Buying a boat can be a big investment, and understanding the differences between aluminum and fiberglass boats can help you choose your boat more wisely. Knowing what your boat will be used for, where it will be used, and how it will be used are just a few of the considerations you should keep in mind when trying to decide between aluminum and fiberglass. You will want to make a decision that will best fit your needs, circumstances, and budget. The following are some guidelines to help you in making these decisions.
If price is a determining factor in your decision, an aluminum boat would be a better choice. The cost of repairs, such as for fixing a dent or hole, would also be less expensive with an aluminum boat. An aluminum boat can be welded, whereas a fiberglass boat cannot. To repair fiberglass, you will need to use a fiberglass patch, a skill that requires an experienced fiberglass workman. Then again, fiberglass is less likely to incur damage because its tensile strength is greater than that of aluminum.
If noise is a high priority to you in comparing boats, a fiberglass boat will be less noisy. The metal hull of an aluminum boat, as it cuts through the water, will produce more sound than that of a fiberglass boat. In addition, any contact to the boat by oars will produce more noise in an aluminum boat.
Aluminum boats are less resistant to corrosion, particularly if used in saltwater and if they are not maintained and cared for properly.
The boat that provides better gas storage will depend on your fishing needs. If you fish in small rivers or smaller lakes, an aluminum boat will likely serve your purposes better. This is because of the smaller gas storage capacity for the aluminum boat. A fiberglass boat, on the other hand, is the best choice for use on large bodies of water. Here, you'll want more gas and will want the gas storage compartment to be located more conveniently. Fiberglass boats have the capacity to store up to 60 gallons of gasoline in a built-in tank located under the floor of the boat. In an aluminum boat, you will store gas on deck.
For handling in severe weather conditions, both aluminum and fiberglass are equally suited.
If you are looking for a boat with ample and comfortable seating capacity, a fiberglass boat would more likely fit your needs.
When it comes to durability, aluminum boats rank higher. An aluminum boat can outlast a fiberglass boat and will provide you more years of service.
Speed and Safety
Because an aluminum boat is more lightweight than the heavier fiberglass boat, you will be able to get greater speed from an aluminum craft. Not only are aluminum boats more lightweight and faster, but they are also fireproof and are, therefore, safer. A fiberglass boat, which is made from petroleum products, will be highly flammable.