Best Small Boat? Jon Boat – Flat Bottom Boat or V Hull?

Is a flat bottom jon boat a better small boat than a V hull utility boat? In this video I talk about v hull jon boats, flat bottom boats, small utility boats and look at the advantages and disadvantages of both types of small boats. There may be no best small boat – but there are little boats that are better suited for certain tasks. I have owned both a 12 foot jon boat and a 12 foot V hull boat and learned a bit about the type of little boat that is best suited for me. If you’re looking for a small boat, a little jon boat or other flat bottom boat offer some advantages over a V hull little boat. Depending on the types of water where you go boating or fishing, each little boat has pros and cons.

#flatbottomboat #vhullboat #utilityboat

00:00 Introduction
00:56 Flat Bottom Small Boats – Jon Boats
04:12 V Hull Small Boats – Utility Boats
06:13 Wider Boats Are More Stable

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Some of the video clips come from Pexels
Pond video by Jyoti Pur from Pexels
Shallow water drone video by Claudiu Ciobanu from Pexels

Music is copyright free from iMovie

What do you think?

Written by HuntingBP

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  1. So I actually have a few boats, ranging from my home, a Catalina 30, a 16' skiff, 12' skiff and a soft bottom inflatable.
    Both skiffs are pretty much of the same design and are of some what hybrid construction something between ply-on-frame and stitch and glue, with moderately flared sides, a flat rocker bottom with a moderate skeg starting roughly amidship and tappering up to 4" right before the transom, and an almost spoon bow. They both have 3 thwarts one in the bow one amidship and one aft.

    They aren't particularly fast when compared to another boat their size with the same power. But with a Tohatsu 25, on the ass and just me aboard they will both get up to about 20knots. What they won't do is get up and plane, unless I trim the outboard up to a silly degree bit then they are slower, with the outboard trimmed flat they ride almost like a classic lobster boat.

    Now a freind of mine is a Naval Architect, and be says its the rocker bottom sucking the hull down against the lift because of all types of math and stuff I don't understand. All I know is I only go a little slower than a similar sized aluminum job, but at similar speeds my ride is flatter, with less pounding, and I can corner MUCH better at speed. But I need marginally more water, and a little more HP to get the same speeds. I also seem to be a little less sensitive to weight.

  2. V-hull, always. Here in these rougher waters you don't use flat bottom boats unless you have a genuine death wish. In fact, you don't use v-hull boats that were made for river or lake use either, because they're way too narrow and unstable. Never found the narrower bottom of a v-hull to be a problem or even a drawback. The fact that it's narrow does make it less necessary to walk around in it.

  3. Dogs are always better. Rescue dogs, drug and other things sniffing dogs, cadaver dogs, police dogs, soldier dogs, sled dogs, hunting dogs, guard dogs, seeing eye dogs, herding dogs… Can you say any of that about cats? I do want to give cats credit for being good with rodent management.

  4. How about a skiff. A skiff is flat bottom with a pointed bow and square stern. These are as stable as jon boats but cut waves a little better. But my favorite hull is modified V hull. A modified V hull is almost as stable as a flat bottom. The bottom of a modified V bottom is almost flat at the stern the v increases as it goes forward with a pointed bow. These boats are excellent at speed. They track very well. The only downside is the ride is a little rougher at speed than is a full v bottom boat. But a smother ride than a jon boat gives at speed.

  5. there are also varying types of V hull , displacement , semi displacement & plaining hulls all have slightly different characteristics , a displacement hull is designed to push water away from the inside of the boat but has a max speed of around 12 knots no matter the engine size & power , a semi displacement will reach around 15-18 knots & is basically a hybrid of the displacement & plaining hull , the plaining hull's max speed is only limited by hull design & engine power , however a jon boat is practically a hydroplane hull without the intense maneuverability of a real hydroplane , i believe they max out at around 45 knots & become incredibly unstable

  6. i had a 12 foot V hull with a 9.9 mercury on it .
    had to put a cement block in the bow to keep it down . too much power , but it was fun !
    fast and maneuverable . i should have never let it go .😖

  7. Cats are the way to go, you get the stability of a wide flat bottom and the hulls can be v shape for cutting through waves. All other boats are not cats therefore handle like dogs, except of course trimarans which are good too but generally not trailerable.

  8. The beauty of small boats is that you can afford to have several. I have a 16.5 foot aluminum deep vee with a 50HP Merc for family excursions on the "big river". It also works great for "big river" fishing trips with a couple of kids or another adult. It handles all barge and cabin cruiser waves with ease. Then I keep a 12' aluminum flat bottom with a 30 pound thrust trolling motor for fishing, frog gigging, float tripping etc on small rivers and creeks. Then I have a fleet of kayaks for the swift rivers and up to class III whitewater… Hey, you've gotta cover all your bases!

