By Montana Grant

Posted: August 19, 2021

JON BOATS have been around for years. These flat-bottomed designed watercrafts are the favorite choice for many boaters.

Jon Boats were originally made from Jack Pine. This sappy wood was a great waterproof material for boat construction. Later the name Jack Pine boat was changed to Jon Boat. Some historians give credit to a Scandinavian boater named “Jon”, but there is little evidence to support that story.

Years ago, when fishing first opened along the new Bighorn River, we used canoes, rowboats, and Jon boats to fish from. It was not until much later that the Bighorn Trout Shop brought in the first drift boat/ dory style Mackenzie boats. There is also an increase in personal float craft and kayaks along our watersheds.

What made the Jon boat popular is its sturdy, shallow draft design. Today, most Jon boats are made from durable aluminum. Most are made in 8–20-foot lengths. These boats are inefficient to row but do well with a power assist from electric or gasoline motors.

Jon boats are inexpensive, durable, and easily transported. They can be trailered, stacked, dragged, or carried. They are perfect for Bowfishing, hunting, fishing, and travel. Their open, spacious design makes them popular.

Jon boats have evolved into Tunnel hull and modified semi-V versions which help in rougher waters. If you are interested in buying a Jon boat today, look at the Sea Ark RX180CC. Consider the 18-foot version that has an 82-inch beam. These bare bones boats weigh in around 1200 lbs. and will take a motor up to 90 hp. The console, live well, and spacious design can be pimped out with swivel chairs and other great features.

Whatever floats your Boat!

Montana Grant

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