Opinions on Boats - Type and Mfg

I am starting to seriuosly look for a boat, and would like to have the members opinions. The boat will be used for stillwaters and river systems(fraser and harrison) north of the border mostly. I will be running an o/b jet on the flow and a electric trolling motor on the stillwaters.

Here is my quandry:

Jon Boat vs V hull
Welded vs Riveted



Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Well, here's a question. How many people do you want to fish? What kind of fishing do you plan to do with the boat (fish on the go, or anchor and fish).

Personally, for best all around boat, you'll want a wider semi V. You don't want rivets, you want a welded hull. Rivets holding on accessories is ok, but I'd seal them up or have inside rhino lined (or similar substance) to seal up the inside.

Do you have a price range? There are alot of good manufacturers out there. Sometimes, it comes down to what you like out of the ride. I know guys who swear buy Alumaweld sleds, others Willie's, then a few who only will buy custom made because they feel the others are crap.

I like semi V's though when it comes to run jet pumps. You have stability on anchor or free drifting, but rides somewhat "ok" on plain. With a jon boat, you'll be bounced until your kidneys are screaming. Plus they won't track as well running corners on power. You won't find many full V boats with pumps. Most are conversion boats. I know I've owned/operated jons and semi V's with pumps. Always head back to the semi V.

Oh, if you want a pure "fishing" boat. You'll want it completely open. Maybe a tiller control only, or a center control area. You'll want to be able to work around the boat and play a fish. Now, if you have more "family" in mind and "all weather" usage with them. You may want to look into a forward control with windshield/top. I know the last sled I sold was designed this way. Was AWESOME when I wanted to take the kids fishing and weather sucked. Could crank up the heater and stick them under the top with some hot chocolate and just watch their rods. Or, if they were bored, could go under and play. Though, you can get into a boat ALOT cheaper and quick with a jonboat. They do have plain/stripped down models with a tiller mount you can buy relative cheap new, and super cheap used.
Thanks for the quick reply.

There will be no more than 2 in the boat with me at any time, therefore have narrowed it down to a 14'.

Type of fishing:
Stillwater - anchored or trolling
Rivers - beached and wading mostly.

Budget = < 10,000 CDN

Tiller, no kids... :)

What do you mean by semi v, as there are some Jons out there that have a flat hull but come up to a v?



Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Actually, it's the hull going back to the transom. To be a jon boat, they'll have a flat hull. The cutting edge up front really won't do anything for you, since on plain only the rear half of the boat will be in the water anways. It's the way the boat transitions towards the transom. If you look at those "jon boats" that have what appear to be a "semi V" near the bow, chances are it's purely looks. It'll be flatbottomed all the way back (which I always was under the assumption a jon boat was a flatbottomed boat only).

I'd go with a small smokercraft or similar boat. They can be found open and all welded (my friend just sold off his all welded and no rivets smokercraft that would've been perfect for you). Try to find one without the cross benches inside. You'll want as open as possible inside. It'll be tough, but they are made. This way you can stand back and work the tiller and easily fight a fish around the boat. But Lund does make some nice boats. Will have some rivets but just cover as I said above. Just steer away from the ones that are all riveted. Running a pump you will bounce the boat alot. So they will leak eventually.

I think I may have a lead on one. Let me see if I can drum it up for you. Was a 16', but isn't that bad really for 2.
Heres a few thoughts for you. First of all...if you want a jet pump tiller outboard get one of the new yamaha 4 strokes....at work this summer we had a 35 hp on an 18' Lowe jon boat and that thing would go forever on six gallon kicker can of gas. Also with the jon boat and outboard motor all you need is about 4-5 inches of water once you are up on plane. The Lowes are good boats, but they are rivetted and they seem to wear out after a few summers of hard use (ie after you bang a few gravel bars the rivets get a little loose and start falling out). Also they don't ride as nice or as safely if the water gets choppy. As far as a semi-v boat goes...I think that the Lunds are the best affordable semi-v out there for the money. I work out of an 18 footer w/a 40 hp 4-stroke prop and that thing is sweet. It's at least 6 years old and has had the hell pounded out of it and doesn't leak a drop. We also have a 16 footer and it is every bit as good. Also look for a boat that has a splash well on the transom, it could save you from swamping (at least it has for me a few times). I've seen the 14 footers and don't really think they look as stable or as comfortable to fish out of. As long as you are planning to trailer it I'd get the bigger boat b/c it will be much much more versitile (sp?)
Sorry for the long rambling post.

