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Old 19-04-2015, 09:16   #1
35S
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ALUMINIUM HULL VS FIBERGLASS HULL

Having read the thread "Aluminum boats in Florida salt water?" by florchidman, and not wanting steer it it off its intended discussion, and having given this some thought lately, I had just wondered what the advantages and disadvantages is of aluminium hull vs fiberglass hull? The one vs the other?

With "fiberglass hull" i mean to include all hulls from fiberglass in all its forms, vinyl-ester, foam sandwhich, carbon, glass, epoxy what ever they are built of the days VS aluminium.

I am much interested in stuff like static electricity problems? durability, making good blue water cruiser boats, seaworthiness, safety, maintenance, hull paints or not, speeds generally, long term cost of ownership etc and stuff I cant even think of.

If one were to buy a new modern boat of either make in the 50 -60 ft class.

What would the forums call be? Looking forward to comments.
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Old 19-04-2015, 11:15   #2
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Re: ALUMINIUM HULL VS FIBERGLASS HULL

Aluminum generally works well where it can be left unpainted. As in a bare, welded aluminum fishing boat, where huge $ can be saved on labor and materials. It works especially well when attaching aluminum components that can be welded in place, rather than introducing dissimilar metal fasteners.

Special care must be taken when left in seawater.
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Old 19-04-2015, 13:12   #3
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Re: ALUMINIUM HULL VS FIBERGLASS HULL

I've owned 1 aluminum and 3 fiberglass,in the 30 to 45 range, here's what I experienced:
aluminum is exceptionally strong, has sailing advantages of ballast vs topside weight, stiffer faster than same design in glass, as the weight is down low...HOWEVER there are constant constant concerns: pitting of hull plates due to alloys/stray elect current not getting along, I had a current inducer to balance/negate + or - charge...too much and pitting occurs outside below waterline, too little and corrosion will be seen inside as a white powder, plus, unless substantially insulated they are cold and noisy, lastly repairs are difficult unless YOU become a skilled welder. Anyone, anywhere can learn to repair glass boats.
Have met cruising sailors who have circumnavigated sinlglehanded in well built aluminum boats...so...find one, sail one and ask about cost and upkeep. Me, I'll stick to glass as it rarely fails. Hope this helps
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