How to Stabilize a Jon Boat

by Don Kress
Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

A Jon boat is essentially a flat-bottomed aluminum boat with a shallow hull. They are useful in a wide variety of fishing and hunting situations, but when it comes to the ride, they can be notoriously bone-jarring over open water. This is because the hull is made to lay on calm water for hunting, rather than cut through waves. To get a smoother riding boat, you can either scrap your Jon boat for a V-hull, or you can install a hydrofoil on your outboard motor.

Step 1

Raise the engine on the Jon boat to its transport position and lock it in place. This will give you better access to the surfaces that you need to work on.

Step 2

Position the hydrofoil on the anti-cavitation plate of the Jon boat's motor and mark the holes that you will need to drill using a pencil. The cavitation plate is the flat metal shelf that is located just above the motor's propeller.

Step 3

Drill the necessary holes for the installation of the hydrofoil using the electric drill and a drill bit that is the same size as the bolts that are used to secure the hydrofoil to the anti-cavitation plate.

Align the holes in the hydrofoil with the holes drilled in the anti-cavitation plate, then run the bolts through both and install the nuts to secure the bolts in place. Tighten the nuts and bolts with a socket wrench.


  • The hydrofoil works by lifting the rear of the Jon boat onto its plane more quickly, meaning that it will ride parallel over the water rather than with the front high in the air. This reduces the effect that the waves have on the hull, thereby stabilizing the boat's ride.

Items you will need

  • Electric drill and drill bits
  • Pencil
  • Outboard motor hydrofoil
  • 3/8-inch drive socket wrench

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