Aluminum has its pros and cons- just spent months in a yard doing a refit
on a 52' Kanter..... alot of welding involved. Advantages of aluminum are the lack of hull to deck
joint- just a welded seam- and the incredible strength and durability of the chainplates (large welded straps applied to the ribs of the hull). I can say that the repair of fiberglass can be longer and more problematic than aluminum; we just cut it out and weld in a new plate anywhere we found a problem.
A few points of interest;
-I would never buy an aluminum painted boat- ours is and it is difficult to keep paint on it without corrosion
. Can you live with the unpainted look??
involves Tef-gel and plastic washers- you must insulate everything from the aluminum.
-I have sailed the boat in 70 knot
winds and seas over 25 feet: it is amazingly quiet and dry. My glass boats would groan and flex, springing leaks
where none were before. This aluminum boat never leaks
and is incredibly well insulated.
There are trade
offs with every material; I actually purchased this boat after my glass boat fell over in a Florida
yard during a hurricane
. The hull was crushed and I realized I had been sailing the oceans in an "eggshell"; aluminum or steel have a much better margin of security
The resale market for aluminum boats is limited- still a major prejudice against them in the states versus Europe
I would recommend an extensive survey
by a surveyor
experienced with aluminum boats prior to any purchase- I passed a few by after the survey
results. Good Luck!!