Aluminum vs. Fiberglass

  • avatar xpress 
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    #1320742

    I have been lurking a while on this site, and have found some excelent info. I just wanted to see what the general concensus was on auminum vs. fiberglass bassboats is..?? I own an Xpress X17 with a 115 Yamaha.

    This rig handles great as far as I am concerned, but I was wondering if there was something I am missing out on with glass.

    avatar .mnmike 
    Participant
    Posts: 165
    #600169

    After going from a aluminium to a fiberglass walleye boat I will never get another aluminium big boat. Fiberglass rides so much better it is amazing. I dont know why but fiberglass just seems to ride through rough water so much better. I would say the only downfall of fiberglass for me is if you scrape it on a dock it is very noticable. If you have never rode in a fiberglass boat I recomend you do and make your own descion on it, because everyone is different. I just thought I would give my opinions on the subject.

    Mikey

    Avatar of luckydog2 luckydog2 
    Participant
    Posts: 364
    #600170

    The downside of the differance was weight and $$$. Fiberglass is heavier and you spend more $$$ for a larger motor, then there is the tow vehicle, I would have had to get a beefier vehicle, more $$$. All this for a ride

    avatar timmy 
    Participant
    Posts: 1,968
    #600178

    Another consideration is if you spend much time on the border lakes – the rocky canadian shield lakes – and you want to pull up on shore for lunch, or a swim, or what not – a glass boat is a pain in the butt. You never see a glass boat pulled up on a rock. With an aluminum boat, it is a non factor.

    Tim

    Avatar of corey-studer corey-studer 
    Participant
    Posts: 425
    #600180

    Hello and welcome Express
    I’d have to second what Mikey said…As far as weight comparison, you’d be surprised as to how close in weight the two materials are given the same catagory/style of boat. Each boat whether it’s fiberglass or aluminum has it’s pros and cons…

    Avatar of shew shew 
    Participant
    Posts: 696
    #600200

    Here is the post from a few weeks back. Glass does not weigh much more then tin.

    IDA post.

    avatar timdomaille 
    Participant
    Posts: 1,914
    #600210

    Welcome to IDA Express!

    I own a glass boat and everyone I talk with that has a aluminum boat (bass) say they are really nice to fish out of but ride rough expecially in rougher water. I own a flat also and use that as much as possible for prefishing and really like it. In a tournament or rough water, glass is the only way to go.

    avatar mossboss 
    Participant
    Posts: 2,816
    #600214

    Glass rides better, glass blows less in the wind. Most glass boats handle a bit better due to a more intricate strake design. Glass is typically more stable at rest, though alot of that is hull design dependent. Glass looks much nicer. most glass boats the deck and compartments are more solid than tin.

    I will never go back to aluminum myself, but your mileage may vary.

    I have a keel guard on mine, and will pull it up on shore anywhere but big jagged rocks.

    Avatar of nick nick 
    Participant
    Posts: 4,987
    #600219

    Here’s a link to a thread we had on here last year, goes pretty indepth, dispells some myths like they are heavier, equal boat to equal boat they are actually very close in weight.

    I still maintain there is a tad more maintence, atleast in my world, Glass looks plain awesome when it’s really clean, so I find myself wiping down the boat after each trip, and I really like this product Bass Boat Saver for both cleaning and waxing in one aplication, to date I have yet to find a better cleaner, not to mention, it protects against UV rays and fading. Takes me maybe 5 minutes to wipe the boat down, I can deal with that, an it always looks great. Not that you probably shouldn’t do it with a alumanum boat after you get off the water, but I never really did with my last aluminum boat.

    I’ll also note both the Original poster and myself ( ) both ended up with glass boats shortly after the thread. I wasn’t even boat shopping

    I’ve been in some very nice Aluminum boats, I’ll standy by the modern glass boats ride atleast as good as the best aluminum boats, and most I think are better, I think my boat even though it’s not a true deep v rides as good as the nicest aluminum, and I’m fairly certain there are much smoother riding boats than mine, Mine is a little shallower more bass boat style.

    I would say catch a ride with someone in your area, I know there are a lot of happy express owners out there, but I think you’d be impressed with glass.

    Avatar of jdw jdw 
    Participant
    Posts: 62
    #600251

    Assuming (since this is in the bass forum) that we’re talking bass boats, I don’t think we’re comparing 620′s to Pro-V’s. To my knowledge, Xpress is the only mainstream manufacturer that makes 19-21′ aluminum bass boats that will compete toe-to-toe w/ a fiberglass bass boat. In a 17′ boat, your Xpress is definitely top dog of the aluminum models and will do ANYTHING a 17′ glass bass boat will do. Neither are going to be extremely fast or extremely smooth, but that’s not what they’re meant for. I think the difference in fishability is minimal.

