Ok, so I have recently been looking into getting my first power boat for fishing. Let me tell you, it is not an easy process. There are so many manufacturers out there that offer virtually the same thing, but also offer very different things. Which seems kind of counter intuitive. The choices are seemingly endless when it comes to boating. Fiberglass or aluminum. Deep V, Bass Boat, or Fish and Ski. The list goes on and on. Should I get the 50hp motor or the 150hp motor. I’ve decided to share my process for first time boat buyers or people thinking they may want to buy a boat.
Lets start with some comparisons.
Fiber Glass vs. Aluminum
Each has they’re advantages and disadvantages. The advantages on the water of a fiberglass boat is their weight. They are significantly heavier than aluminum boat and don’t become a wind sale when going at a higher rate of speed. Also on the flip side the weight can be a disadvantage, they’re heavier so put more wear and tear on your vehicle when towing, they also will be quite difficult to unload and load by yourself if you decide to fish alone. Not impossible, but more difficult than an aluminum boat, in my opinion.
Another big advantage of fiberglass boats is the noise reduction. They do not transmit sound into the water quite like an aluminum hull. They are a good boat for sneaking up on finicky fish. A major disadvantage to fiberglass boats is the cost. Fiberglass boats are significantly more pricey than their aluminum counter parts.
Aluminum boats certainly have their advantages as well. Back in the day, that’s all that was available. The lighter weight calculates to better fuel efficiency when towing, but also a little sacrifice in performance. The light weight can cause the boat to become more susceptible to more unwanted movement when driving in windy conditions. Aluminum boat also run the risk of denting, which is a risk for boat. Fiberglass is a very strong durable material, but can risk cracking and punctures to the hull same as an aluminum hull. Aluminum boats are less expensive than fiberglass. Also the option available for an aluminum boat are cheaper than fiberglass.
The bottom line is, get what suites your needs and budget best. If you’re not going to be out fishing on a boat every weekend or during the week, why spend a small fortune on a fiberglass boat, when an aluminum model will be perfectly acceptable.
Bass Boat or Deep V
This decision is going to come down tot he type of fishing you plan on doing and also where you live. For me a bass boat would be a great choice, but not as practical as a Deep V. I fish for multiple species in Upstate NY. I troll for laker trout, walleye, pike and so on. I love bass fishing and also fly fishing (mostly wading though). A bass boat is pretty one dimensional in my humble opinion. I feel like I’d get more out of a Deep V. The Deep V still has the ability to fish like a bass boat, but offers more diversity in the techniques that can be achieved in it. Down-rigger attachment, rod trees, planing masts, and so on.
The Nitty Gritty
When it comes down to it you have to be happy with your purchase. Boats are a luxury item for most of us. Some have grown up on boats and have always had one. For someone like me looking to get their first one, it is a significant investment. One that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As far as brands go, no one is out there making a bad boat. Each has their pros and cons. Some major brands of fiberglass boats are Nitro, Triton, Phoenix, and Ranger. Some major aluminum brands are Tracker, Alumacraft, Lund, Lowe, and Crestliner. Each having different price points. Some brands are targeted at more entry level boat buyers, while other are aimed at a more advanced crowd. You can always upgrade your boat later on once you get used to boating.