Aluminum vs Fiberglass

LukeLuke

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So what does everyone favor? I personally like fiberglass, seems to ride smoother in the chop. I have always been weary of aluminum since back in the day when my dad would tell me that the rivets can pop out. I know they are welded now, but still have that odd feeling about aluminum. Is the price difference worth it to you for fiberglass?
 


Enslow

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Fiberglass is cheaper to build and that is why more fiberglass boats are on the market now. They ride better because they are heavier. They cost more because you need a big motor.
 

martinslanding

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I own aluminum and have generally always fished out of aluminum…for the occasional fisherman on mid-smaller bodies of water aluminum is perfectly fine, motor, storage and fishable space are generally more important…Glass boats are for the most part a smoother ride handling larger bodies of water better, it is sometimes nice to be able to hold the throttle down and get back to the ramp when a good old ND thurderstorm pops up out of nowhere…new aluminums are expensive, new glass is even more expensive…if I was in the boat market right now I would not be opposed to going with glass, if the price was right…once again for me it’s motor, storage and fishable space that are more important
 

westwolfone

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I guess I prefer Aluminum. Seems more durable to me. I have no experience in any of the $60,000+ boats though. I'm sure they're nice.

They do make big water Aluminum boats also, like Hewescraft.
 


SDMF

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They ride better because they are heavier. They cost more because you need a big motor.

Having owned 2 AL boats ('78 Mr Pike, '06 1850 FishHawk) and 2 glass boats ('99 Ranger 681VS and '12 186 TFX Yar Craft) I'd say the above is partly true. My Yar Craft and Crestliner were pretty darn close to identical length/width. Same length, the Yar is 3.5" wider and ~3" deeper. Yes, the Yar is heavier by 700# all told, but, the design of a glass hull allows for a LOT more boat to be out of the water when running on plane. I think having that much more boat out of the water greatly contributes to the superior ride. It's also more efficient. With 50HP more and 700# heavier, I can run 5-7MPH faster for the same or better fuel mileage than I got with the Suzi/Crestliner combo. I can run 30-32MPH with the Yar getting 4.8-5.3MPG depending on wind, the crestliner would run low 4MPG range at that speed. More impressive is I can get 4MPG @ 40MPH with the Yar Craft and I was getting low 3's and running nearly max throttle to get there in the Crestliner. In short, the glass boat is more efficient than the AL boat.
 

johnr

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I have never owned glass, but will next time I boat shop.

Funny how a guy can drop $60-$70 thousand fishing a total of 30 days of open water fishing a season, but feels guilty buying a new $500 auger fishing the same number of days in the winter.
 

guywhofishes

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I would have a really tough time spending more than it takes to buy a new 1/2 ton pickup with all the bells/whistles. I'd get real creeped out at around $45,000 is what I suspect.

Glad I bought my 17.5 aluminum with 90HP 4 stroke for ~$16,000 in 2004.
 

deleted_account

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I would have a really tough time spending more than it takes to buy a new 1/2 ton pickup with all the bells/whistles. I'd get real creeped out at around $45,000 is what I suspect.

Glad I bought my 17.5 aluminum with 90HP 4 stroke for ~$16,000 in 2004.

That big white Johnson makes that a steal of a deal
 

Sub_Elect

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I run glass. It is the same weight as aluminum (contrary to popular belief) its just as, if not tougher than aluminum and rides 100% better. I wouldn't own an aluminum boat. They do have a strong following but thats just my preference.
 


westwolfone

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I run glass. It is the same weight as aluminum (contrary to popular belief) its just as, if not tougher than aluminum and rides 100% better. I wouldn't own an aluminum boat. They do have a strong following but thats just my preference.[/Q

I really don't think they're quite as durable as Aluminum. You don't see any fiberglass jet boats running the rapids out west.
 

SDMF

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I run glass. It is the same weight as aluminum (contrary to popular belief) its just as, if not tougher than aluminum and rides 100% better. I wouldn't own an aluminum boat. They do have a strong following but thats just my preference.[/Q

I really don't think they're quite as durable as Aluminum. You don't see any fiberglass jet boats running the rapids out west.

Durability comes in many forms. For bouncing off of rocks, AL is more durable, but it's also more difficult to fix if you actually do puncture it. Fiberglass can be fixed so that only the most discerning eye can see the repair. For running in rough water, I think 'glass is more durable over time. No rivets or welds to fail. No need to tighten up a couple hundred screws 2-3 times/summer.

