Normally saltwater is associated with being corrosive and hard on John boats that are not protected. However, many lake fishers are finding increased convenience in aluminum John boats that are, contrary to popular belief, able to function perfectly well in saltwater conditions. The traditional big bottom fiberglass boats are considered the normal go-to boat for fishing, but they are much costlier to make than simple aluminum.
Buying a smaller yet highly durable John boat made from aluminum is actually much cheaper than purchasing a fiberglass boat. When you consider that a smaller John boat is even more versatile–it can go almost anywhere–then you can see why in some popular fishing parks the number of aluminum John boat sales are equal to and even exceeding fiberglass boat sales. So why the sudden popularity in John boats? The obvious pricing issue aside, due to today’s current economic climate many fishermen are finding the traditional fiberglass boats to be a higher and higher barrier to entry. When you consider that some high-end boats run nearly six-figures in cost, it’s easy to see why John boats are preferred more and more.
John boats are convenient for recreational anglers who just want to quickly hop on a boat and fish on the weekends. With their small size, they are able to get into harder to reach areas where other fisherman can’t go. They can glide over the tops of water weeds and even into shallow waters due to their flat bottoms. Oyster shells on rocks or even small jetty rocks themselves are no bother for an aluminum boat. Their classic design, the John boat is now enjoying its 50th anniversary in the fishing community, is simple and time-tested. You can opt to install a host of new upgrades on your John boat like an electric motor, push poles, and even Bimini tops for sunny and rainy days.
Though aluminum John boats work great in salty water and are small enough to enter cramped areas and shallow depths, their smaller size means they are not meant for rough waters. Be sure you know your fishing waters well. If you can expect somewhat calmer waters, then a John boat is a great cost-saving alternative to a bigger, pricier fiberglass boat. While on the topic of calmness, the flat-bottomed design offers much more stability than a V-shaped hull. Since a wave feels magnified in a smaller boat, this is especially important for your to consider if you are looking for maximum stability.
Today’s John boats have undergone minor changes since their original design fifty years ago. Due to popular evolution, you can get smaller 10ft to 12ft bots all the way to longer 16ft John boats. There is a size to suit just about any need and budget. Plus, there are so many options and upgrades available due to its long and rich history, you can pick and choose only what you want and need.
Best of all, aluminum John boats are inexpensive to own and maintain. Fiberglass John boats are also available, but if you are shopping on a budget, remember that an aluminum John boat will deliver just as much use and performance with the same benefits you have come to expect from a John boat. Yes, even in saltwater!
Last Revision: Apr 1, 2017