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Thread: Best Jon boat for the Money

  1. #1
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    Default Best Jon boat for the Money

    Weigh in on your pick of favorite jon when it comes to bang for the buck and why?

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    How big of a boat are you looking for? What size motor are you planning to run on it? Intended uses?

    Hard to provide a good answer with out a few more details.....

    For a good compromise between weight, durability, load capacity, and simplicity I'd suggest looking for a lightly used riveted 18 or 16 foot long Lowe or Crestliner. Go with a used one cause it will be significantly cheaper and it will already have a few scratches so you won't feel to bad when it gets a few more. I have an 1852 Crestliner with a 40 hp tiller jet and couldn't be happier with it. It will run as shallow as I want to run, is light enough to muscle around with just 2 people and can actually haul a fair sized load up river on step.

    |Hope that helps.

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    Default a few more details

    Thanks, it does.Looking at G3 1652 at 460lbs empty looking to power it w/ jet , 35hp power head. Sounds like if you have 1852 w/ a 40 I should be ok w/ a 35 on a 16'. Wanting to go 20mi, Placer, Kenai, Su+ tribs. Any feedback about a G3 specifically? Looking at Crestliner, Lowe, etc and for the money the G3 looks like a better value. Do you see it differently?

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    Member summitx's Avatar
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    got a 16 ft grizzly tracker, with a 60/40 jet, does pretty good with 2 to 32 people and gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by summitx View Post
    got a 16 ft grizzly tracker, with a 60/40 jet, does pretty good with 2 to 32 people and gear.
    Dang, 32 people AND gear? Now that is a john boat!

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    Sea Ark 2072 MVJT with a 115 Hp motor. it can run shallow with the tunnel hull and the 115 can move the boat with 5 people in it without trouble. Or it can easily do double duty and haul a 4 wheeler across the river. it is big enough to get you out of Valdez for silvers, 8 miles is my persnal limit. But i have gone further due to lack of sense. i have traded paint/metal with some rocks on the gaulkana and ended up with a few scratches but no holes in the bottom, it is a super tough boat. there is one for sale in North Pole that has a 130 Honda on the back. the guy who owns it takes super good care of his stuff, it looks brand new, it is on CL.

  7. #7
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    Default Best Jon

    I just purchased a used 1648 Lowe Big Jon and found a deal on a 40hp 2 stroke Yami jet and it's scary fast. Your G3 weighs more but you'll be fine with that 35 that you are going to run. Good luck and get it in the water.

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    The G3s are a very well built boat. Another one to look at is the Alwelds. THe boat Shop in FBKs sells alot of them. Try and get a boat with a tunnel too. It will save a little wear and tear on the jet foot. A 35 hp motor will push it just fine, though a little more power would be nice for hauling a heavy load upstream. All of the above metioned boats sound like pretty nice jon boats.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    On the tunnel... Make sure it is a JET tunnel if you are going to run a jet!!! The deeper prop tunnels on some jon boats designed to run the swamps will cause all kind of cavitation in a jet application. The tunnel should be very shallow for a jet.

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    Default riveted vs welded

    Looks like you want a fairly light weight boat. Some things to think about are:
    The flatbottoms run shallow. Shallower than any thing with a V or deadrise of the same length. The old Quachita riveted boats were great, and still are. They are riveted and thin, but because of all that they are light too. I have a 20' with a 4' 1/4" jet plate in back. That boat is a log jumpin, beaver dam poundin boat. Now that same boat without the jet plate would have issues on the bottom from all the rocks I've hit and logs I've jumped. Add to that I have a 360 odd pound v-4 Evinrude 88 on it to weigh the stern down.
    Monarch, Lowe, Ryancraft, and others all made fairly similar boats, just different lengths. The Ryancraft 16' that sits on the launch right now is a nice boat. The bench seats are not quite in the right spot, but what the heck. I would like to see what either of those boats would to with a 3" tunnel.
    Alweld does make a sweet welded flatbottom, and last I heard you could get that with a tunnel. I trust Alweld boats a lot. My 22' V has seen a lot of use, and I have nothing anywhere near a failure on the boat. It is powered by a 150 V-Max, and we run 3500 pounds in that boat down the Yukon. I do my best to keep her off the bottom, but ask Labman how successful I've been at that!!!
    Welded boats tend to be a bit thicker and tougher, but then you add a bit of weight too. Kind of depends on your type of running. If you're doing lots of rocks and hard stuff, go welded or put a 1/4" plate on the back of your riveted boat. Otherwise, go riveted, but plan on every once in a while pullling floor boards and bucking the loose ones that leak.

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