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10ft or 12 ft Jon Boat

10945 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  duckboy_390
I am trying to decide if a 10ft or a 12ft aluminum jon boat is best for me!! I live in a uppity neighborhood that will not let me have a trailer in front of the house. The wife has to have her car in the garage and I have a workshop on the other side. I can put a boat in the backyard and will have to carry it solo! I am wanting something that is lite and will ride good in the bed of my truck. The length of the bed is 8' 3" with the tail gate down. I will probably have to go solo on most of the hunts but I might take my dad sometimes. I am worried about a weight issue with 2 people, a lab, and gear. I am leaning towards the 10ft! I will be hunting on slow rivers and floodlands! Any input will be great. Also, what would be a good engine for this?
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WELCOME TO DHC. I use a 12 ft jon boat all the time. I do a lot of hunting by my self. I carry it in my Toyota 4x4 ext cab. I carry my gun shells lab,& about three or four dozen decoys in it. I even have a tool box in the back of my truck so it does stick out a little. Hook a ratchet strap on the end of the boat & run it back to the truck & tighten it. I would not be able to make it in a 10 footer. my 0.2 cents
I strongly suggest NOT getting a ten footer if you are thinking of more than one person....especially two guys, a dog and gear. I use a ten footer alone......and even then only in calm waters. Not much freeboard to play with.

Also, the ten does not take much of a motor.....I bet a 5 hp would be overpowerd.

A 12 footer will not be so much heavier that it would infringe on your uses alone. Also, if that is too long for your pickup, with a receiver hitch you can get an extension that is perfect for a 12'.
DUKHTR is right about the freeboard thing. Smaller jons such as 10's, 12's and even some 14's (I have hunted out of one of these) have such little freeboard that two bubbas, a restless dog and full gear load can get extaordinarily scary and dangerous when the wind whips the waves up.

If you must shop for a carryable boat with low weight in mind, try to find one with taller sides and / or transom. I think Lowe makes some good boats in this vein. Also pay attention to width. A 42" wide boat is more stable than a 36" hull. Go as wide as you can.

I have run in a light, skinny 14 footer powered by 7.5 and 9.9 HP motors and they will scoot just fine as long as you aren't trying to win any speed races.
I have decided to go with the 12 footer. I think with the input and reading up on it, this will do for now!!
Thanks guys

2005 TRACKER® Topper™ 12 Riveted Jon SPECIFICATIONS:
Length 12' 0''
Beam 45"
Transom Height 15"
Bottom Width 32"
Max. Recommended HP 6 HP
Max. Person Capacity 3 Persons
Max. Person Weight 325 Lbs.
Max. Weight Capacity 440 Lbs.
Hull Material 0.043 5052 Marine Alloy
Weight (approx.) 105 Lbs.
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Stay away from the riveted bottoms if possible. I pick up my boat tomorrow, and it is an all welded hull. Pics to follow.
I have Alumacraft 1236 Jon and have had 3 people, decoys, and other gear in it before, but that was kinda pushing it.

It will handle a 15hp nicely(30 mph w/ one person-oh yea!), though for most duck hunting puposes I run a 4hp on it.
Fits into the back of my full size pickup nicely, and I can handle it by myself-weighs like 125lbs.
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