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Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? #14573705 02/14/20
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johnw Offline OP
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Saw a couple while we were on the gulf coast of Alabama last week. Saw far more composite hulls, almost to the point of being exclusive. Is there a reason? Galvanic corrosion? Performance?


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Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14574315 02/14/20
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Up here aluminum boats are everywhere.

Down south, temps, both on the boat surface and its affect on corrosion, make them less popular. Schit rots fast down there and nobody wants a scalded azz.

That said, aluminum seems to be gaining in popularity everywhere.


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Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14609177 02/26/20
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Corrosion isn't as large an issue down here for aluminum as you would think. There are a lot more aluminum boats than you are giving credit also. Xpress, G3 and a few specialty brands of aluminum bay boats are pretty popular...but I do agree that there are far more fiberglass boats.

I know in the PNW, aluminum is somewhat considered THE boat material. Down here, people generally look at aluminum boats as "economy" grade. Its what you buy when you can't afford the fiberglass boat you want.

And for offshore, there really aren't any manufacturers that cater to the "~25ft and up" center console crowd. Metal Shark is about the only manufacturer I know that offers a true offshore fishing platform but they are a specialty / custom manufacturer.

Going back to inshore, which is where you will see a mix of aluminum hulls in the crowd, the biggest thing I have noticed when fishing in closer quarters, bayous and even sight casting is the noise is much more difficult to overcome in an aluminum boat. My father fished an 18ft Alumaweld modified v-hull for about a decade. I ran a 20ft Seachaser Flats for about half that time. We both loved fishing the bayous and oyster flats for specs / reds. As soon as I bought my boat and we had some overlap fishing together on each boat, it was obvious how much quieter the fiberglass hull was. Not just noise inside the boat (setting stuff down, accidentally dropping something, stepping up / down from decks) but the constant lapping of water against the hull made SO much more noise against the aluminum hull than the fiberglass hull.

And as MadMooner stated, aluminum is a great heat conductor when the Gulf Coast sun has been beating directly down on it all day. We learned real quick in dad's Alumaweld that you didn't sit down on the bare aluminum in the spring or summer without a cushion under your azz.

Now, get north of the coast just a little bit and the duck hunting crowd will start to offset the trends a bit....they love their aluminum boats and gator tail / mud devil motors.

Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14612288 02/27/20
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In the high dollar charter fleet in SE Alaska, not sure you can find too many recent build glass boats. All the money is flowing into high dollar aluminum boats. They start at 150k and go up. My next boat will be 200+.


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Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14612877 02/27/20
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I take my 20 ft Lund out in the salt all the time. Only downside as mentioned is when the sun is beating down and temps get over the 90's. Carfeul where you sit ol

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Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14617358 02/28/20
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I will only buy aluminum boats for a two reasons;
1. They are much lighter. I can beach it at high tide and hunt without worrying about about being stranded. 3 guys can drag a 21' boat down to the water where it would take 8 guys to drag the same boat made of fiberglass.
2. Fixing or making changes is as easy as firing up a tig welder. Which I do frequently.

Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14635148 03/05/20
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johnw Offline OP
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Hadn't looked at this thread for a week or 2 and am happy to see new replies.

Originally Posted by War_Eagle
Corrosion isn't as large an issue down here for aluminum as you would think. There are a lot more aluminum boats than you are giving credit also. Xpress, G3 and a few specialty brands of aluminum bay boats are pretty popular...but I do agree that there are far more fiberglass boats.




Originally Posted by ribka
I take my 20 ft Lund out in the salt all the time. Only downside as mentioned is when the sun is beating down and temps get over the 90's. Carfeul where you sit ol



Is corrosion a non-issue then???

Originally Posted by War_Eagle
Down here, people generally look at aluminum boats as "economy" grade. Its what you buy when you can't afford the fiberglass boat you want.



I'm all about economy grade...

I'd love to have a Scout 195SF for the gulf coast and a Crestliner 1850 fish hawk for the midwest, but Either one would set me back further than I'm comfortable. Both just aint gonna happen.

