Jon Boat Weight Capacity (Plus Several Examples)



A great boat trip should be smooth, safe, and fun. That’s where the Jon Boat comes in. The Jon Boat is the ideal mobile aquatic platform, and is perfect for calmer bodies of water.

It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, all at vastly different price points. Most importantly, the Jon Boat also has a relatively high weight capacity – which is excellent for fishing trips.

If you intend to buy a Jon boat, then you need to consider the weight capacity relative to its intended use. Put simply, ensuring that you don’t overload your Jon boat is very important, especially if you don’t want to capsize your boat whilst out in the water!

You also need to consider the length of the boat, and the way this may affect the balance of the overall weight capacity. For example, you shouldn’t buy a 20 ft boat just to cruise along shallow waters as this size can be very difficult to maneuver.

We know it can be a little confusing trying to navigate these murky waters. So if you’re wondering what the weight capacities are for different types of Jon Boat, but don’t know where to start looking, look no further!

We’ve done the difficult work for you so you don’t have to. This guide will point you in the right direction to get you smooth sailing once again.

Jon Boat Weight Capacity

What Is A Jon Boat?

The Jon boat is a practical flat-bottomed boat usually made from fiberglass, polyethylene, wood, or aluminum. The average Jon boat weighs around 200 pounds, however this does not include the motor. Jon Boats also typically feature several benches.  

In the early 19th century, these boats became popular in the Ozarks and were designed initially to explore the shallow waters of the Missouri Valley. As a result, Jon Boats feature a specially designed flat-hull design that enables them to navigate specific waterways.

Two Basic Variations Of Jon Boats

Jon Boats are known as the workhorses of the water. They are lightweight utility boats popular with thousands of fishermen, utility workers, hunters, and leisure seekers in waterways all across the globe.

Due to their minimalist design and easy construction, they are inexpensive and can be produced commercially or as home projects.

Flat Bottomed 

This type of Jon boat is an essential vessel thanks to its more traditional design, and its shallow draft. It has a flat bottomed hull that helps the boat to glide on top of the waves rather than cut directly through them.

This also makes the boat the ideal candidate for calm shallow waterways. 

Its design also means that flat-bottomed Jon boats can move in very shallow waters with depths of only a couple of inches.

Many individuals prefer flat bottoms because they allow deeper exploration of river banks and marshes, without causing major damage or risking the overall integrity of the boat.

Modified-V Hull Or Semi-V

Modified-v hull Jon boats are popular amongst anglers and utility workers around the world thanks to their versatility. Anglers tend to be able to handle rougher waters and more challenging conditions with this vessel.

Based on the minimalist design of the conventional flat-bottomed Jon boat, and its shallow draft design, a Modified-V Hull boat tends to provide greater stability in rougher waters thanks to an angular bottom and a deeper semi-v type hull that is able to handle these challenges.

However, this type of boat does lose stability in calmer waterways because of its deeper draft. 

How Much Weight Can A Flat Bottom Boat Hold?

This depends on the size of your boat. But it is always better to follow the recommendations that the manufacturer has outlined for your particular boat.

There is often a plaque of some sort attached to a Jon Boat that will provide you with information about the passenger capacity and the overall weight capacity of the vessel.

Some boats may simply have a number located at the side of the transom that indicates the weight capacity.

However, if you can’t find the plaque or the number isn’t visible, you should consult the owner’s manual. If this isn’t available, you can search for the details of your vessel (the make and model) and find the results online.

Jon Boat Weight Capacity And Sizes

Jon Boat Weight And Size Capacity

Jon Boats vary in weight and size. They are commercially available in the range of 8 to 24 feet long and 32 to 60 inches wide, although they are also available in custom sizes. The simple design includes an open hull, without a bilge, leaving the ribs exposed.

Below, we’ve listed the speed, maximum horsepower and average weight capacity of different Jon Boats. We’ve also included some examples for your convenience.

