Overhauling an aluminum jon boat

Having worked with wood and fiberglass boats, this project is interesting because the boat is made out of aluminum. The old standby known as a jon boat, a flat bottom boat with a square bow and low sides has been a favorite in many lakes and swamps of coastal USA.


The jon boat I am working on is a 14 foot, 30 plus year old Aluma Craft jon boat.The goal is to put this boat back in tip top shape and sell it. There is no doubt this boat will go on many years.  A survey of the boat found that the wooden  transom stiffener was rotted. It caused excessive pitting in the aluminum transom. Luckily no intense depth to the pits.  Because pieces of flotation were found in boat bottom in the aft section, we opened rear seats and found not only Styrofoam flotation but FLORISTS FOAM! The wooden transom piece was a re-build and when done the rear seats had to be opened and the repair person must have needed to replace styrofoam When that got wet it held the water and that also caused pitting corrosion on the bottom of the aft section of the hull.  Other than that and a few minor dents plus the need for a new paint job the boat is in good physical condition.

Already started re-furbishing the insides of the rear seats and transom. You can see in the photo the inside of one of the rear seats. The inside was thoroughly cleaned, undercoated and painted. Also notice the black dots(holes) in the bottom of the boat inside the seat in front of the bracket. They are pits that ate through the aluminum hull. They are the next project to be worked on.


7 thoughts on “Overhauling an aluminum jon boat”

  1. I resurrected a Starcraft 18 a few years ago and found that a dab of 3M 5200 backed up with a small piece of aluminum made an effective long term patch.

    1. HI Dave,

      My next post will show we are thinking on the same lines. Aluminum requires a little thought when it comes to patching small holes. This is a case of “pitting”. I used 5200 to make the repairs along with drilling out the deep pits and riveting the drilled out pits while the 5200 was wet. This allowed me to cover the bottom areas where pitting was not as deep with about 2-3mm of 5200 to fill the pits. I had considered aluminum plates but figures the rivets would do the trick.

    1. Thank you for your support. I will do my best to post interesting and useful information. Anything you wan to see please let me know.

  2. Hi Ed,

    I like your idea.
    If you still have it, please give me some pictures and price you’d like to sell.
    I can publish it on my site which is specialized on jon boats sales and I’m sure it will be gone soon.
    I will do it for free for you. No charge and no comission at all. Just send me good photos.
    You can check out my site here http://www.jon-boats-for-sale.com

    Hope to hear soon from you

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