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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. #13905248 02/28/21 02:21 PM
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Fishinsoap Offline OP
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Pro's and cons of each. Looking to get a new to me boat and trying to decide. I currently have a 2000 sx190 fiberglass skeeter. Am I going to regret it if I decide to go aluminum?

Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: Fishinsoap] #13905280 02/28/21 02:51 PM
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If the boat rides the way you want, allows you to fish in the conditions you want to fish, on the lakes you frequent, you will not regret it. It really is personal preference since each model and style has strengths and weaknesses. I've loved glass, and I love my current tin boat.


"Slow ahead." I can go slow ahead. Come on down here and chum some of this [censored].
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: Fishinsoap] #13905411 02/28/21 05:00 PM
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Pat Goff Online Content
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Pretty simple.
Aluminum Pros: Rugged, won't get scratched and ding like glass.
Aluminum Con: If you fish big lakes, you're going to get pounded. If you fish tournaments, you can't make aluminum run the same speed as glass.


Pat Goff
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Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: Pat Goff] #13905474 02/28/21 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Pat Goff
Pretty simple.
Aluminum Pros: Rugged, won't get scratched and ding like glass.
Aluminum Con: If you fish big lakes, you're going to get pounded. If you fish tournaments, you can't make aluminum run the same speed as glass.


Agree here with Pat but I will add this. I got pounded one day in a friend's aluminum boat on a lake under 8K acres when the wind was wrong.


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Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: Fishinsoap] #13905558 02/28/21 06:50 PM
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Also even on a lake that won't "pound" you with waves, aluminum boats are lighter and usually shallower drafts the wind will blow you around quite a bit more than on a fiberglass.

Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: Fishinsoap] #13910999 03/04/21 08:58 PM
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A lot of surface advice here... But you are asking a question that is shallow to begin with. you simply cannot compare aluminum to glass with the material being the only factor. The shape of the hull has a lot to do with it as well. I have a Deep V alum boat (in the process of restoring it a second time, check out the thread) and I assure you it handles heavy chop and big waves just fine. I have had it 30 miles offshore in fact. It will also run in a foot of water if I tilt up the motor a bit and put someone up front. It runs 42 MPH on 90 HP... I will be putting a 115 on it and I suspect that will make it a 45+ mph boat.

That being said, it is hard to find a deep V aluminum boat... most are shallow V or flat bottom and that is a recipe for getting the ever loving [censored] beaten out of you on the water. I almost sank after pushing a 15 foot flat bottom too hard and split the hull.

A flat bottom glass boat will beat you up just as much, and a Deep V will slice.

I am not the most experienced boater, but I do have experience on a wide variety of boats. Here are the considerations I would have for selecting a boat.

- How deep will the water be where I plan to fish mainly?
- How far do I have to motor from the ramp to the places I plan to fish and how long am I willing to spend getting there?
- Do I want to be able to relatively comfortably fish in adverse conditions
- Will I want to go onto the ocean with the boat?
- how many people do I expect to have onboard?
- Will the way I fish be hazardous to the hull (logs, stumps ECT)

This is not comprehensive, but a very good start. For me, being a cheap bastard, I wanted a boat that could be very versatile and durable. That is why I have the Deep V aluminum.

Aluminum Pros

- Durable (I don't worry about banging into stumps)
- Light ( easy to trailer, burns less fuel, easy to move by hand if you beach it, less draft all things being equal)
- Easy to repair if needed
- cheaper
- easy maintinance

Aluminum CONS

- Light ( no mass to pound through waves)
- Thin (more noise from the hull, though the foam/insulation of it can make a big difference)
- Looks ( not as pretty as a glass hull, especially if it is a riveted hull)
- not a lot of options for hull design in new boats

Glass PRos

- Heavy ( mass to pound through the water)
- thicker ( less hull noise)
- Looks (nothing prettier than glass)
- lots of options in new boats

Glass Cons

- Heavy ( Burns more fuel, more difficult to manhandle, need bigger vehicle to trailer)
- More Expensive
- more difficult to repair, more expensive to repair
- more difficult to maintain ( buffing, cleaning ECT)
- more prone to damage from stumps, logs, sun ECT.



Everyone's needs/wants are different. For me, for lake fishing, aluminum was a no brainier. While I have fished my aluminum boat on the ocean many times, I now own a 35' HEAVY fiberglass boat for offshore purposes. However I would not hesitate to use my aluminum boat on the saltwater for inshore fishing.

Keep in mind that it really isn't a big deal to slow down in choppy water if you need to ... I mean no matter WHAT you get there will be a level of conditions that will necessitate slowing down. You just have to be realistic about what you will be doing on the regular. Only YOU know where and when and how you fish. Be honest and realistic about that and find a boat that will be right for the mission.

