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Need help picking river boat


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So, it's time for a river boat. I am having a hard time deciding what to get. I really, really like the supreme, shawnee,  topwater, etc river boats. Love them! The issue for me is i will fish rivers like current river, eleven point, spring and those type of rivers as much as I will white river or north fork.  The thing is, I rarely see one of these "trout boats" on these other rivers which are shallow and rocky just like north fork and white river.  Everyone runs the aluminum river boats it seems with oversized jet motors.  This will be strictly a fishing boat, so I think the fiberglass boats will be quieter, cooler in hot weather, have better control, etc. I dont need to roar up and down the river like i am in a race. I envision a supreme or similar with a 9.9/15 horse prop with guard being for me.

So, why don't we see these style boats more outside of the white river country? Am I missing something here?

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I suspect a lot of it is locational tradition.  In other words, the river boats have been used for a long time in the White River country, and people there are used to seeing them and so consider them a viable option.  You DON'T see them much on other rivers in Missouri, so nobody in those areas thinks of them.  As for which would be better, the jet boats will handle shallower water easier, while you can actually paddle a river john like some of the river boats.  You're relegated to using a trolling motor to fish with most if not all jet boats.

On the other hand, you don't NEED an "oversized" jet motor.  A 40 hp (40/30) or 60 hp (60/40...the lower number is the actual horsepower rating at the business end, since jet motors aren't efficient enough to get the full hp rating in operation) will do just fine on smaller boats like 16 to 18 footers.  You won't go real fast but you'll get there, and you'll be going fast enough to get into trouble getting there if you're not careful.

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Lilley's jon boats are fiberglass and never thought twice about it even though I grew up fishing mainly out of aluminum jon boats.  Those jon's at Lilleys are very sturdy and stable. One thing to keep in mind is whether you will always have a place to launch off the trailer. If you ever had to drag or carry to launch for places you want to go then I would compare weight. Go light 

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With those rivers you will be fishing, I would suggest a jet. Also keep in mind that the Eleven Point has a 25 hp max limit. Some of the others may also.

I have a 17/48 Blazer with Merc 25 jet and am happy with it.

 

 


 

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20 hours ago, Fishfighter said:

So, it's time for a river boat. I am having a hard time deciding what to get. I really, really like the supreme, shawnee,  topwater, etc river boats. Love them! The issue for me is i will fish rivers like current river, eleven point, spring and those type of rivers as much as I will white river or north fork.  The thing is, I rarely see one of these "trout boats" on these other rivers which are shallow and rocky just like north fork and white river.  Everyone runs the aluminum river boats it seems with oversized jet motors.  This will be strictly a fishing boat, so I think the fiberglass boats will be quieter, cooler in hot weather, have better control, etc. I dont need to roar up and down the river like i am in a race. I envision a supreme or similar with a 9.9/15 horse prop with guard being for me.

So, why don't we see these style boats more outside of the white river country? Am I missing something here?

          Fishfighter,

 Something to consider from what i have been told. Think about how far up  you will be going if running the current  or eleven point river. A 25 HP limit on the upper areas. If you talk to Fred at Current River marine he may be able to help. There above NetBoy has responded too. Good luck on your search. I love my jet :) ,

   BilletHead

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I have a 1752 Blazer SS 60/40 jet.  I had a 20’ fiberglass river jon years ago. I’ll take an aluminum jet over the fiberglass boats. White, norfork James long creek meramec Big gasconade Missouri table Rock and Taney all in mine over the past year. 24 volt 80 pound ultrex. 

70E20535-7DF5-45DF-9E77-3C757B3BC5E1.jpeg

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Nice boat Snagged...

That said I think the OP will be happy with either a Supreme, Topwater or Blazer... Fiberglass or aluminum both work great. But definitely get a jet. Way too many rocks to hit and shallow gravel bars to run over that are not prop friendly on all these rivers. 


 

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I do see these Supremes, etc fiberglass river boats with jet outboards.  I was just told stick with prop for fishing boat. I don't know, I never run a jet.  But I have been in a supreme boat with a prop and went over some very rocky water just inches deep in the north fork river.

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Can't imagine why anybody would tell you to stick with a prop for fishing.  The motor is just to get you to whatever spot you want to fish, and it doesn't matter what kind it is as long as it gets you there.  Inches deep sounds good, but with any prop motor, you need to have the prop in the water fully to go anywhere, and that means at the very least 8-12 inches.  A properly set up jet will run in less than 6 inches.  The old timers ran Current River below Two Rivers in prop boats, but they knew the river exceedingly well and carried a lot of spare shear pins!

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It depends on your checkbook as well as experience. A 16' Alum. Jon with a 20/25 will most likely suit your purpose with the lowest cost. I have a jon built in 1973 that's  already wore out 2 prop motors and almost a jet. That boat has probably had more fish pulled over the gunnels than wicked tuna and monster fish combined. Another thing to consider is having a jet and a prop motor and switching as required. A $2000 alum boat verses an $6000 glass boat could allow that option.

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