Depending on your creativity, skills, and time, the limits to what you can do to a Jon boat are almost endless (depending on your imagination). I’ve been planning on making some Jon boat mods to my own for a while now but struggled to find an ultimate resource online where I could get inspiration and ideas from.
What I decided to do was gather as many ideas for Jon boat mods as I could from looking at forums, Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook and compile them into this mega guide of Jon boat modifications, plans, ideas, photos, and videos.
Whether you’re looking for free Jon boat mod plans, ideas on what to do with decking and flooring, storage, seating, or optimising your boat for fishing and hunting, you will be able to find something to inspire you below.
Jon boat modifications and ideas
If like me, you woke up one Saturday morning and told your other half that you wanted to make some “Jon boat mods, I need ideas”, then this should give you all the ideas and plans you would ever need for modifications.
I’ve split the modification categories into sections, so scroll on down until you find the plans, photos, or ideas that you need.
Jon boat deck modifications
The flat-bottomed design of a Jon means it’s actually relatively simple to modify the deck area, adding storage, a casting area, little cubby holes, platforms, and seating upgrades. Below are some of the most ingenious deck mods I have seen online.
1. Awesome fishing deck set-up with casting area
This guy will be fishing in style no doubt, with everything he needs in handy reach of the seat. He’s raised the deck up for additional storage too, with a pull up panel giving him access under the deck to the various electronics in use.
2. Raised deck and pedestal seating
With a raised deck, rod holders, and pedestal swivel seats, this guy is going to make some serious catches during the fishing season. If you want to know what seats were used in this Jon boat modification project, click here for my guide to Jon boat seating.
3. Stunning 15 foot modification
This Tracker 1542 is just stunning, and can handle 2 people with ease. If you go any smaller with a raised deck, then it could become unstable, but I have it on good authority that this one handles just perfectly.
4. Let’s assume this one hasn’t quite been finished yet
It’s certainly a work in progress, and gives you an idea on how the under-deck section could work on a modification project. Once that carpet goes down this is going to be one hell of a modification.
5. Look no further for a storage mod plan
This is one of the best Jon boat mods I’ve seen where storage has been planned and maximised to suit the space. Just look at it! There’s room down the sides for fishing equipment, room at the front, and what even looks like marine speakers built in – this guy is winning the modification projects I have seen online!
6. Stunning 12 foot modification perfect for fishing
Check out this example of a 12ft Jon boat deck modification. The deck is split into 3 parts, with ample room for your feet with swivel chairs and rod storage to the sides.
7. Raised seating in easy reach of the trolling motor
The seat on this one looks quite high up, but you have to assume that the owner made sure the boat was stable before he got to work. With that raised pedestal, he’s got the trolling motor within easy reach too.
8. Small Jon boat modifications are also possible
Just because you’ve got a smaller Jon, it doesn’t mean you can’t do some decent mods. This looks extremely stable, and has room for 2 to fish, despite the small deck size available. He’s made great use of this as you can see.
9. Comfortable carpeting is a must
It’s not quite finished, but in this example you can see how the raised deck has been fully carpeted. You can pick up cheap carpeting for a project like this from most hardware stores.
10. Loads of room to fish with this custom deck set-up
The stability of this fishing set-up looks a bit more to my liking, as the seats are set a little lower on the deck. There’s plenty of room here to swivel from side to side to make sure you don’t miss out on that catch.
11. The best top and flat-bottomed modification I’ve seen
This guy likes straight lines and flat surfaces. You could probably flip this Jon upside down and it would still float, given how the top resembles a flat-bottom (well, almost).
12. Jon boat mods and bass fishing
There is no doubt what this guy has in mind; a day’s bass-fishing for sure. If you don’t end up catching any fish in this beast of a modification then you might as well pack up and go home.
Jon boat mods for bass fishing
Speaking of bass fishing, how about some more examples of Jon boat mods for bass fishing where the the set-ups have been completely customised to help you get the best catch. Below are my favorites I’ve found in the forums – see what you think.
13. If you don’t catch fish in this example you might as well give up
In this example, the guy added spray-in liner (he used 2 gallons), rod T bars, hangers to hold the jig boxes, vertical rod holders using PVC piping, then space for his fish finder. He said he still had a while to go with this mod, but I’d be happy just with this set-up!
14. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
OK, so let’s be honest, it’s not going to win any design or beauty contests. But who cares? The upshot is, it works, and he catches every time he goes bass fishing. Perhaps the grass carpeting could work for duck hunting camouflage too!
15. When beer might be more important than bass fishing
What I love about this design is the moment I saw it, my first thought was how great that cooler could be for beer. Forget having a live well, just throw some ice and cold beers in there and you’re good to go.
Jon boat mods for hunting
Let’s move on now from fishing, to hunting. If it’s duck hunting you’re into, then you need idea for Jon boat mods that not only give you the storage and deck room you need, but also come in camo colors. You can paint your Jon camo, but camo seats and covers (see the best camo seats here), and really go to town to make sure your prey doesn’t see you approaching.
16. At least make your Jon boat green
At the very least, you want a green paint job when doing any form of Jon boat duck hunting modifications. The guy below has got that first part right, but wouldn’t it have been better in camo shades. Keep scrolling for some better examples. (PS: You might also be interested in my recent article that explains how to paint an aluminum boat yourself.)
17. Jon boat mods for duck hunting should always be camouflage
And here it is! An amazing modification where the camo shades and styling have been taken to the next level. You can’t dispute that! Check out the camo grip flooring, camo deck mods, raised seating and more. I love it, I really love it.
18. Another idea on camo theme for duck hunting
This is absolute class. You can just imagine how you could kill the motor and sit in wait amongst the reeds in this awesome little Jon. You just wouldn’t see it, and more importantly, the ducks certainly won’t!
19. How to make your own duck blind for hunting (video)
If you do decide to go down the camo route for duck hunting, you should also plan to get a duck blind in place as part of your modification project. The video below shows you just how you can do that on a 12 foot Jon boat.
20. How to paint a Jon boat in camo colors (video)
But what about the most essential part of the modification plan, the camo? Watch this step by step video which shows you how you can paint your boat so it’s got the camo shades on it before you even consider trying to hunt.
10ft Jon boat modifications
Let’s not neglect the smaller Jon boats. Whilst they won’t be as wide or long (see average widths here), with a little creativity and inspiration you can still transform that small space into something ideal for hunting and fishing. Go take a look at the great ideas for deck and storage modifications below.
21. 10 foot Jon boat conversion project
Here’s that smaller example I featured earlier, but this time from a different angle. Before this conversion and customisation job was started, this boat was picked up second hand for the cheap price of just $75 dollars. Can you imagine how much it will have increased in value since then? The owner could keep doing projects like this and flip the boats on Craigslist – makes a nice little side earner for sure!
22. Best 10-foot Jon boat setup ever (video)
In this video example, you can see how a guy added a trolling motor, front seat, livewell and cooler, livewell pump, rear seat, seat swivel, bilge pump, and rod holders. The result is a great set-up for bass fishing in creeks, small lakes, and bays (as long as there are no waves!) – see what you think.
23. Nice 10ft mod project (dog not included)
Here we see carpet seats, rear casting deck, cooler, fishing rod holders, and also bungee cord mounts so all the gear can be stripped down. He also made mounts for a second hand fish finder, with additional storage space added under the rear casting deck space. I don’t believe the dog was modified, he’s in his original format!
12-foot Jon boat mods
Here are some 12-foot Jon boat modifications that you can do. It includes some photos which give you a good idea on how to plan your own DIY project, some videos with step by step guides, and some of the best examples I have found online for 12ft Jon boat modifications.
24. Easy Jon boat modifications anyone can do (video)
This is one of the best YouTube videos I have found that focus purely on modifying a 12 foot Jon boat. In this short 5 and half minute video you see the guy making reinforced storage compartments and a live well space, applying carpeting to a homemade plywood deck, mounting a trolling motor, and placing seating in.
25. Jon boat modification showcase (video)
In this stunning video you can see the modifications and customisations made to a Tracker 1236 Jon boat. Apparently it took a few months, as each part was purchased or made bit by bit. It looks amazing at the end of the video reel.
