Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum

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3BT
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2009/07/08 17:49:01 (permalink)

Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum

I am in the process of trying to find/buy a lake erie fishing boat and would appreciate any constructive input.  Want to fish for pearch and troll for walleye.  I dont plan on mooring boat so trailering is an issue (75 mile trip one way).  I am considering 22ft boats, they seem to be big enough to be safe for family of 4 and small enough to trailer each outing.  I assume fiberglass would be a much better ride on water, but with about double the weight I worry about trailering (tow vehicle Dodge 2500 Ram / hemi).  The aluminum boats at half the weight would trailer nicer but dont know how it would handle in water.  I dont plan to go out in the rough stuff but understand the weather changes fast out there.  Any advise from seasoned Erie boaters?
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    bluntman
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 18:00:53 (permalink)
    Aluminum is for foil and pop cans, guess you know my opinion  a 2500 Dodge will easily tow any 22 foot glass boat
    #2
    ICE NUT
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 18:08:38 (permalink)
    you will save enough on gas with the alum boat to buy a new one every so often. There are many great 17 to 23 foot alum boats out there.my 17 foot lund has 4o inches of freeboard.my old 23 foot walkaround had about 22.the fiberglass does ride a little better but again a too big of boat is also a problem,its personal choice your truck will pull just about any boat.just remember my old 23 glass tub had a 150 gal tank. good for maybe 3 to 4 trips out. My alum a 24 gal tank good for maybe 6 to 7 trips out big big difference.
    again i dont do the rough stuff any more but todays alum boats are built really well and with common sence there just fine.
    #3
    Carpet Bagger
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 18:13:40 (permalink)
    If you are talking about boats and dont do the "rough stuff" and are considering using a boat on Lake Erie, your opinions are greatly going to lose any type of credibilty they started to have in your first 2 sentences...Lake Erie is rarely dead flat and generally has a nice quick 2-3ft chop on its good days...
     
    I have a trophy for sale with 62 gallon tank and a good running V8 (I'll make ya a good deal on it too)...With a kicker you could fish all week no problem....If you burned 150 gallons in 3 days something was terribly wrong with your motor....Or your fuel gauge...
     
    If you want to fish and not get tossed around like a cork in 1-3s or 2-4s go glass...If you want to sit on shore, get soaking wet, or get your brains beat in while others hammer walleyes farily comfortably in 2-4ft waves buy an aluminum one...
     
    This coming from a guy whose fished his own 16ft aluminum, friends 19ft Islander, and another friends 22ft Crestliner Sabre...
    post edited by Carpet Bagger - 2009/07/08 18:25:57

    CB
    I never thought I'd say this, but I love my Sport-Craft!
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    ICE NUT
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 18:30:43 (permalink)
    I didnt have a kicker full swim platform on back with 2 120 qt coolers strapped on . The motor was a 305 chevy I/O the boat weighed 4200 lbs and with 5 people in it to motor out in 3 to 5 footers trool all day motor back in it would burn 30 to 40 gal a trip.long trips yes usually from port clinton to west sister ot up lake ontarioway out of olcott ny.it wasnt any better trolling either 1.5 mpg at best. but then gas was cheap.
    #5
    bluntman
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 18:38:46 (permalink)
    Ill gladly pay for 30 or 40 gallons a day for my boat, which fishes 3-5s quite nicely, try that with a recycled pop can with a revamped motorcycle engine and youll get your brains beat out on the ride out and back
    #6
    kingnuke32
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 18:42:55 (permalink)
    Glass all the way. Your truck will tow anything fine. My 23' that I had, still for sale LOL sounds like a sales pitch in here, was towed at first with my F150 with no problems. Much better ride and had an 80 gallon tank that I could troll all day for 4 days on. Wether you want to or not when you fish erie you will fish in the waves and glass will make those days so much more comfortable for you and the family.
    #7
    ICE NUT
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 18:43:07 (permalink)
    we all have our opinions, i just prefer alum over glass now due mostly to 125 mile commute to erie one way. also usually just me and the wife lot less hassle docking and loading and all. do pick my days been out in 3 to 5's not alot of fun even in a 23 foot glass boat. most 2 to 4 i dont have a problem and stiill dry . end of discussion. carpet your new boat looks great i have been following your posts about getting it ready. i remember my last battle wagon it was exciting time hope you enjoy yours as much as i did mine.enjot it
                                                              Bill
    #8
    Carpet Bagger
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 19:09:44 (permalink)
    Thanks for the kind words...I still will never ever ever ever favor aluminum over glass...
     
