How to Convert Jon Boats to Bass Boats?

Convert Jon Boats to Bass Boats

Convert Jon Boats to Bass Boats

Are you an experienced angler who is looking to step up your game? If so, you may be wondering if it’s time to upgrade from your Jon boats to bass boats. 

Many anglers start with a Jon boat and then upgrade as their skills improve.

As a fisherman, you know that the right equipment can make all the difference in the world. If you’re looking to upgrade your fishing gear, consider converting your Jon boat to a bass boat. With just a few simple modifications, you’ll be able to enjoy enhanced performance and improved functionality while fishing for bass. Keep reading to learn more about how to conver Jon boats to bass boats yourself.

What is a Bass Boat?

What is a bass boat

Before learning about how to convert from Jon boats to bass boats, you need to know exactly what a bass boat is.

A bass boat is a specialized type of small fishing boat that is designed specifically for fishing. It’s built to be light and fast, with a shallow draft. This allows anglers to move quickly and maneuver easily in shallow waters. 

The bass boat is a high-performance fishing vessel that can be used for both saltwater and freshwater. The large, V-shaped hulls give them exceptional speed in most waterways while also making it easy to turn around when lined up with fish (or other prey). They’re equipped with everything you need including an outboard motor and; a secondary trolling engine if your first one isn’t enough! Fish well storage will keep all of those tasty critters alive until they make their way back onto land where there’s more than enough room inside this thing—even some casting deck floor space too.

The bass boat is the perfect choice for anglers who want to take their hobby and fishing experience up a notch. These high-powered boats can be outfitted with all sorts of modern electronics, including ultrasound detectors that will let you track what’s biting at night or lights shining through dark waters so other fishermen don’t get too close! 

Differences between Jon Boats and Bass Boats

To do this project you need to know the distance from Jon boats to Bass boats.

Jon boats have been a standard for many fishermen due to their simple design and affordability. They don’t require much maintenance, and they’re lightweight. Jon has open decks However, these boats are not made for speed—they usually only reach speeds of around 10 mph without modifications. With a flat bottom, Jon boats are best suited for leisurely fishing trips in shallow waters.

Bass boats, on the other hand, are built for speed and performance. These boats can reach speeds up to 50 mph with little effort. The V-shaped hull allows them to cut through the water with ease and navigate even in heavy winds or waves. Bass boats also come equipped with more advanced features such as sonar systems and navigation lights that allow you to find fish easier at night. Bass boats tend to be heavier than their counterpart in similar lengths. 

Bass boats offer superior performance in deeper and rougher waters than Jon’s boat. The casting deck of the bassboat provides enclosed storage for storing gear, while also increasing stability during rough seas with its high center console that creates less rocking at sea level when compared to other types like inflatables or catamarans 

Bass Boats generally cost more than their counterparts which makes them unattainable by many people due to economic constraints.

Why You Should Convert from a Jon to Bass Boat Instead of Buying One?

As you have seen a Bass boat offers several advantages that you can’t get with a Jon boat. First, the wider beam and larger size allow for better stability when fishing on open water. This makes it easier to cast further out and move around freely while standing or sitting in the boat. Additionally, bass boats have higher sides which will keep your dryer during inclement weather or when traveling faster through choppy waters.

Bass boats offer more storage options, allowing you to bring along all the gear and tackle you need for a successful day of fishing.

So there are a few reasons why you might want to convert Jon boats to bass boats instead of buying one. First and foremost, it’s much more cost-effective than buying an entirely new boat. You can also customize your converted jon to bass boat to suit your exact needs and preferences without having to buy different parts or accessories.

Finally, Jon Boat to Bass Boat convertion allows you to keep the same hull that you already know and love while still enhancing its performance in deeper and choppier waters. 

How to Convert Your Jon Boat to Bass Boat?

Now that you understand the differences between Jon boats and bass boats, you may be wondering how to make the switch. Converting Jon boats to bass boats can be a big project, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Choose an Affordable Jon Boat:

Start by selecting an affordable Jon boat that is the right size and weight for your needs.

If your Jon boat has already been purchased, great! You can skip stepping two. 

Purchasing an affordable used aluminum or fiberglass/wooden vessel. I recommend choosing an aluminum boat it is a lightweight and easy-to-work material.