Thank you for the replies.

Jerry, let me know what you can find out on the 16 footer.

I am still learning here, and I want to do it right the first time, so, I appreciate all the information that has been provided so far.

What is considered a semi-v?

I have been told that you should bet a 2 stroke and not a four stroke tiller pump, as you can get higher revs out of the 2 stroke?

Keep the opinions and the suggestions coming!



Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Well, it depends on the boat you're talking about. No "outboard" will take only 4" of water. Impossible. Unless you mean chewing through it. Your intake, which has to be in the water, is about 4", not including the jet drive which has to sit in the water as well. So usually most outboard motors need about 8" of water to run in. Now an inboard can run in as little as 4" of water. You will want some HP, depending on the waters you're running. Two average sized men in a heavy welded 16' boat will need minimum 50hp jet (that's conversion at the pump). You get under that, and you will be dogged a bit. Especially with gear and full gas. I had a 14' sled (74" wide at the transom) and was running a 75hp (which comes out to about 50hp at the pump). It was an older 2 stroke Evinrude. Had alot of guts. But you put more then 2 in it and it dogged down fast. With just two, it was a machine. Your 4 strokes run quieter, cleaner, and no dumping of oil anymore. BUT, you add weight to your boat with them. My Dad's Yamaha 8HT weighs alot more then his old Evinrude 9.9. I know, I pulled them off and mounted the new one on. Was night and day difference. But those things run SOOOOOOOOOO nice. But will be hard to find a used jet in a 4 stroke. Especially in price range you're looking at.

Most semi V's are in the 12 degree range. Your deep V's are usually in the 20 degree deadpan up. You can tell rather quickly. Look at most of your lake boats and sea boats. Look at the contour from the bow to the transom. You'll see how it V's all the way back. With a semi V, you'll have a pronounce V up front (not as much as a deep V), and it'll be ALOT flatter V near the transom. A jon boat will literally be flat from the front to the back. No V at all (if it's a true jon boat).

I have a lead on one boat. Just trying to figure out what he has and will get back to you. He's not sure if he wants to sell it now. The other two I was hoping for are gone. But will let you know.
I may not have explained myself clearly. On our flat bottoms we shim the motor up until intake grate is almost even w/ the bottom of the boat. Once you are up on plane and going wide open it is possible to slide through some really skinny water, especially if you slide through kind of side ways and push some water in front of you (kind of like fish tailing)...yes you probably do suck up some sand etc, but the bigger issue is that it does probably disturb the stream bed more than if you were running in deeper water. Sorry if my descriptions are bad....in my head I have a great mental picture of how our boat is set up, but I have problems turning the pic into words. I'm not trying to argue w/ you as you probably have more years around boats than I have been alive (22).

oh and as far as the 4 strokes go...they are so worth it especially with a jet where the motor is always running at high rpm. Yeah they are heavier, but way cleaner and get much better gas milage. kind of cold blooded at times though.



Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Actually, you have to have your shoe (which is the lower intake) shimmed to the bottom of the transom. If you don't, you will have severe cavitation running the boat. If you see a boat with the shoe hanging beflow the boat, you will see a guy wasting alot of power (more then you already have lost). That's why I was saying about the depth issue. You have your shoe just touching bottom of the transom. So you lose 4" there. Then you have to have the jet in the water, or you won't go anywhere. So you lose another 4" there. Must have both in the water to propel you forward. Now, with an inboard, no shoe. So you only need the back end of the boat in with the pump.

