Today, there are basically three types of jon boats to choose from: flat bottom, v-hull, and utility; which is a combination of both. You should choose a jon boat to best suit the water conditions that you plan on fishing or hunting.
All three types have their pros and cons, and we’ll discuss them in this article.
Flat Bottom Advantages
The main advantage of having a flat bottom jon boat is that they are easy to stand in and more stable in calm waters like ponds and small lakes. A v-hull boat rocks back and forth more in calm waters when you are moving around in the boat.
If you are a river fisherman, the better choice is to go with a flat bottom boat also. The current of the river can take you over boulders and shallows real quick and with the v-hull; you will hit more structure and can potentially damage your craft. You can also park your flat bottom boat right alongside the river without running aground.
Better for Shallow Waters
Flat bottom jon boats can go into very shallow water without grounding. If you are fishing for bass in the shallows or if you are duck hunting and want to tuck into the weed, a flat bottom boat is a better choice.
Also, a flat bottom boat can be turned into a duck blind easier because the sides are not as high.
V Hull Advantages
V-hull boats are a better choice if the lakes that you fish are large and prone to wavy conditions. The v- hull cuts through the waves better than a flat bottom boat and when the boat is stationary, the boat is more stable in waves.
Flat bottom boats will slap the waves harder when you are relocating on a wavy lake, causing more water to enter the boat. For this reason, v-hull boats will keep you drier in wavy conditions and offer a smoother ride.
Better in Waves
Another advantage of choosing a v-hull over a flat bottom boat is that the v-hull has higher sides and can lean more when bobbing in wavy waters. Accidents can happen, and a v-hull is a better choice in wavy waters so that you don’t fall out of the boat.
Due to the fact that v-hulls can handle waves better; they can be driven faster and get you to and from fishing or hunting spots quicker. This is a big advantage if you want to cover a lot of water in a single outing or if you are in a fishing tournament where it is usually always a necessity to move around a lot.
Utility Jon Boat Advantages
If you wish to have the best of both worlds, you can choose a utility boat which has an extended keel that is formed in a v-hull design but has a flat bottom. The Crestliner CRV is one such model.
However, because a utility boat has the flat bottom, the only real advantage of going with it is that it will cut through small waves better than a regular flat bottom jon boat.
If you’re mainly floating on calm, shallow waters, a flat bottom jon boat is best. They’re also just the ticket for river fisherman.
For fishing on larger bodies of water with waves, a v hull jon boat will probably be better.
If you think you’d like a bit of both, utility jon boats could be what you’re looking for.