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n8ivefl

aluminum vs. fiberglass

Question

n8ivefl

I'm looking into getting my first fishing boat and I have a couple of questions that I'd like answered besides from a catalog...

First, what are the pros & cons of glass vs. aluminum?

This would be a boat that I could use for bass/walleye fishing as well as one that I could enjoy with the wife on a lazy day on the river kind of thing.

Next, I know that I should get the most motor I can afford, but 2-stroke or 4?

Finally, I've heard that my first boat should be brand new as opposed to used, if possible. Any thoughts?

thanks!

Steve

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OptiMax

Glass

1) Hulls are shaped better, giving you a smoother and faster ride

2) More costly

3) It you hit a rock with it, you're in for costly repairs

4) Chicks dig 'em

Aluminum

1) Hull shape is limited, giving you a rougher ride

2) Less expensive

3) More durable (rocks = dents)

2 or 4 stroke depends on the use. For fishing and cruising, 4 stroke are nice because they run smoother and are much quieter. If you want to ski or wakeboard with it, 2 stroke is the way to go because you get a better holeshot and they weigh a lot less per horsepower.

I would avoid buying new unless you are loaded. Chances are likely with your first boat that you'll figure out things that you want and don't have and things that you have and don't need. I think new boats are a waste because you can find very nice used boats for a whole lot cheaper.

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BobT

Why were you told your first boat should be new? If you can get all or most of the features you are looking for in a used boat, why not? Unless they are abused boats should last pretty much a lifetime and in most cases you can tell if they've been beaten.

Oh, and OptiMax, chicks like the aluminums too! grin.gif

Bob

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Rost

If you don't have much boating experience, I'd buy used and learn first. You'll feel better about the bumps and bruises! After two years, then go and buy new.

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jweitgen

I'd go with used. That way you don't put the first scratch on it. I have a recommendation on the motor. Go with the 4 stroke. You will love the gas consumption, or lack there of.

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n8ivefl

Wow! Great info so far - I really appreciate the help! I actually read the new/used thing in an issue of Bassmaster last year.

Any other input would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve

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traveler

I just made the jump from alum to glass after running a lund for many years. 2 things jump out at me; first, the ride/quiet/handling in big waves...the new glass boat blows away what I was used to. Really a huge improvment, although to be fair I also went to a much bigger boat so it isn't an allpes to apples comparison. On the down side, fuel. More HP needed to push the heavier glass boat means more $$$ at the pump. Sacrifices must be made man...

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randallt

I have had both. Right now I have an aluminum. The glass are much better riding, Aluminum is lighter and easier to pull, load etc. and I am not as worried about it up north when I want to pull it up on an island.

I picked mine because it was the right floor plan etc for the same uses you are looking for. I also found a very slightly used model that saved me thousands of $$$$$$. If I would have found a similar set up in a glass I would have gone that way. I rather let someone else take the depreciation. If you buy right you can sell several years later with little loss in value.

Good luck. Enjoy the shopping - now is a good time to pick up some good deals. Most are looking forward to hunting and don't want to store a boat all winter. This is how I ended up getting a good deal on mine.

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Guest

As others have said.. start used. Its cheaper. There are so many minor mistakes that a person will make on the water its unrealistic to start with a new boat.. especially fiberglass.

If you plan on spending quite a bit of time on the river, aluminum is definately the way to go. I dont want a boat I am afraid to beach, or have a major repair every time the finish is scuffed.. no thanks.

I would pick up a quality used boat to start with. If you insist on new, buy an off brand that is much less expensive(tracker, etc). They dont hold the resale, but its much less money to lose than having a $56K ranger fiberglass boat and your resale dropping to $30K because there is a gouge on the bottom where you beached the boat and got damaged by a small rock or log.

Start used with a boat that will work for ou and your family. In a few years, you will know what you want out of a boat, and will be able to better select a layout. Buy the boat that fits you then.

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LwnmwnMan2

Personally, before you buy new OR used, I'd check out the dealer as well, no matter WHAT boat you buy.

Look them up on BBB's website, see if there are any issues.

Once you're happy with the dealer, then work on a price.

I just bought my first new boat about 2 months ago.

Yes, it was a Tracker, but also it was a new 2005, so I saved much on it as well.

It was between Tracker and SmokerCraft, because they're the only 2 floor plans that I wanted.

I too have a wife that wants to go, and also my father and I have a 4 year old, so I was somewhat limited to floorplans that would be most comfortable, along with having livewells in both the front and rear.

Alot of boats nowdays don't have a full 40"+ livewell in the boat, so that limited some right off the bat, because I do - do alot of Nothern / Muskie fishing.

Not that I take fish, but you never know when a buddy or business client might want to keep one.

Anyways, that's what it came down to me. Floorplan first, dealer second, price last. I've been in business for myself for 18 years now, and realize that price isn't everything.

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