Jon boats are a great way to get into boating. They’re affordable, come in many shapes and sizes, and best of all can be configured in any way imaginable. With the right accessories, you can have a Jon boat suited perfectly for your needs, and you don’t have to have special skills or a lot of money to do so either.
Here are 50 Jon boat accessories that will make your boating adventures more safe, convenient, and comfortable.
1. Rod Holders
Jon boats make great fishing boats, so a few rod holders are a great accessory to have for trolling or rod storage.
Instead of dealing with wires and drilling holes into your boat, clamp on battery powered navigation lights are a great option that you can quickly attach when you need them.
3. Light Bar
If you’re going to be taking your boat out in the early morning hours or late into the night, a light bar is a must-have accessory so you can have some ready-to-go lighting.
The built-in bench seats that come standard on Jon bats can get uncomfortable after a while. It’s nice to have some padded seats so you can be comfortable and have some back support.
A depth finder is a must-have for any boat, and you don’t have to get the biggest or most high-end model. Even if you don’t plan on fishing from your Jon boat, a depth finder can help you avoid shallow areas and hazards that could cause damage to your boat.
6. Cup Holders
If you’ve ever been boating even in relatively calm conditions, you know any drink that’s put down is bound to spill over. Install some simple cup holders so you can enjoy cold drinks without the risk of spilling all the time.
You can never have too many drain plugs. They don’t take up much space and you can’t take a Jon boat on the water without one.
Every boat should have an oar just in case the engine goes out and you have to use manpower to get back to the boat launch. This telescoping oar is ideal for small boats because it’s compact and won’t get in the way.
9. Bimini Top
One big downside of Jon boats is because they’re completely open, there’s nowhere to find shade to get a break from the sun. A bimini top is a great way to provide shade on your boat while still having the option to remove it if you don’t need it.
EVA flooring is a great addition to any Jon boat. It’s durable, feels great on bare feet, and comes in many colors and styles to suit the look you want. If you’re willing to put the time into installing it, you won’t regret it.
11. Bilge Pump
Bailing excess water from inside a boat is a common practice, and leaks are fairly common with riveted Jon boats in particular. A bilge pump is an easy and effective way to be prepared to bail excess water if need be.
If you use batteries to run strictly electric motors and other electronics as many people do, it helps to know how much capacity you have left. This will help you plan your trip and know when it’s time to head back before you run out of battery life.
Although it’s not always required to have a fire extinguisher aboard small vessels, it should be. A fire extinguisher won’t take up much room and it could potentially save your life if an engine fire occurs.
An anchor lock system is a great accessory if you plan to change anchor locations somewhat frequently, such as for fishing. It will save you from continually re-fastening your anchor line to a cleat, and can also allow you to use the anchor line more precisely.
It can sometimes be hard to see over the bow while operating a tiller on a small boat. By using a tiller extension handle, you can stand up while steering the tiller and better see in front of you to avoid potential hazards.
16. Boat Cover
A boat cover is a no-brainer for any boat, especially if you store your boat outside during the off-season. A boat cover will protect the inside from water, bugs, and other critters and as a result, will extend the life of your jon boat.
Even small boats need a reliable anchor, and in fact, in some areas boating laws require one. An anchor is as must have not only for safety but for its obvious usefulness
A shallow water anchor pole, also known as a stake-out stick is a great accessory to have when you want to quickly anchor in shallow water for fishing or stopping for a swim at a sandbar.
19. Spare Rope
Not only do you need rope for your anchor line, but it’s also a good idea to have spare lines for docking or mooring with your boat.
If you want an easy way to mount seats onto your Jon boat bench without the need for a drill, a seat clamp is an excellent option. It’s adjustable and easily removable, so you can change the seat position to whatever you want.
No one likes a messy boat. A mesh trashcan is an environmentally friendly and reusable alternative to wasteful plastic trash bags.
A telescoping boat hook is another essential accessory for all boats including Jon boats. A boat hook will help you grab lines and can even be used to help somebody who has fallen overboard. The telescoping feature ensures this boat hooks won’t take up too much room either.
If you have a small boat, odds are you use an outboard motor to power it. Since you shouldn’t run an outboard without water, these motor muffs are a much-needed accessory for doing routine maintenance at home. All you need is a simple garden hose and some running water.
Another great way to install seats on an aluminum boat is with a pedestal mount. It’s a great way to get a more overhead view of the water and an excellent and comfortable vantage point for fishing.
25. Fuel Tank
Yet another no-brainer, but this list wouldn’t be complete without it. Already have a fuel tank? It can’t hurt to have a spare!
A caddy organizer is an awesome thing to have on a small boat to organize fishing gear, snacks, and other things you may need at arm’s reach. Instead of having all your stuff cluttered on the deck, this caddy organizer is a much better alternative.
