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Thread: Thinking of using a 8 foot aluminum jon boat as a dinghy

  1. #1
    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Default Thinking of using a 8 foot aluminum jon boat as a dinghy

    I'm looking at a 8 foot Klamath Jac boat
    http://www.factorydirectboats.com/8jacboat.html for $1500

    It seems like it'd be ideal for fishing the shallow spots and the occasional shore trip.
    A couple of my favorite fishing spots in PWS are too shallow to get my new boat near, but I could scoot over on this and hammer away to my hearts content.

    Its about 100 lbs but since I'm going to have a swing-arm davit the boat weight isnt a factor.

    I'd put some sort of plastic or dense foam cradle or strips on the pilothouse roof to keep the noise down when it's stowed, maybe spray some sort of bedliner in its interior to also help keep the noise down.

    And it should last just about forever.

    My available roof space is 9'-9" long by 6'-9 wide so this'd fit perfectly. Its only 18 inches deep so it'll clear the radar (whenever I actually get one)

    Whatcha think?
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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    I think it would be a dandy. I like how light it is yet durable, you could yard it up the rocks and stash it in the woods and it won't stick out like a sore thumb either. Grumman used to make these foam squares w/ slots that slipped over the gunnel, they were for taking the aluminum canoe on the car. It would be nice to find 4 of those, they'd work slick for lashing it to your roof

    speaking of radar funny you brought it up but I'm presently installing my brand new Garmin 18" HD 36mi raydome (actually the welder is) I got one of those new plug and play 740s garmins that has plotter, sonar, and radar in one package. I have no idea how the thing works I'll keep ya posted

  3. #3

    Default Stay in the cove/protected areas...

    If they use the little white hard shell dinghy's all over the world that only holds two small people why not that. I think it will work great inside coves and protected areas, just stay out of the real stuff.

    Two summers ago, I believe I saw either ex-mayor Rick Mystrom or his twin with a gal in a tiny row boat that couldn't of been more than 6 x 4 with about two inches of free board left, out dip netting on the kenai. We were on the beach dipping and they were twenty feet in front of us bobbing around. We actually began looking around for items to use for when they went under and discussed getting a rescue plan together!

    Get some floatation in it just in case you drop it unloading it from the roof.

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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    I think it has level flotation foam in the seats already, coves and protected areas would be the only places it'd be used.

    With the level flotation I guess it could be used as a last-resort life raft, but a purpose-built inflatable would be better for that.

    Its a little spendy, but not much more than the inflatables I've already looked at.
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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I think that if --it hit the fan and the weather sucked really bad and you had to use that little dingy, it would be tradgic. Take on a little water and life could really suck. It has foam inside it but, I wouldn't want to try it. On a nice day it could be really cool. Dingys are dual purpose, treking around and ditch. My Hewecraft is not suppose to sink either, but I wouldn't want to try it. An inflatable, unless you pucture it can take the water and load, you can patch it and it also has several chambers. JMO.

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I agree with chico,

    its too dangerous. those little jons are just too small and sink all the time even in flat calm water. You'd be better suited to a 12' klamath or other. You need either high sides, or an inflatable. and For the record I have a 12' Klamath and an inflatable and have witnessed 4 sinkings or flippings of those tiny jons. The 12' Klamath easily drags up and down the beach empty for me (and I ain't no big tough bruin).

    http://www.factorydirectboats.com/12deluxe1.html

    But a lot of people here in Southeast lately have been using aluminum boats to beach and unload gear and crew then go anchor and use those cheap rotomolded kayaks ($250-450) from Costco or Fred Meyers and use those to get back to shore.

    Sobie2

  7. #7

    Default Inflatable No Question

    Besides the sinking risk (which should be the major concern), consider the action needed to load and unload the dingy. An inflatable will bounce with no damage, a jon boat could dent and scratch whatever it bangs against. I think better judgement steers the way here.
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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    I'd love to use one of the bigger boats, but I've only got 9 feet 9 inches on my roof available to use, the radar arch and the rocket launchers prevent me from anything more.

    Good point about the banging/denting.

    Maybe one of these jobbies: http://www.factorydirectboats.com/noname18.html
    Its plastic, tri-hull and foam filled double hull. And a heck of a lot cheaper at $650

    I really dont like inflatables, they're a wet ride, uncomfortable, get holes at REALLY inconvenient times (like when you go ashore hicking and didnt notice the sharp rock that has deflated your inflatable until you get back from hiking)
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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Two sheets of ply...

