Best Jon Boat grab bars. Should you buy one or make your own?

What is a jon boat grab bar and why do you need one? The best jon boat grab bars to buy and the best DIY tutorials.

Best-selling grab bars for jon boats

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What is a jon boat grab bar?

A jon boat grab bar in its most basic form is just a curved piece of material to grab a hold of. Some are made from aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum is often cheaper and easier to work with. Aluminum is not as durable as stainless steel though and you may end up paying for it in the long run. Stainless steel is much more durable, but can be pricier and may be more difficult to work with if you are constructing your grab bar. Weight should also be considered, some smaller boats have lower maximum weight capacities and that could be exceeded by adding a heavy grab bar system. Aluminum is fairly light whereas stainless steel can be very heavy.

These grab bars can be mounted on different areas of the boat. A popular place is right next to the cockpit so you can grab ahold of it if you encounter bumpy waters. Grab bars can also be installed for a passenger to have something to hold onto as well on the other side of the boat. Having these bars strategically placed makes a spot where you or others can safely grab onto, not just for themselves but so nothing is getting damaged while in a panic. Grab bars come in a variety of heights and shapes, such as rounded or squared, so you can get what is right for you. Grab bars have a lot of customization options. There are many considerations as to whether you will want to purchase a grab bar or create your own.

How to choose a grab bar for a jon boat?

There are different pros and cons to consider before either purchasing a grab bar or starting a DIY project to make your own. If you want a simple grab bar, purchasing one may be a cost-effective option. If you are wanting to include specific customization options, then creating your own may be better.

Purchasing a grab bar

Purchasing an already made product has benefits. You will save a lot of time. While purchasing may always seem like it costs more, that may not be the case. Purchasing materials at retail rates can cost you more than a manufacturer. Sometimes certain materials can be hard to find and expensive to have shipped if you do not have a local source. If you have to buy specialty tools for a one-time project, your not exactly getting your money’s worth from them either. There are no warranties or guarantees if something doesn’t work or breaks. You will just have to repair or replace yourself.

DIY

If you enjoy a do-it-yourself project then a grab bar is a fairly straightforward one. If you want a lot of special options on your grab bar then DIY can be great. You can have everything exactly how you want it without having to go through another person or company. If you already have materials, tools, or access to the tools you will need then creating your own can be a great option. Budgeting before the project can help to see if this will be a cost-effective route. Take into account the price of materials, including the tubing, fittings, and bolts. The price of tools or using tools if you do not have exactly what you need. Finally, consider the unexpected, something comes up in the project. Creating your own can be a viable option, just take into consideration what you want to accomplish.

Best jon boat grab bars for sale

36″ H X 13″ W – Aluminum Jon Boat Grab Bar

Features

  • Priced at under $100.
  • From Marine Fiberglass Direct, popular for many quality marine grade accessories.
  • Made from lightweight aluminum.
  • Stands at a height of 3 ft. This is an average, but check to make sure it works for you.
  • Comes with three anchor points on each leg of the grab bar.
  • Made in the USA and has great reviews.

BOTE Grab Rac Black for Jon Boat

Features

  • This grab bar is priced at $220, from Sportsman’s Warehouse. They offer many different sporting goods products.
  • This grab bar weighs 4 lbs.
  • Is compatible with the rac receivers from BOTE.
  • Has multiple gear attachment points on the bar secured with nylon loops.
  • Foam hook caddy included that can hold extra tackles or lures.
  • Two fishing pole holders are also included and secured.
  • Some extra storage options on this grab bar make nice additions.

Gheenoe Removable Grab Bar for Jon Boat

Features

  • These come in at $300 and offer different ways to pay.
  • Designed to be easily removable for storage or transportation.
  • Designed to be used in certain model Gheenoe boats.
  • Specific brand and model, depending on measurements may still work for you.

Skiff Grab Bar for Jon Boat

Features

  • A truly customizable grab bar with a lot of different options.
  • The electronics box option has a removable bottom and accommodates wires.
  • Has personal and customizable cut-out options, including switches and other accessories. 
  • Fasteners are included, and additional ones are also offered.
  • There are different finishes to choose from, powder coat of white or black, and anodized.
  • Can be fitted with one or two fishing pole holders.
  • The final option is to include forward legs that can secure a small jump seat or cooler. 
  • The price depends on how many upgrades you want to include, but provides some cost-effectiveness with customization specific to you.

Deck Mounted Grab Bar for Jon Boat

Features

  • Grab bar is $130 from fishmaster.com.
  • The grab bar comes with stainless steel hardware, and the bar itself is aluminum. 
  • Aluminum is a great lightweight material for grab bars, but may not last as long.
  • The bar is easily removed for storage or transportation.
  • You can attach your accessories.
  • Measures about 3 ft. in height.
  • Return policy if it does not work for you.

