Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

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cody0707
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Joined: May 1st, 2012, 6:15 am

Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by cody0707 »

I currently use a 15’ Jon boat that has a narrow beam. I am looking to upgrade (2’ itis). I will be looking between 17-19ft but haven’t decided if I want to go with aluminum or fiberglass. All my fishing is inshore and at most I will have only 3 onboard for sandbar runs.

For inshore fishing and sandbar runs should I go fiberglass or aluminum?


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dombern34
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by dombern34 »

it's hard to have that one "do it all boat" I've tried to find it and personally haven't. it's nice to have an alum. boat for the bars and rocks, my feelings don't get hurt as bad when you bounce off them. glass will always been superior on your windy/rough water days. just weigh your options and make the best choice for you!
rockyg
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by rockyg »

East of the St. Marks lighthouse = Aluminum. But not just any pos Aluminum boat, welded army tank like a Sea Ark if you want to play in the rocks.

West of the St. Marks Lighthouse = Fiberglass flats or bay boat. Any Aluminum boat will beat your brains out and everybody will laugh at you. :lol:

Like Dom said, no one boat to do it all. I have two and wish for that third (Sea Ark) in the dead of winter. Not happening, wife would flip out. :)
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onefishtwofish
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by onefishtwofish »

I chose aluminum after moving over from a glass. 90% of my time is spent in the rocky areas and the boat I chose will be doable for my time in the other areas. Will not be as smooth as the glass in the rougher water, but the glass is not as tough where I usually fish. It is all a tradeoff. We will see how I feel in a few years.
Ducks, turkeys, flats fishing. Who has time for golf?
flatsbroke22
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by flatsbroke22 »

Keep that Jon to fish the winter and get you a glass for the rest of the year.
2002 Pathfinder 2200v 200 Vmax
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doomtrpr_z71
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by doomtrpr_z71 »

An alternative solution is to buy a cheap enough fiberglass boat that hitting an oyster bar doesn't even phase you and get the best of both worlds.

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STMU
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by STMU »

Started with aluminum, switched to fiberglass, and immediately regretted the decision. I was so paranoid about hitting something that switched right back to aluminum. Now I could care less about bumping rocks, bars, etc. I've had my 16' aluminum boat for 8 years now, and never had one regret about switching from fiberglass.

The points about being 'rougher' are true, but I feel like that is somewhat relative. 90% of the time I'm fishing inshore where it's calm. I may have a bumpy ride for 5-10 minutes, but I can deal with that just for the peace of mind and not caring about hitting something.
GaryDroze
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by GaryDroze »

I'm selling a dinky (11.5ft) aluminum semi-V, with trailer, for $250. Probably too small for those reading this thread, only rated 9hp, but a super cheap way to putter up the East River. Neither the boat nor trailer has been within 20 miles of salt water.
Steve Stinson
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by Steve Stinson »

I have been holding off commenting on this thread, but I will chime in here to bring up one point I haven't seen. That is the tannin stained water we have to the east and south of St Marks. When I first moved up here in 1994, I bought a brand new Sea Pro Bay that was a great all around boat. However on top of learning to patch gelcoat I also faced a constant battle of keeping the brown stains off my white boat hull. You can scrub and use acid based cleaners, but it will always require maintenance.

I now run a 21' Sea Ark and do not regret the decision to go with aluminum despite the choppy ride on windy days. I spray the boat, the trailer, and truck off with a pressure washer, flush the motor, back it in the shed and plug in the battery charger. That's the extent of my after trip maintenance.

Once per year I put a tune up in it and change the foot oil. You can buy a kit on Amazon for my 90 hp. 4 stroke Yamaha that comes with everything you need. So far, so good. My rig is a 2013 model and I have had great service out of it.

Good Fishin' :thumbup:
-Steve Stinson
cody0707
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by cody0707 »

Steve Stinson wrote:I have been holding off commenting on this thread, but I will chime in here to bring up one point I haven't seen. That is the tannin stained water we have to the east and south of St Marks. When I first moved up here in 1994, I bought a brand new Sea Pro Bay that was a great all around boat. However on top of learning to patch gelcoat I also faced a constant battle of keeping the brown stains off my white boat hull. You can scrub and use acid based cleaners, but it will always require maintenance.

