So you love fishing, and you want to get your own fishing boat. You've got a lot of choices to make, including choosing a boat. Why should you buy an aluminum boat instead of, say, a fiberglass boat?
You'll find that you have a wealth of choices for buying boats. You can get, primarily, wooden or timber fishing boats, fiberglass boats and aluminum boats. All make fine boats, and for looks my choice is a timber fishing boat. Timber boats look great. They're often varnished so you can see the color and grain of the timber, and are hand made usually, so they have style. A timber fishing boat is a fine looking item.
But when you're thinking of buying a boat for fishing, it isn't really looks that count. Of course great looks are nice, but you need a boat that's tough, hard wearing, and long lasting, and doesn't take up lots of your precious fishing time on maintenance.
A timber boat is high maintenance. Trust me, I've had quite a few. You're always sanding timber, varnishing timber, repairing timber and lots more. Now if you're happy to be doing that then that's great, but recognize that's the price you pay for a great looking timber fishing boat. And a timber boat is often heavy, and will not last well, particularly if you aren't as diligent with your maintenance as you could be. And they puncture easily when you hit something, as I did last week.
But if you're not an enthusiast for working on boats then timber isn't your best choice.
What you want in a fishing boat is this. It needs to be tough. It needs to be low maintenance. It needs to be puncture resistant. It needs to last forever without spending hours working on it. It needs to be easily repairable. And it needs to be cost effective.
For me the best choice fishing boat is an aluminum fishing boat. Aluminum has properties which make it the perfect material for building fishing boats. It is very light and strong for it's weight, and can be easily welded, so is ideal for both building and repairing. It is extremely long lasting, and is very resistant to puncture. Now of course that doesn't mean it can't be damaged, as it can. But you need to hit it pretty hard to do some serious damage. And if you did that to a timber or fiberglass boat it will be very seriously damaged. And an aluminum boat may just dent, rather than fracture, so you can head right back home with nothing more to show than a dent, instead of possibly be the subject of a rescue from a sinking boat.
And it lasts forever if treated right. If you get a great aluminum fishing boat and treat it well you may well find yourself leaving it to your kids.
Because aluminum boats are light for their strength they often need a smaller engine, and the engine is probably the highest cost item. A smaller engine costs less, and uses less fuel.
And with a smaller engine they are also lighter and easier to handle.
And they require little maintenance. Make sure you hose your boat down after a day out, especially in saltwater, and if you drop a lead sinker make sure you pick it up, as it's not great to leave any other metal in contact with aluminum, otherwise you don't need to do too much maintenance at all. More fishing time.
And because aluminum boats last so well they also retain their resale value well. I bought a used aluminum fishing boat 2 years ago and it is currently worth a little more than I paid for it.
So there's plenty of good reasons to buy an aluminum fishing boat. Unfortunately they aren't cheap if you want to buy a new boat, but for the same reasons I've mentioned above, it's way better to buy a used aluminum boat, as a used boat is usually much cheaper than a new one, and retains it value well. I would never buy a new aluminum boat.
So grab yourself a great used aluminum fishing boat and get fishing this summer, it's the best way to get on the water.