Simple DIY Plwood Jon Boat

Article By Shorty

Wouldn't it be neat to make a small jon boat so fast and cheap, that it would almost be disposable?

If I were going to build one, this is what I would build first. With the side air tanks, and the generous bow and stern airboxes, it will be unsinkable, even if swamped. The side airboxes would provide floatation, plus stiffen up the bottom.

I'd probably use a 1/2" bottom, and run 2 skids down the middle so they are evenly spaced and centered below the foot well area. Possibly a couple more skids under the airbox area.

12' long seems like a good length, and 12' is the longest single plank I can get at Home Depot without special ordering. Could easily butt join a couple of planks together to make a longer plank, but a 12' long boat would be good enough for me.

On BucketEars, to stiffen up the side decks, I installed a bunch of small ribs. Here is a picture of all the decks upside down, the paint is drying on them.

To install the ribs, I simply smeared a lot of titebond II glue on the rib, put it in place, then weighted it own till it cured the next day. The next thing I did was drill a hole in the end of each rib, so the hole went all the way thru. This made a guide marks, so I drove ring shank nails thru the ribs between the holes. Probably didn't need the mails, but hey, it was fast and didn't cost much.