Which is better fiberglass or aluminum

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by LarryW, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. LarryW

    LarryW New Member

    Messages:
    523
    State:
    Abbeville Louisiana
    I may be in the market for a new boat and was wondering what fellow BOC members think. I will probably get an 18' boat.

    My old boat is glass and has a week floor and I have been told that it can be expensive to repair. :0a31: :0a22:
     
  2. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    Fiberglass boats are heavier than aluminum, fiberglass v hull boats will offer a superior ride over aluminum, aluminum boats are great up to a certain size, if it were me I would go with fiberglass for that size boat but any thing smaller than 17' it would be aluminum for my pick. I am looking to downsize from my 23' to and 18' and have decided to look for a bowrider with a 3.0 mercruiser in it. I understand they are much more fuel effiecient than outboard motors and i can convert it as needed for fishing and having fun with the family.
     

  3. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    I have a glass boat now, but I think that the aluminum would be better.An aluminum boat should weigh less than a glass boat of same proportions, thus making it more fuel efficient, easier to tow etc. etc..
     
  4. Nobody Special

    Nobody Special New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    TN
    I have a glass boat now. Had an aluminum before and would never buy another glass one. The reason is launching and loading. If you fish an area where there is always a courtesy dock beside the ramp, then a glass boat is ok. Most ramps I launch at require the boat to be beached and the one closest to my house has riprap all along the bank, so I have to go elsewhere to save my hull from being damaged.
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    It depends entirely on where you fish I would say.

    If you fish lakes I would probally go glass. Lakes get rough, Your typical Aluminum hull is not designed for it and you'll stay wet from spray.
    For the rivers Aluminum just for the reason of rocks, stumps, trees, and often unimproved ramps.
     
  6. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Some of my fishing spots are so full of stumps that you will knock a hole in a fiberglass boat just trying to get in there. Some years back, I watched a bunch of older teenage boys towing an almost sunken boat back in to shore and finally get it loaded onto a trailer to take to the repair shop. They had been trying to get back into an area where I was running several trotlines. Waves lifted the boat up, set it down on a stump, and knocked a hold in the boat I could put both fists through. Now, if you're fishing where you don't have to worry about stumps or rocks, fiberglass is nice. Not only is it quieter and smoother riding, but you don't have to worry about touching it in the summertime. I have to either cover the aluminum seat or pour water on it before I can sit on it during hot weather. Steam comes off the hot metal when I pour water on it.
     
  7. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I think you can get more comfortable in a fiberglass boat than you can in an aluminium boat. When you start spending 8 to 14 hours a day in the boat fishing, comfort does help.
     
  8. Coloman

    Coloman New Member

    Messages:
    441
    State:
    Soddy Daisy, Tn
    For getting to spots with low water Alm. is hard to beat. The are lighter and usually have shallower drafts. There are modified V hulls that are more stable than flat bottoms. For cat fishing a Alm. with a flat bottom or a modified V hull!
     
  9. APD1146

    APD1146 New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    New York
    Given a choice I love the ride of a wood boat. But what work envolved.
    Having said that. I have worked with fiberglass for quite a while and it can be strong, but fiberglass does need upkeep for gelcoat fading and small checkering cracks that occur. Knowing what your doing fiberglass can be a reasonablly easy product to repair but is not for just anybody to do.
    Personall I now own 3 boats, 2 alum 24 pontoon boats and a 18 ft, alum. with a 110 hp sterndrive unit. They all have there place. Alum is definetly a lot lighter when hauling several hundred miles or more as I do. The reason so many different boats are made is that no one boat is for everyone. Some times price may very well determine what size and type of boat you can or will buy.
    Happy fishing, brothers and sisters.
    robocop
     
  10. Bigones

    Bigones New Member

    Messages:
    161
    State:
    Ohio
    I think a Alm. is much better for a person fishin by themselves its much lighter. Now if you are going to be fishing in mostly lakes with a few people on board I would go with the glass. I have owned both and I have to say I would never buy another glass boat. I mainly fish by myself well with my kids but they are to young to help so The lightness of a Alm. makes a world of difference for me plus you don't have to really worry about knocking a hole in your boat.
     
  11. explayer

    explayer New Member

    Messages:
    372
    State:
    Tucson AZ
    I would have to say Fiberglass because of the comfort and light wieght
     
  12. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    IMHO, it's aluminum, no question. I had fiberglass and now have aluminum. The glass boat was smaller, heavier, and harder to repair. I had to replace the floor on the glass boat and had to rip her down to the hull and rebuild her. What a pain. It took me 3 months of work. The aluminum is easier to tow, lighter, and easier to work on.

    As stated before, if you have to beach you're boat a lot, aluminum is far superior than glass. Also if you run aground w/ a glass boat there is likely going to be damage.

    Good luck.
     
  13. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    you may want to look at a lund if you can afford them. they are nice aluminum boats. i have a 18ft pro v and i havent rode in a fiberglass boat that has any smoother ride. some of the flat bottom boats can beat you pretty good in rough water but they are nice for going threw shallow water. another thing is if you dont have a storage shed to put that fiberglass boat in the sun will work on that glass. there are several other companies that make deep v aluminum boats too. lund has a lifetime warr. on the wood flooring of there boats. really depend of the type lake or river your fishing in.
     
  14. vlparrish

    vlparrish New Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    State:
    Bedford, Kentucky
    I prefer an aluminum boat over Fiberglas myself. I mostly fish the Ohio River and you can easily tear up a glass boat with all the drift that can be in there at times. Also if you fished only on the days that are calm you wouldn't fish much. I like the v or semiv hulls best, because the ride can be alot better than with the jons. I have a 15 hp motor and by myself I can run near twenty miles an hour, you wont do that with a glass boat unless you have a 40 or bigger.
     
  15. wpsatisfide

    wpsatisfide New Member

    Messages:
    305
    State:
    Pawleys Island, SC
    Depends.

    fiberglass boats are heavier, but they also tend to ride better imo and usually are a little more comfortable. they are also quieter when anchored, i hate the sound of an anchored pontoon or aluminum boat.


    aluminum boats are lighter and a heck of a lot more durable. great if you have a good chance of brusing some rocks, oyster shells, stumps, or other debris.
     
  16. tmuenster

    tmuenster New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    South Dakota
    I think Mark has it about right. It does depend on the how you are going to use the boat. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages. I just sold a heavy duty fiberglass Boston Whaler and bought a shallow draft aluminum jet boat.

    One consideration is also how much trailering you intend to do. As mentioned, the aluminum will pull much easier due to the lighter weight. My Whaler is a real pig to pull around with my F150. The aluminum RiverPro is so easy that I can move it around the garage by hand.

    Good luck with finding the right boat and you are getting some good advice on this site. Let us know what you end up getting.

    Tom