Thursday, November 12, 2015

16" Ozarks Jonboat Model - Take-Apart Version

Messing with the particulars of a 16' take-apart Ozarks Jonboats. If it looks alright small, I may build the big one this winter.

I've been kicking around the idea of building an Ozarks Jonboat for a handful of years and I've had in my head that I might do it as a take-apart plywood version for probably a couple. Last night I finished up my rough model of how I might approach this. It's 16 inches long, overall, eight inches per half, one inch equals a foot. I'd build it much like I did my outrigger sailing canoe, with two transoms in the center and identical hulls on either side that bolt together in the middle. A seat would act as bracing on one transom and knees in the corners of the second or an additional 2 to 3 inch strip of ply to widen the center seat a little.

One 16' take-apart ply version of an Ozarks Jonboat. It'll bolt together at the center transoms like my outrigger canoe did. It'll also stack upright against a garage wall and ride easy in a large pickup truck bed like my friend Brian has. Now to build th

The idea here is to build something that can be poled and paddled in streams and marshy areas around river and creek mouths in our local lakes. I'd also fashion some kind of drop-in oarlocks to row it "in reverse" from the off-center seating arrangement. Normally, the seat flush with it's bow transom is the rear in paddle mode and the one with 1'6" of foot room at the other end is the front.

I'd build it as a take-apart in order to stack it against a wall of the garage and not take up 16x3 feet of garage floor. It'll probably also ride stacked in my friend Brian's Toyota Tacoma pickup bed, making it easier to get to adventurous places.

For comparison, here's the more traditional model of an Ozarks Jonboat that I built over five years ago. Built from a description on the Greene County Library website, from a backlogged magazine from the 1970s called Bittersweet. It was a local publication on folk traditions in the Ozarks. For more info.

model of an ozarks johnboat

1 comment:

Steve said...

Hey Trevor

I've been mulling around a very similar vision of a duck hunting boat. I also came to the conclusion that a take-a-part or folding boat would be idea.

I'd like to share ideas on design and building process with you.

Please send me an email at

Steve (62)
Ste Anne, Manitoba, Canada