A 10 Ft Jon Boat

A 10 ft Jon boat comes with an average weight of around 100 pounds, which excludes the motor. It can hold extra weight in the range of 300 to 350 pounds for equipment and passengers.

It is the ideal boat size for light utility work, fishing in certain waterways, and backwater explorations, This size Jon boat also reaches top speeds of 5 mph with a maximum horsepower of 5 HP. 

Average Weight of a 10 ft Jon Boat:

  1. Waco Jon 1432 Series 10 Foot: weighs 78 pounds with a carrying capacity of 235 pounds 
  2. Lowe L1032: this boat weighs 80 pounds with a carrying capacity of 275 pounds 
  3. Alumacraft 10 ft Jon boat: weighs around 95 pounds with a carrying capacity of 325 pounds
  4. Tracker Topper 1036: an average weight of 112 pounds with a carrying capacity of 380 pounds
  5. Smoker Craft 1032: weighs 100 pounds with a carrying capacity of 290 pounds 
  6. G3 Boats 1036: weighs 100 pounds with a carrying capacity of 325 pounds

A 12 Ft Jon Boat

Excluding the motor, a 12 ft Jon boat usually weighs around 120 pounds and is equipped to hold anywhere from 400 to 450 pounds of extra weight. This includes equipment and passengers. If you’re planning to carry out light utility work, go fishing in medium backwaters, or simply want to partake in some extended exploration – a 12 ft Jon Boat is perfect for you! This is mainly because it has top speeds between 10-15 mph and an average maximum HP of 5 to 7, making it ideal for traveling short distances. 

Average Weight of a 12 ft Jon Boat:

  1. Lost Creek 12ft: 90 pounds with a carrying capacity of 389 pounds
  2. Alumacraft 12 ft Jon boat: weighs around 105 pounds with a carrying capacity of 455 pounds
  3. Smoker Craft 1232: weighs 120 pounds with a carrying capacity of 390 pounds
  4. G3 Boats 1236: weighs 144 pounds with a carrying capacity of 470 pounds 
  5. Pelican Intruder 12: weighs 127 pounds with a carrying capacity of 420 pounds 

A 14 Ft Jon Boat

Excluding the motor, a Jon boat of this size typically hovers around 160 pounds. It has an additional carrying capacity of 610 pounds for equipment and passengers.

The 14 ft Jon Boat has excellent navigation properties: especially for lake exploration, water sports, and fishing trips – and can carry three adult passengers. This vessel clocks at top speeds of 20 mph and can reach a maximum horsepower of 15-20.

The speed you can achieve with this boat is ideal for water-based sports including wakeboarding and water skiing. 

Average Weight of a 14 ft Jon Boat:

  1. Tracker Topper 1436: approximate weight of 162 pounds with a carrying capacity of 580 pounds 
  2. Waco Jon 1432 Series 14 Ft: 104 pounds with a carrying capacity of 430 pounds 
  3. Smoker Craft 1436: weighs 182 pounds with a carrying capacity of 720 pounds 
  4. G3 Boats 14 Foot:  approximately 190 pounds with a carrying capacity of 685 pounds 
  5. Lost Creek 14ft: a weight of 145 pounds and a carrying capacity of 552 pounds 
  6. Smoker Craft 1436: this vessel weighs 182 pounds with a carrying capacity of 720 pounds 

A 16 Ft Jon Boat

Not including the motor, a 16 ft Jon boat has an average weight of around 360 pounds, with an extra carrying capacity of 990 pounds. This caters to passengers and additional cargo.

These boats are perfect for water sports, navigating several lake locations, and utility work. With a maximum HP of 30-35 HP, this boat can achieve faster speeds with less onboard weight including gear and passengers!