Otherwise, start looking at boats with V hull designs as these tend to skate better than flat-bottom vessels.

It is important to choose the right size hull for your Jon boat. If you go too narrow, it will be difficult and unsafe to install decking on top of that ship! It’s best if we aim at least 48 inches wide so there is plenty of space in which our decks can fit without any problems or safety hazards.

Too narrow and it’ll be tough, but not impossible- just take some extra time with planning to ensure success.

A narrow boat will have several issues when converting. First off, you won’t be able to fit all of your equipment in at once due to the lack of space for buildout; secondly and more importantly-the hull will stay unstable when installing decks into these narrow gaps.

The last thing anyone wants after putting time into building an awesome setup just so it can safely function without being dangerous while also fitting their needs perfectly – well think again since what seemed like perfection before might very well be a liability too minor to detect until it’s too late and all your hard work goes up in flames.

2. Overhaul the Boat:

Once you have the right Jon Boat, you can start customizing it for your purposes.

Start to overhaul the boat by unscrewing the old screws and unlocking the nuts on the bolts. If there’s excessive rust on the screws and bolts, you need to be careful in loosening them, or they might snap.

If they snap, you have to use a special tool to pry them out of their holes. Keep all the screws and bolts that you have taken off. You need them to determine the sizes of the new screws and bolts that you need to buy for replacement.

The next step in our conversion is to sand the boat. The worn and soiled surface must be removed both inside, and outside of it; use no.180 sandpaper for this purpose (you’ll need more if there are deep nooks or crevices). 

To give your boat a new coat of paint, you’ll need to first remove any old or damaged surfaces. All of the surfaces need to have dirt and dust removed from them, so vacuum or eradicate any that is on your surface if necessary beforehand!

3. Install A Compatible Motor

The gap between a bass boat and a Jon boat is filled with one major difference: the motor. 

Bass boats are designed for more performance-oriented fishermen who want to catch fish faster. Jon boats, on the other hand, use smaller outboard motors that cannot handle high amounts of power.

Before investing in a new motor though make sure it’s capable by checking what size Jon boat requires which type from its recommended capacity table or manual instruction booklets provided within them. Buy a motor of the highest quality within the recommended capacity to ensure you get maximum performance.

Another difference between a Jon boat and a bass vessel is their transoms. The transom is the vertical structure at the back of the boat from where the motor has been mounted. 

The difference in the size of the transom between a bass boat and a Jon boat has implications for how far your motor shaft must extend. A Jon boat will have a smaller transom than a bass so if the shaft length is too short, and your propeller isn’t submerged enough it can cause you to drag along the water’s surface.

You must use a suitable shaft length with your converted Jon boat. Measure from the top of the transom to hull into its hull, then consult the seller’s recommended specifications based on parameters like size and power requirements to find out what’s best suited just right!

Outboard motors come in different lengths depending on how big they are; 15″ – 30″. If it’s not clear which length would be perfect just yet then don’t worry because most sellers can recommend one specific solution based on this information alone.”

Jon boats are lightweight types of vessels, but it’s important to be mindful of how much weight you add when converting from Jon boats to bass boats. For this reason, I recommend opting for an electrical motor because they’re lighter and easier than gas-powered engines while still giving great performance in water conditions that may become rough due to your location at sea.

Installing a trolling motor at the bow or stern of your Jon boat is an excellent idea. As you will use it for fishing, having easy steering capabilities when out on location makes navigating through areas much simpler and more pleasant than without one! 

If installing one, look into purchasing either remote control equipment designed specifically with boats like yours in mind. Having easy access to steering controls from anywhere is a good thing.

4. Choose The Right Propeller

You may not know it, but your boat’s propeller is one of the most important components of its performance and efficiency. 

It affects almost every aspect, including speed and acceleration; fuel economy, how fast you go, comfort while underway or at anchor etcetera.

Now that you are converting your Jon boat to bass boat, take care of the power behind its movement.

Without an appropriate prop though? You won’t be able to move or maneuver in water as desired!

If money isn’t an issue then investing in more blade count would be recommended since this will help propel the newbie forward at higher speeds without worrying about getting stuck on anything!