  9. Some clarification in details:
    The 12 foot range in small tin skiffs are not usually V hulls. The one shown is not. They are either modified V's or rounded hulls. A V hull has bottom lines that run in a V all the way back to the transom. In tin skiffs, the V hull design normally starts being an option in 14ft models and is very common in 16ft models. There are exceptions. I suspect that is true because a 12ft tinny is a very unstable boat when getting in and out, or when moving around in the boat while on the water. This is because of their low weight which makes them twitchy. Also, a 12 is a budget boat and a V normally requires a keel member, or, really, an extrusion that acts as a structure for connecting the two sides.

    As to which is "better" in a chop: Neither, really, as the ride quality of tinny's at cruising speeds is dictated more by their low weight than their degree ov hull shape. They're gonna pound you no matter what, and if you don't secure your gear, it'll get pounded, too. Just the nature of the beast.

    I have a Northwood 14 "Utility" , which is a re-branded Smokercraft Voyager 14. Nice deep hull, rounded to a nearly flat transom, longshaft, and a longer forefoot ( more chin) than an Alaskan. Very good skiff with high freeboard that's rated for a 30hp. I don't have a 30, but if I did, I wouldn't take it over a chop at high speed. That'd be torture.

    As to jon boats:
    They do come in semi-V hulls, but again, usually at a length breakpoint for cost and stability concerns. I had a Crestliner 1648 years ago. All welded, semi-V, very good boat. I did take it out on Puget Sound but again, the weight factor made it extremely rough to ride on. Yes, you ride ON a jon boat, and at 29mph, you better keep an eye out for those large wakes or you can be seperated from your seat real easy.

    I would say that the better aspect of a tin skiff is the higher freeboard. I have never failed to haul in a salmon due to 28" of hull above thewater vs the typical 20-22" on the jon. Poling into shalloes has never been an issue either.

    The better aspect of the jon design is that you can nudge up to the beach and walk off the bow with minimum fuss.

  10. I just picked up a 1970 sears flat bottom with a v front. And a trailer with it. I traded my stick welder for it. I think I got a better deal as long as it doesn’t leak. As soon as it gets warmer I drop it in for a ride.

  11. v-haul because they are rounded especially at the front tend to roll and if you not carful roll you out of the boat. flat bottom are more stable but if you are going at speed and it's copy or with some waves you will feel it more and if it's bad enough you might get bounced off the boat or you wish you were. your point is very much on point it depends on what type of waters and the type of boating your going to do.

  12. Growing up we didn't have real boats, just canoes. One was a scanoe, one was a river canoe. The scanoe was decently stable until the water started trying to eat you. Very slappy. But very stable. Four little kids running to one side barely affected it. The whitewater river canoe was tippy initially and the dog walking side to side would make it steer to one side. But when the water got rough it was way more comfortable than the scanoe.

    Horses, courses.. something something.. internet arguments..

  13. I prefer 14' Jonboat for Gillnetting Chinook Salmon on River near the Mouth of Ocean. Right now have 14' G3 welded jonboat with 20 horse 4 stroke Nissan Prop. G3 sort of Heavy & sits deep in water. Few years ago had a 14' Lowe Flat bottom (Jonboat) Riveted with 15 horse 2 stroke mercury. Now this combo sleighed the Salmon. Sat low to water, turned on a dime with no problem getting on plane with half load fish/ice. each of these boats expected to hold plenty of Ice & a few Lg. coolers. when Salmon were running both boats maxed out around 40-50 (15-20 lb) Salmon before unloading & another load to follow. I am always cautious about waves/wake. The stability to operate with 1 person is exc. Main factor is stability to hold loads ice/salmon while safely walking front to back constantly. I enjoyed the Video & agree that ea. boat carries their own purpose.

  14. I own a Pelican Bass Raider 10e, Its a 10.2 foot, lightweight, plastic, pontoon boat, that is great for very shallow streams, to get to the hidden lakes up here. I can go 5 to 7 MPH with my Minn Kota trolling 55 lbs. thrust trolling motor, with a DC29 battery it will run 8+ hours. The draw back is it is not good for large lakes, with speed boats on them!

  15. Johnboats don't plane… they are made for slow flat running. because they don't have a keel, if they start to plane they slide around.

    Displacement Hull are made to plane, their shape is made so they will rise up. they are less stable but use that for better turning ability. They are also much better in heavier waves as they can ride up waves better where as john boats can actually tow into a wave. Many trawlers and sailboats run rounded displacement.

    Deep V hulls, these are like displacement hulls but often have a much deeper draft and sharper bottom. They require more power to reach their hull frequency

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