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Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass

by , Posted to on 09/23/2012 4:25 PM | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 08/28/2012
Location: ND
I have been trying to decide between an aluminum boat and a fiberglass boat.We do a lot of fishing, but also try to get out to the lake for leisure activities with a large family.  I was just wondering what opinions are for which one is the best boat.
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/23/2012 5:27 PM | Reply #1 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/26/2009
Location: ND
all depends on what kind of fishing you plan to do.  if you plan to be in med to rough water you'll want fiberglass, if you expect to be bouncing off rocks in the river alot, you'll want aluminum, and of course with new boats with new tech coming out every year I think some of it is now boiling down to what style you like vs. what function you need.  fiberglass is heavy, this is bad for towing but good for boat control and aluminum is the opposite. etc etc etc....
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/23/2012 6:34 PM | Reply #2 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 08/28/2012
Location: ND
thanks. yeah we do mostly open water fishing and trolling on sakakawea, devils lake, and metigoshe. we tow our boat 500 miles north every fall for a fishing trip in canada and the boat we have had is an early 80's model fiberglass sea ray with an inboard motor which was a tank to haul up, especially with a single axel trailor.  we have been looking for a good 18-20 foot boat before our next trip and just didin't know which route to go.  as far as  overall ability and best bang for your buck, which is the way to go in your opinion?
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/23/2012 8:33 PM | Reply #3 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 08/28/2012
Location: ND
and is there a brand that is a good deal for your money?
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/23/2012 8:34 PM | Reply #4 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/26/2009
Location: ND
I'm a fiberglass guy, but there have been days when I wish I had aluminum, like when the water was really low down river last week and I was dodging boulders to get back to the ramp.  hit a rock in aluminum and you get a dent, hit one in fiberglass and you have a big hole!

I do think that most fiberglass fishing boats with outboards would be signifigantly lighter than that inboard searay, but still not as light as aluminum.  when trolling on windy days a big fiberglass boat is mush easier to control, and when running in waves fiberglass boats are alot easier on your spine, gonads, and teeth.  and I'm particular to the look of a fiberglass boat.
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/23/2012 8:43 PM | Reply #5 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/26/2009
Location: ND
As far as brand goes I'm particular to Skeeter, although I've never fished out of a ranger, I'm not prepared to spend that kind of cash for a name, and I'm not convinced they can be that much better to warrant that kind of a price increase from a similar year make & model skeeter.  fishers are good too but hard to come by around here.  So far the smoothest ride in waves I've experienced have been in skeeters, and they have the most storage and livewell space I have seen.  Mine hase two 40" X 14" livewells along with a baitwell/livewell at the front and a baitwell/cooler in the back plus storage compartments and 2 rod lockers.

One other note:  Buy a boat that already has the largest motor avalable for that particular model.  If the boat supports a 175hp motor don't buy the one with a 125.
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/23/2012 9:29 PM | Reply #6 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/10/2002
Location: ND
I grew up in an aluminum and ended up buying fiberglass 15 years ago kinda by accident.  And I will never, ever own a wet can ever.  What has been stated about hitting rocks is the only advantage I would agree aluminum has over glass but you would have to be running in rocks alot for that to be a determining factor.   The smooth, dry ride and added boat control in wind of a glass boat makes it far superior to aluminum in my opinion.  I run an older yarcraft.
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/23/2012 9:42 PM | Reply #7 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 03/07/2010
Location: ND

From the info provided probably a fiberglass for you.  Make sure and get a outboard, especially if you are mainly fishing.  The stern drives have lots of holes in the back and those babies love to leak.  Plus outboards give you more room in the boat to fish out of.  I prefer a nice lite dead head absorbing buddy on the river around Bismarck where I fish.

Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/23/2012 10:17 PM | Reply #8 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/08/2004
Location: ND
Looking to buy a new boat? Best bang for buck, ez, Stratos! Works awesome in any condition. I fish the Missouri out of Bismarck and rive is no problem. I also fish Oahe out of both Beaver and Mobridge, Sak and Jamestown without issues so lakes and travel is not an issue. Easy to control in winds, current and waves. I love my Stratos and a fraction of a Ranger. Skeeter would be my second choice but I love my Stratos.
IT IS BETTER TO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS THAN ASK FOR PERMISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/23/2012 10:29 PM | Reply #9 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 10/24/2010
Location: nd
i bought my first fiberglass boat last spring.   never will i ever own an aluminum  boat again.  i fish darling and sak.  first time i took the boat out on darling there was about a 30 mph steady wind.... can you say whitecaps?  with that fiberglass boat and the 200 merc on the back i was still able to run 58 mph across the top of the waves.  the big thing is make sure that you get a 2 axle trailer.  my boat is a fisher fx18dv with a 200 merc on it.  it's heavy, but with that two axle trailer it pulls fricken great behind my 02 f250 with a v10 in it (we all know how worthless the v10 is). 

Never argue with an idiot.... they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 06:35 AM | Reply #10 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/16/2007
Location: SD
Morpheus Said:
i bought my first fiberglass boat last spring.   never will i ever own an aluminum  boat again.  i fish darling and sak.  first time i took the boat out on darling there was about a 30 mph steady wind.... can you say whitecaps?  with that fiberglass boat and the 200 merc on the back i was still able to run 58 mph across the top of the waves.  the big thing is make sure that you get a 2 axle trailer.  my boat is a fisher fx18dv with a 200 merc on it.  it's heavy, but with that two axle trailer it pulls fricken great behind my 02 f250 with a v10 in it (we all know how worthless the v10 is). 
I would go with the fisher because i know the ranger, skeeter, lund,tracker,yar craft and any other boat(glass or aluminum) i have been in would not go across oahe in a 30 mph wind at 58 with out a serious ass kicking to ocupants but darling could be different in respects to wave size.

Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 07:26 AM | Reply #11 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 07/14/2003
Location: ND
I'm a fiberglass guy but I'm not gonn come on hear and beat my cheast and tell you that what I have is the only brand and that there is no merit to aluminum. It's already been stated but the aluminum boats are typically a little lighter, draft a little less water, handle beaching on shorelines better, and are a easier to maintain. It's been beaten to death but a glass boat typically has a smoother, drier ride, and is far easier to control in the wind. It used to be that the aluminum boats had the upper hand in storage as well however I think the glass boat builders have evened that one out. You need to decided what best fits your needs and choose one.

As far as builders, there are many that are good, you need to set a max price point and then deceide if you have to have new or if a used one will suffice as a used ranger will cost as much or more than a brand new stratos, it just the facts of life. The other thing to look at is how you fish. For me, 80% of my fishing is behind the windshield so the front deck size is not important to me but a large rear dance floor is. For me this rules out the rangers 6 series, tritons, and a couple others because the rear storage boxes eat up to much room for my liking. It's things like this which should dictate which boat to buy and not how many sparkles they have. using some defining point will give you a short list of boats that you'll be looking at, from there it's your discression, quality vs quantity, new vs used, limitless options vs a few, you choose.

When it comes to a trailer don't be so set on a tandem because you don't like your current one however make sure the trailer is rated appropriately for the load as there are lots of boats on marginal trailers. My 20ft Yar-Craft sits on a single axle trailer and pulls extremely easy. I wouldn't mind having a tandem at times as I often pull it behind my fifth wheel and for the most part when getting into 19+ ft boats very few single axle trailers are rated for the weight. Single Axle trailers are easier to maintain, are easier to manuver and typcially are easier on tires. A tandem will smooth out the ride, gets rid of any sway, and gives you a safety margin if you have a blow out. This of course is at the cost of having another set of tires and bearings to maintain, and the fact that you will never again grab the tongue of the boat and wheel it over to your truck. One thing to note about the safety factor of a tandem, I've been around a few cases where if single tire blows out it will take out the adjacent tire if at highway speeds, now you need two spares! I guess I'd look at the weight rating and think about how many miles a year you'll be towing before deciding between tandem or single.

BTW, if it's blowing 30 mph on the big water, you'll be drving with the nose in the air at about 15 mph in glass or aluminum!
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 08:13 AM | Reply #12 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 03/18/2009
Location: ND
 My first boat was a fiberglass Starcraft.  My second boat was a fiberglass Triton.  My current boat (3rd) is a fiberglass Skeeter.

Get where I'm going with this, Chasin'??  

I think this will be my last boat while on this earth......
 
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 08:47 AM | Reply #13 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/23/2009
Location: ND
 Just looked up specs on Lund 1975 pro-v and a Skeeter 1990. The Lund weighs 10 lbs more. Don't know where everyone gets that the fiberglass is so much more weight than a tin boat. It just isn't true. When comparing boats of same size and features, I don't think the weight issue is any concern. With that being said I would vote for glass. I have a Skeeter now and will probably be buying another one. 
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 09:17 AM | Reply #14 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/03/2004
Location: ND
Ive not owned a glass boat but I sure like being able to bang into a dock or run the boat up on a rocky shore and not worry about putting a hole in the side of my boat. AND aluminum looks better the more you run it up on sandbars, etc. Puts a nice shine on it!!!
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 09:35 AM | Reply #15 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/18/2004
Location: ND
Have a 1900 pro V Lund, I like it. However the next boat will be a glass. I like the looks of a glass better, the ride better, but prefer the price of the tin boat.

Reguardless of what you buy if its new or next to new, you really cant go wrong.

I have a top speed of about 58 mph, and I tell you what if the wind is blowing 30 mph I am going across the lake at maybe 15-20, as are most of the glass boats I see ripping across the lake.

Good luck, best day in a boat owners life is the day he buys it, the second best day is the day he sells it....lol

LINDY FISHING





Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 11:29 AM | Reply #16 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 08/28/2012
Location: ND
thanks for all the help guys. i really appreciate points on both sides of the coin. give me a lot to think about.
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 12:32 PM | Reply #17 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/15/2005
Location: SD
One thing that has not been discussed is money and budget.  New boats, be it aluminum or glass, are pretty similar in price.  However, with used boats, there can be a large difference.  It really depends on your budget.  IMO, if you are going to spend 25k, you have great options for both.  However, if you want to spend 15k, you're much more limited in selection.  15k-16k will get you a 04 Alumacraft or it will get you a late 90's Ranger 690/692.  Unquestionably the ride will be better on the 690/692, but you are also getting a boat and motor  that is older.  But if you spend 25k, you have good options both in glass and aluminum. 
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” - Albert Einstein
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 5:48 PM | Reply #18 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/26/2009
Location: ND
I didn't realize there were so many skeeter fans around.  I would have guessed everyone to be pushing lund or ranger around here.
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass
by on 09/24/2012 10:24 PM | Reply #19 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 11/24/2004
Location: ND

 -try before you buy-- try to get as new and as long as possible with max hp. 




 

Stay thirsty my friends
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Posted On: 09/23/2012 4:25 PM
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Tags: fiberglass, aluminum, boat, fishing, boat.we, trying, lake, wondering, activities, family
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