What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Aluminum Versus Hull Fishing Boats?

The advantages of an aluminum hull fishing boat over another type of hull such as fiberglass include lower weight. The disadvantages include longevity.

Aluminum boats are 20 percent lighter than fiberglass boats, according to Noble Boats International. For this reason, aluminum boats go faster on less fuel than boats with other hulls. It is also easier to repair aluminum boats. Superficial damage can be beaten out with a hammer, or the damaged panel can be removed and replaced. Other materials such as fiberglass cannot be welded, so they can't be replaced piece by piece. Aluminum boats have an advantage over steel-hulled boats in that they resist corrosion from saltwater. They also stand up better to impact. Aluminum is also resistant to fire, unlike wood or fiberglass. A boat can be made quickly from aluminum with more detailing, due to the ease of welding.

Fiberglass has advantages over aluminum when it's used for long periods in mild conditions, says Rocksalt Boats. Most recreational boats, used less than 100 hours per year, will last a long time if made from fiberglass. For light-duty fishing in moderate conditions, a fiberglass boat will last up to 40 years with just some light oxidation and cracking of the gelcoat.