Semi-V jon boat vs Alaskan-style deep-V

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by troutpocket, May 29, 2009.

  1. I’ll be relocating to Ellensburg this summer and am considering a power boat (casting platform) for carp/bass on the Columbia, Moses Lake, Potholes Res, Banks Lake, etc. Secondary function as a big water trout boat for occasional trips up to Canada or over to Montana reservoirs. I have friends with drift boats and have a couple of water masters already so I’m not looking for a Yakima River boat. I’m thinking about a 13-14’ boat with a 15-20 hp prop that I can rig as a fly fishing platform or throw on a sun top if I’m taking kids out for troutp/panfish.

    I like the looks of both the semi-V jon boats, like a Lowe Roughneck and the deep-V Alaskan-style boats with open floor plan. I’ve fished out of both styles of boats but never owned one. What are the pros/cons of running each type on big water? Long term maintenance issues/concerns?

    Thanks for your input
  2. Excellent question and one that I hope someone has some info on. I've been wondering the same sort of thing but more for quick trips out to the near-shore salt, up and down the lower skagit, and some bigger local lakes.
  3. The deeper V is for running in chop. If the areas you plan to fish will be windy and/or you'll be travelling longer distances in the boat, the deeper V will make things more comfortable.

    The flatbottom will be much better as a stable flyfishing platform. If the boat is more for fishing and less for traveling, that would be my choice.


  4. If you are worried about "big water", you're going to want a boat bigger than 14 feet. Here's my experience with 2 totally different Jon Boats:

    One of my friends has a 14' semi-V Jon with a 15 horse; it's a lot like the Lowe Roughneck. This boat has a decent sized casting deck up-front and can hold 3 guys, a dog, cooler, and gear no problem. This is an awesome boat to fish for Carp out of. However, I would not want to be stuck on a lake when big winds pick up. It's fine for choppy stuff, but if it's white capping, forget it, there's not enough freeboard. But then again, if there are white caps, you're probably not going to be tossing a fly anyway. In summary, this is a kick ass boat that is easy to handle in lakes and rivers but would be dangerous in big wind. I love fishing out of this boat.

    Last weekend my buddy christened a new 19' Legend Craft (see below). This is a whole different monster than my friends 14' Jon. It's a big boat with lots of room that I'd feel comfortable using in big, choppy lakes or large, bubbly rivers. However, it's not as "easy" as a smaller Jon. By easy, I mean it takes more effort in towing, maneuverability on the water, it's harder to sneak up on fish in tight spots, requires a much larger/more expensive motor, etc. But this boat definitely feels safer than the 14 footer.


    My dream Jon for both rivers and lakes would be a Lowe Roughneck R1655SC with a 40 horse jet. But then again, that's just a dream.
  5. I have an Alaskan 14', open floor plan, factory bow storage, 25 hp Merc, that is a great boat. I'm in the process of building a deck on it. The deck structure is there, I just haven't 'finished' it (the flooring material should be here any time). I fished on it for a week in SE Oregon on a lake, and I'm glad I have it. I'm building the deck so it's 'semi-permanent'. Most of the time it will be in place, but I'm designing it to be removable.

    It's a great boat. I think jon boats are nice, but to me the Alaskan is more versatile and better fitted for the type of fishing you describe.

    My $0.02.
  6. Having fished many of those waters, I would look at no less than 16 and possibly 18 foot boat. Avoid the deep vee because it's more expensive to run--it takes more hp to get it to plane. However, that isn't terribly limiting. A mod-vee is acceptable for those waters except for very rare times, and you won't want to be out in those. If bad weather comes up, all you need to do is slow down...or hide until it passes.

    I'd look at Lund's Alaskan series, Smoker's Alaska series and Sportsman series to get an idea of what you want, then I'd probably shop Craig's List to find the boat. Crestliner makes a number of great boats as well, and there is a dealer in Moses.

    Given what you want to do, I would choose an 18' Lund Alaskan, but I've had several Lunds in the past and liked them very much. Currently, I own a Starcraft mod-vee jon, and it would be a good choice as well (it really is one of the Smoker Sportsman sleds, but with different paint).
  7. What motor is that on the rear end?
  8. A Mud Buddy. This thing means business and is not for the faint of heart. Takes guts to run this SOB.

  9. WTF??? That motor looks like it was pulled out of a dragster:eek:
  10. I've seen vids of them. Damn cool. Do you run it with the rock guard?
  11. I think it's a 4 cylinder Briggs & Stratton block making around 50hp. Same motor used for water pumps, tractors, etc. But you should hear this beast! It's air cooled so my friend fires it up in the parking prior to launch, makes quite to scene.

    Cool vid of some guys on the Teton busting ice -

    Yep, rock guard is on. This motor probably won't see any serious mud work, but it does get run in shallow lakes and rivers so the guard is a good thing.
  12. A serious duck hunting machine...

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