Newbie that needs advice on a 1432 in Saltwater


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Joined: 03 Jun 2020, 23:11

Newbie that needs advice on a 1432 in Saltwater

Post by CCH »

Hi everyone,
Im new here. This is a great site.
I have an old 1432 jon boat that belonged to my dad. When I was a kid he took me out in it fishing in the Gulf of Mexico around Port St Joe, and the ICW in that area.
I'm now relocating to Wilmington, NC for work, and have pulled the boat out of my mom's backyard. I want to restore it, and paint it, and use it in the waters around Wilmington.
I've done research on caring for an aluminum boat in salt water, so Iv'e got that figured out.

But I'm having trouble figuring out if the size of this boat is a problem in the Wilmington area.
Most places say the minimum you want to use on salt water is a 1448 or something like that.
This boat is absurdly thin.
Because it has sentimental value, I don't want to just sell it and upgrade to a bigger boat. (I'm also broke)
I'm wondering if anyone has experience operating a boat this small around coastal Carolina? Is it safe, or am I insane? How can I learn what kind of backwaters are ok for a boat like this?
I get a sense the ICW is a good bit choppier here than where we went in the gulf.
I know that offshore will definitely not be an option in this boat.

Are there any good techniques to stabilize a jon boat like this? I feel like the outrigger options online look pretty goofy, but would they be a good idea for a place like Wilmington?
Anyone have experience with putting PVC pipe on the sides for stability in coastal waters? Does that help at all?
I'd love to widen it like that guy Zoe, but I don't have the skills or equipment--or cash to pay someone who does.
The Kapten Boat Collar thing I saw online looks amazing, and kind of perfect, but its already expensive, and shipping it from Australia would be prohibitive.
I'm pretty surprised no one has created a similar product stateside.

Anyway, sorry this is long. Like I said, I'm new here. Just want to make sure the boat is safe before I roll out onto the waters of Wilmington with my innocent wife.
Any advice or insight into stabilizing this boat would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance,


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Newbie that needs advice on a 1432 in Saltwater

Post by maintenanceguy »

Salt water is no different than fresh water if you're in protected areas without much current and no waves. Big water always gets choppy in the wind - salt or fresh water. I think a 1432 is probably not enough boat for most tidal water areas. I wouldn't use one around here. It's not only the width, the height of the sides is pretty small.

I added an outrigger made of 6" aluminum irrigation pipe to a canoe when I was a teenager - it worked great. It was rigged on only one side and provided lift if we tilted one way and provided counter weight if we tipped the other. But that doesn't solve your side height issue.

I boat in salt marsh creeks. 6' tidal changes, lots of current, gets really choppy as you get closer to the bay on windy days. But, there are also a lot of smaller tidal pools off of the main creek where I would be comfortable in a smaller boat - I'm not sure how you get there though without traveling on the main creeks.

Posts: 2
Joined: 03 Jun 2020, 23:11

Newbie that needs advice on a 1432 in Saltwater

Post by CCH »

Thanks for your insights, Ryan.