Originally Posted by OAM
I will only buy aluminum boats for a two reasons;
1. They are much lighter. I can beach it at high tide and hunt without worrying about about being stranded. 3 guys can drag a 21' boat down to the water where it would take 8 guys to drag the same boat made of fiberglass.
2. Fixing or making changes is as easy as firing up a tig welder. Which I do frequently.





These are exactly things that have been on my mind. I'm not the most experienced guy in a boat and I wanna fix what I break. Also have read several times of guys doing damage while beaching boats in less than calm weather.


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Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14652773 03/11/20
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If you're worried about corrosion, get a zink or two, or three in stalled.


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Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14653720 03/11/20
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I bought a used Crest 24 foot pontoon boat in Texas, knowing it had some barnacles to be removed. I got them off with a pressure washer and used some Toon Brite or whatever to clean it. Seller assured me there were no leaks in the logs. Har Har. There were so many leaks that the logs were junk. It was a nice rig with a 4.3 Mercruiser and I felt lucky it didn't sink when I left it overnight.

Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14656311 03/12/20
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Used my Starcraft off shore for now, 25 years, no sign of corrosion or loose rivets. But I kept up on maintenance. Changed the anodes on the outdrive once is all.


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Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: Plumdog] #14660098 03/13/20
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Originally Posted by Plumdog
I bought a used Crest 24 foot pontoon boat in Texas, knowing it had some barnacles to be removed. I got them off with a pressure washer and used some Toon Brite or whatever to clean it. Seller assured me there were no leaks in the logs. Har Har. There were so many leaks that the logs were junk. It was a nice rig with a 4.3 Mercruiser and I felt lucky it didn't sink when I left it overnight.



Those typically rot from the inside out. Once water gets inside a pontoon and sits for extended periods they will rot.
It's all a care and maintenance issue.

Glass boats seem to dominate the South East.
I think historically they were the easiest to repair and maintain when aluminum welding was a rare event.
As more welding shops started working with aluminum, aluminum boats have become more popular.

I have boats in Florida, Montana and Alaska and aluminum is my first choice.
In the parts of the country that experience long frozen winters, a glass boat left sitting outside can fill with water, freeze and split wide open....

Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14990700 06/23/20
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Zincs and spray it down real good with fresh water after use, and I’ve had no problems.

Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: Gooch_McGrundle] #14991093 06/23/20
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Originally Posted by Gooch_McGrundle
Zincs and spray it down real good with fresh water after use, and I’ve had no problems.


Plenty of aluminum boats on the Chesapeake Bay - keep up on the fresh water wash, change the zincs when needed, and touch up paint if scratched deep.

Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14991424 06/23/20
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Originally Posted by johnw
Saw a couple while we were on the gulf coast of Alabama last week. Saw far more composite hulls, almost to the point of being exclusive. Is there a reason? Galvanic corrosion? Performance?


There are economy-grade aluminum boats, but generally it is much cheaper to build a series-production boat in fiberglass. Many fine yachts and fishing boats built from aluminum. The corrosion issues are well known, as are the various ways of dealing with that.


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Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: johnw] #14996948 06/25/20
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One of the main reasons for glass boats is the hulls can be easily formed into any shape the builder wants. All it takes is a new mold. I have owned and fished with both in the salt in Cook Inlet, Alaska.
I doubt I will ever buy another glass boat. The finish is just to fragile compared to a good aluminum hull.


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Re: Aluminum Boats in Salt Water? [Re: JeffA] #14997539 06/25/20
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Originally Posted by JeffA
[
Glass boats seem to dominate the South East.
I think historically they were the easiest to repair and maintain when aluminum welding was a rare event.
As more welding shops started working with aluminum, aluminum boats have become more popular.




I used to work for JW Harris before they got bought out. At one point we acquired this little solder company in Allentown, PA. It's main product was an aluminum solder that was considered the end-all/be-all for aluminum boat welders. I had to go to Allentown a few times to get their IT systems straightened out. The whole place was in a pre-Civil War building in the woods. It was amazing to me that this little hole-in-the-wall could be so famous with a bunch of Bayou boat builders.


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