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#10649318 - 02/26/15 08:06 AM Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help!
badgrandad Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 483
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Alright guys (and girls) I am having a hard time deciding. I need something that will fit in the back of my truck for when I pull the Travel trailer, to fish out of with my wife at the campground small lakes (and some larger). I have an 8' bed.

We are both getting older and my wife in particular is afraid to get on the Bass Buster type pontoon boats because of the lack of "sides".

It needs to be light enough for me to handle mostly by myself and be stable enough for two persons for its regular use. I intend to primarily use an electric trolling motor, but it would be a bonus if it had oarlocks, and will probably eventually have to get a small outboard.

Speed is not as important as safety.

I went to Academy and looked at the 10' Alumacraft jon boats and it looked to be just what the doctor ordered, but after reading some posts online they made me concerned it might not be stable enough for two (older)people. I am 185 lbs and wife about 125lbs and the max rating was 365 total including gear.

The pelican and dolphin pro typ boats are heavier (145lbs vs 80 lb jon) but they have a higher rating 450lbs. they don't look as durable and are 3x the price.

Please give me advice, and would love to hear from current owner / users of both.
_________________________
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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#10649586 - 02/26/15 09:45 AM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
DLALLDER Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/23/02
Posts: 1609
Loc: pittsburg,tx
If you are pulling a bumper pull rv, get a pipe rack installed on truck and go with a 14' flat bottom. There are devices which will allow even a old man like me (69) to load the boat on the rack.

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#10649669 - 02/26/15 10:12 AM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
medinaD Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/11/10
Posts: 129
Loc: Medina County, Texas
Badgrandad, I've had both. They each have their pros and cons.
I currently have the 10' Pelican Raider, I really like this boat. It is very stable, I can stand up and fish with no problems. I can even stand on the corners. I believe the pontoon design helps with this. This also makes getting in and out easier than the jon boat especially if you are getting up in age. In my opinion the smaller the jon boat the less stable it is.
The swivel seats are more practical than the benches on a jon boat and the elevation gives you a better view. Consider upgrading to padded seats for more comfort. The main drawback is the weight. I can load my boat by myself but it takes some effort, whereas the aluminum jon boat probably weighs half as much. As far as durability, I have had my Pelican for about 10 years and it has taken a beating and is still in great shape. Obviously the aluminum boats are extremely durable and will outlast any plastic boat. If you go the plastic route, don't store it in the direct sun. The sun is it's worst enemy. Trolling motors work fine on either, you don't need more than 30# thrust. I have a 2.5 hp outboard that I also use, it weighs less than 30 pounds (Mercury from the mid 90's). The 2 strokes weigh less that the 4 strokes and a built in gas tank will save on space and headaches. You will probably get more speed from the aluminum boat. I can't do more than 5 mph with the 2.5 on my Pelican.
You can't go wrong whichever you decide because each will get you on the water. It'll just be personal preference on what works best for you.
_________________________

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#10649708 - 02/26/15 10:26 AM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
badgrandad Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 483
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Thanks for the input. The Pelican you have is the "pontoon" style not the sit inside kind, correct? I thought about the 10 footer but my wife put the nix on the "ride on top" style!
_________________________
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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#10650077 - 02/26/15 12:32 PM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
collincountytx Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 10065
Loc: Dallas, TX
Something around 10feet (with sides) for two people that can be moved by one person is a difficult proposition.

I you can go up to 12 or 14ft here are some options that are relatively easy to transport. With all these options, it would be best to fish in calm water.

Nucanoe Frontier 12


M12 Creek Boat



If you care less about portability, then you start getting into 14-16ft jon boats.
_________________________

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#10651514 - 02/26/15 08:12 PM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
porta Offline
Angler

Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 340
Light weight and stable:

http://www.inflatableboats.com/Life-Rafts_c80.htm

http://www.porta-bote.com/

There is probably nothing more stable than a whitewater raft in principle and some are lightweight and rugged.

I used a porta bote for many years and it is presently in storage. Also very stable, lightweight and rugged.

Both of these can be left permanently in deploy mode and stored in a garage to avoid setup and take down procedures.

I now use tubes and toons because of their extreme portability, light weight, and great comfort. They don't aggravate my back injuries...