    I towed my 22 with my old half ton chevy truck easily....My new one...well im just glad my 2500HD has 10,200lbs towing capacity, but you DEFINATLY know that thing is back there
     
    30-40 gallons a day...Oh the joys of owning a kicker....lol

    CB
    I never thought I'd say this, but I love my Sport-Craft!
    #9
    Trap Jaw
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 19:31:10 (permalink)
    First of all, like everyone else has said if a 3/4 ton Dodge Hemi can't tow a 22' boat then my oppinion of Dodge's just went down another notch.  Up until this spring my buddy towed his 22' Chris Craft with a 318 Dakota.  Only reason he now uses a 3/4 ton Ford is because his old truck got rear-ended and totaled.  And don't start on me I was a big Mopar fanatic untill a few years ago.  It broke my heart the day I had to sell my 84 half ton three years ago.  I digress... 
     
    I know I am one of the only ones on this board that talks about the long term of anything, I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record.  I have seen quite a few aluminum boats over the years that have started to leak.  And once they start leaking, there is almost nothing you can do about it other then strip it and haul it down to the local recycler.  I'll add one thing to that though.  I went to the Buffalo boat show with Storymaker a few years back because he was looking at purchasing a new boat.  While there we started looking heavily at the new Starcraft's.  After an hour of talking to the rep, who I know has to have all the answers, had alleviated some of my fears of aluminums.  Quite honestly, if I was to go out and buy a new boat right now I would seriously look at the Starcraft's.  As far as ride, I've been in a lot of different boats in the last 25 years and nothing rides particularly smooth once you get into rough water.  Yes some are smoother then others but if you want to go out in anything then you need to look into buying big, like Carpet's new Sportcraft. 
     
    Look, just buy what fits your needs the best.  I tell anyone that asks for my input on boats that you will never find your "perfect" boat.  Your truck can handle just about whatever you want to hook onto.  Yeah, you may burn more gas, but if you are that concerned about the cost of fuel that you start nickle and dimeing that much don't buy a boat.  Storymaker and I sat down and figured that we spend on average $5,000 per year each just keping a boat maintained, fueled and equiped.  And we live within 20 minutes of the lake so towing isn't that much of a factor in the cost.  Look around and find a boat that you like, is laid out to your satisfaction and say to heck with what it's made out of...  Just make sure it's solid, even fiberglass's can give you fits.  Trust me I've replaced one transom and two floors.
    #10
    Big Tuna
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 19:37:48 (permalink)
    A glass boat is heavier and will give you a better ride and less pounding,but there are pro and cons.First of all 4 to 5 footers are no fun in any boat.I've fished in a Grady White and that heavey beast was about the best,but I had 110 miles one way,and fished out of a 18 Starcraft,and 19 Bluefin,great to tow very cheap on gas,had a 70 HP and a 9.9 kicker,trolled 2 1/2 day on 12 gallons of gas.Both aluminums handled the waves fine,running in big waves,is slow going,unless you like a pounding,fished 6 to 8 at Olcott but there rollers there.
    #11
    RELAYER
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 19:49:05 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: 3BT

    I am in the process of trying to find/buy a lake erie fishing boat and would appreciate any constructive input.  Want to fish for pearch and troll for walleye.  I dont plan on mooring boat so trailering is an issue (75 mile trip one way).  I am considering 22ft boats, they seem to be big enough to be safe for family of 4 and small enough to trailer each outing.  I assume fiberglass would be a much better ride on water, but with about double the weight I worry about trailering (tow vehicle Dodge 2500 Ram / hemi).  The aluminum boats at half the weight would trailer nicer but dont know how it would handle in water.  I dont plan to go out in the rough stuff but understand the weather changes fast out there.  Any advise from seasoned Erie boaters?