    For the record, I own a 19′ glass walleye boat. In that category, I believe the aluminum hulls have gotten so good that you can no longer just say that fiberglass rides better than aluminum. Some aluminum models definitely ride better than some glass models. And weight is very comparable b/t the two.
    Pick the one you like the best and, if it happens to be aluminum, don’t let the fiberglass guys “convert” you.

    avatar timmy 
    Participant
    Posts: 1,968
    #600259

    My question is about how those bigger glass boats typically handle rough water. A friend of mine ran a Ranger 620(deeper, walleye style rig) with a 200 yamaha on the back. It rode awesomely, but in rough water, trolling was a pain. In anything over 18″ waves, the boat rode low enough that water would break over the bow and flood the floor. It was horrid. Doing a fair amount of trolling for trout/salmon, he ditched the rig and went with an 1850 tyee – identical to what my rig is. His rig would run 40mph over those 2 footers like a dream, but slow down and troll, and it would fill with water when trolling into them. He hated it.

    Are all of the bigger glass boats prone to this? I have noticed a lack of the glass walleye style rigs at the docks in my big lake trips.

    Please remember I come from the background of S-16 lunds powered by 25hp johnsons. My Tyee is like a Cadilac compared to the boats of my youth.

    Tim

    avatar CastJigBAM 
    Participant
    Posts: 36
    #600301

    On this subject, I have a questions thats been bothering me too either glass or aluminum…

    How well does a glass do in the late, late fall (ex:breaking ice in bay to get out) vs. aluminum? Will there be a problem w/ the fiberglass?

    avatar mossboss 
    Participant
    Posts: 2,816
    #600316

    Quote:


    On this subject, I have a questions thats been bothering me too either glass or aluminum…

    How well does a glass do in the late, late fall (ex:breaking ice in bay to get out) vs. aluminum? Will there be a problem w/ the fiberglass?


    Personally, I’m not taking my fiberglass boat through ice. If you need that, I would stick with Aluminum.

    Or, just buy a 2nd flat bottom for that.

    avatar walleyewacker18 
    Participant
    Posts: 621
    #600373

    I guess another question to ask yourself is are you fishing smaller lakes which dont get many big waves or are you fishing waters that get big waves consistantly. If you fish rough water many times then you might want to think fiberglass. If you are more smaller lake fishing with not to many big waves there is nothing wrong with an aluminum boat. Fiberglass will be your best option for rough water. Nothing against aluminum. I run an aluminum lund and it works just fine for me

    avatar xpress 
    Participant
    Posts: 2
    #600446

    I mostly fish the Mississippi, although I do like to head to northern WI to fish some lakes a couple times a year. I never really fish any real large bodies of water or fish too many tournaments.

    But even the Mississippi can get pretty busy on some weekends, and when it is it’s a pretty rough ride when I am running on the channel. I can run wide open and I won,t get wet but it does throw me around a quite a bit.

    Also I do see some boat control issues when I am on the trolling motor on a busy day or if the flow is high. If I have to leave that trolling motor for a few seconds for what ever reason, I’m all over the place.

    THANKS FOR ALL THE FEEDBACK, THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS SITE!!

    avatar et1770 
    Participant
    Posts: 201
    #606867

    The number 1 thing you are missing out on if you own aluminum instead of glass is the metal flake finish. All you have to do is give it a good wash job and it shines like new money. However, I have yet to see a fish that really gives a dam what kind of boat you are fishing from.

    avatar et1770 
    Participant
    Posts: 201
    #606868

    Remember the old lottery commercial where the guy comes flying through the air and lands in the parking lot in his boat? Lets see you do THAT in a glass boat.

    avatar fishing vet 
    Participant
    Posts: 302
    #606883

    I have a bad back and other joint problems. When I had my aluminum boat I was getting beat up quite often, now I have a 19ft Warrior with a 225 Opti and that thing rides like a dream. I have not beaten on my back since I got it 2 years ago. I am on the water 3-4 days a week and this year in some very rough water (3-4 ft waves) quite often, and the only time I took them over the bow was when they got over 4ft. All of my boats will be glass accept my duck boat.

    avatar royalflush 
    Participant
    Posts: 39
    #605356

    A question that comes to mind is? If glass weighs about the same why do they seem to need (or have) such large motors to move them around?

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