The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum

Go Back   The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > The Boating Forum
Search

Notices

Random Quote: The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Since then no one ever found it.
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-13-2003, 07:46 PM
  #1    
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: CLEVELAND, OHIO, USA
Posts: 973
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Hi I personally own a fiberglass boat but think that an aluminum hull would outlast a glass hull right? I mean that the metal cant rot like wood. Also, it is lighter than fiberglass and therefore is more efficient. There's got to be a downside to aluminum but if properly welded and structurally sound I can't really see a negative to it. It would be perfect--a hull that would last forever with basically no problems. This is just some food for thought. Comments welcomed. Paul. The boat I was thinking about would be a 30ft pilothouse, welded aluminum, with a single large diesel and a 25 horse kicker. That rig if properly maintained should last almost forever right?
SEASWIRL PAUL is offline  
Old 10-13-2003, 07:53 PM
  #2    
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,715
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Some previous discussion that may be relevant:

http://thehulltruth.com/6/ubb.x?a=tp...1&m=6426079893

http://thehulltruth.com/6/ubb.x?a=tp...1&m=3946024222

http://thehulltruth.com/6/ubb.x?a=tp...1&m=9276077951

http://thehulltruth.com/6/ubb.x?a=tp...1&m=5956028751

http://thehulltruth.com/6/ubb.x?a=tp...1&m=2396004963

Of course, you will hopefully get some additional opinions.

Drifter
Drifter is offline  
 
Old 10-13-2003, 08:27 PM
  #3    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 22,805
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Really as far as I am concerned the only really big down side to an aluminum hull is it's shape. Yes a glass boat is heavier, but it cuts the water better then aluminum hulls do.

Weight does effect the ride. The heavier the boat the less bouncing around you will be doing. A heavier boat will not be blown around as easily as well.

Just remember, any boat regardless of material used for construction, if it is properly maintained, it should last a life time.

Something else to concider: If you were having a custom made glass boat made, wouldn't you address the problems that plague typical production glass boats? I know that I would.

Keep Smile'n, It's a nice day to be alive.
Garett is offline  
Old 10-13-2003, 08:32 PM
  #4    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 5,071
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Fibreglass dosn't suffer electrolysis

On the other hand Aluminium has twice the flashpoint of fibreglass & resin.

Lots of folks wuill tell you you can't get the same complex curves into alloy that you can in glass, but in my experience that point is debateable.

Take these two examples!





Both bye the same designed (John Fitzharding - Southerly Designs)

One in Glass and one in alloy - basically the same....

Ifyou have the right design and builder plate alloy can do a LOT more than many are so far achieving with it....in terms of emulating complex hull lines acievied in glass..

Of course they may not be that cheap to build if you get too complex, and you have to find a builder capable of getting the result as well - and that only comes with experience.

We are lucky here in My home state that we have some of the pioneers in plate alloy design and construction that have been round for years AND we have a very bouyant lobster export industry thats sufficiently capitalised to support such continuos development in Alloy hullform.

There are Many area os boating where the USA undoubtedly leads the world in best practice, Alloy boatbuilding so far however - isn't one of them!

Mind you, some of them are catching on pretty quick! I think Ben Lexcens winged Keel on Australia 11 was the clue that maybe there IS something to be learned in the world of boating by looking a little further afield than just Floridah - and to their credit the Americal welded alloy boat industry seems to be flourishing of late.

They still have a "little catching up to do" to the Aussies (And kiwi's) in the area of alloy hulls tho.

I guess thats why so many alloy mega yachts and fast ferrys are still built downunder.

Cheers!


trouty is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 12:28 AM
  #5    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Kenner La.
Posts: 283
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Here you go Trouty
These may be dingys compared to the craft
you spoke of, but I've seen them close up
they great looking, & fit, & finish is top
notch.
Aussies,Kiwis, & Cajuns digging ALLOY
http://www.krollmarine.com/Cajun%20Special.html

It is better to remain silant
and be thought the fool
than to speak and remove all
doubt.
Marsh-Mellow is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 01:16 AM
  #6    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 5,071
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Gotta love them bass boats!!!

Might hafta make dem cajuns honorary Aussies they keep buildin em like that!

Put that cahun special on a river downunder, you'd get a speeding tocket from the water police standing still just because it LOOKS too fast!

I have to admit, I'd love to give the trottle a tweak on that on my own home river...theres a few tight bends we might have to straighten a tad first tho.

Cheers!


trouty is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 02:02 AM
  #7    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,325
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Here you go, a typical PacNW pilothouse (Seawolf)


28' Maxcat w/twin Honda 225's
Chaps is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 03:44 AM
  #8    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 5,071
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Paul,

quote:That rig if properly maintained should last almost forever right?

The emphasis in that statement is "properly maintained".

Electrolysis is an insidious thing not easily seen - you have to stay right on top of it.

The other thing is how it's designed/built in the first place.

It's possible to build 2 identicle looking boats in alloy that are worlds apart.

Commercial boats tend to be very heavey and it's because in many instances the frams spacings might be half or less of a similar recreational use boat, likewise the thickness of alloy might ber twice that of a recreational boat -this then means the propulsion power needs are necessarily higher (adding yet more weight).

Thing is, these overbuilt commercial baots do as many hours in one season as many rec boats in a lifetime.

Grade of alloy, hull plates thickness, and Frame spacings (number of frames) can have a large bearing on how long lived a boat is IF electrolysis doesn't rear it's ugly head and interfere...

Like all things ytou get what you pay for and sometimes two boats that LOOK the same may not LASt the same - the lighter one will have it all over the heavier with speed and fuel numbers...but may not be around to be compared in 10 years time.

You need to do your homework is the answer...

Cheers!

trouty is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 06:19 AM
  #9    
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Bay City MI
Posts: 133
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

I had 3 welded alluminum boats before going to fiberglass. Alluminum can only flex so many times and it will crack. I had two of them do just that. If not welded right the welds are very brittle and crack first. The boats I had were 18' great lakes walleye boats. I'm not sure about the ocean style alluminum boats but I would stay away from the smaller boats.

Joel K Scout 202 Dorado

Joel K is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 06:59 AM
  #10    
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Carrabelle,Fl.
Posts: 57
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

I would second what is said by Joel K. Beware of thin aluminum boats. All boats flex but a thin metal will flex more then a thick one. Metal will fatigue and crack. I have owned several aluminum boats while I lived in Southeast Alaska and saw thousands more. Most boats built for those waters have 1/4 in. bottoms and are 5056 grade. The welds are strong and you get very little flex. The Sea Wolf pictured by Chaps is an excellent example. If you try to weld anything less then say 1/8 in. you can run into flexing problems after time with rough use. Many builders built thin boats and many folks buy them but I would say let the buyer beware. I would go with rivets if I were looking at a thinner skin vessel. Rivets handle the flex better as they do in aircraft.
Many builders such as Lund know this and have built riveted boats with success for years.
Well, that is my two cents worth.
Chuck B.
Chuck B is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 08:52 AM
  #11    
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hammond, LA
Posts: 16,412
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

...sigh...

all welded marine grade aluminum does not flex, crack, bend, boil, burn, or spontaneously implode...if you buy a cheap aluminum boat, it will fall apart just like a cheap fiberglass boat

it will not corrode in salt water unless you don't take care to isolate dissimilar metals, which is easily done

visit pacific boats and blacklab marine for more info

"support THT- join the captain's club!"
cgrand is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 03:08 PM
  #12    
Senior Member

 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Quebec, Canada and Pirates Cove, OBX, NC
Posts: 19,248
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Aluminum is a great material which has its avantages and disadvantages when compared to fiberglass . . . HOWEVER, you can most often customize an aluminum boat at a much lower cost than you can customize a fiberglass boat . . . I am talking major changes and not cosmetic changes

The good looking boat below (if I can say that ever so humbly about my boat ) is aluminum, welded, heavy marine grade . . . no rivets



Miss-Be-Haven

" The only boat without a ding or four, is the one that never gets used!!! "
auguste is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 04:34 PM
  #13    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: LA, USA
Posts: 144
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Gravois Boats in South Louisiana makes some beautiful aluminum boats (custom painted & custom built). I was thinking about commissioning one myself. Unfortunately, they don't have a home page, but check out these two on Captain Larry Robichaux's home page:
http://www.saltwaterguideservice.com/boat22ft8Big.html
http://www.saltwaterguideservice.com/boat25ft8Big.html

Gravois makes Cat's and DeepV's also. (I don't know Cpt. Robichaux or the Gravois family in case you are wondering). The only complaint I have heard is that they put fairly flat bottoms on the bay boats (for shallow water) which makes the ride not so great in heavy chop. If you are not right up on them, it is hard to tell they are aluminum, especially if painted white or yellow.

Leblanc Boat works makes gorgeous boat (even compared to glass) but their waiting list is really long, and I hear that the owner is having some health problems, so it may get even longer. They don't have a web site either unfortunately - none of these small family owned builders do, but their boats will outlast their owners even if they aren't taken care of.

