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Ror Boy

Fiberglass Vs Aluminium

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Aluminum boats are normally less expensive. Normaly weigh less vs the same length fiberglass hull. They have less draft which means they sit higher in the water. This can be beneficial in extremely shallow water conditions allowing you to access areas you may not be able to get to with a fiberglass boat. It also causes the boat to be blown around alot in the wind making boat control more difficult. Fiberglass boats tend to have a better ride.

I have an aluminum boat because I fish some shallow rocky rivers. My hull has some battle scars which would have been a major issue if it were fiberglass.

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The aluminum boat will tow easier, so you'll save bucks there. At 3.50 per gallon and headed higher, how much you save will depend on how far you tow to get to your fishing holes. You'll burn less gas on the water as well.

Fiberglass boats require more upkeep if you want to keep them looking nice. Ultra violet rays from the sun will wreak havoc on the gel coat unless you use a "sunscreen" wax or other finish which offers a measure of protection from those damaging rays.

You can beach an aluminum boat most anywhere. Sure you may get a few scratches on the bottom, but they won't do the damage that can result if you do the same with a fiberglass boat, particularly in the colder northern climates.

A digger that goes through the gel coat will allow water to get into the composite. Most boats are laid up with a polyester resin which is not waterproof. It will absorb water, even after it's cured. If that moisture remains and the temps go below freezing that moisture will expand and damage the composite, which allows for more water intrusion. If the cycle continues, over a few years it can seriously compromise a good sized area of the hull. No such worries with aluminum.

Aluminum boats tend to be more noisy, and more corky in any kind of weather. However, that tendency to bob around on the surface is a plus when the weather really turns nasty. Then, a chop may break over the sides of a fiberglass bass boat where an aluminum version will lift more quickly.

So, if you plan to use and somewhat abuse your boat, aluminum is the clear winner. If you're the type who is wiping every speck of dust from your car or boat, and is very careful with your property, a fiberglass boat may be just the ticket.

I'll second what has already been said about the wind.

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All depends on the boat. My Xpress is a tank, but also fast. It's not very light, and only a little worse than many glass boats in the wind. I beat the snot out of mine, and get to go reasonably fast. The ride can get a little rough, but rough to me is rough in any boat.

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I've got a 9 year old Lowe WF 180. It looks older. It is pretty skuffed up. One reason is that the way I fish, I slide into many stumps and trees. Another reason is that after I'm done fishing for the day, I don't feel like wiping the boat down - so I don't. I get to go fishing, on the average, 40 to 50 days per year. I hate to think what a fiberglass boat would look like after this kind of treatment.

I've had it out on big water a number of times - Truman, Table Rock, Stockton. It handles a 2 foot chop reasonably well.

What I like most about it is how I can fish shallow and not be very concerned about how much I skuff up the bottom on the hull.

I like fishing out of fiberglass boats, but right now, the way I fish most of the time, I can't justify owning one.

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I own an aluminum and have fished out of a few glass boats. This is how I see it:

Aluminum plus's: Lightweight can be towed with a small SUV, truck, or minivan, they can be powerd with smaller outboards that use less gas, aluminum will take more abuse, and over abused, is easier to repair if you punch a hole in it. Almost any good local welding shop will have the ability to weld aluminum, and it'll cost less than $100 probably. Maint. on alum. is less intensive than a glass boat, wash it off at the car wash at the end of the season...........done. No waxing, no gel coat to worry about. A 70lb 24v TM can pull (mine at least) like there is nothing behind it. I barely use any battery even in a 8+ hour day of fishing in the wind. Set's higher out of the water so you might be able to access some spots that glass boats can not.

Aluminum minus's: Lightweight, sets higher out of the water, you get blown around by the wind more. Generally not as stable as a glass boat. Rough ride in rough water. Not as much storage. Smaller out board = slower boat. In my boat everyting is a tight fit, tm batterys, cranking batterys, gas tank, bilge and live well pumps are all squeezed into a small spot, making repairs/maint on stuff challenging.

Pretty much reverse every thing I said for glass +/-'s

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I was looking at a used Ranger. I have an aluminum now, after reading all the maintenence that goes along with glass. I dont want anything to do with it. I just want a bigger casting deck <_<

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I had two 19 1/2 foot Stratos's. this year I bought an alum. Crestliner VT 19 and the deck is larger than both glass boats. a single console will also give you much more room. so far I'm lovin it'

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I have an aluminum 2003 Tracker TV-18. It has a modified deep-Vee hull, so will handle rough water very well. It has a Merc 150 hanging off the back that will push the boat at fifty plus, which is about as fast as I want to go. In addition, it has more than ample storage for rods and tackle, plus it has a huge deck. I can easily fish three people out of it. It's a shame that Tracker discontinued the TV-18 last year. In my opinion, it's the best boat that Tracker ever made.

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I have a 2004 Tracker with a modified flat. Just bought it this year and am tickled to death with the way it handles in rough water. The reason? My last boat was an 88 Tracker flat bottom that I bought new. It nearly beat my brains out in the chop. I beat hell out of that boat and it was still in pretty good shape when I sold it. You could get back in the willow thickets, run it up on the beach, run it over stumps and rocks and nothing hurt it. The worst drawback was lack of space. The new boat has plenty except in the very back which is mostly gas tank and batteries.

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Any boat you take good care of is going to last a long, long time.

Dry indoor storage, regular maintenance, and a glass boat will last for decades. Same for the engine.

Now, buying used, IMO you are better going with aluminum IMO because you don't know the history of the boat. Glass boats can develop SERIOUS problems.

Problems similar to what an aluminum boat can develop, but are MUCH simpler to fix in an aluminum boat.

100% composite constructing including stringers/transom, makes a glass boat much more appealing IMO.

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