26. Converting a 12 foot Jon boat to a bass boat (video)
One of the most popular modification projects is a conversion from a Jon to a bass boat. In this 21 minute video you see just how you can do it yourself.
27. Slideshow photos of a 12ft Jon boat modification project (video)
In this YouTube video the guy has put together a slide show of all the mods he has made to his 12-footer. It’s one of the best modification projects I have ever seen documented anywhere online. It’s worth watching all the way through if you need ideas and inspiration.
14ft Jon boat modifications
Here are some 14-foot Jon boat mods if you are still asking yourself “I need ideas”. Whether it’s a flat-bottomed boat, a Jon with a v-hull, or something you’ve picked up used and want to customise, there will be some ideas and free plans you can use here.
28. 14ft Jon boat modification idea (video)
This 14 foot Tracker 1436 was bought from new. The guy in the video says he could have done things differently, but I think it’s a insanely good effort, and you can see the blood, sweat, and tears that went into this project. At nearly 17 minutes, it gives you a great idea on what is possible with a Jon of this size.
29. The story of an old Jon boat (video)
I believe that the best custom projects are where you modify an old and un-loved Jon into something new and fresh. And that’s exactly what you see in this video with an example of a 1974 craft that was water damaged and virtually unusable. Everything was ripped out with a new deck being built from plywood, with outdoor carpeting added. It even had a CD player fitted, a lick or paint, and it was good to go.
30. Custom mod project on a 1976 14 footer
Believe it or not, this boat was made in 1976.
I started out with just a 14 ft. Jon boat that was made in 1976. As you can see, there is still some work to go, but it shows what you can achieve with even the oldest of boats that you can pick up used for cheap.
31. Electric Jon boat modification plan (video)
In this example, the guy making the mods wasn’t allowed to use gas motors in his local lakes. He decided to take his boat and convert it into an electric-powered version. The boat in this video was a 14ft Tracker Topper. I love it!
Jon boat seat modifications
If you buy a new boat brand new, the seats that it comes with won’t always be suitable for what you want from your Jon. They might not sit you up high or low enough, may not swivel, and probably don’t give you the reach and comfort you need for fishing and duck hunting.
Because of that, you will see a huge range of Jon boat seat mods where guys rip out the old and install their own set-up. Whether you want a bench, a pedestal, or a swivel, here are some modifications to seating that could work for you.
All of the new seats in this guide you can see reviewed and rated in my guide to the best Jon boat seats.
32. Hatch door bench seating idea
One thing you don’t often see is hatch storage underneath bench seating. If you don’t want a swivel or pedestal, but do want to make the best use of storage on your boat, then this is a great way to do so. Here’s what it could look like.
33. Some manufacturers have great seating ideas already
If you buy this Crestliner below, you might not even want to make a seat mod. This stern seat could be just what you are looking for.
34. DIY swivel plate seating
In this DIY project, round holes were cut into the benches, then, tapped and threaded. Plates were installed to mount the swivel seats onto. You can see more photos from this custom seat project (plus more ideas) in my guide to seat mount ideas.
35. Fitted pedestal idea
This DIY customisation looks so good, but unfortunately I can’t credit it properly as it was posted into a Facebook group. The mount is very sturdy, and you can replicate it yourself using the product review found in my mount guide.
36: High pedestal seating example
In this idea, see how the guys has installed a pedestal seat on his Jon boat to get a really high fishing and vantage point.
37. Replicate these mods with a seat clamp
You can buy clamping seat systems and fit them quite easily to your boat (see prices). It’s easy, requires less modification and if you choose a decent kit such as Attwood or Alumacraft you should be zero problems.
Jon boat modifications affecting weight limit
When doing any modification project, you need to be aware of weight limits and stability. There are ways in which you can improve the stability of your Jon, but there will be a weight limit that you should not exceed.
The smaller your Jon, the bigger this issue can be. For example, I would not want to place a raised deck on a 12-footer, but that’s just me.
The last word…
I hope that’s given you some ideas you need and inspiration on how you can customise or modify your own Jon boat. Now you should have an idea on what you want to achieve, look for some plans online, or follow some of the great videos on YouTube.
You might also be interested in the following articles which will help you make your mods: