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Used aluminum boat? and dealer? (help)

Question:
I think this alias might be the appropriate place to ask for advice about a fishing boat. I am looking to buy a used 11' to 14' aluminum fishing boat and motor with trailer.

What should I be looking for as far as is the aluminum it self is in good shape or not and will the seems leak? Any brands better than others? Also anything I should watch out for about the boat dealer or motor?


Answer:
-It depends on where you're going to use the boat and what you're going to use it for. Are you going to use it on salt water or fresh? Are you going to use it in areas that might generate heavy seas, or will you be using it on calm inland lakes?

I've boated for 50 years in the Thousand Island region of the St. Lawrence River. In that environment, we've never had to concern ourselves with salt and corrosion. But the seas can become heavy and boats with deep Vee hulls and high sides give a much drier and softer ride, especially for folk that live on the islands and need reliable transportation.

The main boat dealer in the region, and indeed the reputed largest dealer in the entire NorthEast is the StarCraft dealer that operates out of the TI region (sorry I can't bring myself to give them a plug, so they'll go nameless). In any event, the StarCraft, especially the glass version, meets the design specs I mentioned above: High freeboard and deepVee. The Aluminum version is also a high freeboard design, but it typically does not have as deep a Vee and also rides higher and harder because it's lighter.

The Seams on the Alum boat are guaranteed for 20 years, or were, the last I looked. The glass version isn't guaranteed as long, but I'm still using a 1964 glass outboard with a V-4 75 hp motor.

-All riveted aluminum boats do, or will, leak. It's just a matter of time. The only exceptions I have come across are boats that are: 1. new 2. have had all the seams completely sealed 3. hardly ever used, or babied beyond practicality Or maybe my friends and I are just too hard on our fishing boats? Welded aluminum is better but very expensive. Make certain you try it out. Make them take you fishing! Look for bashes and scrapes along the bottom. Aluminum boats tend to get hung up on rocks instead of glancing off like glass or wood boats. This can deform the seams even cause holes in the aluminum.


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