5. Install The Decking, Casting Platforms, And Other Accessories

Out of all the steps, this is probably where you can have the most fun. The decking and casting platforms are one key feature that separates a Jon boat from a bass.

The first step to making your boat look like a real bass boat is by installing the decking. This includes wood, composite materials, or even carpeting on top of the Jon boat’s hull!

Most Jon boats come with pre-drilled holes for mounting hardware but if not then consider drilling them yourself since it’s important when adding extra accessories like rod holders and anchor points.

Once you’ve installed the decks onto your vessel it’s time to add extras such as casting platforms which give anglers a place to stand or lean comfortably while fishing.

These can be anything from ready-made platforms to custom-built ones with extra features like rod holders and storage compartments – the only limit is your imagination!

6. Set Up The Seating Arrangement

The seating arrangement is an important part of any fishing boat and something you must consider when converting your Jon boats to bass boats.

You’ll need to decide how many seats you want for your vessel, as well as where they should be placed. It’s important to make sure that the seating is comfortable and doesn’t obstruct your view while on the water.

Installing your high-back seats couldn’t be easier, and all you need are some tools for the job. First, start by drilling holes in where they’ll go on top of their allotted space (you might want to measure first!) then simply screw them down with screws once done measuring!

Finally, make sure all the accessories are securely mounted and ready for use before heading out into the water!

7. Paint The Boat

Painting the boat is a great way to make it look more like an actual bass boat, rather than just a regular Jon.

You can paint the entire surface or just certain areas, such as the deck or gunwales. Paint can also help protect your boat from wear and tear caused by weather and sunlight.

The first thing you need to do before painting your boat is ensured there are no more dirt or dust bunnies or anything that comes loose on board. You can also seal any leaks by coating the surface with black epoxy and letting them dry for 20 minutes.

Paint 2 coats, between each coat before adding another 15-20 minute drying period on top with a third layer if desired or necessary (depending).

Clear coats can be applied after 2 coats of paint, they are often used in place of a third coat. This will give your boat that glossy look and protect 2 previous coats of paint.

The inside of your boat can be painted with some grey epoxy paint, which will help seal the boat and prevent water penetration.

When choosing a color for your vessel, consider going for something bold and eye-catching – this will help you stand out on the water!

8. Install lights

Whether you’re cruising in the dark or just want to add a touch of style, lighting is an essential component for your bass boat. According to US Coast Guard laws, all night boats must be equipped with navigational and night lights. 

Additionally, deck strip lighting gives your boat an aesthetically pleasing appeal while ensuring other mariners can see you from afar.

LEDs are the optimal choice when it comes to brightening up your bass boat – they’re energy-efficient and provide reliable stability in aquatic settings compared to incandescent bulbs. With powerful illumination aboard, embarking into twilight territory will be safe yet sensational!

Outfitting your boat with navigational lights is essential for a secure journey out on the water. By law, you should install red and green front lights – with green always displayed on the port (right) side of the vessel, and red shown on the starboard (left). 

An LED white light is attached 1 meter above these two at the stern. To achieve this regulation standard, it’s suggested that one mounts their backlight atop a pole or similar structure.

Watch the video for better understanding

These lights allow other seafarers to spot you from up to 2 nautical miles away! 

Illuminate your way with nightlights (searchlights) placed at the front of the boat.

Properly installed navigational, night, and decking lighting will guide you safely through the darkness. With the right knowledge of installation techniques to suit all types of boating conditions, these essential components can open up a world of nighttime exploration for seasoned seafarers as well as newbies alike.

9. Test Out Your Newly Constructed Bass Boat

Once everything has been set up properly, it’s time for a test run! Start by taking it slow with easy turns and maneuvers so you can get used to controlling this new rig in different water conditions.

Remember, safety is of the utmost importance so always make sure your boat is properly equipped with all the necessary navigation and life-saving equipment before heading out into open water.

Once you’ve established that everything works as expected, go ahead and have some fun! Enjoy the freedom of being on the water in your newly constructed bass boat – you deserve it!

Converting Jon boats to bass boats is not an easy task but is worth the effort if done right. Follow these tips for a successful conversion and enjoy smooth sailing in your newly designed vessel thereafter! Good luck!

