ozark style jon boat build

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by josh907vest, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. josh907vest
    Joined: Feb 2016
    Posts: 9
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    Location: willow, Alaska

    josh907vest Junior Member

    so i just moved up to Delta Junction for the summer to farm with my brother, now that i have some money flowing in im thinking about a new boat. we live right next to the Tanana river which is a fairly large river, pretty deep in the main channels and up to a mile wide at some points. so i think ive decided on building a ozark jon boat. i need a boat that can get into tight spaces on the river, carry a outboard, be able to carry plenty of weight and be easy to trailer so ive decided on the ozark style jon boat. I dont want to build in plywood, so im thinking i can plank it with 1x12's and cut out some elbow frames from the bottom of some spruce trees so i have 90 degree naturally bent pieces to use. there is a lumber mill in Fairbanks that sells rough cut 1x12's for 24$ a piece so i think im going to use those and just take a belt sander to the planks to smooth them out. What im wondering is if the 1x12's will work good for the boat, are they to thick? this is going to be a hunting, fishing, firewood hauler.. the boat doesn't have to be pretty.. it just needs to float and be strong enough to take a beating out on the river. im not to worried about the weight of the boat, i just need to be able to get it on a flatbed trailer to drive it 2 miles to the river and slide it into the river. I think im going to make it about 15' long, that should be enough to carry 2 people and gear to spend a week on the river to do some hunting and fishing. and another thing im wondering about is how to seal in between the planks.. fiberglass putty, caulking? should i cross plank the bottom or run the 1x12's on the bottom long-ways? but anyways, im just in the process of figuring out what needs to be done to put this boat together. I usually just wing it and things usually play out fine as they come along, seems to be the best way to keep things interesting. let me know what you think of the idea!
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    If you are happy to tootle around at a sedate speed you might make it work. Otherwise it is going to be too heavy, and in any case, pretty demanding in the maintenance department.
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Building from solid lumber is certainly possible, though think about this - how many additional leak points (seams, joints, etc.) you'll have, compaired to plywood.

    The cost a of a reasonable set of plans is quite low, likely less than the paint you use to pretty this puppy up, so strongly consider going this route. After all, you'll be the one farther from shore than you care to take a cold swim back to, if you "winged it" wrong.

    For your needs, I'd recommend the "Garvey 15" available from bateau.com. It's much better suited to your needs, the balance will be much better, it can take on the often fast moving waters in your area and you will not have to worry about over or under engineering the thing. If you absolutely must have a flat bottom jon boat then I'd suggest the "Jon Boat 16" from the same outfit. Both boats are plywood, stable and easy to build. If you use solid wood, it'll be heavier, more costly and it'll constantly leak with all but the smallest outboard on it's butt.
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