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Fiberglass Jon Boats On Ozark Waters


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I know the classic river jon such as a Shawnee or Supreme works great on tailwaters but have folks tried or used them successfully on Ozark Waters? I fish the tailwaters in both MO & AR followed by the Meramec and Gasconade. Those are my 4 main rivers. Would a 2048 shawnee perform as well as my 16ft aluminum boat on the MO ozark streams? As you can tell, hitting a big rock 2" under the water while on plane is my concern. Aluminum is just brutal on a submerged rock. I have hit twice. Once on the NFOW which was dumb and my own fault. That river isn't really made for a jet. And once running up Roark creek from Taneycomo. I hit a submerged bridge pillar.

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Where were you able to go on NFoW? There are plenty of places where canoes drag.

From what I hear the fiberglass boats are very tough, but almost every boat I have seen on the river has a 9.9 or 15hp, not a jet. Every jet boat I have seen has been aluminum, there has to be a reason for it.

everything in this post is purely opinion and is said to annoy you.

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Ted

First let me quaify my answer as not a jerk. Currently, I run a 87 20' Champion DC bassboat w/200merc, a 21' Champion White River Jon w20Jet Merc, 20' 36"wide Tracker river jon 9.9 merc, 16'lowe big jon 5mariner, 17'lowe paddle jon 4mariner and 3 canoes. Would you play golf with one club?, Fish with one rod? That said, the rocks on the river are less forgiving on fiberglass than alum. but glass slides over the rocks better, alum. hangs. The 2048 is a world more comfortable to fish out of.... I can attest there is not a perfect boat. Man I would like to add a drifter, power drifter and deck boat for crappie.... not enough $$ probably need counseling. Some guys chase women, I buy boats. Thank God my wife likes to fish.

g

“If a cluttered desk is a sign, of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign?”- Albert Einstein

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I assume you are talking about the narrow width, long boats. They should do fine on any Ozark water you can run an alum jet.

The former owner of what is now 11 Point Canoe in Alton used to run the river in a Fiberglass jon with a jet, it worked fine.

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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G - Great response. No your not a jerk and I got a chuckle. I agree I need 5 boats but would also like to stay married. In all seriousness, have you have been motoring up river and looked over the side and seen a boulder the size of a volkeswagon sitting 2" under the water? My fear is for my little fishing buddy to go flying out of the boat. I think the safer option is fiberglass. I don't need to set any speed records and if I have to walk it through a shoal so be it. There's alot of good opionions on the board and its why I asked the question. Thanks for the responses.

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The fiberglass will glide over rocks, aluminum hangs. If you are going to fish other water there are several versions out there. there is a 32 inch fiberglass that was used on the White years ago Gastons still rent them!! I have seen upto five people in them with a 9.9 2 stroke.

I am like Griz, I have my not new but new tome 20-48 Shawnee thats is pretty darn good and very stable 15hp 4 stroke. does well even in lower water. I could down grade the motor to the 4hp Mariner and float on almost no water.

Iam setting up my 22ft 32 inch wide aluminum with the 4hp Mariner for Crooked Creek and middle Buffalo River.

Later in the spring we are going to float from Buffalo Point to BuffaloCity and have a 9.9 Susuki for that. Willput it on the 20 48.

Check the Baxter Bulletin for boats.

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The fiberglass will glide over rocks, aluminum hangs. If you are going to fish other water there are several versions out there. there is a 32 inch fiberglass that was used on the White years ago Gastons still rent them!! I have seen upto five people in them with a 9.9 2 stroke.

I am like Griz, I have my not new but new tome 20-48 Shawnee thats is pretty darn good and very stable 15hp 4 stroke. does well even in lower water. I could down grade the motor to the 4hp Mariner and float on almost no water.

Iam setting up my 22ft 32 inch wide aluminum with the 4hp Mariner for Crooked Creek and middle Buffalo River.

Later in the spring we are going to float from Buffalo Point to BuffaloCity and have a 9.9 Susuki for that. Willput it on the 20 48.

Check the Baxter Bulletin for boats.

I suggest coating the underside of your aluminum boat with gluv-it so it will glide over rocks better.

Last summer during a short stint of higher flows I saw 3 people go from snow to yellville with a shawnee/9.9

everything in this post is purely opinion and is said to annoy you.

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G - Great response. No your not a jerk and I got a chuckle. I agree I need 5 boats but would also like to stay married. In all seriousness, have you have been motoring up river and looked over the side and seen a boulder the size of a volkeswagon sitting 2" under the water? My fear is for my little fishing buddy to go flying out of the boat. I think the safer option is fiberglass. I don't need to set any speed records and if I have to walk it through a shoal so be it. There's alot of good opionions on the board and its why I asked the question. Thanks for the responses.

Ted I run much slower at my age, I know what you are saying on the big rocks, every year some folks drown on those in the White, shoves the bow up and stern down, 50 degree water and you might drown.

You have to be able to stomach the shreds of fiberglass when you do hit a rock, for some reason a little paint off the alum does not bother me like it does on the fiberglass. But I have to remeber it is a river boat and that is what it is built for. If you drop or hit something with the alum it does seem to put the fish down for a bit longer. The glass is heavier so dragging a shoal can be worse.

Someone mentioned the Gluv-it I plan on giving it a try. The best boat is the one you can use the most.

“If a cluttered desk is a sign, of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign?”- Albert Einstein

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I think the classic river john is a best motorized craft for most any Ozark river typically run in an aluminum boat. I have been using my Shawnee (20 Jet) on the Meramec and Gasconade for many years. While the river john doesn’t jump up on plane like the high powered boats and does require a higher level of water reading skills I think it far out shines aluminum when drifting and fishing. Some of the advantages are the extreme rocker (Shawnee) that allows the craft to be turned on a dime when entering and exiting eddies. The rocker also means that when drifting, idling or under full power the jet intake is not the deepest drafting part of the boat. Only when plowing do you have to concern yourself with vacuuming up gravel. The fiberglass slides quietly over shallow rocks when drifting meaning if a shoal is open enough you can drift and fish your way down hitting pocket and eddies along the way. The position of the driver and passengers in the boat is the same whether under power or drifting making it unnecessary to climb up and down to a deck to go from powered travel to casting. The length allows 3 fishers to spin or bait cast without concern of snagging each other, though most times its best to limit fly casting to two at a time. The open floor allows two fishers to pack plenty of overnight gear in the mid area and have a huge space for casting. When two people and gear for a multi day trip are packed and the boat is well trimmed I have an open uncluttered area about 4’x 5’ in the rear. I have smacked, banged and crashed in to countless rocks, the hull shows little more than chips in the gel coat. If you question the durability of fiberglass take a look at all the 20 year old rental boats on the White River tail water.

Maybe I’m a little sappy but I can’t help but be sentimental about the classic ozark john boat. When I first started floating I recall admiring the 20’-24’ wooden boats I would see on the Eleven Point. It took a good boatman to get up and down that river with a prop motors on a jack plate. The basic design is time tested and I think the old timers had it pretty well figured out.

His father touches the Claw in spite of Kevin's warnings and breaks two legs just as a thunderstorm tears the house apart. Kevin runs away with the Claw. He becomes captain of the Greasy Bastard, a small ship carrying rubber goods between England and Burma. Michael Palin, Terry Jones, 1974

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