I get a lot of traffic to the site looking for information on customizing jon boats. Friend Joe Vonfossen recently sent me some pics and descriptions of his aluminum rebuild to share with readers. Lots of nice work and good features to share. Be sure to click on the pics for larger versions.
"It's a 1940's era Duracraft hull and doesn't take on a drop of water, along with being stored indoors, it rarely needs more than some water sponged out. Feaures I've built in include storage hatch, 'hillbilly' Anchormate, spinnerbait rack, storage for 4 3700 sized boxes, pedastal seat and aluminum mounting plates under the TM and seat to prevent bolts from pulling out, even if the deck begins to rot."
"It's nothing too special, but it keeps everything I need for a day of fishing handy, and leaves plenty of space for somebody in the back of the boat. Since I took the pictures, I added straps across the tackle storage area, so they won't slide back while running down the lake. The only things that I don't have that would be nice are a live well and bilge pump. I don't tourney fish and rarely keep fish, but have often kicked around the idea of making a live well out of a cooler or tote. I didn't put in a bilge because the boat doesn't drain well from front to back, so I think I will need to set up with multiple pumps and just haven't bothered with it yet."
"The deck is held in with with only 6 bolts, 4 for the raised portion (2 in each side rail), and two at the back of the main deck. The weight of the deck support structure under the main deck keeps it in place nicely."
"The storage in the nose is great. Before it was just a cubby hole several inches deep that just collected used lures. Building in the storage also made me think about what I actually used, and cut the amount of stuff I carry in half, and I still don't use half of the stuff in the boat."