Boating on the Upper Delaware River can be an enjoyable adventure. However, because of swift current and shallow water it can be very dangerous. There are calm sections where a small boat can be used without much difficulty but access is limited. The proper equipment and operator skill is necessary to access the trickier parts. Some will argue that a canoe is the best vessel to navigate the Delaware. However, for serious fishermen, nothing will replace the jetdrive Jon boat.
A 16′ extra wide Jon Boat with a 40 hp jetdrive outboard is the perfect river vessel for the Delaware. It has the power to blast through any of the rapids and can do so in only a few inches of water. The jetdrive intake only extends about 2″ beyond the bottom of the boat and its heavy duty housing protects from the hidden rocks you may encounter.
Other recommended options are a custom forward mounted steering wheel, a depth finder with temperature and speed, and a bow mounted trolling motor. The forward mount steering wheel is nice because it gives the operator better visibility of under water objects and also puts more weight in the front of the boat making it possible to achieve plane at a lower speed. Many will disagree with me on using a depth finder as a navigational device. Personally, I wouldn’t go on the river without one. Although not 100% accurate, it gives the operator a good idea of how deep the water is. And last is the trolling motor. Again, many will tell you how easy it is to bend the shaft on rocks. This is true. However, for holding the boat still in the current, it is essential to use an electric motor to properly fish the Delaware.