V-bottom vs. Jon style for alum lake boat


dead in the water
Thanks to all who offered advice on my earlier "lake boat" thread. Here's a follow up question.

Is there a reason to look for a v-bottom vs a jon boat style when searching for a bargin 12 ft alum lake boat? It stands to reason that the jon style would float in less water. But am I going to care, or is it really just a case of "Buy whatever you come across at the price you want to pay."?

David Loy

Senior Moment
IMHO - Jon boats are great fishing craft. I would lean toward V bottoms if you intend to use it in larger or rougher water and where you may need to "run" longer distances under power. I have many fond memories of knocking around in an old Jon boat. Hard to beat for a no maintenance craft.


Be the guide...
I think you'll find that the v (semi-v) boat will track better - especially in some wind and chop. Should be a little smoother of a ride when maxing out the trolling motor or small outboard in choppy water.

But for all around small lake fishing - it's a toss up.
If you like the idea of standing up to cast, the v-bottom is a wobbly one. i don't like mine for flyfishing. i would prefer to have a flat bottom, as i would assume this to be more stable, but i think the v-bottom would be a nicer ride if there were any chop on the water and i guess it tracks straighter.
also bear in mind that standing up in these small boats is never the safest thing to do.
I picked up a semi-v from someone on the forums here. He had built a flat bottom for it using some plywood and what looks like 2x4's. (I just picked up a corner to see how the center was supported.) The whole thing is carpeted with astro turf and works very well.

I would cast my vote towards a v-bottom for the wind though. When the wind kicks up my semi-v doesn't track well.


Be the guide...
I fish standing in mine all the time (semi-v). Chris\Backyard actually stood on my front seat and fished as I slowly drove us around while standing on the bottom, with the trolling motor. Worked great. Wear a life vest or at least have floation devices handy...
If you are still looking at mostly rowing around on Pass Lake, I'd go for a jon boat. My old one was a shallow V and they are wobbly. You're not going to worry too much about traveling around in wind, since Pass is just not that big. If you do go for a V or semi v then opt for one as wide as you can find to add stability. Most of the advantages of a v over a jon are not relevant for what you describe, rowing around on a small lake. When you put a motor on then the v is really a lot better. So if you plan to hit the salt at all definitely go for a deep v.


dead in the water
Well for the most part, I think that I would use it at Pass lake. Streams are my goal for flyfishing. But Pass is just so close to my house, that is seems a shame to not take advantage of it.

And who knows, if I decide that lake fishing is wicked fun, I'll probably spring for a pontoon or tube.

Sounds like a Jon boat is the way to go for me. Now to find one in the $200 range.
I have a 15ft Jon Boat and do a great deal of river fishing up in the northern rivers. I highly reccomend it's stability as a craft to stand up in. We run a short shaft 10 hr merc, ( a little underpowered) but it came w the boat and runs flawlessly. I got the trailer boat and motor for $2300 from Craiglist and have never regretted it.

Hey all,

I am new to the post, but I have to chime in here. We just (as in three weeks ago) got our new boat which is an aluminum v-jon boat. It is a little bigger and heavier than what you are looking for, but I need to tell somebody how cool it is. It is a 16 footer. I had myself, wife and two kids out on it with tons of room and amazing stability. At one point I was sitting in the back of the boat moving into a pocket to fish, and my wife and the two kids (9 & 12) were standing on the bow of the boat together casting into the pocket. We had a 14ft v-bottom before and there is simply no comparison for stability. We can flycast three people out of it at one time. I expected stability but I was even more surprised about how well it handled the waves we hit on one windy day when we had it out. Sorry if this is long-winded, but I had to tell somebody.

For small lakes, go with a jon boat. For bigger water where the wind can get going, go with the v bottom. The jon boats are more stable and easier to launch.