Guide to Aluminum Fishing Boats

Aluminum Fishing Boat : What is it?

Aluminum Fishing Boats

Aluminum fishing boats are easy to build and customize.  They are very economic compared to fiberglass boats since they do not require a mold to build. Aluminum is light, strong, corrosion-resistant, non-sparking, and easy to repair because it is weldable and can be cut with carbide tools. These boats last a long time, have good resale values, and have a competitive edge in performance.

However, aluminum fishing boats are vulnerable to pitting, electrolysis, and crevice corrosion. These limitations, experts say, can be overcome by the proper installation of dissimilar metals and electrical items. It generally takes 45,000 pounds per square inch (psi) to tear aluminum apart and 35,000 psi to deform it, compared to a chunk of mild steel that takes 60,000 psi to tear it apart and 30,000 to deform.  Size for size, aluminum has a higher yield strength.       

Aluminum fishing boats are not for everyone and not for all types of fishing.  They are ideal for waters with faster pitching and rolling motions because of their lightness. An aluminum fishing hull built in the same strength, size, and standard as a steel-constructed fishing hull weighs approximately 45% less. Aluminum fishing boats can be constructed with the same structural weight as those made of steel and still be considerably stronger. 

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Types of Aluminum Fishing Boats

Aluminum Fishing BoatsAluminum Fishing Boats

Kinds of Aluminum Fishing Boats include the following:

Single-chine hulls

Aluminum fishing boats with single-chine hulls are easier and less costly to build. They have great form and stability for carrying sails. There is no performance penalty with single-chine hulls.

Multi-chine hulls

Aluminum fishing boats with multi-chine hulls have flat plates or sheets that do not need to be rolled. They require more time to build than single-chine hulls. Their shape and design are easy to follow, so they are still easy to build.

Radius-chine hulls

Aluminum fishing boats with radius-chine hulls are built with flat panels everywhere and strips joining the topside to the bottom. They have curvaceous hulls. Only the metal panels at the radius need to be rolled.

True-rounded hulls

Aluminum fishing boats with true-rounded hulls are built with “joggled” plate seams similar to lapstrake planking. The method it uses requires an offset to be pressed along one edge of the plate. The offset takes the thickness of the plates below it. Each strip of plate is 12 to 18 inches wide.

True-rounded hull designs with platings lapped together instead of joggled to match the contour of the plate are also available. The lapped plate method allows easier fitting. It can be achieved by a simple weld seam. The plate overlap creates a longitudinal reinforcement and stringer. The lapped plate requires plate rolling only in a few places, while the rest require flat sheets.


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Choosing Aluminum Fishing Boats (Buying tips)

Alloy groups: Choose an aluminum boat limited to the 5000 and 6000 series of alloy groups, which is the most suitable for marine environments.

Waterproof paint:  Choose an aluminum fishing boat coated with waterproof epoxy paint to prevent salt water from entering the crevices and to make it more corrosion-resistant.


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