saying the 60Hp on the Crestliner di 27-30 mph or was that your G3.

    I did test drive a G3 with a Yamaha 60/40 Jet and it did ok at around 24 with three people, nice boat but you are right a little heavy and the center console looked like it would make a rowing setup a little hard.

    Thanks for the info. Nice to hear from people who have been there instead of the sales people know it alls.

  13. #13
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Fly Guy,
    The Crestliner was a 60 at the head, 40 at the jet. Yes it did 27-30 mph.
    My G3 has a 90/65, I never got it to test it running right. I got it 2 days before I deployed. It ran 35 mph without getting truely on step and was cavitating. It should be a screamer when it is rigged right (still in the shop). I got it to replace the broke crestliner, that is why I got it just days before I left. Just a note on the G3's. The tunnel is a different shape than most run in the Interior and the guys in Fairbanks were having issues with what height to place the engine. The flow is different out of the tunnel. That has been the issue with it.

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    Default My experience...

    I have a 1648 lund with a 50/35 jet motor and it does great! I can get a solid 25mph up river with 2 guys in the boat and I have had the boat over 30 with me and a light load. The thing to remember is the weight, lighter is better when your motor is so small. My boat is not welded so it is lighter, the trade off is less durability. They are tough to row, but being it is a jet I can get to all the places the drift boat can. Climb around the boats, make sure it suits your space needs, good luck!

    PS- they only reason I have a 50/35 is the Kenai, I would go bigger if it was not for that **** river. Send me a pm if you have questions.

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    How about an inflatable. This rig will haul 750lbs on step and 2 guys can carry it. Would be best for 2 guys but I bet you could get 3. Great for floating back down river.


    Steve

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    Default Good idea

    A 14' or 16' inflatable with a decent jet would fly up river and be pretty nice with oar locks to come back down just like using a drift boat. That would suit the requirements.

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    Default flyguy

    I have a place near Ririe. I have a 17ft crestliner with a 90 merc jet foot. It will haul all you can put in it and still go pretty shallowat least for the South Fork, but not shallow enough for Alaska Rivers. The deal is with increased HP the boat weight goes way up and rowing is very difficult. No jon boat rows as well as a drift boat. So for me I needed a boat capable of hauling lots of duck and goose decoys and still fish the Sf in the Summer and fall. I just run my motor and use the oars to guide the boat to fish the bank, works great, but takes some getting used to if you are used to rowing a drift boat. If you don't like the noise go to a bow mounted electric, it will do the same thing, slow it down and make it easier to control. My buddies don't even have to row and can still fish just get a electric with as much thrust as you can. My crestliner as worked well for me for many years, no broken welds and my lake boat is a crestliner and has served me well. In alaska we don't have to row so it needs a different boat here. Phanom sports jon works great up here. good luck finding the "perfect boat" all are best suited to specific uses. Let's you have more boats that way! Good fishing

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    Default crestliner 1655

    we make an inboard jet on the crestliner hull. it will run you up the river at 30+ mph. you can reach us at 1-406-677-4242 thanks bill jbm boats

  19. #19
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho Fly Guy View Post
    I thought I would tap into all your experience with jet boats in rivers, haven't had much luck down hear in Idaho for smaller craft. I am after a smaller boat for fly fishing the South Fork of the Snake River hear in Eastern Idaho. I am kind of a boater without a home as I want a boat I can run up river but row down river. I bought a locally made boat "Rapid Craft Powerdrifter" that was advertised to be everything I wanted, not so. It has a 60HP 4-stroke Merc on it and won't hardly go upriver and rows like a pig. It is 14 ft 7 inches long and 54 inch wide bottom. It is listed to weigh 425 lbs but BS. I weighed the boat, motor and battery and they weigh 940lbs, way over what it should. Wonderful well built boat but it won't do what I am after.

    Anyway, I am looking for a new boat and was thinking somthing like a Crestliner 1648 Jon and wondering what you all would suggest for motors. With my Merc on the old boat I could only do 14mph upriver which was WAY to slow to be reasonable. I would like to do at least 20mph upriver with 3 adults and some fishing gear.

    Any suggestions on motors or boats??

    Thanks
    Seems to me your boat might not be set up right. UNless it's a really swift river, a 60 hp Jet (even at the haed (42 at the jet) should push a little boat like that pretty quick. Being a 4 strok, it'd probably take a little longer to plane, but 3 guys in a 900lb boat should be no problem with a 60.

    I managed to plane a 16footer with a 40 (at the head--28 jet) with 3 guys and hunting gear, upriver around 20 or so mph.

    Might have to move the motor up or down on the transom a bit to get it working right.

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    Default

    That brings up a good point, is the jet set up right. The leading edge of the foot needs to be flush to 1/4" lower than the bottom of the boat. Have you run it shallow and chewed up the impeller? Do you have it shimmed to tolerance between the impeller and wear ring? I've got a 16' jon boat with an old evinrude 55jet and it will do better than 14mph up river!

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