    Glass all the way if your worried about towing it 150 mi round trip there are plenty of places you can store it in erie for the summer. Poor Richards charge 2 bucks a foot per month.
    #12
    woodnickle
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 20:34:09 (permalink)
    Pick your teeth up or shell out the money! lol
    A smoother ride or rock and roll!
    The weight of the vessel will either plow through or bonce over, with a good look at a wave!

    #13
    jon_e_si
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 21:12:01 (permalink)
    I get along fine in my 16' deep vee Lowe, but wouldn't want to have four people aboard. I prefer the economy and weight of aluminum for fresh water, but if you ever fish salt water, I'd go with glass.
     
    The biggest concern whether you go glass or aluminum is hull design. There are many days, you just have to take it easy glass or aluminum! My back is still sore from a friend's Grady White that he slammed full force into the waves resulting in the stern banging down with a jarring jolt!
     
    Your vehicle should be fine for either, but again you have to watch your speed!
    #14
    nitro 929
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 21:21:08 (permalink)
    Hey trap jaw I have a new Starcraft superfishermen and like it alot.  I like this boat because I fish other places than just Erie.  It does very well on Erie for a 19 foot boat and very easy on gas.  If I was going to only fish erie I would have a glass boat.
    #15
    BIGSLICK
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 21:45:34 (permalink)
    Guys are right....If your looking at a 22'er nothing is going to take 5' waves like you didn't feel it...I Have an 84' Starcraft Islander and I like it. I have been out in 4-6' waves and got back, but it wasn't fun. I have been in 4-6' waves in a 25' glass boat and I still got bounced around. I have a 4 cylinder Inboard in mine and it is absolutely great on gas. I have 2 30 gallon tanks on mine and I can probably only fill it up 2-3 times a season, even less now that I have a 4 stroke kicker. As far as them leaking. I haven't had any problems with mine, and I know that starcraft has a lifetime warranty on the hulls of theirs so that will put you at ease. Glass boats will be more expensive and worse fuel economy at that size. Most likely a glass boat that size will have a V-8 and a aluminum will have a 4 or 6 cylinder.  As far as the truck goes, it will tow it, but it's a dodge....Can hook up a jet ski to them and they will drop their tranny's..lol  j/k



    #16
    SteelieWheelie
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 21:47:59 (permalink)
    i have a 14 ft. Lund..15 horse Honda.  good enough for me...i never thought the size of the boat matttered when u were catching fish......

    Early to bed
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    #17
    woodnickle
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 21:48:33 (permalink)
    " a friend's Grady White that he slammed full force into the waves resulting in the stern banging down with a jarring jolt! "
     
     
    Would lighter be better? not

    #18
    spoonchucker
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 21:53:44 (permalink)
    I would prefer glass, but it's not much fun fishing in anything a 22' aluminum can't handle. Look around, and take your time. If you can find a good deal on a glass boat, go for it. If not, a "popcan" will serve you on any day that you want to be out there.

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    #19
    Carpet Bagger
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/08 22:24:21 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: SteelieWheelie

    i have a 14 ft. Lund..15 horse Honda.  good enough for me...i never thought the size of the boat matttered when u were catching fish......

     
    I hope you carry a big bucket to bail....lol
     
    and size never matters when your having fun.........lol

    CB
    I never thought I'd say this, but I love my Sport-Craft!
    #20
    jeepdude64
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 08:56:21 (permalink)
    I just bought a 18' crestliner superhawk with a 150 efi and I have been very pleased.  I was out July 4th in geneva in 3-4's with no problems.  I tow from south of pittsburgh so size to me was important and I also wanted a boat that I can take to the local lakes.  I spent a week on deep creek lake pulling around nephews and nieces on tubes and kneeboard and they all had a great time.  Asking fiberglass or aluminum is like asking which caliber kills a deer best.. they all work just get one and have fun.
    #21
    eyesandgillz
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 09:24:30 (permalink)
    If you go aluminum, I'd go with a welded hull vs. riveted.  The old boat I used to work on was a 28' Marinette.  1/4" plate aluminum welded hull.  Handled the rough water better than the comparable sized fiberglass boats and even a few of the 30+ footers that were out chartering.  But, it wasn't called the "submarine" for nothing.  You would get very wet plowing through 3-5's or 4-6's if you werent in the cabin under the hard top. It had a super sharp entry in the bow that helped alot.  Wasn't the fastest boat in the fleet though.   
     
