By building with aluminum, you can enjoy decades of use from your boat without the hours of maintenance needed with fiberglass boats since aluminum is a low maintenance material. We have a number of lodge boats with as many as 18,000 hours on them (which equates to a minimum of 90 years of use). As well, the strength of aluminum is unquestioned. There have been instances where aluminum boats and fiberglass boats have collided. The fiberglass was usually a write-off while the aluminum boats continued to work with little comparative damage.
Benefits of Aluminum vs Fiberglass or Steel
- Less depreciation
- Lighter weight
- Great durability
- Low maintenance
- Design flexibility
There are few, if any, drawbacks with marine grade aluminum.
Difference in Grades of Aluminum
Two different grades of aluminum can be used in boat hull construction:
The 5086/5083 grade of aluminum is a harder and more corrosion resistant grade than 5052. All our hulls that are greater than 25 feet are built with this grade of aluminum.
The 5052 is able to "stretch" more than the 5086/5083 grade, thus, enabling it to have more "give" in a situation than the 5086/5083 grade.So, if you plan on pulling your boat up on a rocky beach, the 5052 may be a better aluminum alloy for you as its tendency to crack is far less. As well, the 5052 is approximately 15 - 20% less expensive than the 5086/5083.
So Which Grage is Better For You?
Which grade you use entirely depends on the size of the boat and your use for it. When comparing the two grades, it's similar to comparing glass with plastic. Just as one has certain properties that make it ideal for some applications, the other has other properties that make it ideal for other applications.
If you have any questions on the above, please feel free to drop us a line and ask.