When it comes to boat material, there is quite a variety available in the market these days. If you aren’t familiar with the material preference, you must have seen the debate between Fiberglass and Aluminum, which is the best material for boats.
When it comes to industrial-grade production, Aluminum has steadily made its way to the top. It has replaced steel, plastic, and wood in many industries. The boating industry is no exception. Aluminum boats are being built in enormous numbers because of the many advantages that they offer.
I will try and walk around the debate between materials and focus on whether Aluminum is suitable for your boat. However, there will be comparisons for reference purposes.
To start, let’s establish that Aluminum is a highly preferred material for a boat design. Some people think of it as an exotic boat material. However, it offers a lot to the users. We will explore the reasons why your next boat should be aluminum-made.
Strength and Durability
Among all the other boat materials, Aluminum stands out as the strongest. As compared to its Fiberglass counterpart, Aluminum offers better strength and more durability.
Aluminum can bear rough use. For instance, your boat can take a few hits while towing and launching, etc. Since it has more tolerance to shocks, it doesn’t harm the outer body too much.
Enhanced ductility makes Aluminum resistant to permanent deformation as it absorbs impact. Therefore, Aluminum boats can have a long run before they need a maintenance job.
Also, corrosion resistance gives extra life to Aluminum boats. Therefore, these boats can last for nearly 40 years. No wonder they offer a better resale value too.
Light and Easy
One of the selling points of Aluminum is its weight. It’s incredibly light, especially when you consider its strength. Therefore, Aluminum boats are easy-going. Although they can be pricier than steel boats, you can rest assured that your maintenance cost will be less.
As compared to Fiberglass boats, Aluminum boats can be 40% lighter. Also, they are up to 55% lighter than steel boats. Because of such lightweight, it also reduces engine load and improves vehicle efficiency. It’s also easier to transport them on the ground.
Typically, Pontoon boats and Jon boats have riveted aluminum structure. They comprise thin Aluminum sheets, so they are even lighter than conventional ships. For ships with welded Aluminum, the sheets are thicker and somewhat more decadent than the others.
Being environment-friendly is one of the best things about Aluminum boats. Wooden boats promote deforestation. On the other hand, Fiberglass is hardly recoverable. Nearly 80% of the material goes wasted. However, Aluminum is fully recoverable, so that you can recycle your boat even after years.
It’s crucial to buy eco-friendly products in modern times, so Aluminum is a clear winner in this regard.
Less Fire Risk
When you’re on the boat, you carry some fuel such as Petrol, Kerosene, etc. Since Aluminum doesn’t catch fire easily, it can fight off any unseen fire events with ease. Imagine getting stranded on a wooden boat that caught fire.
Fights the Sun
Ultraviolet rays have no or minimal impact on Aluminum. It’s one of the reasons why Fiberglass boats have reduced life spans. UV light often burns the extra gel coating on Fiberglass hulls, so the underneath structure gets exposed.
However, Aluminum doesn’t have this fragility, so that Aluminum boats will be more suited to extreme climatic conditions.
With Aluminum, you don’t have to worry about cores and layers. On the other hand, Fiberglass can be a tough material to inspect. It’s because the damage isn’t too prominent. In Aluminum, there is no rotting or chipping off. So, it’s much easier to inspect it for damage visually.
In a way, they are one-piece boats. A dented portion can be easily cut off, and you can weld a new piece in its place. Hence, maintaining an aluminum boat saves time, effort, and money. On the other hand, processes such as re-gel-coating a fiberglass boat can be quite expensive.
Easy DIY Project
If you like building your stuff, Aluminum boats are the right options. If you know how to weld and cut metal, it shouldn’t be much of a problem to build your boat. This way, you can also accessorize your boat just the way you like.
Since aluminum sheets are thinner and more manageable, you won’t need advanced machinery to cut and shape the sheets. However, it would be best to buy precut sheets because it can save a lot of time and effort.
Because Aluminum is easy to reshape, it’s customization-friendly too. It’s a significant advantage that you don’t get with fiberglass boats. For instance, if you want to remodel any part of your ship, it’s pretty simple. You can simply reshape the aluminum plates. If it was Fiberglass, you could do anything once it cools.
When it comes to customization, the only drawback with Aluminum is that it’s visually not as pleasing as wood or Fiberglass. It’s because you can mold them in any shape when hot. However, if you weigh other customization options, Aluminum still has the upper hand.
Worth the Ocean
The sturdiness of material makes aluminum boats ideal for longer journeys and deep waters. They are lighter and do not rust easily. Moreover, they can withstand unseen iceberg crashes. Therefore, if you are fond of sea adventures, an Aluminum boat will be a great option.
Aluminum has slowly replaced many metals, and its production is on the rise. In terms of strength, it competes with steel but takes the upper hand when it comes to weight. Moreover, when you compare the longevity with Fiberglass, Aluminum is a clear winner there too.
So, if you’re buying a new boat or if you’re about to replace your current one, go for an aluminum model. It’s worth your money.
With less maintenance cost, easy transportation, and high durability and strength, aluminum boats have it all. They can provide the real essence of worry-free boating.