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Thread: Aluminum vs. Fiberglass???

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    Default Aluminum vs. Fiberglass???

    This question has been burning in my mind for some time now. I currently fish from a Tracker Pro Team 190 and I love the boat but it'll throw you around when the wind picks up. A lot of guys say fiberglass boats are a lot more steady in rougher water. Then people talk about how aluminum holds up so much better than fiberglass which seems to make sense. But a lot of the bigger names in crappie fishing use fiberglass. I've never fished from a fiberglass boat but I'm interested; which makes for a better crappie boat, aluminum or fiberglass?
    And he said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

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    I think the big thing is where do you fish and how. Lots of bigger open water Glass is going to shine. Smaller,shallower water and timber with stumps then aluminum. Lots of wind larger,heavier glass is going to be more stable. No perfect boat. Trade offs with both.
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    For me it depends on what Aluminum or glass boat you have. I have had my share of both, have had a 20' Skeeter and some others including a deep V for fishing offshore that was 19 1/2' way back in the very early 1970's, but that one os not what we are talking here. I now have a Lund 17' deep V and it's as stable as any glass boat anywhere near that length! I have had several other Aluminum boats over the years and even had a 17 1/2' G3. Kind of a low profile type that looks like a bass boat and is Aluminum, but my wife didn't like it because it rocked so much in waves and just didn't have what this deep V has! If you buy a really good aluminum boat then you will not need to worry about stability, but if it's one of the light weight low profile type, it's gonna rock and roll, LOL! Just my opinions though, but I hvae had a lot of boats. My first glass bass boat was in 1970, a stick steer tyer Skeeter, LOL!

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    I think cray hit the nail on the head in his first sentence. As far as "fishing" goes (here on KY & Barkley lakes) I have never seen an aluminum boat that fishes as well as a fiberglass boat. One of my fishing buddies sold his aluminum boat a couple years ago and bought fiberglass, in the wind there is no comparison between the two. It rides great and the (fishing) seats are very comfortable. That being said I fish out of a Triton 1860, an aluminum boat. It's more of a utility type, not a bass boat. I fish out of aluminum because of the way I use it. Most of my fishing happens between November and March and many of the ramps I use have gravel roads leading to them. Plus if I get bored or cold I'll run it up on the bank and pilfer around for a while. Not to mention using it to put out beds.

    Glass boats are great, but for what I do aluminum is the way to go. Your mileage may vary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cray View Post
    I think the big thing is where do you fish and how. Lots of bigger open water Glass is going to shine. Smaller,shallower water and timber with stumps then aluminum. Lots of wind larger,heavier glass is going to be more stable. No perfect boat. Trade offs with both.
    X2. Glass is absolutely going to hold up to wind and rough water better than aluminum, so if you are exclusively fishing big, open water, then that is the way to go. But if you need aluminum for stumpy lakes, then a deep v is going to be the next best thing. The hull design deflects stumps well, and is much more stable in wind and rough water than other metal boats.
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    After nearly 20 years in aluminum, I switched to glass. The glass is definitely more comfortable and stable in rough water. I was having lower back pain from the pedestal pole from bouncing all day when longline trolling. Also if wind picked up, it would beat you to death crossing a wide area and you would get wet. The glass has eliminated all those problems. I also hated dealing with carpet and went with a crossover boat and got rid of those worries too.

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    Aluminum is less expensive to own & operate. It can "take a beating and keep on ticking". A well designed hull like a Lund or a Crestliner in 16' - 18' length will handle any rough water anywhere.

    Fiberglass is definitely more "stable" (a subjective opinion by everyone). More expensive to push around, both by vehicle and outboard. Up-keep is certainly more of an issue, in the negative sense.

    The flatter bottomed designs (bass boat styles), will give you a much "wetter" ride, in rough water, than a deep-V. But as has been said by others here, it's how you "feel" about it that is most important. The problem with asking a question like this is, getting an objective answer. Mainly because, once you plop down your hard earned bucks on a high cost item, such as a boat, it's difficult to recognize (and admit to) it's short comings.

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    The aluminum boat I was impressed with in wind conditions was a SeaArk with a 15 degree hull and 26" sides. Fished on open water with 15 mph wind blowing across 5 miles of lake, it never felt scary at all. Did it get blown around, some; but way more glass like than 16' aluminum like. SeaArk makes several crappie and bass models with 15 degree hulls and 24+" sides.

    That being said, if you don't fish water where you will ding it, you can get used glass rigs for less than a new heavier SeaArk or Crestliner deep-v.

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    Quote Originally Posted by okhawg View Post
    The aluminum boat I was impressed with in wind conditions was a SeaArk with a 15 degree hull and 26" sides. Fished on open water with 15 mph wind blowing across 5 miles of lake, it never felt scary at all. Did it get blown around, some; but way more glass like than 16' aluminum like. SeaArk makes several crappie and bass models with 15 degree hulls and 24+" sides.

    That being said, if you don't fish water where you will ding it, you can get used glass rigs for less than a new heavier SeaArk or Crestliner deep-v.
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    I have glass cuz my back sez so. Comfort and slower reaction. The newer aluminum boats with a reverse chine have my interest as they don't rock incessantly as my older lund guide series did. Spend the time to educate yourself and bum rides where you can before you pull the trigger, you won't regret it. There's an awful lot to look at.
    Listen to your gut over all the other voices.

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