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#12397755 - 08/23/17 11:58 AM Small Jon boat for camping trips
badgrandad Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 487
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
My wife and I are planning for retirement (soon), which includes an RV pulling a mid-sized truck (Chevy Colorado) that has a 5" bed. We want a small boat to bring with us to fish the small lakes or shoreline areas in the parks and have been trying to find something appropriate.

My limitations... I have to be able to put it in the truck bed or on a rack, and do it myself. I plan on using an electric trolling motor (at least at first) and have oars (my wife can't paddle for health reasons).

Ive looked at the Sundolphin 10.3 but it weighs 160+ lbs without the battery and motor (wife's balance makes the bass buster type boats a challenge, we need a "ride-inside")

I've looked at a 10' john (36" bottom) and a 12' john (36" bottom) that weight-wise I think I can handle, but I am concerned about the extra length sticking out behind an already long Motorhome/Truck combo (60'+).

Any help would be appreciated. I see Lowe has a 10' with 40" bottom that might work but can find no reviews or anyone who can give real-life experience that could help me know if it would be stable enough for us.

Help!
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Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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#12406491 - 08/29/17 08:10 PM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
Alumacraft 14 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 84
Loc: Texas
I don't know how old you are or if you are planning on standing in the boat. But I owned a 1438 and it was a balancing act with 2 in the boat.

I also owned a 12ft v-bottom when I was 17 and had a hell of a time loading it into the bed of my short bed truck. That and it was a pain loading and unloading batteries, trolling motor, tackle, etc... trailering a boat eliminates this and any lifting weight requirements. I know that will make you a long rig, but I think the trade off is worth it. Loading and unloading that boat sucks, believe me, lol.

I don't like havin a boat that runs electric only, even on small lakes the wind can get up fast, emergency could happen and you wanna get back quick, battery craps out on you etc...

If it were me, I would get a ST-13 tiller model from Cougar Marine. 12'9" boat with a 72 inch floor. On a single axle galvanized trailer with an outboard on it. Composite/carbon fiber tunnel hull, drafts about 3 inches and can handle up to a 25hp. Boat and motor comes in at 335lbs. This boat has the width need for stability in a Jon and the wave cutting bow of a mod v w/o losing bow deck space. These boats are built to order and can be made however you want. Talk to Bill down there, he knows his stuff. Let him know what your needs are.

I am having a bay boat made by these folks as we speak. Anyways I didn't mean to derail your idea, just giving you my experience as I have fished from 16ft or less jons for over 20 years.



Edited by Alumacraft 14 (08/29/17 08:13 PM)

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#12423165 - 09/11/17 07:54 PM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
Searsay Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 223
Loc: Lewisville TX
take a look at Porta-bote's - they fold flat for transport but can unfold to a reasonably sized jon-boat'ish. I'd suggest pinging the local rep or if you want to come up to Murrell in grapevine some morning i can take you out on mine (PM me if your interested). It isn't for everyone but I've loved mine for camping with friends and family from NY to Tennessee/KY and here in Texas. I used to run it with a trolling motor but currently run a 6HP outboard on it.

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#12438687 - 09/23/17 04:13 PM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
IslandJim Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/14
Posts: 272
Loc: Rockport, TX
Look at inflatable dinghies. Incredibly stable, roll up and can take lots of engine options. They aren't cheap, but your spouse would be happy in one. IslandJim
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I'm an Eighth Day Adventist. On the Eighth Day, God went fishing!

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#12452028 - 10/03/17 05:36 PM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
Hog Jaw Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/09/08
Posts: 2134
Loc: The Great State of Texas
Them John Boats are heavy , then you got your gear .

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#12452054 - 10/03/17 06:02 PM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
scruboak Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 1099
Loc: Cisco,tx

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#12461891 - 10/11/17 10:59 AM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
badgrandad Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 487
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Thanks for the responses. A bigger boat with a trailer is not workable because as I stated, I will be in a RV (40 foot motor home) pulling a Chevy Colorado and need something I can put in the back bed of the truck that I can put in and take out by myself. The Twin Troller and other bass Buster type boats are well over 100 lbs, and an inflatable dinghy would be too unstable for my 60+ year old wife to get in and out of.

The porta-bote does have some promise!
I have paddled my wife in a 10' 32"wide john and it was fine except the benches were too low to comfortably sit.

I have gotten a 10', 36" wide jon to try out. If it's too much trouble I will look into the Porta-bote.
_________________________
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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#12461912 - 10/11/17 11:16 AM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
badgrandad Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 487
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas


Oh and we don't plan on standing... sitting only, and would like to add shade to it! I bought oars and a 40 lb thrust trolling motor so all I need is some cooler weather for a trial run.
_________________________
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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#12462220 - 10/11/17 04:40 PM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
IslandJim Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/14
Posts: 272
Loc: Rockport, TX
baddg: I just saw an article on a new inflatable boat. It is 12' long, 3.5 ft wide, has a rigid floor, two seats, can take up to a 3.5 HP motor, weighs 68 pounds, and rolls up into a bag about 2 feet by 3 feet. Looks like a perfect fit for your needs. Good for rowing, fishing and boat riding. It's $1299, including shipping. The contact is Jody, and if you go thru her, you get 10% off. Her number is 361-558-5168. You an scope out the boat at Scout365.com. Good luck!

IslandJim
_________________________
I'm an Eighth Day Adventist. On the Eighth Day, God went fishing!

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#12471187 - 10/19/17 10:37 AM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
badgrandad Offline
Angler

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 487
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
IslandJim,

I will look it up.
I will say I took my 10' jon (Tracker 1036) out this past Saturday and it did well, with the exception that my oars are going to be useless as long as the swivel seat is used. It raises me up too high to row and be able to push down on the oars to swing them for a second stroke (my lap is too high).

I will either have to take the seat off (it has a quick disconnect mount) or row from the back seat (facing forward) and push to row, not pull (from the middle seat facing backward).

The trolling motor works well so the oars are back-up power!

I am looking for those swing down transport wheels if any one has a recommendation!
_________________________
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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#12476264 - 10/23/17 06:08 PM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1553
Loc: Texas
Posted elsewhere, I have both kayaks (a pedal and a paddle version) and a Meyers Sportspal S-15 fishing canoe. The S-15 is hands-down the best of the three for the widest array of fishing applications, for going out with multiple people, for standing, for carrying more gear, for its lightness. I'd recommend an S-13, still though a bit over 13 feet . . . but only 57 lbs. In my S-15, I can actually stand and paddle over a mile to the Lake Athens boat ramp, stopping along the way to fish, then back home. Its stability is legendary. And, I can mount a small outboard or a TM. If 13 feet will work, it'd be one to consider for two people as it gives you more realistic "get home" options.

One other, and more money (around $3500 expected price), will be Jackson Kayak's and Blue Sky Boatworks' collaboration out next year that will be a pedal or power-optional driven catamaran. It can be disassembled/reassembled in a matter of minutes according to a video on YouTube. It'd fit on your truck, could be broken down and stored safely.

If you need to test drive a Meyers Sportspal, I'm on Lake Athens.

Brad





Edited by Brad R (10/23/17 06:11 PM)

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