Aluminum vs Fiberglass

Grandslam11

Grandslam11

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Ill get it kicked off. In the next few years I will buying about boat. I intend to almost exclusively bass fish out of it but that includes some river systems as well. I will be a weekend warrior and not a tournament angler. I have never owned an aluminum boat but here are my pros and cons. Please add to these

Alumimun Boat
Pros-
Inexpensive to buy
Inexpensive to operate
light weight to haul
dont worry so much about bumping into things.

Cons
Light Weight (wont handle windy days well)
Scary on big bodies of water

Fiberglass
Pros
more than likely more deck room
probably more comfortable to fish out of
more storage
More comfortable to ride in
will handle big water better
would handle wind better

Cons
Usually require larger motors
chance of dryrotting
more expensive to operate

Please add to or take away as you see fit. My ideal fiberglass boat would be a triton, my idea aluminum boat would be a Tracker
 
SilverFox

SilverFox

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I just went back to aluminum after running a 20' Skeeter glass boat for the last 5 years. The aluminum is more hassle free for me which means I get to fish more. No worrying about beating up a gel coat when beaching to load or unload when by myself. No worrying about beaching it to go for a swim with the family and dog. The biggest downside for me is getting blown around by the wind easier. I lost about 20 mph but I never ran 70 anyways. Usually 45-50mph unless I was running late.

You can sink a pretty penny into an aluminum. I've seen some near $50,000 when outfitted. Even a Tracker 175 is going to run you near $20,000 outfitted.
 
S

scn

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Here goes from my perspective:

Alumimun Boat
Pros-
Inexpensive to buy-----less expensive. If you get a nice alumimum like a Triton or G3, they are still pretty expensive.
Inexpensive to operate
light weight to haul
dont worry so much about bumping into things.---- If you do tear a hole in aluminum, it is more expensive to fix than fiberglass.

Cons
Light Weight (wont handle windy days well)----Correct. Most sit much higher in the water than fiberglass and really catch the wind.
Scary on big bodies of water------It depends on the make and model. They likely don't handle big water as well, but I wouldn't be scared to be out on most lakes in one of the premium models.

Fiberglass
Pros
more than likely more deck room-----Not a lot of difference on one of the better models of aluminum.
probably more comfortable to fish out of----It depends on the boat, but there isn't a great deal of difference with the better models.
more storage-------Storage on the better boats is similar.
More comfortable to ride in
will handle big water better
would handle wind better

Cons
Usually require larger motors
chance of dryrotting------if you get a composite built boat, that issue goes away.

You are looking at two extremes if you are comparing a Triton fiberglass to a BP Tracker. There is a middle option out there that sort of splits the difference. Unfortunately, the cost is sort of in the middle as well.

If money isn't an object, then the fiberglass can't be beat. If money is an issue, do a soul check on just how many days a year you think you will be on the water, multiply by ten years, and then divide that into the cost of the rig. That will give you a realistic estimate of how much per day you will be paying for just the boat. Insurance and operating costs will also be much more for the fiberglass.
 
TN Larry

TN Larry

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In my opinion, I have a boat that is the best of both worlds. It's a Triton 197 Magnum Aluminum. It is set up just like a fiberglass in terms of the inside layout, storage, and has a high performance pad. It takes on rough water pretty well, and even though light, still handles in the wind okay. When I first bought it, it had a 200 Optimax on it and would run close to 70. The 200 blew up, and I put a 150 4 stroke on it. It will still run mid to upper 50s. I can do everything in it from serious bass fishing to bluegill fishing to hunting out of it and so on and so forth. The only problem is they don't make them anymore.

If I ever get in the market again, I would buy the same type of set up in either the new Ranger Aluminum, a G3, or Xpress.
 
Grandslam11

Grandslam11

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scn":1ybbiqma said:
You are looking at two extremes if you are comparing a Triton fiberglass to a BP Tracker.

I was thinking like a 10-15 year old Triton Fiberglass vs a 1-5 Year old Tracker but yeah still. I really don't want or need a large motor. I would prefer a 4 stroke 115-150 if I got to choose. You all have made some great points. Thanks. I know adding good electronics can be put on either and that adds up in a hurry.

I had a 1989 Bomber fiberglass with a 150HP Mercury on it. I got it when I was in high school for $3k. I loved it. It was old, but had plenty of deck space and a strong motor. The motor finally blew after about 12 years so I def got my money out of it. It was a heavy boat and the Mercury 150 DRANK the gas. I definitely want something fuel efficient and aren't worried about going much faster than 45 mph.
 
SilverFox

SilverFox

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The only downside I see to aluminum is fishability in the wind. With power poles or the new spot lock trolling motors that pretty levels the playing field. Sure the glass is going to ride better in rough situations... at least vs a mod v type hull. I had a padded hull aluminum before I went with glass Skeeter and it rode fairly well but compared to my Skeeter it was well behind. I personally would trade the better ride any day to be able to fish shallower and get into places I couldn't with the glass boat.

I don't like to say never but I don't see me going back glass. Aluminum boats have come so far it just doesn't make sense to me. My G3 has everything my Skeeter had as far as boat vs boat.
 
JimFromTN

JimFromTN

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The only issue I have with aluminum boats is handling big water. I love fishing for bass in the spring on Ky lake. It can get pretty rough out on the lake in the spring. I have a 17.5 foot fiberglass astro bassboat with a 150 hp and my friend has a 19 ft alumacraft bassboat with a 150hp on it. I can always make it across the lake in rough water in my boat. There have been many occasions where we were stuck in the cove we launched in with his boat. That being said, I own both along with a canoe as well. I purchased a 1982 bass tracker last year to get into skinny water.
 
catman529

catman529

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I love the smooth ride of fiberglass, but I doubt I will buy one any time in the foreseeable future...aluminum is more versatile, I can drill holes and do modifications, don't worry about banging into rocks on the shore, it's light and easier on gas mileage both for the outboard and the truck, overall a better deal for the way I hunt and fish


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B

brass magnet

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catman529":35ftf9pz said:
I love the smooth ride of fiberglass, but I doubt I will buy one any time in the foreseeable future...aluminum is more versatile, I can drill holes and do modifications, don't worry about banging into rocks on the shore, it's light and easier on gas mileage both for the outboard and the truck, overall a better deal for the way I hunt and fish


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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^What he said, and I could sell it for what I gave for it, 16 ft. with a 60 Evinrude ,12/ 24v ft. control fixes wind issues, trot lines on Tn. river or crappie in the creeks, good times.
 
Planking

Planking

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If its not real windy a trolling motor battery will last longer on an aluminum boat. It might even last longer on a windy day, less weight. If i just bass fished i would go fiberglass. Running comfortably on the water is high on my list on lakes.
 

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