Is a 12-foot Jon Boat Big Enough?

Is a 12-foot Jon boat big enough for you?

is a 12 foot jon boat big enough for you

You’re interested in 12-foot Jon boats and want to know if it’s right for your needs.

So you’ve come to the right place.

So, Is a 12-foot Jon boat big enough?

A 12-foot Jon boat is big enough for you to fish alone or add 1 to 2 passengers; in small bodies of water like backwaters, ponds, creeks, etc.

Continue reading for more details.

Is a 12-foot Jon boat big enough?

Jon boats are flat-bottomed boats made from wood, fiberglass, or aluminum. They are boats commonly used for fishing or hunting.


Length: 12 feet. The boat length will determine the other parameters, especially the weight capacity.

Width: 50 – 60 inches. This width provides enough stability to stand up without a hitch on the Jon boat.

Weight: 90 – 130 pounds. They are a bit heavier than kayaks but can still be lifted by one person.

Weight capacity: 400 – 450 pounds. This capacity can carry 1-3 passengers, with a few fishing gears and a trolling motor.

Maximum horsepower: 5-7 hp. There are a few models that allow 10hp.

Speed: 5hp can reach 10 mph, and 7hp can reach 15 mph. This speed is suitable for moving in small lakes or moving slowly on rivers or streams. If you need to travel long distances, you should reconsider.

Highlights of 12-foot Jon boat

Go with friends or family

Go with friends or family

In recent years, fishing kayaks are growing more and more popular.

Related: Why is Kayak Fishing So Popular?

However, the kayak and the 8-10 foot Jon boat are only suitable for carrying one person. You can go with friends but will go in another or use a tandem kayak, but it will not be comfortable. And it’s also arduous if you want to go with the kids and teach them how to fish.

A 12-foot Jon boat can solve this problem. You can share your experience on a boat with your friends or kids.

Remember 12-foot Jon boat is ideal for two adults or one adult with two children, as you’ll also need room for gear and trolling motors.

Stable when standing

Stable when standing

The 12-foot Jon Boats provide added stability with a width almost twice the kayak, so it’s easier to stand fishing. High visibility when fishing gives anglers more advantages. They can see everything below, especially in shallow water.

Carry more gear

Carry more gear

Is a 12-foot Jon Boat big enough for more gear?

Despite having the same weight capacity, Jon boats can carry more gear than kayaks because they are more spacious. Instruments take up not only the weight but also the space of the craft, so a wide boat always has the advantage.

However, if you want to bring more fishing gear, you need to look at the weight capacity and remember that the total weight of the passenger, instruments, and trolling motor should not exceed that figure. You also save room for your catch.

Easy to transport

Easy to transport

At 12 feet long, you can transport them in your vehicle with some support, such as roof racks or side loader racks.

Larger Jon boats can provide better performance but sometimes give you a headache trying to figure out how to transport them to the fishing spot.

You can lift and carry a 12-foot Jon boat yourself. But larger ones will need two people.

Good price

The bigger the boat, the more costs it comes. Not only the boat price is higher, but the attached instruments, such as trolling motor and trailer, are also more costly.

The 12-foot Jon boats cost between $800-4000, a bit more expensive than fishing kayaks in general, but it is affordable.

If you take a closer look at the quality, the Jon boats and kayaks of the same standard will not differ significantly in price.

Power from paddling or motor

When using a 12-foot Jon boat, you can flexibly switch between the paddle and trolling motor depending on how far you need to go.

With larger Jon boats, you won’t be able to row because they are too heavy, so you can only use the motor.

Remember to only row when you need to move close distances. Otherwise, you will probably lose all your time sailing to fishing spots with tired arms.


Thus, if only used for fishing in small to medium waters, small to medium activity, your family has 2-3 people, and a 12-foot Jon boat is large enough.

If you are planning more adventurous fishing or in larger areas or your family members are more than three people, you should consider a larger boat. Experts advise everybody should buy a vessel 2-3 feet longer than their current needs.

Thanks for reading our article about Is a 12-foot Jon Boat Big Enough? If you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can see more posts on our website here.

Further reading:

Reasons to Own a 12-Foot Jon Boat

What is a Jon Boat?

Jon Boats: The Ultimate Guide

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