Well, I've been running them since I was about 10, but my Dad never let me start taking them on really hard water until I was about 14-15. So have a few years running them. They are a blast, but not sure on the technique you're talking about though. May have to see it. Usually when I'm on plain, I'm skipping most of the boat out of the water except the rearward most of the transom and just enough of of the motor to push it.
Check out the following for more help in your decision:

roguemarine.com (check out their jet stealth)



Hi Dean,

I don't post here much - mostly on speycasting-related boards and such, but thought I'd reply with a little info.

I bought a boat last year for exactly the same reasons as you. I wanted a rig for 2 people to confortably to run rivers (60-70%) and stillwaters/Puget Sound inshore.

I agree with most of the advice you've been given - for 2 people 14' is ideal. My boat is 14' 3" Klamath welded semi-v and, with a MercJet 25/20 tiller gets on plane in less than 2 seconds. Thats even with one of my larger (250 - 300lbs) fishing partners sitting in the front seat. It also has a bow anchor and bow deck that makes elevated spey-casting or flyfishing from the bow a real treat.

Add floorboards and oars (needed for more silent approaches to feeding fish) and you'd be set. Also consider purchasing a tiller extension handle as this helps if you're using the motor to approach sighted fish or and area with submerged obstructions as you can standup in the middle of the boat while operating the tiller.

I was lucky enought to talk to people who have outfitted their boats for flyfishing, so I was able to gain some valuable tips from them before outfitting my own boat. One that I've continued to appreciate is NOT putting seats in the boat. If it's primarily a fishing boat, you'll want it as ~clean~ as you can have it. Seats will grab loose line being cast, trip you when you're trying to follow a fish around the boat during the fight, etc etc.


Forgot to mention that I'll be selling my boat in the next month or so. Boat is a 2004 Klamath Deluxe welded Semi-V 14'3" with a 2002 25/20 MercJet tiller. Boat has (as already mentioned) driftboat quality oars, bow deck and bow anchor, removable floorboards, and several customizations (aluminum rods to stiffen the center chine so the boat planes faster and customizations to the stern to smooth the flow of water to the jet's impeller (improved hp) performed by Three Rivers Marine. And I've run it thru 6" - 8" of water at full plane (not intentionally - I had no idea it was that shallow :eek: ).

Email me if interested and I'll send you some pics. The boat and motor are in great condition (motor starts on first or second pull even in dead of winter). I'm guessing I'll ask $6000 when I list it - haven't even gone over how much I've put into it after the initial purchase (floormats, upgraded oars, Three Rivers custom work).

WHY am I selling?? Well, I originally thought it would just be two people. But now I'm finding that I need room for three adults (+++). The Klamath is perfect for 1 or 2, and can do three in a pinch as long as they average out to around 160lbs or less each. But you get more than 500lbs in the boat and it gets a bit sluggish when running rapids.

One of the things I'll miss is that with the Klamath and two people I can run around all day on about 3 gallons. Not going to happen in the future - those 17' and up sleds eat the gas. bawling:

Tight Lines!



Team Infidel
I would consider the type of water and type of fishing you do the most before thinking what boat you want. Sleds are great for a wide variety of water, but put the wrong hull on chop and you will get wet as well as loosen your kidneys. I designed mine and have run it up Hells Canyon, out on the Sound and just about everything in between using it to fish for steelhead, trout, and bass. You will want to run as many boats as you can to see what hull design best fits your type of water. Flat water boats have a low draw and lesser V on the hull, say 9 degrees or less. To handle the big water you will want the deeper V but your draw will put you in harms way for skinny water. I went with a 7 degree V and a .125 thickness for the hull.
A good resource would be to talk with someone like Bruce Koffler of Koffler boats in Eugene to pinpoint what you need. Good luck.

Jim Darden

Active Member
mdjm66......If you would consider a smaller option, I have had two of the tri cats shown on this web page.


The first was a 12 ft that I ran an 18 horse on for 30 years. It has been all over in salt and fresh water and and never leaked a drop. I would rate them more stable than any of the 14 foot aluminums I've fished out of and they have a flat floor.
The second one I got was a 12b that I have been using for about 3 yrs in lakes, rivers and salt. I could make you a great deal on that one if you are interested, I need to down size the number of boats I currently have.

Latest posts