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Jon Boat Truck Racks

Jon boats are popular among casual anglers as they are inexpensive, relatively lightweight, and provide a steady, flat surface on which to stand and fish, unlike V-hull boats, canoes, and kayaks that are somewhat unstable. For decades, many jon boat owners transported their boats in the beds of pickups, but in the past few years, many states have outlawed the practice and require boats to be secured on a rack atop the cab or one attached to the bed of the truck.

Mount Options

To use a rack to haul your jon boat, secure it to a foam block base or add equipment to racks to make boat hauling easy and safe. All the options have pros and cons.

Rooftop Rack Systems

Most standard roof-mounted rack systems easily fit on the tops of normal size trucks, vans, and cars. They have two horizontal bars that go from the front to the back of the roof and four supportive vertical towers to provide balance. The majority of systems clamp in place for easy removal after hauling, although some can be permanently secured to the roof of the vehicle. Roof racks are durable, stable, and handy to haul a variety of items like bicycles, coolers, camping equipment, or fishing gear. However, some people find the installation procedure cumbersome and racks are more costly than foam blocks.

Factory Rack Attachments

You can modify a factory-installed luggage rack on top of trucks or cars to haul your jon boat. This requires a universal mount adapter that allows you to add the attachments necessary to accommodate the size and weight of a jon boat. This is a cost-effective option as long as your luggage rack doesn't require additional hardware for successful modification.

Foam Block Carriers

These temporary carriers are lightweight, inexpensive, and protect the top of your car from the body of the jon boat. They commonly attach to the vehicle roof with nylon straps or have straps that circle inside the roof of the car for stability. Some companies sell blocks that attach directly to the rails of factory-installed racks. Foam blocks are cost-effective and easy to install but require frequent replacement based on their delicate construction.

Rack Attachment Options

If you need to haul other equipment or water vessels in addition to your jon boat, there are several attachments available.

Saddle mounts: While these are commonly used to hold canoes and kayaks upright to protect the hulls, they also securely transport other types of vessels and equipment.

J-cradles and stackers: These attachments can transport hull boats on their sides or provide room to stack multiple items together on the roof rack to save room inside the truck bed or vehicle interior.

Integrated lift systems: Although most jon boats are light enough to manually lift, these systems use gas-powered shocks to easily raise the boat or other equipment to the level of the rack without much physical exertion.

Selecting a System

Avid fans of jon boat fishing or trawling need a rack system that is easy to use and reliable so they can load their boat and gear while getting to their favorite spots quickly and often. Check out the systems of other boaters and ask them for recommendations. Another good place to check out jon boat truck rack options is where jon boat parts and accessories are sold.