PC

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#10660808 - 03/02/15 08:41 AM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
badgrandad Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 483
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
i have looked at the porta boat and they ocasionally show up on craigslist. I may go that rout, thanks for the reminder.
_________________________
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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#10670407 - 03/05/15 09:09 AM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
Scott in Flower Mound Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/24/14
Posts: 559
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
How much do those porta-boats retail for? They look like just what I need around where I fish, and I don't have to pay for storage/slip fees. Awesome idea.


Edited by Scott in Flower Mound (03/05/15 09:09 AM)

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#10671796 - 03/05/15 03:31 PM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
porta Offline
Angler

Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 340
There was the good, the bad, and the ugly for the portabote, so I am not particularly endorsing it. One of the bad things was the cost, currently $1700 for the 8' to $2260 for the 14'. Phone 1-800-227-8882.

PC

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#10674622 - 03/06/15 12:31 PM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
Bill77 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/15/13
Posts: 59
I have a 10' aluminum jon boat that I occasionally use for pond fishing.(paid $40 for it used). I found the boat to be very unstable with very little body movement allowed. I don't know about your other choices, but my guess is that they are probably better than the jon boat.


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#10678834 - 03/08/15 11:07 AM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
porta Offline
Angler

Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 340
3 good things about the portabote:
-to a certain degree, the portabote hull twists laterally according to load position to keep it's position level.
-it absorbs solid or wave impacts without the typical bouncing of an inflatable or shock impact of a rigid hull.
-it is essentially puncture proof even on razor sharp coral, because the material has a lubricating surface
quality like plastic kayaks, but with with the ability to flex in under pressure and return afterwards.

3 bad things about the portabote:
-very inefficient square back shape and lack of stiffness means hard to propel compare to a rigid hull, never was
able to get up on plane with the smaller engines used with a planing rigid.
-wooden plywood seats on my older model absorbed water and required constant varnishing to prevent fraying.
-plastic seat brackets broke after a few uses, but have now been replaced with metal in the latest versions.

If you move to the edge of a small jon boat, it goes lower at that edge to the point it can swam, but a much
bigger one will be much better.

Just my humble observations, may not be true for everyone.

PC

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#10680196 - 03/08/15 09:00 PM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
Go Froggin Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 211
Loc: Granbury, TX
I weigh 185 and my wife weighs 115. When she goes with me we add cushioned seats to each bench for more comfort. I am 55 yrs old and loading/launching/storing is no issue for me. Holds 500lb pounds. Will not tip or sink. LOVE IT! Visit the links below for more details and feel free to PM if you want to test/demo. Owner/inventor will ship to your door direct from Canada. Blessing's! smile

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#10680472 - 03/08/15 10:59 PM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
meP2too Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 2795
Loc: dallas,tx,usa
I would feel safer in an unsinkable "plastic" boat, the pontoon style is much more stable than a jon boat.

I own and will be putting up for sale a 10 foot "original BusterBoat" by splash marine. Their side gunnels are much higher then the pond hoppers sold at Academy. Their pontoons are also larger so you are elevated above the water, their seat bases are bolted into the side rails so they do not tip over. Although I do not use the seat, I fish in it standing up. I would never consider that in a jon boat.

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#10698134 - 03/15/15 09:41 PM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
onfirecrappie Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 191
Loc: Gunter,Texas
I have the pelican predator 10.3. Bought it at Academy. I think they are 799.00 new. My father had emphysema and could no longer walk the creek banks to crappie fish. We bought this bought to allow him to fish shallow water and it has been a great boat. I can speak of its durability, it blew out of the back of my truck going 70 mph and only had minor cosmetic damage. I do not use an outboard just a 40lb thrust trolling motor and it has served me well. Unfortunately my father passed away a few years back and I fish out of my kayak and the 2 man boat just sits in my storage building. I've had Jon boats and unless you get a 14' or bigger they're just not as comfortable to fish out of because you sit so low. Just my opinion. Hope this helps

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#10698749 - 03/16/15 08:35 AM Re: Aluminum Jon vs Plastic--Help! [Re: badgrandad]
badgrandad Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 483
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Thanks for the replies, y'all have saved me a lot of trouble. I was really close to getting one of those 10' jon boats from Academy, but will keep on looking.
_________________________
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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