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So I'll be looking to pick up a boat here in the future on the cheap.  So I need to know what to keep an eye out for.  The ability to hold 2 people is a must, but I'd like to be able to put three in it.  There will also be a child in there more often then not, so stability is nice.

 

I'm thinking a 15 or 16' flat bottom boat will work out rather nice, but I'm not sure.  Because of where I'll be fishing, I have to use electric power only.

 

What type of engines work for this size boat?  I think I'd rather spend a little extra money on the motor so I'm not traveling for as long.  The reservoirs around here are all electric only and quite large.  So I'd really like to be able to get where I need to go in a timely manner.  Of course you can't expect it to be as fast as a gas engine, but I have zero experience with these things.


Thanks

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The first thing to check is the Maximum HP rating for the individual boat you want to purchase. The rest is what you can afford as far as the motor goes. I personally like to get as close to the Maximum HP as possible its there if you need it and if you don't than you don't need to use it but believe me if you have it you will use it. In the motor and again its a preference but if your buying a flat bottom I'm thinking there is some shallow water involved and that what is great about Jon boats. What you might want to think power trim for that outboard motor it make the shallow water getting in and out of so much more easier.  It's cheaper if the motor already has it but you can but kits for it if need be. Just my opinion and I have owned a half dozen Jon boat and the are great to fish out of and do handle the shallow water well. Hope this may help you and GOOD FISHIN.....

The problem is I can't put a gas powered motor on them.  I have to get some kind of electric.  I think/hope 80# thrust is enough, but I really don't have any idea.

Chris if you putting a 80 lb thrust on a john boat I think you will be impressed. That will be more than sufficient. Sorry I miss read your post but maybe it can be some thought for down the road. Now you do know that 80 lbs thrust is 24volts so you will need 2 batteries and that means weight but 80 is great for what you want. You won't need that only from getting from one spot to another all the rest of the time you will be moving slow.

I did not know that meant 24v.  But that's ok.  If I know that going into it, we can make it work.

 

And like you said, it's only from going from point a to point b.  I have a 55# I can probably mount on the front for putting around.  That or sell it and put it towards the 80#+.  I've rented boats from the reservoirs around here before and I just hate taking 45+ minutes to just cross from one side to the other.

 

Is the flat bottom jon boat better for what I want vs a 'v' bottom?  I don't care about which one will get me where I want to go faster, but for stability and being able to get closer to shore if needed?

For stability the Jon boat hands down. For shallow water the Jon boat. For roominess the Jon boat. For rough water the V Bottom. I use to make my Jon boats into Bass Boats. I would build a platform on the front and rear put a raised seats on each took the center bench seat out put in a steering column and a couple pedestal seats in the center. But even if you don't do all that I think you will enjoy what ever you get being a Jon or a V Bottom Boat good luck. If you want to talk one on one let me know I'll give you my phone #.

 Dick, your boat conversion sounded great! I had a 12' jon boat that I decked, insulated the floor and carpeted, and even installed a aerated livewell in. It had a 6hp. Johnson, and a 28 lb. MinnKota foot control on the front. I tried finding a used stick steering setup for it, but ended up going with the tiller handle on the Johnson. It was a fun project, and it fished well on small lakes and rivers. 

Now your talking. I had a 16' Meyers Jon with a wide hull. It had a slight V in front. I gutted it put a raise deck on the front and rear. Meyers was in Tecumseh Mi. They had an outlet store in the back and sold me a console and a live well they were 2nds but I didn't see any flaws. Had lots of storage under all the platforms. Bought the seats and pedestals at Bass Pro discontinued. When I got it done I really didn't have lots of money in it. Bought a 50HP merc with power trim and tilt.  I used the heck out of that boat and for not alot of money. Plus it was a fun project.

i bought a 15 ft tracker topper and put a 40lb thrust trolling motor on it and it does all of 3mph on my gps. i spend my time on a very large resevoir and a medium size resevoir. i will be adding a 20hp elecric start next season. love my rig.  it has proven to be a very stable and comfortable setup.

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Ken I had the same boat but sold it. I have the Bass Boat a 12 footer for the pond and the 15 foot and an 18 foot pontoon. I sold the 15 foot last year it never seen the water the whole time I had it. I bought it new from Bass pro and got what I paid for it an offer I couldn't refuse. They are nice boats I have had quit a few Jon boats and the are stable, comfortable and roomy.

I would personally look for a 16' extra wide and extra deep flat bottom or a Modified V bottom, like the Bass Tracker. There are many good brands out there and in no particular order I would look at G3, Polar Craft, Tracker, Lowe, Landau. I am not sure which ones are popular in your area, but you can go online and compare the features each offer. The extra wide feature will make it more stable. The modified V's ride smoother than a straight flat bottom jon boat. Truthfully, I would look for a used one this winter, as the prices are lower then. As long as it doesn't leak, there is not a lot to go wrong with a aluminum boat. 

 As far as a electric motor I would look at either MinnKota  or Motorguide. I am partial to MinnKota but that's just me. Both are good. You may want to look for a foot control for the front, and a tiller handle motor for the back of your boat. Again, a good used boat already rigged up is not a bad way to go. Many times they will already have the trolling motor, seats, anchors, and other goodies already on them. I hope these other options will be of some help to you when you go looking for your boat.  

They will be helpful indeed.  I am almost exsclusively looking for a used boat.  If not for the reason you mentioned about the goodies that come with them, the price is better as well.

 

I'm just keeping my eye out for deals as the days go on.  If I know what I'm looking for though, it helps narrow down the search.

Bringing this one up from the dead.  Looks like I'm actually getting my boat come the next month or so.

I've narrowed it down to either a 1548 G3 welded Jon (with an aluminum floor and vinyl wrap).

Or an xpress boat.  The two options they have are 1650VJ and a 1652D

All of the boats are within $300 of each other.  The G3 is about a 2 hour+ drive whereas the xpress are 40 minutes.

Any suggestions?  They will be electric only and powered by a 55lb thrust for the next year.  I'll be upgrading that eventually too though.

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