    But if it were me and you'd be using the boat primarily on Erie, I'd go 22'-24' quality glass and park it in a fenced lot up near the lake.  Your truck should tow anything up to 26' or so with ease.  Put a kicker on it and only use your main to get out and back.
     
    There was a nice '89 24' Lund (Genmar) hardtop for sale on Craigslist awhile back in NY that looked like a pretty good deal.  Don't know if it is still available.  Good luck whatever you decide and just pick your days when you do head out. 
    #22
    RELAYER
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 09:25:11 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: Carpet Bagger

    ORIGINAL: SteelieWheelie

    i have a 14 ft. Lund..15 horse Honda.  good enough for me...i never thought the size of the boat matttered when u were catching fish......


    I hope you carry a big bucket to bail....lol

    and size never matters when your having fun.........lol

    14 ft boat has NO business being on Erie 1 wave the wrong way and you are history. Better have a good offshore life vest!!!
    #23
    Carpet Bagger
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 09:29:09 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: jeepdude64

    Asking fiberglass or aluminum is like asking which caliber kills a deer best.. they all work just get one and have fun.


    I dunno if i can fully agree there...But ill tell ya which handles waves the best...

    Even companies like Lund realized how much business they were losing to the Ranger 620 series in the fiberglass department and built their own glass boat.
     
    And you can kill a deer with a .22 or a .17, but its not always about how small you can go, its about getting the job done and done right...
    post edited by Carpet Bagger - 2009/07/09 09:46:33

    CB
    I never thought I'd say this, but I love my Sport-Craft!
    #24
    jon_e_si
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 09:59:55 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: RELAYER


    14 ft boat has NO business being on Erie 1 wave the wrong way and you are history. Better have a good offshore life vest!!!

     
    When I was a kid, we fished Lake Ontario all the time from a 12' Aluma-craft, because that's all we had. Yes, there were days we could not fish out there. There's something to be said about "Seamanship"!
    #25
    BIGSLICK
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 14:54:37 (permalink)
    I guess it all depends on you preference...If your gonna plan to fish every weekend regardless of the wind and weather....Then you want a glass hardtop...Aluminums do just fine for the steady lake erie fisherman that is going to troll for walleye and perch fish. A 22' Aluminum will do just fine in 3-4' waves. Not a problem. Trailering them is even easier than one thinks. I trailer my 22' Starcraft with an F150 no problems at all...But that's Ford power so, you need atleast a 3/4 ton chevy or Dodge...?? lol.........j/k....The only thing I noticed as a difference in Aluminums vs glass is the ability to slice through big waves while under power..Aluminums seems to ride up on top of them where a glass boat slices through them offering a easier ride. But, in a 2' chop, there is no difference in my opinion..Probably get out there faster than the counter part glass boats due to less wieght....depending on motor of course..



    #26
    pghmarty
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 15:22:00 (permalink)
    Fill some ballast tanks to make a light boat heavier on the water.
    Do not go above max weight of occupants and gear.
    Four 5 gallon soft plastic water bags will add 150lb
    6 might even be better.
    Move the cooler off the back of the boat and put near the front.
    Keep the added weight low.
    This will stop an aluminum boat from riding the waves and act more like a fiberglass.

    Drop a sea anchor or stabilizer bag over the bow or side.
    #27
    bulldog1
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 15:23:18 (permalink)
    Buy Slick's aluminum so he can buy Bagger's glas, problem solved!
     
    #28
    BIGSLICK
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 15:49:39 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: bulldog1

    Buy Slick's aluminum so he can buy Bagger's glas, problem solved!


     
    Yup...I have to put a new impellar in first...Then he can buy it..I don't want to sell someone else a potential problem...



    #29
    Indian Summer
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    RE: Lake Erie Boat --- Fiberglass vs. Aluminum 2009/07/09 21:48:26 (permalink)
    Glass... your truck will drag it just fine.
     
    CB.... I'm saving this thread because it's the first time I've ever heard you contradict yourself  LOL
     
    I love my Sportcraft 232 Fishmaster more than my.... better stop there. She might read this.
     
    Ditto Relay.... leave it at Poor richards for way less than the gas money it costs to tow. You need to stop there anyway right?
    #30
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