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Aluminum vs Fiberglass

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I have been thinking about a new boat and I really like the looks of the HewesCraft and KingFisher aluminum boats. They seem to be pretty much dedicated to fishing use. My question is the "ride" of these boats versus a heavier fiberglass boat of comparable size. It seems logical that the aluminum boats would not cut through the waves as well and bounce around in rough water more. I have a Lund 1850 Tyee that I really like so that is my baseline. I know that it moves up & down in rough water mainly due to the lower displacement. How would it be on 25 to 27 ft HewesCraft or KingFisher vs. fiberglass boat? Is anyone willing to share their experience? I'm not out to bash anything here, just some considered opinions from experienced fishermen.

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For whats its worth I went from a 1973 Sea Ray 20' srv 200 to a 20' Hewes Craft ProV HT and the ProV is a way better handling,ride in all sea conditions, IMO. Yes, in the right chop it can be a rougher ride but that it is totally up to the driver. For my specific needs the Hewes was the best fit, last time I'll ever need to buy a boat or my sons. I'm sure some day a repower but I'm betting that would be it.

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Alan,

I've only owned Aluminum, we currently run a 22' Hewes Ocean Pro. The alum. vs. glass ride will forever be discussed. Aluminum meets our needs/wants for many reasons. The boats you mentioned, in my opinion, will "ride" better than your current boat. These boats have .190 sides & .250 bottoms, much heavier alloy. Hull design is key to ride. There are many build differences you'll want to be aware of, especially if purchasing new.

We're currently at Seattle boat show, many of the NW heavy welded alum boat builders all in one place. Good luck with your sort!

PS: Get on the water in one! I'd be happy to take you on the Chummer.

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the only experience I've had was an old heavy Cherokee 18' aluminum boat that I used a lot on the western basin. when I moved to fishing the central basin I moved to a 21' glass cobia. they were both open bow boats. I think the glass is a much better ride while trolling or while running. but then the glass boat has 3' on the aluminum boat. but the aluminum boat just seemed more like a big bobber when trolling. it rode more on top of the waves whereas the glass boat gives a much better ride.

as for the ride the aluminum boat seemed to ride higher in the water and was just pounding the waves. my glass seemed to set a little deeper than the aluminum boat and seemed to cut the waves better than the aluminum boat did. my 21 ft glass boat with a 19p 3 blade prop didn't want to plane off very good when loaded for erie. we had 4 adults and 2 kids and 2 downriggers and 2 13# weights and 4 batteries in the back of the boat and all our fishing gear and coolers 1 for fish with 2 bags of ice and then the cooler for sodas and food, so we were loaded. so I put a 19p high five five blade prop on it. it got a much better hole shot and would stay on plane at slower speeds. someone stole my high five prop so I looked on ebay and found a 17p high five and it worked great. it was a 13 1/4 x 17 then I looked for a spare and found a great price on a signature 5 blade prop. it is a 14 1/2 x 19p. I had to cut down the little trim tab anode to make it fit but I liked it better than the high five, it runs a little faster and gives me better boat control and still jumps out of the hole.it turns my motor at 5000 rpm's.

but I think the aluminum boat still makes a great fishing boat. it is lighter and usually tows better than glass. and I believe the aluminum will do better on gas on the water over a glass boat.

if you can take a ride in both boats and you decide which one you want to fish 3' to 4' waves. I just prefer a glass boat for fishing erie. but then that's just my opinion. either one will serve you well. for some things the aluminum is better. on the other hand I believe there are other things that the glass boat is best.

I could be wrong about this but if your talking a 25' to 27' boat then either one should serve you well. I think its going to come down to personal preference. take the pro's and the con's of each boat and take a ride if possible then decide which one you think will serve your needs the best.

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I've owned six different rides, from a 15' fiberglsss to a 28' fiberglass and aluminums between 16' and my current 19.5' Crestliner. The way boat builders can roll form, shape and seamless weld aluminum hulls these days, they can make them look great as well as integrate hull features to reduce splash, better plane and deliver clean laminar water flow to the prop. Without help, the fiberglass will ride better. But there's a price for the added weight in both the tow vehicle and boat power plant. IMHO I chose aluminum and added hydraulic trim tabs to my 19.5' Crestliner. This puts me under 3,500 towing, with a 135HP Merc Opti I run 44MPH. When theres spine crushing 3 foot whites caps, I bury the bow into the waves with those trim tabs and bulldoze my way through instead of slapping the water and going airborne. Happy hunting!

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I own a 22 ft Crestliner Eagle. Big flat bottom means low roll but rough ride.

It tows very easy. It gets awesome gas mileage on the lake.

It does ride rough in big waves and gets you wet.

I also had a leaking charging system, caused by my 4 stroke Evinrude kicker that was starting to eat up my hull and Mecruiser main engine prop due to galvanic corrosion.

I fixed it with a new stator on the kicker but you wouldn't have that issue with a glass boat. The other problem you see with high free board boats like the Eagle is that they don't stick to the water in high cross winds like a heavy boat. This is only a problem when trying to dock in tight quarters or when trying to get it back on the trailer. Lots of shifting forward to reverse in big cross winds. Trolls fine at walleye speeds and much better at salmon speeds. You will be trading gas mileage (towing and on the lake) for handling and ride. My next boat will be glass, then I'll complain about fuel bill but I'm still going back to glass.

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Alan, I think it depends on what type of water/lake you will usually be using the boat, and the type of fishing most done. Try to test ride several boats this spring before you decide for sure, that way you get a feel of the experience. Fiberglass is definitely a smoother ride in rougher seas for all intents and purposes imho.

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