When it comes to rivalries, fiberglass versus aluminum has been raging on in the boating industry for many years. Like any good rivalry, there are points to be made on both sides when it comes to quality, durability, stability, price, performance and aesthetics, just to name a few.
There are various advantages in either aluminum or fiberglass when choosing a boat and if you are undecided, don’t fret as there are definite points that can help you choose.
With quite a few variables to consider, even the more experienced boaters need to take time to decide and figure out which type will meet their needs. Choosing the right boat for your needs is not an easy choice, but this article will help you answer some much needed questions for your boating needs. Let’s explore the difference between the two and see who comes out on top (of the water.)
Fiberglass Boats: The Pros
Fiberglass is the most common type of boating material and it comes with a number of benefits, including:
Pro #1: Easily Molded
Fiberglass is a malleable material so it can be easily molded in any shape. It is much easier to create sleek and clean lines when manufacturing these types of boats, so the aesthetics can be quite impressive.
Pro #2: Easy to Clean
Fiberglass material is very easy to clean and can be maintained without as much work as aluminum.
Pro #3: Great Stability on the Water
Fiberglass boats tend to weigh more, so they tend to have more stability than aluminum boats. More weight means they don’t get buffeted by the wind nearly as much as their counterparts.
Pro #4: More Intuitive Designs
Due to the ease of manufacturing fiberglass into more complex designs, you can expect more features like bow flare, steps, and variable-degree deadrise.
Fiberglass Boats: The Cons
With these benefits come some drawbacks, including the following cons:
Con #1: Material Makes for More Repairs
The inherently brittle nature of fiberglass tends to crack easily, meaning you might be more prone to spending money on minor repair costs.
Con #2: More Expensive than Aluminum
Fiberglass tends to be on the more expensive side, both upfront and over the long term.
Con #3: Heavier than Aluminum
Fiberglass is heavier than aluminum and other materials, which can pose issues with capacity and cause engines to work harder.
Aluminum Boats: The Pros
Aluminum boats are starting to become more and more popular and come with their own fair share of pros and cons. Let’s start with the pros:
Pro #1: Hull Warranty
Aluminum boats typically come with a lifetime hull warranty, which helps give you an incredible piece of mind for the longevity of your boat.
Pro #2: Stronger Than Fiberglass
Aluminum is about 10 times stronger than fiberglass, which means better fuel economy and quickness out on the water.
Pro #3: Less Expensive than Fiberglass
Aluminum boats tend to be less expensive than fiberglass. Because aluminum dents rather than cracking or breaking upon impact, repair costs can be lower as well.
Pro #4: Lighter than Fiberglass
Aluminum boats usually weigh quite a bit less than fiberglass boats thus they have lower operating cost.
Aluminum Boats: The Cons
It’s always important to consider the drawbacks after you consider the advantages to help get the whole picture of what you can expect from aluminum boats. Here are some cons:
Con #1: Causes More Noise
Aluminum hulls make quite a bit of noise in the water as water hits against them.
Con #2: Harder to Clean
When you need to clean your aluminum boat, you may find that applying an anti-fouling agent is quite a bit harder than fiberglass, thus resulting in more expense.
Con #3: Corrosion More Common
Aluminum is a metal and salt water loves to corrode under maintained aluminum boats, thus you have to maintain your boat regularly.
The Main Differences Between an Aluminum vs Fiberglass Boat
The biggest difference you’ll find between these two types of boats is the fundamental properties of each material. Both aluminum and fiberglass have their own pros and cons, but when it comes down to it, the construction material of each is at the core of their difference.
Boats made out of aluminum are inherently stronger, meaning they can bend, but are incredibly hard to break. Fiberglass, on the other hand, may not be built as tough, but the comfortability and look is a cut above aluminum.
The Sea Awaits at Corleone Marinas
At Corleone Marinas, we have 4 locations to make your boating experience even more convenient, fun and easy. The Corleone Marinas Portfolio includes marinas located in Elizabeth Bay, Balmain and Drummoyne; as well as the largest marina on the Hawkesbury River at Long Island.
We offer the full range of marina services including wet berths, moorings, and slipways for boats up to 60 feet as well as offer expert boat detailing and cleaning services. Our Marinas are managed by some of the industry’s best, with many years’ experience. Contact us today to see one of our 4 stunning marinas across Sydney!