If you’re like most people who buy a Jon boat, odds are you bought it second-hand as a project. A fresh coat of paint can help your boat look brand new and you can choose from a variety of colors for a new look.
Another safety accessory that’s not always required for small boats, but an important thing to have are flares. If worse comes to worst with things such as engine trouble, you can use flares to signal other boaters for assistance.
29. Safety Whistle
A safety whistle is another essential safety accessory. It takes up little to no space, and it can be heard from great distances. Visual signals alone are not always enough, so make sure you have audio signals as well.
If you get caught on the water after dark, small handheld flashlights aren’t going to cut it to help you navigate in the dark. That’s why you should always have a spotlight aboard your boat.
Jon boats don’t always come standard with cleats, and if they do it’s only a couple at the stern. Adding a few more to other parts of your boat can help you with docking and better anchoring position.
An outboard can’t get fuel without a fuel line, which is obvious. However, it’s not a bad idea to have a spare or two because most modern gasoline has ethanol, which can damage fuel lines, causing the need for a replacement every few years.
33. Anchor Chain
An anchor simply won’t catch to the bottom properly without an anchor chain. Make sure your anchor line assembly for your Jon boat is complete with the right anchor chain.
Planning on using your Jon boat where motors aren’t allowed? Installing oarlocks and a pair of oars can be a great addition to help you get around small bodies of water.
35. Dry Bag
Things are bound to get wet while boating. You’ll be surrounded by water, of course. Don’t head out on the water without a drybag so you can keep your valuables and electronics safe from water damage.
36. First Aid Kit
A basic first aid kit is a vital accessory. When you’re far away from the boat launch and you or your passengers suffer any minor cuts or burns, you can treat them on the spot with the right first aid supplies.
37. Air Horn
If high winds or other ambient noises make using a whistle for an audio signal ineffective, an air horn will surely do the trick. Even if it’s not required to have one, don’t go out on the water without one.
When your boat trailer isn’t hooked up to your vehicle, it’s always a good idea to use wheel chocks so your boat and trailer don’t take off unexpectedly.
If you store your boat and outboard outdoors during the offseason, not only should you cover your boat, but you should more importantly cover your outboard. If too much water gets into the engine, it can ruin it for good.
Although it’s always a good idea to have handheld flashlights in case you end up on the water after dark, if they’re not waterproof they could easily become damaged and rendered useless. Do yourself a favor and get some waterproof flashlights for your Jon boat.
41. Key Float
There are few worse scenarios than losing a set of keys that go overboard. Whether it’s your truck keys or your boat keys, make sure you have a float attached to the key ring so you don’t lose them and end up stranded.
Boating and listening to music go hand in hand. Since it wouldn’t make much sense to install an intricate audio system on a Jon boat, a portable Bluetooth speaker will do the trick just fine.
Most larger boats are equipped with a marine VHF radio to hail for help from other boats or the coast guard. This doesn’t mean you can’t have this capability on a small boat. Having a handheld marine radio can give you an extra level of preparedness if you find yourself in an unsafe situation.
44. Life Jackets
Life jackets are one of those things that are required to have aboard just about anywhere you go. Make sure to have enough life jackets for everyone aboard and have them in an area that’s easily accessible if you won’t be wearing them all the time.
No day on the water is complete without some cold drinks and snacks. Coolers are also essential for fishing if you plan on keeping your catch or a place to keep fresh cut bait.
46. Rope Ladder
Every once and a while it’s nice to take a swim from a Jon boat on a hot day. However, getting back on the boat can be challenging. With a rope ladder and some careful weight balancing, you can easily get back aboard after a relaxing swim.
If you want a cheap and simple way to install a seat on an aluminum boat, a simple swivel seat mount is a great way to go. You’ll just need a drill and some basic hardware to install it.
If you plan to install a bow mount trolling motor to your Jon boat, a quick-release bracket is a must-have. They’re great for when you need to take off the trolling motor when you don’t need it or for transport.
If you plan on an all-day outing on the water, having a grill to cook some delicious food can be a welcome comfort. A compact grill can be placed on the deck or installed on the gunwale, but just make sure the grill is on the complete opposite end of the boat as the fuel tank.
There may be occasions when you need to take your outboard off of your Jon boat for things like maintenance and storage. A motor dolly is a must-have so you can keep it in the proper upright position and to help with easy transport.
You don’t need all or even most of these accessories to complete your Jon boat, but this should give you an idea of what accessories you may want or need. This list should give you the jumping-off point for outfitting your boat with the accessories specific to your goals for your boat. With that being said, it’s best to place special importance on safety accessories, as they are without a doubt the most important.
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