I now run a 21' Sea Ark and do not regret the decision to go with aluminum despite the choppy ride on windy days. I spray the boat, the trailer, and truck off with a pressure washer, flush the motor, back it in the shed and plug in the battery charger. That's the extent of my after trip maintenance.

Once per year I put a tune up in it and change the foot oil. You can buy a kit on Amazon for my 90 hp. 4 stroke Yamaha that comes with everything you need. So far, so good. My rig is a 2013 model and I have had great service out of it.

Good Fishin' :thumbup:
-Steve Stinson
Thanks for the info Steve. What model SeaArk do you have?


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Redbelly
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by Redbelly »

I have used both. I still use a jon for winter around Aucilla. I really like the FG ride compared to the bounce and beating from running a CC aluminum.

I have a shallow enough draft in the Action Craft, its a cool surface in the hot sun. Yes there is a little more maintenance.

Once a year I polish it with Starbrite and that has kept the tannin at bay. When the stains start it's easy to wipe off with some Starbrite cleaner and wipe on the polish after that. Really not bad after learning what products to use.
I go right up in the Stoney with FG, just slowly lol
Work 2 fish 4 days

1988 vintage 1436 Fisher Jon
1992 vintage 15 hp Merc
Steve Stinson
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by Steve Stinson »

My Sea Ark is a 2172 (21 foot long x 72 inches wide at the floor). Lots of room, plenty stable and runs shallow, but it will beat you in a chop. If you're seriously considering buying one, we can go fish for a day and I will let you run it around.

- Steve Stinson, PSM
Steve Stinson
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by Steve Stinson »

Redbelly wrote: June 10th, 2022, 9:09 am I have used both. I still use a jon for winter around Aucilla. I really like the FG ride compared to the bounce and beating from running a CC aluminum.

I have a shallow enough draft in the Action Craft, its a cool surface in the hot sun. Yes there is a little more maintenance.

Once a year I polish it with Starbrite and that has kept the tannin at bay. When the stains start it's easy to wipe off with some Starbrite cleaner and wipe on the polish after that. Really not bad after learning what products to use.
I go right up in the Stoney with FG, just slowly lol
Part of the skeg off my 90 Yamaha 4 stroke is still in the entrance to Stoney Bayou.... :thumbup:
Redbelly
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Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by Redbelly »

Steve Stinson wrote: June 14th, 2022, 1:43 pm
Redbelly wrote: June 10th, 2022, 9:09 am I have used both. I still use a jon for winter around Aucilla. I really like the FG ride compared to the bounce and beating from running a CC aluminum.

I have a shallow enough draft in the Action Craft, its a cool surface in the hot sun. Yes there is a little more maintenance.

Once a year I polish it with Starbrite and that has kept the tannin at bay. When the stains start it's easy to wipe off with some Starbrite cleaner and wipe on the polish after that. Really not bad after learning what products to use.
I go right up in the Stoney with FG, just slowly lol
Part of the skeg off my 90 Yamaha 4 stroke is still in the entrance to Stoney Bayou.... :thumbup:
You must travel in there a lot faster than I do!
Work 2 fish 4 days

1988 vintage 1436 Fisher Jon
1992 vintage 15 hp Merc
cody0707
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Joined: May 1st, 2012, 6:15 am

Re: Aluminum vs Fiberglass for our area

Post by cody0707 »

Redbelly wrote:
Steve Stinson wrote: June 14th, 2022, 1:43 pm
Redbelly wrote: June 10th, 2022, 9:09 am I have used both. I still use a jon for winter around Aucilla. I really like the FG ride compared to the bounce and beating from running a CC aluminum.

I have a shallow enough draft in the Action Craft, its a cool surface in the hot sun. Yes there is a little more maintenance.

Once a year I polish it with Starbrite and that has kept the tannin at bay. When the stains start it's easy to wipe off with some Starbrite cleaner and wipe on the polish after that. Really not bad after learning what products to use.
I go right up in the Stoney with FG, just slowly lol
Part of the skeg off my 90 Yamaha 4 stroke is still in the entrance to Stoney Bayou.... :thumbup:
You must travel in there a lot faster than I do!
Full throttle isn’t the correct speed?


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