Tip for Changing Jon Boats to Bass Boats

1. Do not use low-quality or damaged hulls for conversions

While Jon boats to bass boats conversion can be an exciting project, you must choose an appropriate hull that can handle the extra stress and weight. Enduring quality and reliability should always be top of mind during this process – after all, no one wants their time and energy invested in something not built to last! 

While most Jon boats are not originally engineered for this sort of project, with some care in the selection you can find the right vessel – one which will stand up lastingly to your time and effort investment.

For a new option, opt for maximum sturdiness and invest in superior-quality aluminum construction – you won’t regret that extra expense down the road. 

If going secondhand instead, scrutinize it inside and out for signs of corrosion, degradation, or damage such as rust spots or cracked wood – repairs may be needed and if this isn’t particularly within your skillset don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Protect your investments – both in time and money – by beginning with a strong foundation when converting a Jon boat into an optimal bass fishing vessel. Though costs may be higher initially, avoiding the risks of inferior hulls will pay off downstream.

Don’t let the lure of short-term savings cost you time and money down the line with a less-than-reliable foundation. Spend wisely now for optimal returns later!

2. Don’t use Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood may be of great use in many applications, but constructing an aluminum boat is not one of them. The chemicals used to treat the lumber can cause corrosion and pitting when they come into contact with aluminum, potentially weakening or ruining it together, jeopardizing the stability and integrity of your vessel. Copper is typically identified as the main offender, though there could be other harmful agents present too.

Newer pressure-treated woods are said by some experts to have much less harmful effects on aluminum – though it’s best avoided whenever possible for optimal results!

Though there are some ways to set up barriers between these materials, the chances of 100% success aren’t high given water’s aptitude for eventually making contact with both surface areas. Therefore, avoiding this combination altogether would be your wisest approach to prevent any issues down the line.

3. Use aluminum for framing

Those with an eye for DIY projects and experience working with aluminum will benefit from this tip. However, even those who aren’t accustomed to it should take the time to learn – Aluminum is a highly sought-after material when crafting your boat’s frame!

Aluminum is lightweight, strong, and corrosion-resistant – all properties you’ll want for your boat’s framing. Plus it’s easy to work with and can be shaped into a variety of forms easily.

Choose the right thickness of aluminum for the job, depending on how much weight your vessel will be carrying – either way, the lighter aluminum frames are generally easier to install than those made of steel or other metals.

Also, ask about any potential welding requirements beforehand as this may incur additional costs.

4. Mount Your Decks at the Proper Level

To ensure that your time at sea is safe and enjoyable, the deck’s level or height must be just right. Too high of a deck results in less stability and it will cause rocking each time you take a step – this could easily lead to unpleasant circumstances out at sea! The hull design plus personal preference are both factors in determining which level best suits your needs for optimal safety while fishing.

For optimal stability and comfort, deck height should be determined according to the width of your boat. Boats 60″-70″ wide should have a deck about half as high as their gunnels or bench seats; boats 50″ or less need lower decks than their benches, and wider vessels that are over 72” can safely feature flush-mounted decks without any issues with balance on board. Additionally, narrower crafts may benefit from slightly higher decks if everyone onboard is not heavy!

5. Choose the Correct Metal Hardware

Quality hardware is essential in any project, and a boat build is no exception. The strength of your construction depends on carefully selected heavy-duty hinges that will endure under extreme conditions – so don’t skimp out! In addition to durability, look for metal types compatible with the hull material; since aluminum boats require aluminum components specifically designed not to corrode or wear down over time. Don’t leave it up to chance – make sure you have all the right pieces before setting sail!

Incorrect metal choice can significantly weaken an aluminum structure due to galvanic corrosion. This happens when two dissimilar metals make contact within a wet environment, resulting in accelerated erosion of the weaker material – namely aluminum. To reduce risk and ensure adequate structural integrity, use high-quality aluminum hardware wherever possible; reserve stainless steel or other durable materials for places where is needed for structural integrity.

When DIY boat-builders disagree on the severity of galvanic corrosion, one thing is certain: not taking the necessary precautions can lead to costly problems down the road. While there may not seem to be any issues at first glance, certain metals tend over time to react negatively when placed in contact with aluminum parts of your hull. 

