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Thread: John boat or freighter canoe?

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Default John boat or freighter canoe?

    We just traded our old Boat for a newer motor and some cash. We'd really like a river/lake boat that can haul weight comfortably. I love the idea of a freighter canoe but would like other opinions. So whats your pick for all around Alaska boat?
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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Canoe and comfort?? Nah, Depend what you haul, how big motor is ect... Would have to say Jon Boat is the King, Could go to semi-v too for the lake part,could use it for both, and it will take the waves on the lake better.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    The motor is a 25 horse evinrude, I'm looking to haul family, gear and dinner for the next year. Personally I think a canoe is very comfortable. But this is exactly what I was looking for.....some counter points to consider. Thank you and keep them coming. Having been a kayak/canoe guide I do have to disagree on your assertion that john boats handle waves better, nothing worse in big waves than a flat bottom and square sides!
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    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    I have both. I prefer the jon, but with only 25hp, the freighter might be a better fit.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Why do you prefer the jon?

    Would you like to make a deal on your less favored craft after PFD's arrive?


    I have to admit I am leaning towards the freighter. It's good to explore options though, other opinions?
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    The big freighter canoes handle far rougher water than any jon boat does. If I had only one choice,, it would be a 24' freighter.

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Freighters are fantastic boats; will carry a pile of gear, safe in lakes, don't need much HP to work, will run pretty shallow.
    If i had a family and wanted to do it all, i'd really consider a freighter, or a Zodiac, over a Jon.
    There are some companies out there making Fiberglass freighters. Mad River used to make a Kevlar freighter. What a boat that was. I firend used to have one; light, tough, he hauled quite a few moose in that rig over the years.
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  8. #8

    Question how about...

    A 18' Lund skiff for general use? There are a bunch of Lund skiffs in use in Alaska. Then find your self a used freighter since it sounds as though you really can't live with out one.

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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    I said Jon boat is king... Semi-v will handle the waves better, The jon Boat would haul the weight. I have a 14 ft. semi-v that i grew up with with 1976 25hp, i use it now only to tool, around once i get to the cabin. Once we had a 53" moose in the thing .Can,t fig picture thing out i will try again tonight. Any ways it did get on step with all that weight in there.I myself find it more stable than a freighter, But that just my opion take it for what it worth, Think thats why i have 5 different boats Each one has it purpose.
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    Default Inflatable???

    I know you were looking at a freighter or Jon but have you considered some of the inflatables? With a 25hp motor on back a 14 or 16' inflatable will hual a ton and be stable. My be a good option for hunting and fishing. Just my .02 worth.

  11. #11
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    RickP I like my jon better because it is center consol and wide. I like to be able to walk around, plus it is faster. Sorry, but I am not looking to sale the canoe; it still has its place.

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    jon with a jet - I love it and so do my kids.


    But with three kids now we've outgrown the 16' as far as next season goes. So I'm going to have to sell (after moose season! maybe in the spring) and try to find an 18' or 20'.


    I think the 16' is perfect for a starter river boat though - light enough to get unstuck easy, cheap (relatively), and great fun!
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akshrop View Post
    RickP I like my jon better because it is center consol and wide. I like to be able to walk around, plus it is faster. Sorry, but I am not looking to sale the canoe; it still has its place.

    Didnt really think you would be interested. It would be nice to shoot ducks from a standing position, you really have to cant the bow heavily in my 14 foot canoe.


    This is great stuff guys......... anyone else?
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    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    I will tell you I floated my 14x48 jon boat down the little sue and hooked my bro up with a conoe. I couldn't keep up I had to row my butt off while he sliced through the water. After 2 days of working my butt off trying to keep up I fired up the motor and followed along real nice. Now on the other hand if your hauling gear or a moose and not in a hurry I would MUCH rather use my jon boat I have much more control than in a conoe. Plus it's way more stable, just my opinion
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    There is not one ideal boat for ak, and trying to make a compromise boat that will do it all, does nothing well. Figure out your primary use(s) and pick the best boat for that task.

    For carying heavy loads long distances with the utmost of fuel efficiency, nothing beats a true freighter canoe. But it is one of the more specialized boats for use in AK. If you have that use, thn by all means go with the freighter.

    For lakes and rivers, tough to beat a jon boat, which is why they are so popular. They are a relatively stable platform, so good for shooting and fishing from.

    Having a pair of light weight canoes for portaging, well that opens up territory that other boats don't, can carry alot of weight, are silent and fuel efficient.

  16. #16

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    I have a 16ft Jon boat with a outboard jet, love the thing, hauls moose and gear very well. Just purchased a 11ft inflatable canoe to carry in it so that I can get back into some sloughs where I moose hunt.

    No experience with a freighter type canoe but I do own and enjoy a 17 Grumman canoe.

  17. #17

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    I don't know much about freighter canoes but I know that regular canoes have this tendency to turn upside down at the worst possible moment. I have a 17 foot kevlar canoe that is great for the canoe trails but I won't venture out into the wilderness unless it is warm enough that I wouldn't mind going for a swim.

    I am good in a canoe but once invited a guy who wasn't.

    I think that a 1648 jon with a 25 hp prop or 50/35 jet is a great boat for two, a decent boat for three. Pretty tight with four.

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