Category: Jon Boat Modifications

Many Jon Boat owners make the decision to modify their boats in order to achieve a special purpose.

There are numerous Jon Boat modifications. Some are fairly easy, while other mods entail quite a bit of work and added materials.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can modify your boat.

Popular Jon Boat Modifications

1. Make your boat into a duck blind. This modification can take quite a bit of work and takes quite a bit of skill.

On a scale of 1 to 5, this modification would be given a rating of 5 due to the extensive work involved. If you are interested in turning your boat into a duck blind which can be moved around on a body of water, please check our page here.

2. Remove the front seat to make more storage. This modification makes room for such things as duck decoys, life jackets, and coolers.

Removing the front seat is not too difficult, and requires only a few steps.  On a scale of 1 to 5, this modification is given a 2.

3. Painting your jon boat to camouflage it. Painting your boat is a necessity if using it to duck hunt. Many boats come in drab green which is better than aluminum but it is best to match your surroundings by using special camo paints.

Painting your boat is not too difficult and this modification receives a difficulty factor of 1 on the scale of 1 to 5.

4. Remove front two seats and make a casting deck. This is fairly difficult; however, when you are done you will be able to stand on the front of your boat for easier fishing. Many fishermen prefer to stand while fishing and casting lures. This modification enables them to do so and you can read more here.

On a scale of 1 to 5, this modification receives a 4 as it takes skill to cut wood and install carpeting. If you would like to modify your boat this way, please see “How to make a casting deck“.

5. Convert your Jon Boat into a Bass Boat. The low price of Jon Boats makes for an attractive project. Some people convert their boats into full-fledged Bass Boats with a large outboard engine to take them to their favorite bass spots quickly, a steering wheel to drive the boat, fish finder, swivel seats instead of bench seats, and carpet throughout the boat.

By performing this modification you can stand high up in the boat and move around to fish areas much faster. In order to convert your Jon Boat into a Bass Boat, you have to be skilled in carpentry, as you will be cutting quite a bit of lumber for the framing. On a scale of 1 to 5, this modification is the hardest and would be rated at 5.

6. Add Lights to Your Boat. If you plan on fishing at night, your boat should have proper lighting. Adding bow and stern lighting is not a difficult modification and will help you to be seen by other boaters on the water.

On a scale of 1 to 5, this modification is one of the easiest to make and would be given a rating of 1.

Tools Required

The tools needed to modify your Jon Boat depend on which modification you are performing. If you are removing seats, you are going to need a grinder to grind the rivet heads off until they can be pried out with a small pry bar or large flathead screwdriver. A hammer is also an added bonus to help strike the rivets out.

Other Jon Boat models have bolts or screws that attach the seats to the sides of the boat. If this is your model, you will need a socket set and wrench, and/or the appropriate screwdrivers.

Aluminum Framing

Some people use steel or aluminum framing after their seat is taken out to support the boat. If you are going to go this route, you will need to have a welder, or know someone that does, that can weld the framing for you.

Lumber Considerations

Most people that modify Jon Boats use lumber instead of the aluminum or steel framing. In order to cut the lumber, you will need a circular saw. And, you should have a drill so that you can screw in long Philips head screws into the frame to secure it.

The drill is also needed to make screw holes that mount the inside brace lumber to the boat. Don’t forget to have on hand marine adhesive to seal all of your drilled holes.

Jon Boat Flooring

If you plan on carpeting your boat to help protect the wooden flooring, you should have access to a good staple gun to drive the staples deep into the wood.

One of the things to consider when modifying your boat is that most bench seats have Styrofoam underneath them to help the boat float if there is a mishap. If you take the seats out, and do get rid of this Styrofoam, your boat may sink if an accident occurs. For this reason, some people recommend that you include foam underneath your new floors.

Hull Strength

Another important thing to consider before modifying your boat is the strength of the hull. When you are modifying a boat and taking out the seats, you have to be sure to support the sides with ribs made out of steel, aluminum, or wood.

If you take out the middle seat and the sides are not supported correctly, stress fractures in the metal boat can occur. This can damage the integrity of your boat and can make it unsafe in the water.

Transom Cracks

Without the proper supports, hull flexing can occur causing stress to the transom braces which as a result can crack. The transom holds the Jon Boat motor and the last thing you want as a result of your modification is damage that can ultimately result in the loss of your ability to operate a motor.

Remember that the braces made to replace the seating must support both the inside and outside of the hull similar to how the original bench seating supported the boat.

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