The aluminum versus fiberglass boat debate goes back decades, and still rages on today. Which one’s right for you? Let’s look at some pros and cons.
ALUMINUM boats are lighter than fiberglass, so they go faster with equal amounts of power. That light weight also means they tend to have less draft. And when that draft is lower than the water depth and you hit something, aluminum boats commonly dent – instead of shattering, like fiberglass. Aluminum boats generally cost less per LOA, and once you have one, it’s extremely easy to maintain. On the other hand… that light weight that is so advantageous also means that these boats tend to get blown and beaten more in rough weather. And finally, complaint number-one about aluminum boats (silly, but true): they don’t look as good as fiberglass.
FIBERGLASS boats, meanwhile, get a wave-handling boost from their heavier displacement. They have more compound curves, built-in compartments and accessories, and yeah, they look a heck of a lot better than aluminum. Of course, they’re also harder to tow, more expensive, more time consuming to maintain, and more likely to be damaged.
Which one’s right for you? That’s a judgement call only you can make. But before you even think about making this decision, ask yourself exactly what you use your boat for, and which of these characteristics is important to you. Then, my advice is, go and buy one of each.