Jon Boats Part 3

Jon Boats Part 3

Andy Dear | Monday, 6 September 2021

Part 3 in the series on Jon Boats finds me in 1994 with a new sled, that was not only with a step up in size, but also with a unique vehicle towing it.

  After a 3 year layoff in my fishing life, my passion for angling was once again rekindled in 1994. This was long before any significant online sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace were active, so we had to find our used watercrafts the old-fashioned way...the classified ads in the newspaper. One day I stumbled across an ad for a 14ft. PolarKraft Jon Boat with a galvanized trailer for sale by a dealership called 'The Boat Man". The advertised price was $800 for the whole rig, so I jumped on it. The only problem was I didn't really have an appropriate vehicle to tow it with. At the time I was without a truck and driving a Mazda 626LX 4 door sedan. As they say "any port in a storm" I had a trailer hitch added to the Mazda, and off I went. In hindsight, I must have looked pretty ridiculous towing a camouflaged Jon Boat with a luxury sedan. These days I prefer to think of it as a simple expression of how intense I was about getting on the water. Remember....Paul referred to me as the resident Redneck at Sexyloops...and he wasn't wrong.

  The Polar Kraft was a 14 foot flat bottom with a 42" floor, which was a significant step up in terms of stability from the previous 36" versions I had used before. It saw use mostly at a local hill country impoundment that limited boat use to those with electric trolling motors only...and this boat was perfect for that. During my college years, I spent many mornings Bass fishing out of the PolarKraft and then attending classes in the afternoon.

  I have previously referenced the fabled trip that Jesse Alonzo and I took down the Mission River to chase Redfish and Trout, only to have our trolling motor battery almost run out of juice on the way back to the ramp. The PolarKraft was the boat that took us on that memorable trip. In fact, as we do frequently, Jesse and I were laughing about that trip just last week. Interestingly enough we both remembered every detail of every fish we caught, as well as the intricacies of all the spots we fished. Jesse even remembered the herd of wild hogs we saw on the riverbank...something I remembered as well, but never knew that it was etched in his memory like it was mine. 

  I had been storing the PolarKraft in my parent's backyard in the hill country, simply because it was close to the lake I frequently used it on. One day I received a phone call from my mom, who said that a stranger driving by had stopped and asked if the boat was for sale. On a whim, I said, "sure have him make me an offer". The guy responded that he would pay $1000.00 cash for the boat and trailer. Rare if ever is a boat an appreciating asset, and since the PolarKraft had served me well for 5 years, I responded with a resounding SOLD!!!! And away went the PolarKraft to make room for the next Jon.

Hope you're all having a great week.