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

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 484
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.

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

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

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 76
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)

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

Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 206
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.

#12438687 - Yesterday at 04:13 PM Re: Small Jon boat for camping trips [Re: badgrandad]
IslandJim Offline

Registered: 07/08/14
Posts: 264
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
I'm an Eighth Day Adventist. On the Eighth Day, God went fishing!


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