How to make your own grab bar?

Do you want to know more about making your own grab bar? There are many great video tutorials on how to do this. These are three videos that go over the process of making the grab bar or securing it into place.

One video starts with the raw material and shows how to bend the tubing to fit your needs. The next video goes over why it was decided to make your own instead of buying one, and how to add some extras to the bar. The last video uses materials that do not need much work. Also, the potential pitfalls when figuring out how to secure your homemade grab bar to the boat.

These are just a look at a few videos on how to create your own job boat grab bar.

Making a Grab Bar for a Jon Boat

  • They use a 1-inch tubing to create the grab bar.
  • Stood up in the boat to get a feel of where they would like the bar to be placed and how high it should come up.
  • An in-depth look into how to measure when creating a curvature in the material. You will need to use more material when curving it over.
  • Most videos do not go into detail about the curve, and how to accomplish it.
  • Made a fold-down option. This can be nice if you want it out of the way for storage so a cover can fit or for transportation.
  • The importance of securing the bar to a good place on the boat. The bar is meant to provide stability so it needs to be stable itself.

DIY boat grab bar

  • They talk about why they decided to create their own instead of purchasing one. The cost was a factor here.
  • Discusses what material has been used and why.
  • The cheap cutting boards are a resourceful item that can be used to get the outcome you want.
  • Depending on what you are using and where you are putting it, protecting the surrounding area from rubbing is important. 
  • It is mandatory for them to carry a throwable flotation device, so they integrated that into their grab bar.
  • They doubled the flotation device as a lean area on the bar.
  • Also added rod holders, cheap addition to the grab bar.

Mud motor grab bar

  • Used black piping and fittings from the hardware store.
  • Another person that had stood up and walked around the boat to see what works best before securing it.
  • Mounting the grab bar on secured points is important, you want to make sure it stays where you put it.
  • The use of stainless steel fasteners is key, also ensuring you are using marine grade materials will increase the durability of your grab bar.
  • The one support was not flush with the area, they tried to correct this by using other fittings.

Is a grab bar right for you and will you purchase or DIY it?

Including a grab bar on your jon boat has a lot of benefits. It can provide extra security while out on the water. Either by having somewhere to grab ahold of or somewhere safe that is secure you can get ahold of. There are many different things to take into consideration when choosing a grab bar. The type of material you choose has pros and cons.

MaterialReviewExample
Aluminumlightweight, cheap, and easy to work withImage 2 - Aluminum 36" Grab Bar-Vertical Angle w/ Flat Plate Gheenoe Skiff Flats Boat
Stainless steelusually costs more, is heavier, but can provide more durability and last longer than aluminumBoat Grab Bar | Fishmaster

Choosing where to put a grab bar is important. You want it where it will make the most sense for you or the passengers on board. The height and shape should also be considered, most grab bars are around 3 ft. and rounded.

Do you want to purchase one or make one?

A grab bar is a great addition, so now the question is do you want to purchase one or make one?

An argument can be made for creating your own grab bar just as easily as purchasing one. A purchased product can save a lot of time that would be spent working on a grab bar. Certain grab bars come with warranties and return policies, so you have options after buying one as well. Specific circumstances will dictate whether this would even be a cost-effective option. There are cheap grab bars to purchase and expensive grab bars to make. Materials can vary greatly depending on what you decide to use and if it is readily available or not. If you want a lot of customized options then buying already made can get very expensive whereas a DIY project will allow you to make those options for cheaper.

There are many things to consider when deciding if purchasing or creating your own jon boat grab bar will be right for you. We have been over the different materials of grab bars. Discussed what benefits one can have. The location and use of the bar and how that should play a part in your decision-making.

Whether buying or creating a grab bar will work for you?

The biggest question is whether buying or creating a grab bar will work for you. A list of some already made grab bars helps to narrow down some decisions. Comparing price points, what you get for how much. Some have complete customization options, some have just a few extras, and some are just a plain curved bar that comes with fasteners.

The tutorial videos help give a starting point if you are planning to create your own grab bar project. Each takes a somewhat different approach. If you want to start at the very beginning, curving your own tubing, and going on from there. The video includes some thoughtful additions that suit them well, including extra fishing pole storage as well as including safety precautions on the grab bar itself. The last video uses already made material, shaped and fitted, from the hardware store. It can be difficult to secure your grab bar when you are trying to create your own. These videos give some overall insight if planning your own creation.