    ... a few 1x2s, some foam dock floats, zip-ties, epoxy resin, fiberglas tape and some paint will get you a dandy little pram which will be much better than a jon boat for the salt.

  10. #10
    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    That thing would be great! If you are worried about safety, get a real life raft in a canister. I know that if things get nasty and you have to leave your boat I probably wouldn't want to be in a dingy either. We have a Viking 10 passenger offshore life raft that just sits on the roof and we a have a dingy for messing around.
    Boatless

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Costco carries a perfect small inflatable each summer. Last their I timed it perfectly as they were blowing them out for $400, but even at ~$800 they are a great little boat, weigh ~80#'s, less than 10' long and rated for 4 people and 10hp o/b. With my 8hp it'll get on step with a load of 300# or less.

    I started building a D4 dinghy from Bateau plans http://www.bateau.com/freeplans.php

    But I just didn't have the spare time to finish it, and found that an inflatable is really the best way to go. No worries about it scratching up your boat when carrying it, or when rafted together when getting on/off etc.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    I'd love to use one of the bigger boats, but I've only got 9 feet 9 inches on my roof available to use, the radar arch and the rocket launchers prevent me from anything more.

    Good point about the banging/denting.

    Maybe one of these jobbies: http://www.factorydirectboats.com/noname18.html
    Its plastic, tri-hull and foam filled double hull. And a heck of a lot cheaper at $650

    I really dont like inflatables, they're a wet ride, uncomfortable, get holes at REALLY inconvenient times (like when you go ashore hicking and didnt notice the sharp rock that has deflated your inflatable until you get back from hiking)
    You see allot of those plastic dingys in the lower 48. There pretty cool but again, I don't think they will take any seas/weather. I understand your concerned about poking a hole in an inflatable, but those Alaska Series Inflatables with the grizzly claw bottom are pretty tough. For a grand, you can get a pretty nice dingy. The 9.6" seward was $ 1250. Awesome boat. My buddy ordered one. Its your money, but I think there is a reason that Over 90% of the boats you see in alaska have an Inflatable. Part is cost, Easy to Deploy by yourself, can take some waves, and vertually unsinkable unless its a massive punction of all chambers. JMO, I'll shut up now. BTW, anxious to see your boat on the water. Hell, I'm anxious to get mine on the water, but its getting some mods right now.

  13. #13

    Default Metal Floor

    I have a 10 achilles with a metal floor in i that rolls up with a 15 horse kicker.

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    Default I've only worked on 18 years,

    Desunk a lot of boats in my time, including cars trucks and what ever.
    The boston whaler is unsinkable bcause it is loaded with foam in every nook and cranney.
    The boats i own have extra floatation every where an empty cavity exists. I do this because floaing the boat has more advantage to it than abandonding it .If i had a cabin cruzer there would be innertubes hidden every where with co2 inflators ziploc bagged with them. it is a great way to raise sunken boats. The more individual floation divices you have the better it servives. All of the gear tools and supplies are not on the dingy,

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    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Arleigh, funny you should mention adding extra flotation, I've been considering shoving several hundred empty 2 liter soda bottles under my deck wherever they'll fit, crammed in enough so they dont rattle around.

    There's a lot of room under there so it'd make the boat almost unsinkable, the rounded shape means they wont trap water in inconvenient places, they dont weigh much, and they're free (raid the recycling center).
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
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  16. #16
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    I'd love to use one of the bigger boats, but I've only got 9 feet 9 inches on my roof available to use, the radar arch and the rocket launchers prevent me from anything more.

    Good point about the banging/denting.

    Maybe one of these jobbies: http://www.factorydirectboats.com/noname18.html
    Its plastic, tri-hull and foam filled double hull. And a heck of a lot cheaper at $650

    I really dont like inflatables, they're a wet ride, uncomfortable, get holes at REALLY inconvenient times (like when you go ashore hicking and didnt notice the sharp rock that has deflated your inflatable until you get back from hiking)
    Here is one MAAST Smoking deal

    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/1703726484.html

  17. #17
    Member Maast's Avatar
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    Dude! Thanks!! its in juneau, I'll contact him to see about getting it up here.

    Perfect, exactly what I'm looking for.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
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  18. #18
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maast View Post
    Dude! Thanks!! its in juneau, I'll contact him to see about getting it up here.

    Perfect, exactly what I'm looking for.
    Saw it yesterday and remembered your thread. Awesome price!!! Good Luck!!!

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