- - - Updated - - -

I run glass. It is the same weight as aluminum (contrary to popular belief) its just as, if not tougher than aluminum and rides 100% better. I wouldn't own an aluminum boat. They do have a strong following but thats just my preference.[/Q

I really don't think they're quite as durable as Aluminum. You don't see any fiberglass jet boats running the rapids out west.

Durability comes in many forms. For bouncing off of rocks, AL is more durable, but it's also more difficult to fix if you actually do puncture it. Fiberglass can be fixed so that only the most discerning eye can see the repair. For running in rough water, I think 'glass is more durable over time. No rivets or welds to fail. No need to tighten up a couple hundred screws 2-3 times/summer.
 

DarkWhiskey

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I got to ride in a brand new Lund last weekend it is a nice boat and all but I would take the ride of my Yar Craft 209 any day of the week. Glass all the way for this guy.
 

Rizzo

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Fiberglass because they are shiney any sparkly. Women are like racoons and are attracted to shiney and sparkly things. So with that you should be guaranteed a boat full of women.

All kidding aside I prefer glass for the ride and stability. Just a year ago I was in the market for a new boat more specifically an ALUMACRAFT Trophy 185 with a Yamaha on the back. Even had one all picked out. Then it happened the wife spots the shiney sparkly ranger and has to get in it. I was not even going to entertain the idea, but after pricing the ALUMACRAFT which was just boat, motor, and trailer it was 10k difference from the Ranger which was ready to fish and has all the other junk for the women and children. So setting up the ALUMACRAFT to match the Ranger it was only 3k difference. So shiney and sparkly for this guy. I did however love my 175 ALUMACRAFT that I traded in, it was a great fishing boat.
 

Enslow

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i have a 1995 wetliner. If u forgot to shower its not a big deal. Just hit some cross waves and ur good to go haha. Anyways it works just fine for walleye fishing in the midwest and canuckia. All the new fancy equipment out there is really nice but way overpriced. Every time i go with someone who has new fancy boats and graphs they sausage finger those graphs all day. It is mind numbing. Also if a pike happens to get some slime, god forbid, in the boat it is clean up time.
 


SDMF

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i have a 1995 wetliner. If u forgot to shower its not a big deal. Just hit some cross waves and ur good to go haha. Anyways it works just fine for walleye fishing in the midwest and canuckia. All the new fancy equipment out there is really nice but way overpriced. Every time i go with someone who has new fancy boats and graphs they sausage finger those graphs all day. It is mind numbing. Also if a pike happens to get some slime, god forbid, in the boat it is clean up time.

I don't have sausage fingers. Pike slime, mayfly goo, other assorted boat floor stainage is easily combatted with a little simple green, a scrubbing broom, and a little water off the fiberglass floor.
 

Allen

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There are pros and cons to both. One of the things that I like about glass is the ride, way superior to aluminum because the manufacturers can simply better form the hull for hydrodynamic characteristics. Rivets have never been a problem for me in 20 yrs of owning aluminum, but you do hear about others that have had problems. Welding an aluminum boat has its drawbacks as well. There's a reason airplanes are put together with rivets. For abrasion, like that of pulling a boat up onto a sand/gravel beach, aluminum is much better than glass. And having a history of primitive camping on the shores of Sakakawea, it played a big part in my decisions to stick with aluminum over the years. Since I haven't done that much over the past 15 yrs, my next boat is likely to be glass. However, why the hell the manufacturers want to keep putting sparkle into the paint on glass boats is beyond comprehension to me. It hurts my damn eyes when the sun is shining, and since that's when I normally fish...they suck! As far as slimers and getting them dirty, last time I checked they use similar carpet and paint on fiberglass cleans up just as easily as paint on aluminum.

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In a perfect world, I'd have a 16-17 ft aluminum boat for smaller lakes and a 20 ft glass boat for the bigger bodies of water with good ramps.
 

FishReaper

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I dont so much mind metal flake paint on the hull. But once you hit the gunnels it should be white or light gray. i dont see a need for the inside of my boat to be sparkles. hard on the eyes like Allen said
 

squirrel92

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In a perfect world, I'd have a 16-17 ft aluminum boat for smaller lakes and a 20 ft glass boat for the bigger bodies of water with good ramps.[/QUOTE]

This is my plan exactly! I already have the 17.5 ft aluminum bass tracker. Someday, I will own a nice glass boat. Have to wait a few years though, haha.
 

Fishmission

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Among other attributes of fiberglas, my fav is the way the keel sticks in the wind. I don't get blown around as much as I used to. Boat control has been much easier compared to my previous aluminum boats, whether drifting, trolling or casting.
 


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