I'm considering buying a jon boat. I've always had semi-V s before. I'm concerned about the stability of the jon. Is there an appreciable difference between the two sizes?
1436 or 1442 jon boat?
You get 16% more room , and most likely at least that much more safety from tipping over. When you are loaded up with "stuff " the margin of safety is even bigger. Say you have 2 guys and 100 pounds of stuff in a 1436. You are in danger zone under some situations when the bigger boat may keep you out of trouble. I have a 1432. I have it for the Flambeau River. It is enough in most situations . I got it for 50 bucks and it leaks and is beat. I am getting another one that is 1436 cause we cross the river during gun season and safety is a concern when there is ice on the river. The wider boat may save our life some day. If you dont have these concerns it might not make a difference, however, there is a reason you can buy these 12-14' Jon boats all day long on Craigslist. It is cause the boat sure looks big enough when standing upright at Cabelas, until you get it in the water. People find out real fast they bought a boat too small . . . and this is also why there are very few 17-18' Jons on Craigslist. You will love a Jon boat though. This is why I want a little bigger Jon boat.
1436 > 14' x 36", 1442 > 14' x 42", 6" in width will make a big difference in stability when it comes to standing/walking around inside. Also may affect motor max capacity as well as person/gear capacity.