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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently acquired an old Mercury 3.9 motor with 4 hours on it. I am currently getting the motor refreshed so that I can use it. Now I need to figure out how much boat I can get so that I can putt around the bayou's and rivers and not be underpowered. On the other hand, I don't want to get too small of a boat as I would like to have at least a 400# weigh capacity. I have seen many jon boats available in the 10-14' range and would like your opinion on which one could best suit my needs. Academy has a 12' jon boat for $600 and it's specs seem alright and there's a plethora of used boats available on craigslist.
Also, I have noticed many folks on craigslist do not have the title for the boat they're selling. I know for a fact that the FWCC does not play around at all when it comes to boating regulations, so my question is, is it worth it to go through the hassle of titling a boat so that I can register it? Or should I save myself and buy one with a title?
 

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No title = nightmare these days. I was lucky getting my granddad's jon boat titled recently, but still had to jump through hoops. I am sure there is some expert out there that cant wait to spell out all the hoops you have to jump through, but the point is, get a title if you can.
A 12 is good for most any jon boat type fishing, and I think a 4 hp will do ok with it, although you wont be setting any speed records. I think they are rated for up to a 5, even though every neck in the woods puts a 9.9 on them.
The biggest benefit I see in a 10 or 12 ft boat, is that you are not locking yourself into a trailer all the time. If you buy a bigger boat (that you cant slide into a truck) then you are restricting yourself to only launching at boat ramps. Kinda counterproductive of the "I wanna go backwater" mentality of buying a jon boat in the first place.
good luck.
 

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Describe underpowered..... A 3.9 is not going to push any boat onto a plane. I had a 16ft as a kid that over a period of years we ran everything from a trolling motor to a 30hp. I would get as large a boat as I could handle by myself. 14 to 16 is a good start to be stable.
 

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Tangle Master
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I have a question that may help answer yours. I have considered building my own jonboat, now I would have to get it titled as homebuilt. What is involved in getting a title for a homebuilt boat? You could easily slap a coat of paint on the boat you buy and declare it homebuilt. So whats involved to get a title like this?
 

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I have a 14 ft. and it's 4 ft. wide. Very stable. I am 230 and stand in the front and fish all the time. A 10hp gets her going just fine, but would not go any smaller. And yes, too heavy to throw in the back of my truck.
 

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OCD Reel Service/Repair
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I haven't had any trouble getting a title for a "homebuilt" trailer. I'm sure you could with a homebuilt jon boat.
 

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I have a question that may help answer yours. I have considered building my own jonboat, now I would have to get it titled as homebuilt. What is involved in getting a title for a homebuilt boat? You could easily slap a coat of paint on the boat you buy and declare it homebuilt. So whats involved to get a title like this?
You need a reciept for everything you used to construct the boat. I wanted to build a layout and put my suzuki 3.5 on it. I was going to use scrap lumber from around our house and just buy the fiberglass but was told they "wouldn't issue title without proof of purchasing all wood involved" Really is some BS
 

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Tangle Master
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You need a reciept for everything you used to construct the boat. I wanted to build a layout and put my suzuki 3.5 on it. I was going to use scrap lumber from around our house and just buy the fiberglass but was told they "wouldn't issue title without proof of purchasing all wood involved" Really is some BS
Go buy a sheet of ply for the transom and say that is the only wood.
 

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I've owned and sold 2 john boats from Academy. Both were the 12ft alumacraft which were good for the rivers and even the bay on somewhat decent current as long as the the chop wasn't too bad. The 1st one I only used trolling motors to scoot around. The second one I had a new Mercury 5hp on it and when putting cooler and some equipment up front it would plane out barely but still moved pretty good. That 5hp was very fuel efficient and would run at idle speed for 8 minutes after the fuel line was disconnected! That brand of john boat works well but wasn't as stable as I would have liked but I'm very heavy at 285lbs. If you can get a wide one like GatorBane mentioned you'll be a lot happier in the long run. I've also owned 2 of the 5 person paddle boats from Academy. On fairly calm days they worked well also. Sold the last one because I traded in my Avalanche in for a better fuel economy vehicle. So for now I just fish the bridges but can do it more due to the savings. Next boat will probably be a small deck boat for the rivers and bay. Buy new so there won't be any title hassles!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I bought a 10ft Alumacraft from a yard sale with title. Couldn't pass it up for $200. Thanks for all the helpful responses!
 
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