How to Add Plastic to the Bottom of an Aluminum Jon Boat

by Scott Knickelbine
fishing image by Photoeyes from

A jon boat is a flat-bottomed boat, usually used for fishing in shallow waters. Many jon boats have aluminum hulls, which can get seriously scratched and gouged if the water gets too shallow. In addition, the rivet lines on that broad underside can create drag, which will slow you down. One way to protect and smooth your jon boat hull is to coat it in plastic -- or, more specifically, two-part epoxy resin. A number of products on the market are designed specifically to provide protection for aluminum marine hulls.

Step 1

Turn the boat upside down on level ground in a spot out of direct sun. Prop the hull if necessary to make sure it is as level as possible.

Step 2

Clean the underside using acetone or lacquer thinner, and allow it to dry completely.

Step 3

Sand the area to be coated with 100-grit sandpaper to thoroughly abrade the aluminum.

Step 4

Combine the epoxy resin and hardener according to package directions. Stir thoroughly with a stick.

Step 5

Work the epoxy into and around seams and joints in the underside, using the paint brush.

Step 6

Apply the epoxy to the rest of the hull using the roller brush. Smooth the epoxy over the surface using broad, light strokes with the roller.

Allow the epoxy to cure for 12 hours, and then mix and apply another coat if desired. Allow the epoxy to cure a full 24 hours before returning the boat to the water.


  • Some marine epoxy kits come packaged so you can just add the entire can of hardener to the can of resin, so you don't need to measure.
  • Marine waterproofing epoxy does not require priming before application.
  • In addition to protecting and smoothing the hull, the epoxy will also fill any small leaks that have developed in your jon boat.


  • Two-part epoxy products emit harmful vapors. Always use these products outdoors, or in areas with adequate ventilation.
  • Marine two-part epoxy typically has a workable time of one hour. Do not mix more than you can apply in that time. If you're intending to apply two coats, mix only half of your epoxy for each coat.
  • Marine epoxy coats typically do not contain UV protectants, because they are intended for use below the waterline. However, if you store your Jon boat upside down in the sun, you should plan on painting the bottom with a marine paint rated for fiberglass.

Items you will need

  • Aluminum jon boat
  • Acetone or lacquer thinner
  • Clean rags
  • Sandpaper, 100 grit
  • 2-part waterproof epoxy resin
  • Paint brush, nap
  • Paint roller, 1/4 inch nap
  • Disposable mixing pail
  • Stick for mixing

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