Last edited by Austintatious; 03/04/21 09:03 PM.
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: Fishinsoap] #13911537 03/05/21 04:25 AM
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What about aluminum boats like Xpress or GatorTraxx...They have 200/250hp motors and can 75mph+. I've never ridden in either but have been in plenty of fiberglass...Anyone have any experience riding/owning either of those 2 brands of aluminum boats?

Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: Fishinsoap] #13911554 03/05/21 04:38 AM
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I sold a good number of express and alumacrafts.
Both are solid boats. But don’t fall for a lot of the speed claims. They just won’t run the same speed as a comparable glass hull. Good but not equal.

Is that important to you? If it is then get a good fiberglass and go enjoy it. If the pluses on the aluminum are better for you then go that route.

I wouldn’t trade my aluminum scooter for any glass hull, but that’s because of how and where it’s used. If I lived and fished somewhere else I might want to run something different.


Pat Goff
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Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: d75bender] #13911594 03/05/21 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by d75bender
What about aluminum boats like Xpress or GatorTraxx...They have 200/250hp motors and can 75mph+. I've never ridden in either but have been in plenty of fiberglass...Anyone have any experience riding/owning either of those 2 brands of aluminum boats?

[Linked Image]
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[Linked Image]

There's been quite a bit of generalization so far. This one is mine. It does quite a few things very, very well.


"Slow ahead." I can go slow ahead. Come on down here and chum some of this [censored].
Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: Fishinsoap] #13911691 03/05/21 12:47 PM
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I am an aluminum guy but as Pat says if speed is your game forget aluminum, don’t get me wrong they can be rockets for their early years but as the hull takes the abuse they are usually given they slow down.

My boat started it’s life out as an xpress 2001 , I have taken it to it’s bones twice , the first time I’d got it stripped there was 59 broken welds.

I re arranged the whole front structure eliminated side lockers and made center rod storage, the lack of a forward bulkhead to hold the bow together is why the crack on the keel and outside strakes. I also double boxed the whole bow forward of the console with 3lb density closed cell foam compressed. So when you knock on the hull it sounds like a glass boat. Another issue with aluminum “bass” boats is they are terribly balanced so unless you weigh 600 lbs they don’t fish flat in the water or draft high enough at the transom so I moved the fuel tank rt up against the aluminum live well that I put in and put the pumps out to the sides of live well , lithium battery for Tm , no onboard charger. Lastly I added considerable strength to transom extended added knee braces forward on all 3 main stringers and a pull strut from a box plate from top of transom to a plate across stringers. Had room for this since fuel tank is moved forward. Last this I have done is a center fuel tank so I can run rear tank low or empty when needing to push pole shallow. It’s got a pro xs 175 on it that weighs 412 lbs , I could run a 200 but don’t want the weight. Lower unit is coned with Bob’s single with a clean out tee and pump so I can back flush when I get it pull of trash.

55 mph on a good day but takes a serious beating

Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: Fishinsoap] #13911698 03/05/21 12:52 PM
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Beautiful boat 4967, really impressive I have had a few conversations about building one of those for my next boat but I may still go w Xpress if I can convince them to let me buy one semi finished and have no warranty. Then I would make it the way I want it. I just prefer the extruded lines on the back pad and the 19 foot.

Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: 4967] #13915872 03/09/21 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 4967
Originally Posted by d75bender
What about aluminum boats like Xpress or GatorTraxx...They have 200/250hp motors and can 75mph+. I've never ridden in either but have been in plenty of fiberglass...Anyone have any experience riding/owning either of those 2 brands of aluminum boats?

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

There's been quite a bit of generalization so far. This one is mine. It does quite a few things very, very well.




Those Gator Trax are such a cool looking boat. But they're still wayyyy up there in price and for that amount I think I'd go fiberglass. How fast does that Gator go? Plus with everything Tiltman mentioned I'm going to be going fiberglass. I was bouncing back and forth for about 6 months but that has definitely cleared up my decision.

Re: Aluminum Vs. Fiberglass bass boats. [Re: d75bender] #13916115 03/09/21 02:08 PM
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This boat wasn't cheap to purchase, and more importantly, was not cheaply made.
I've had ZERO problems with it and fully expect that my children and grand children will still be happily fishing out of it long after I'm gone. I hope everyone is as fortunate.
In speed, I've never trimmed it all the way out and pushed it to any limit.
With that said, I've seen enough 65+ to believe that it's a low to mid 70's boat.
Best of luck in your search and on the water.

Clay


"Slow ahead." I can go slow ahead. Come on down here and chum some of this [censored].
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