V Hull Aluminum Boat vs. Flat Bottom.. Welded?

I have a 1978 Starcraft V Hull 15 foot Aluminum boat like boats from Alweld. The poor thing hasn't faired very well since I've been taking it out into the Gulf of Mexico a little ways (oh a mile or two) anyway, it gets rough, and it's little rivets have popped, and I've been replaced them, but now it's just broke. The keel has a big divit out of it, the bottom of the boat has developed a stress fracture, and it's just time to move on. Rest in peace my first boat, "The Aquarium."

This weekend, I saw some brand new flat bottomed boats, welded together, I like this idea with no rivets to break. I'm told though that these flat bottom boats make for a much rougher ride when it gets a little choppy. I don't like that idea, and I know my fiance sitting in front won't want things any rougher either. I did like this boat however, it seemed as if it were built to military specifications or something! You could blow off a bomb in the thing and it looked it like wouldn't phase it. The construction reminded me of a dumpster or something, just built WAY stronger than it needed to be.

Does anyone know of a manufacturer that is making V hulled aluminum boats 14-16 feet that are welded? The V hull would seem to give a smoother ride in rougher water.. Hopefully a manufacturer somewhere in the southeast, or at least that has dealers down here - I'm in Tampa Bay (Well, I will be If I don't get a new boat).

I want to stick with a smaller boat, I have a small slip in which to store the boat. My current setup just uses a chain hoist to lift the back end of the boat out of the water so barnicles don't start growing on it. If I had a heavier fiberglass boat I don't know if my chain hoist plan would work so well. Also, I live about 4 miles up Anclote river from the Gulf of Mexico, so I need something with a small draft so I can get in and out even if the tide/river is low, that's why I was thinking smaller aluminum boat instead of a larger fiberglass boat.

-Check out the Tracker (Bass Pro Shops). I know they have an all welded 18' Targa (nicely molded, rounded - similar to a glass boat).

-Either this past spring or the one before we were looking over some during a boat show - looked to me like boats from Alweld seemed to be built hell for strong.

-I believe these are more widely distributed. As others have said, there are some other regional brands, Alumaweld and Valco come to mind. As you go through the above sites, you may notice some that are similar to those of another manufacturer. Lund is a recent entry in welded aluminum jonboats, and I think they are the same product as Nova and Crestliner. Sylvan had been another front for Smokercraft, and within the last few months their website has been redirected to Smokercraft.

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