-Muddy
muddywater is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 05:13 PM
  #14    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location:
Posts: 162
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

I personally no someone that makes boats called patriot marine. The boat's he made were a very steel. they really seem to hold up well. the only prob. with that is the fit and finish,becuase you really can shape out gunnels and if you try to it looks really guaky. His boats ride very nice though
i would just go with fiberglass becuase becuase a fiberglass boat gets a hole it costs you 30$ for resin and some mat. but aluminum boats have to be stripped to the right rib and then replated becuase aluminum or steel dents in then punctures. I also know of a couple of paty boats that are aluminmum and they have to have the boats re ribbed every 10 years. they also get dent's like cars when the metal starts to lose certain properties.
The finish is paint there is no gel coat to wax out. your interior is just paint
good luck
cap'n morgan
CAPTAIN MORGAN 2 is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 05:13 PM
  #15    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location:
Posts: 162
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

I personally no someone that makes boats called patriot marine. The boat's he made were a very steel. they really seem to hold up well. the only prob. with that is the fit and finish,becuase you really can shape out gunnels and if you try to it looks really guaky. His boats ride very nice though
i would just go with fiberglass becuase becuase a fiberglass boat gets a hole it costs you 30$ for resin and some mat. but aluminum boats have to be stripped to the right rib and then replated becuase aluminum or steel dents in then punctures. I also know of a couple of paty boats that are aluminmum and they have to have the boats re ribbed every 10 years. they also get dent's like cars when the metal starts to lose certain properties.
The finish is paint there is no gel coat to wax out. your interior is just paint
good luck
cap'n morgan
CAPTAIN MORGAN 2 is offline  
Old 10-14-2003, 05:18 PM
  #16    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: farmington ct, usa
Posts: 903
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

The coast guard, and many municipalities beat the crap out of their Pacific 23's, they have not had one single boat ever fail, ever. Custom davits, haulers, yopu name it.

Jay Perotta has built his entire reputation on this.

Flexing???????????????

Let's not even get into rivetted boats, or 1/8" thick aluminum. How aboat double welded 1/4 inch 5000 series aluminum?

Don't think flexing is so on a commercial boat.
cat man is offline  
Old 10-15-2003, 08:34 AM
  #17    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Saugus, Ma. USA
Posts: 7,938
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

I have a fiberglass boat, but one advantage of aluminum or steel is if you hit something. It's far easier to pound out a dent or reweld a section of plate and still maintain integrity than it is to repair a good size hole in a fiberglass hull that may have caused structural damage.
It's not difficult to fix a 6" hole in fiberglass, but what it difficult is to find repair and surrounding areas that may have delaminated due to the impact.
jobowker is offline  
Old 10-15-2003, 08:51 AM
  #18    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Slidell, LA
Posts: 3,152
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

I'm taking a charter on the vessel shown below this weekend. It is a 32' Gravois (custom aluminum) twin 225 fourstoker yamahas.

The forcast is calling for some pretty stiff winds out of the north, so if we venture offshore we should get to see what she is made of.

I've never been on an aluminum boat, so I'm looking forward to this trip. Especially since I haven't been on ANY boat in a few months!

I'll post my observations.



http://www.classicmako.com
RingLeader is offline  
Old 10-15-2003, 09:40 AM
  #19    
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hammond, LA
Posts: 16,412
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

ringleader- where are yall planning to go? looks like 5- 7 on sat right now...but i bet the gravois can handle it!

"support THT- join the captain's club!"
cgrand is offline  
Old 10-15-2003, 09:45 AM
  #20    
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lafayette.LA
Posts: 1,108
Default Welded aluminum vs. Fiberglass

Ring,

That is a great looking boat. You are going to really like the handeling and speed of that Gravois.

skeeter2200 is offline  
 
 
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amount of labor involved---Fiberglass vs. welded aluminum? SEASWIRL PAUL The Boating Forum 40 02-13-2007 12:35 PM
welded aluminum rowboats ? NeilFrazer Shipyard Isl. Marine Engine Parts 1 11-25-2004 12:04 PM
aluminum welded hulls brian117 The Boating Forum 3 11-03-2004 07:59 PM
Aluminum Welded Boats larch1 The Boating Forum 16 11-01-2004 01:42 PM
Welded aluminum boats Major Wader The Boating Forum 10 08-04-2003 02:15 PM

 



©2009 TheHullTruth.com

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0