Average Weight of a 16 ft Jon Boat:

  1. Alumacraft 16 ft Jon boat: weighs 320 pounds, and has a carrying capacity of 1010 pounds
  2. Smoker Craft 1648: an impressive 295-pound boat with a carrying capacity of 900 pounds
  3. Xpress Boats 1659 VJ: weighs around 341 pounds and comes with an additional carrying capacity of up to 980 pounds 
  4. G3 Boats 16 Foot: this weighs 375 pounds with a carrying capacity of 975 pounds
  5. Crestliner 1600: weighs 275 pounds and has around 1,000 pounds of extra carrying capacity
  6. Lowe L1648: weighs 275 pounds with a carrying capacity of approximately 1,014 pounds 

An 18 Ft Jon Boat

With an average weight of 600 pounds and a carrying capacity of 1425 pounds for passengers and equipment, this Jon Boat is very impressive in all aspects.

Despite its size, it is ideal for utility works, water sports, and navigating lake locations. It has a top speed of 45 mph and a maximum of 50-60 HP. The 18 ft Jon boat can accommodate up to six adult passengers and their gear.

Average Weight of an 18 ft Jon Boat:

  1. Crestliner 1800: weighs around 475 pounds, with a carrying capacity of 1375 pounds
  2. G3 Boats: this vessel weighs in at 375 pounds, and has an additional 975 pounds carrying capacity
  3. Tracker Grizzly 1860: this boat clocks in at 794 pounds, with an impressive 1550-pound carrying capacity for people and gear

A 20 Ft Jon Boat

Excluding the motor, this boat comes in at an approximate weight of 830-850 pounds, and also has an additional carrying capacity of 1800 pounds for gear and people. Overall, it’s a very impressive boat!

Any Jon Boat of this size has the ability to accommodate between 6 and 8 fully grown passengers with full gear. Plus, with a maximum horsepower of 70-120 HP and a top speed of 45mph, it’s a real powerhouse.

Average Weight of a 20 ft Jon Boat:

  1. Crestliner 2070 Retriever: this is around 710 pounds, and has a 1,900-pound carrying capacity
  2. G3 Boats Gator Tough: approximately 1065 pounds and a carrying capacity of 1550 pounds
  3. Lowe Roughneck 2070: clocks in at an unbelievable weight of 710 pounds with a carrying capacity of around 1900 pounds

Jon Boat Length Classifications

  • 8-12 ft long boats are ideal for small-area explorations.
  • 14-16 ft long boats work best for utility work and water sports.
  • 18 ft and above boats are for utility use or commercial.

Carrying Capacity And Length

No matter the type of vessel, the length and carrying capacity of boats are very closely linked. For instance, boats that weigh less than the displaced water around it will float.

As a result, it’s clear that longer Jon boats displace higher amounts of water. This means longer boats have a higher weight capacity, so you can ferry more people and more equipment around.

Length And Speed

If you are seeking speed, then, it’s wise to opt for a longer-length boat. Some boat owners may choose a smaller Jon boat yet still mount a heavy motor on it, often resulting in the boat capsizing. Thankfully this is easily avoided.

We’d recommend following specific figures set out by the manufacturer in terms of the maximum speed and weight-bearing capacity that you should reach whilst using the boat to guarantee your safety. 

Dangers Of Exceeding Boat Weight Capacity

Aside from exceeding regulations, there are many dangers associated with pushing a boat past its stated capacity.

If a Jon Boat is overloaded then the boat will begin to take on additional water which usually leads to a sunken boat.

Though this is the worst-case scenario, it must be considered because of the risk it poses to passengers onboard, and the potential risk of losing the boat and equipment if the vessel starts to sink.


Jon boats remain a staple favorite for many reasons. Not only are these boats popular with utility workers and hunters, but they are also durable and versatile – with the potential to reach optimum cruising speeds.

Before purchasing your own Jon Boat, it’s absolutely essential to consider all factors.

For example, it’s vital that you really consider all relevant factors to determine the Jon boat best suited to you. Specifically, whether you need a modified-v hull or a flat-bottomed hull.

Plus, its overall length and speed capacity should match any intended activity to prevent dangerous situations from arising.

But, regardless of the boat, you end up purchasing, you should always prioritize safety over everything else.

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Dmitry S

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