Jonsboat Plans Instant Download
Jonsboat is just a jonboat. But where I live that says a lot because most of the boats around here are jonboats and for a good reason. These things will float on dew if the motor is up. This one shows 640 pounds displacement with only 3" of draft. That should float the hull and a small motor and two men. The shape of the hull encourages fast speeds in smooth water and I'd say this one will plane with 10 hp at that weight, although "planing" is often in the eye of the beholder. I'd use a 9.9 hp motor on one of these myself to allow use on the many beautiful small lakes we have here that are wisely limited to 10 hp. The prototype was built by Greg Rinaca of Coldspring, Texas and his boat is shown above when first launched with a trolling motor. But here is another one finished about the same time by Chuck Leinweber of Harper, Texas:
In the photo of Chuck's boat you can see the wide open center that I prefer in my own personal boats. To keep the wide open boat structurally stiff I boxed in the bow, used a wide wale, and braced the aft corners.
I usually study the shapes of commercial welded aluminum jonboats. It's surprising to see the little touches the builders have worked into such a simple idea. I guess they make these things by the thousands and it is worth while to study the details. Anyway, Jonsboat is a plywood copy of a livery boat I saw turned upside down for the winter. What struck me about that hull was that its bottom was constant width from stem to stern even though the sides had flare and curvature. When I got home I figured out how they did it and copied it. I don't know if it gives a superior shape in any way but the bottom of this boat is planked with two constant width sheets of plywood.
Greg Rinaca put a new 18 hp Nissan two cycle engine on his boat, Here is a photo of it:
The installation presented a few interesting thoughts. First I've been telling everyone to stick with 10 hp although it's well known that I'm a big chicken about these things. Greg reported no problems and a top speed of 26 mph. I think the Coast Guard would limit a hull like this to about 25 hp, the main factors being the length, width, flat bottom, and steering location. Second, if you look closely at the transom of Greg's boat you will see that he has built up the transom in the motor mount area about 2". When I designed Jonsboat I really didn't know much about motors except that there were short and long shaft motors. I thought the short ones needed 15" of transom depth and didn't really know about the long shafts. Jonsboat has a natural depth of about 17" so I left the transom on the drawing at 17" and did some hand waving in the drawing notes about scooping out or building up the transom to match the requirements of your motor.
I think the upshot of it all is that short shaft motors need 15" from the top of the mount to the bottom of the hull and long shaft motors need 20". There was a lot of discussion about where the "cavitation" plate, which is the small flat plate right above the propeller, should fall with respect to the hull. I asked some expert mechanics at a local boat dealer and they all swore on a stack of tech manuals that a high powered boat will not steer safely if the cavitation plate is below the bottom of the hull, the correct location being about 1/2" to 1" above the bottom. But Greg had the Nissan manual and it said the correct position is about 1" BELOW the bottom. Kilburn Adams has a new Yamaha and its manual says the same thing. So I guess small motors are different from big ones in that respect.
But it seems to be not all that critical, at least for the small motors. Greg ran his Jonsboat with the 18 hp Nissan with the original 17" transom for a while and measured the top speed as 26 mph. Then he raised the transom over 2" and got the same top speed!
I've gotten several Jonsboat photos although I imagine I have misplaced several. Here is one by Jim Hauer:
And another by Barry Johnson:
And another by Don Graham:
There is nothing to building Jonsboat. There are five sheets of plywood, and I'm suggesting 1/2" for the bottom and 1/4" for everything else. It's all stuck together with glue and nails using no lofting or jigs. I always suggest glassing the chines for abrasion resistance but I've never glassed more than that on my own boats and haven't regretted it. The cost, mess, and added labor of glassing the hull that is out of the water is enormous. My pocketbook and patience won't stand it. Glassing the chines and bottom is a bit different because it won't show and fussy finishing is not required.
About Instant Downloads of Jim Michalak's Plans
A lot of people have commented on how much they like Jim Michalak's blue line plans. These are done on a blueprint machine that Jim bought when the folks who were printing his plans went out of the blueprint business. The plans are large and very readable but suffer a couple of drawbacks. First of all, almost any liquid - even water - will cause the lines to run and may make the plans unreadable. And any prolonged exposure to light, especially direct sunlight, will fade the drawings to the point that they are again unreadable. Even if stored in a dark place, the blueline drawings have a limited life and will eventually dissappear.
We asked Jim if he would think about redrawing some of his plans in a smaller format for printing on a home computer and so that they could be downloaded instantly. This has several advantages for the builder. First, the plans are in your hands right away. No waiting for the mail or postage to pay. Also, you now have a permanent digital copy so if you spill coffee on your plans, you can just print a new set.
We started with Jonsboat and the digital copies are really nice - Here is a sample page:
When you print the instant download plans on your home computer, you get a perfect, easy to read set of plans that rivals the original blueline format.
Now there are a couple of reasons that Jim was not entirely happy about this new idea. First of all, with the ease of sending such files around the internet, he was afraid that he would sell only one set of plans and that would be it. I assured him that our customers are honest folks who respect intellectual property. I hope you will help me prove this to Jim.
The second thing that Jim was concerned about was the fact that he was paying for his printer by selling paper plans. He did not want to lower the price of the downloadable plans and be left with a printer he could no longer use. So we suggested that he keep the price the same. That way he comes out Ok either way you buy the plans. But you do save the cost of postage with the instant download and you do get a digital backup. What you don't get is a nice set of paper plans - until you print one.