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Old 03-06-2008, 07:44 PM
csim842 csim842 is offline
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Default Need advice on aluminum boat

Hi. New to boating. I am looking for a boat 16ft-19ft to be used in both salt and fresh water for fishing as well as just cruising up the river. I would like it to hold 4 to 6 people, if possible. I want it to be economical so I assume an aluminum boat, being lighter, would be the way to go as it would only require a smaller motor. However I am hearing negative things about putting an aluminum boat in salt water;issues about corrosion. I do not plan to moor the boat in salt water, or fresh for that matter. It will be trailered to whereever I launch it. Is this aluminum in saltwater something to be concerned with? If aluminum is okay, is welded much beter than riveted? Are the newer 4 stroke engines better than 2 strokes? I have been looking at the crestliner "sportsman" and "canadian" models and they seem pretty good however, I have never owned a boat so I don't know much at all about them. Any feedback would be surely be appreciated as i do not want to buy a boat only to find out that it is not what I really wanterd. Thanks, Al
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

Al,
First of all welcome to NetBoatTalk.
I don't have answers to your specific questions, but the guys at work rave about welded hulls being better than riveted. And they droll anytime someone mentions the newer 4 stroke engines.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

Hi Al,
Like Jerry said, Welcome to Net Boat Talk. I'm glad you found us.
Aluminum is not my specialty. I have a riveted john boat and I actually have duct tape in one spot to slow down water from seaping in....so yeah, welded is better. And, I still hear the argument about 2 vs 4 stroke. Most 2 strokes do not require mixing any longer, they mix automatically and they produce more HP. 4 strokes are heavier and 'some' say more dependable. Maybe that used to be the case but I'm not so sure it's still true. I'll see what I can find out for you and report back in a day or two. It's always exciting shopping though. Enjoy. Look at as many as you can, it will make your decision easier.

Enjoy and post often here on NBT.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

Welcome to the forum. Don't know much about the corrosion issue with salt water for an aluminum boat but I can provide a bit of feedback on the crestliner boat as my dad has had one for years now.

With it's welded hull, chrestliner makes one tough boat. A couple years after my dad got his 16', the hull strength was put to the test one night. A major thunderstorm had blown in that night. 5-6 ft whitecaps were rolling right in from the north pounding into the floating dock. The front of the boat was tied up to the dock to a 10" grade A lag bolt that was mounted right through the dock. The rear of the boat was tied to a large tree on shore to keep it from slamming against the dock in the waves. Well, the lag bolt broke and the boat quickly came ashore on top of some sharp rocks with the waves and strong wind coming in broadside to it. We tried to get if off the rocks but couldn't.(this was at about 2am with Thunder and lightning, 5 ft rollers coming in from the north, on a floating dock) We were forced to leave the boat on the rocks that night and were sure we'd find it at the bottom of the lake the next morning with a hole in the side of it. We were surprised the next morning to find it still pounding against the rocks. The waves had died down and we were fianlly able to get it away from the shore. Much to ur amazement, it still floated even with water only an inch or so below the transom. We truned on the bildge pump and pumped her out then hauled her out of the water on the trailer to discover only one small dent and a couple cratches on the hull. The scratches and dent are still there. This happened about 15 yrs ago. The boat has never missed a beat.

When I was boat shopping last summer, I seriously considered getting a chrestliner with a subfloor and sidedrive but I ended up with a princecraft due to the price being roughly $5000 cheaper for a comparable unit to the chrestliner I was looking at.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

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Originally Posted by Doc View Post
Hi Al,
4 strokes are heavier and 'some' say more dependable.
I'm hearing they are much quieter too.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:12 PM
csim842 csim842 is offline
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

Thanks for the feedback to all. All of these boat dealers down here in florida that I have spoken with are all telling me something different. Of course they are all trying to sell their own product. I was hoping to hear from more people with aluminum boats as far as their experience in salt water, if corrosion is really an issue or not. If so, I will go with fiberglass. Anyway, thanks for everyone's input. Al
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

Al,
This is still a young forum. We're just beginning to crawl here. Hopefully someone will come along with the info you need soon.
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

I've got a 40hp yamaha four stroke and can tell you that it's very quiet...........so much so that on a windy day with the waves crashing in, I have to listen very closely to hear it. The power output is different than that of a two stroke though. It still has the ole "get up and go" but lacks that "put you back in your seat and hold on" feeling. It's got allot smoother acceleration than any previous 2-storke I've had. I'd like to try out out of the new evinrude e-tec motors to see how they perform.
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:02 PM
csim842 csim842 is offline
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

A boat dealer told me that the new evinrude e-tec 2 stroke's are the nost fuel efficient motors out there now. I do not know of anyone who has one to verify that. I always heard that 2 strokes used more gas than 4 strokes. I wanted to go the more economical way but there is also other things to consider as far as the maintenance and care and the noise factor. If you are in a small boat sitting next to a loud motor all day, that ain't going to work.
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

From Brian's experiance it sure sounds like a 4 stroke is in your future. They are easier to work on and quieter. Sorry no direct info as to salt water. Hopefully we'll get more members who boat in saltwater here real soon.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

I've not owned 1 personally, but I have friends who have had/still have aluminum boats for years - and they're only used in saltwater. You'll never have a practical corrosion concern with the aluminum vs saltwater. Further to that, you would have a hard time counting the number of people down on the mosquito coast here using aluminum boats in saltwater - there are so many of them. And they are economical.

Now, if another metal is in contact w/ the aluminum then you'll have to watch. Different metals in contact w/ each other set up an electrical current - that combined with the saltwater can cause troubles.

Now if you want 4-6 people in the boat then this isn't the boat you want, I would not put 6 people in my boat - and not likely 4 at that unless everyone gets out to wade-fish. Get the widest beam you can get & long as possible.

Last edited by pugger; 02-20-2009 at 11:33 AM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Need advice on aluminum boat

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Originally Posted by pugger View Post
Now, if another metal is in contact w/ the aluminum then you'll have to watch. Different metals in contact w/ each other set up an electrical current - that combined with the saltwater can cause troubles.

Now if you want 4-6 people in the boat then this isn't the boat you want, I would not put 6 people in my boat - and not likely 4 at that unless everyone gets out to wade-fish. Get the widest beam you can get & long as possible.
Yes I have seen first hand how electroleses(sp) can eat into metals that you don't want it to. When we took Doc's houseboat out(my dads) we noticed that the rudders were 75% gone, and this is a fiberglass boat that has never been in salt water.

Now as far as wanting to fit 4-6 people in the boat, I agree, Try to get the biggest boat that you can afford.
I have a 19.5ft ski nautique fiberglass ski boat. It suites my need well but It can only hold 6 people and less if i plan on going tubing or planing a long day on the river.
Hope this helps.
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