While it’s still possible and safe to mix metals for your aluminum hull, preventing long-term damage requires a strong sealant between them–a simple step that goes a long way!

6. Don’t Skimp on Electrical Work

Whether you’re adding on lights, a sound system, or fishing gear – make sure all electrical wiring is done correctly. Always purchase the correct size and gauge wire for the job; this will ensure your power stays where it’s needed without any overheating.

If you’re an electrical wiring connoisseur, then it’s safe for you to start the journey of outfitting a Jon boat like a bass boat.

However, if expertise in electrical wiring is not your forte, it’s always wise to consult a professional before attempting any boat-wiring projects. When converting aluminum Jon boats to bass boats, the most effective approach is to float your electric system – meaning that you should make sure none of its components are connected directly with the hull as this can lead to added galvanic corrosion and other undesirable effects.

Be sure to consult an electrician if you have any questions about proper installation and safety guidelines. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to electrical work: use color-coded wires for easier identification, tape off all exposed wires with a waterproofing material, and secure loose ends with cable ties for added protection against the elements. 

7. Use Marine Carpet

Tip for changing Jon Boats to Bass Boats

When choosing carpet for your boat, it pays to invest in a higher-grade material that is specifically designed to stand up against the elements and activities of boating. Marine carpets have tough fibers built for enduring sea life conditions, plus are less likely to snag lures or hooks from fishing lines. Before investing in any non-marine varieties; however, do a little research when shopping around to ensure you’re picking up something built to last rather than wear and tear that won’t stand the test of time on the deck!

Marine carpets come in many different colors and styles, so you’re sure to find one that matches your design aesthetic! Be sure to use outdoor-grade adhesive and install the carpet securely – this will ensure it holds up against water damage, fading sunlight, and all sorts of natural wear and tears over time. 

Once installed, maintenance is minimal; simply sweep away any debris at least once a month for optimal cleanliness on board. 

8.  Do not spend too much on electronics

Our Jon boat conversion project is a great way to save money and still enjoy some of the luxuries on the water. So, it’s important not to go overboard with marine electronics – they can be expensive and take up precious space in your smaller vessel that could otherwise be used for storage or seating. These components can add weight that hinders performance while cluttering up any available internal real estate. Stick with just the essentials such as a GPS/fishfinder combination or trolling motor setup – this way you’ll capitalize on both values for money spent as well as having an unencumbered boating experience!

9. Keep it simple

Converting Jon boats to bass boats does not have to be expensive or complicated. With some thoughtful planning, you can save money and still get the most out of your new vessel. Above all else, remember to keep it simple.

Achieving a great outcome doesn’t have to mean obsessing over perfection. Striking the right balance of effort and quality can help you save time and money, while still creating an excellent final project. Keeping things simple is key – if it won’t make much difference in the result or isn’t worth your resources then let it go! Remember that focusing on minor details may not be noticed by anyone but yourself — stay focused on crafting something amazing without unnecessarily driving up costs.

10. Don’t mind asking for help

Even the most capable professionals can benefit from getting a second opinion on their projects. Too often, the passion and focus we put into our work blind us to errors or omissions that an impartial observer may spot right away. Seeking out input from friends or experts can help ensure nothing is overlooked in your hard effort – whether it’s craftsmanship, safety considerations, functionality requirements-or all of these! Don’t be afraid to look beyond yourself for solutions; you might find something surprising there yet!

By taking all these precautions and following the tips above, you should be able to construct an optimal bass fishing vessel from a Jon boat that is both reliable and enjoyable to use! Good luck!


Jon boat to bass boat convertion is not as difficult as you may think, and the benefits are many. With just a few simple modifications, you can have the perfect bass fishing vessel that will help you land those big catches.

We hope this article has given you the information and inspiration you need to get started on your conversion project. If you have any questions or need help along the way, be sure to contact us – we’re always happy to assist our customers in achieving their goals. Good luck, and tight lines!

Thanks for reading our article “How to Convert Jon Boats to Bass Boats?“. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can see more posts on our website here.

Happy fishing!

Further reading

What Is an Aluminum Fishing Boat?

How To Handle Your Aluminum Fishing Boat In Rough Water?

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