Fact Checked

Are Aluminum Boats a Good Value?

S. Mithra
S. Mithra

Aluminum boats offer solid advantages over fiberglass boats because they are stronger, lighter, more efficient to power, easier to repair, and resistant to leaks, corrosion, and rot. Although you will initially invest more in an aluminum boat than other options, this cost will be outweighed over the life of the boat with savings in repairs, gasoline, towing, and maintenance. Whether you are fishing, birdwatching, or simply enjoying a sunny day with your family, in fresh and saltwater, aluminum boats are a good value.

Individual fisherman would do well to choose from among the range of aluminum boats because they are easier to handle for one person. These metal boats have a high strength-to-weight ratio so they can be transported behind most ordinary cars and launched into the water by one boater. This versatility increases when you consider that aluminum boats can be upgraded easily. A professional welder can switch motors or add other features, but fiberglass boats cannot be augmented in this way.

Aluminum boats are stronger and lighter than fiberglass ones.
Aluminum boats are stronger and lighter than fiberglass ones.

The durability of aluminum boats starts with their solid construction. The pieces of molded metal are welded along their seams, rather than riveted, which makes a joint less likely to separate and let in water. By the very nature of metal, these boats survive impacts by slightly deforming into a ding or dent. Fiberglass boats scratch, shatter, or fissure, causing major damage that leads to compromised structural integrity. With metal, either this slight damage can be ignored or simply hammered out. A puncture is quickly fixed with a new welded patch.

Aluminum boats prove a smart investment. Since they are lighter, smaller motors can power them using less fuel, saving you money every time you go out. Aside from regular cleanin, they do not need routine maintenance, such as revarnishing or waxing. Lasting almost indefinitely, they have the highest resale value of any type of family recreational boats. They bring you years of reliable service or return much of your investment through resale. Aluminum boats can even be recycled.

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Discussion Comments


Almost every fishing boat I see in the river near my home is made from aluminum. I can't think of a single negative about owning an aluminum fishing boat. Maybe some people might want a boat with more visual appeal, but if the point is to put something in the water that floats and holds fishing gear, then I'd go with aluminum over fiberglass any day.

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    • Aluminum boats are stronger and lighter than fiberglass ones.
      By: Christopher Dodge
      Aluminum boats are stronger and lighter than fiberglass ones.