Trickin' Out a Jon Boat - Part 2

Click here for part 1


Okay, so there's a million ways you can customize your Jon. Here's how I did mine:

-Lund 1032 Jon Boat

-MinnKota 40 lb thrust Powerdrive bow-mount trolling motor

-Two sheets of 4' x 4' 3/4" plywood


-Rubber-bottom carpeting 8' x 4'

-Pedestal Seat with 18" post

-Can of carpet glue


-Interstate Deep-cycle Battery

-Aluminum custom-made trolling motor mount

Step One: The Deck

A carpeted deck makes fishing a breeze and also cuts down on boat noise allowing you to catch those spooky fish. Use a skill saw to cut your plywood into the shape of your boat so it fits over your bench seats. Then cut your carpet so it fits on your plywood and glue it down. OPTIONAL: Cut a square or rectangular part out of your deck to create a storage space below. You can put hinges on the piece you cut out so it can open and close.

Step Two: The Seats

Choose one or two pedestal seats and mount them so they sit right on top of the boat's build-in benches. I had to drill holes in my benches to make room for the bolts, but I feel this makes the seats even more stable having the benches holding them in place. Use washers on either side of the mount and bolt in place.

Step Three: The Trolling Motor

A bow-mount trolling motor allows you better boat control than any other craft on the water. Practice a bit with it and before you know it you will be effortlessly fishing as your foot guides you around the lake. Your trolling motor will need a bracket so that it rests flush with the bow of the boat. The best way to do this is to have somebody make a custom aluminum bracket for you. It might cost a few bucks, but is an essential part of your custom Jon. Put the battery in the back of your boat and attach the cables from the motor to the battery. You may need an extra set of cords to make it this far.

Step Four: The Other Essentials

Make sure you have a set of oars if you run into any issues with your trolling motor. An anchor is a must if you run into any wind, as is a guide rope for pulling the boat around from the bow. There are a ton of other options you can add including fishfinders, power-poles, and even livewells if you wish.

Step Five: Transporting Your Jon

If you have a trailer for it, don't worry about this part. I like to put my boat in the box of my truck, unfortunately the custom work makes it a lot heavier than the 80 pounds this boat weighed when I bought it. So I needed to get crafty. Thankfully my uncle is an expert machinist and helped me out with this. I bought a pair of bike tires with bolts that went through the wheels and he built me an axel with threaded ends so the tires could screw in. It works like a charm.

So that's how I put my Jon together. It's an absolute fishing machine for both fly-fishing lakes and bassin'. If you happen to have a custom Jon or are in the process of building one I welcome you to share any tips you found from putting your boat together. You can email me at wfnwest@gmail.com, or post them in the space below. Thanks for reading!Oh yeah, and check out my related video on my blog page where I show you what my boat looks like now and how I put it together.

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