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Can You Row a Jon Boat?
As most boat owners will know, there are times when rowing becomes a necessity. Should an outboard motor break down or the use of a motor is prohibited, in extremely shallow waterways for example, then rowing becomes the preferred method of maneuvering a boat around. Most Jon boats are not manufactured with oar locks. So, when it comes to a Jon boat can it be rowed?
You can row a Jon boat. Some Jon boats may need to be modified by adding oarlocks before rowing can be achieved. Certain conditions will affect your ability to row a Jon boat effectively. Rowing styles, such as ‘canoe style’ with a single paddle or double-paddle, and oar rowing have different levels of practicality.
Is it possible to row a Jon boat?
A Jon boat is a flat-bottom boat sometimes made from hardwood, plywood or fiberglass but more commonly made from aluminum.
It is designed perfectly for shallow, calm waters, as the practically flat hull enables the boat to ride on the surface of the water exceptionally smoothly when it is powered by a motor. Its shallow draft also means it can easily traverse extremely shallow waterways where many other boats could not access.
Although rowing a Jon boat may be beneficial to those who want to enjoy a quiet family day on the river or lake it is most beneficial for fishermen and especially for duck hunters. As long as you use the correct oars and oarlocks.
A Jon boat is the preferred vessel for fishermen and duck hunters because it can easily access shallow waters thus making it perfect for use in shallow rivers and lakes. A Jon boat can also easily gain access to shallow river banks. Obviously in such circumstances using a motor is impractical as the noise could alert the prey to the presence of hunters.
However, this is not the only time when using an engine is inadvisable.
Because a Jon boat is designed to access shallow waterways this means you may find yourself in a situation where using an outboard motor is not just impractical but is actually impossible due to the extremely shallow water and very close proximity of the river bed and rocky obstacles that may lie there.
Therefore a Jon boat allows fishermen and hunters to access very shallow water and to access areas with stealth.
So obviously the best solution in these circumstances would be to use some form of manual propulsion, such as rowing. But is a Jon boat capable of being rowed?
The simple answer is “yes”. Though it may not be as easy a task to undertake as it would be with other boat types.
When a Jon boat is powered by a gas motor the boat performs very well under calm conditions but under oar-power the same boat may not be as straight forward to maneuver as you might imagine.
Aluminum vs. Fiberglass Boats
Modern boats are most often constructed of fiberglass, but aluminum is the best material to choose for a workboat. Aluminum is more durable than fiberglass, which is prone to breaking or cracking from impact. Aluminum is more resistant to punctures also. Though sharp objects hit with enough force can puncture an aluminum hull, it is less likely to cause major damage. Plus, aluminum boats do not deteriorate and weaken from sun exposure like fiberglass boats, which can help extend the operational life of the boat. Aluminum boats offers all these advantages while still maintaining a comparable weight to fiberglass boats and therefore provide similar speed, fuel burn and seakeeping.
Aluminum Boats: Debunking the Myths
Myth: An aluminum boat will corrode from electrolysis overtime.
Fact: A certain amount of galvanic corrosion is unavoidable, but a properly galvanically protected aluminum boat will not suffer more than surface corrosion during its lifetime. Silver Ships conducts galvanic testing during all builder’s sea-trials. We only deliver a boat once it has been determined to be in the galvanic protected range.
Additionally, marine grade aluminum is more resistant to galvanic corrosion than other aluminum alloys. Silver Ships uses only 5086 alloy Marine Grade Aluminum plate for our vessels, as it is the highest quality marine grade alloy. For further protection, we often include galvanic monitors that continually check if a boat is still in the protected range once in operation. Silver Ships has installed several of these for past customers.
Myth: Aluminum boats are loud.
Fact: A properly built aluminum hull with a true keel and welded frames is no louder than a fiberglass boat. This common misconception comes from low-end aluminum skiffs built from thin aluminum sheets that are riveted together, or a welded aluminum boat lacking enough welding to secure the hull and side shell to the hull structure.
Myth: Aluminum has a higher carbon footprint than fiberglass.
Fact: A well-built aluminum boat will last a lifetime if properly maintained. Aluminum boats require less overall maintenance than their fiberglass (or wood) counterparts. This makes aluminum more sustainable than fiberglass over the lifetime of the vessel. Plus, aluminum boats can be easily and cost effectively recycled at the end of their useful life to become other aluminum products.
Myth: Fiberglass boats look better and have a unique hull shape that benefits the ride.
Fact: Fiberglass boats can be molded into any shape. However, using modern 3D CAD software and robotic routers, modern aluminum boats can be built into more unique hull shapes than in the past. Additionally, aluminum boats can be designed and affordably built as a custom “one off” vessel unique to the customer’s needs. Every fiberglass boat requires an expensive mold that makes it unaffordable to build just one boat.