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aluminum boats and salt water


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#1 raritan53

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Posted October 08 2006 - 3:49 PM

All right I've been researching buying a small bay boat and because of ease of use and extras I've looked into just about all aluminum boats lund,lowe,starcraft,tracker ,crestliner,smokercraft,etc.to trailer.I've come to this conclusion THESE BOATS ARE REALLY NOT MADE FOR THE SALTWATER.Why? Well first there isn't one photo in on any of the above manufacturers websites that show anyone using them in saltwater.Second,the warrenty is most likely VOID if used with saltwater.Third,I had a Lund dealer here in NJ tell me not to buy any aluminum boat if your going to use it in the saltwater.
Then you visit forums and there are dozens of people who use them to fish in places all over NJ saltwaters. I'm very confused.If they can and are used in saltwater why don't the companies say to use them in saltwater?


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#2 yak too

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Posted October 08 2006 - 5:53 PM

I see aluminum boats all the time in Raritan Bay. Salt water does not bother them. Painting the bottom is a different story. You have to use paint made for an aluminum hull or you will have a serious corrosion problem.


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#3 valentine

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Posted October 08 2006 - 7:47 PM

I've owned aluminum boats from Duranautic, Crestliner, and Lund. All were used exclusively in saltwater. Never had any corrosion issues, electrolysis damage, or any type of hull failure at all. They are made for the salt.

Valentine


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#4 bospa357

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Posted October 08 2006 - 9:08 PM

I own both aluminum and fiberglass. The fiberglass boat will need a repower next year, so the aluminum boat got used quite a bit this year. It's a 1990 and has been used quite extensively in salt over that time span (It's been in the family since new) with no signs of corrosion at all. It's gets washed down religously after each use.


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#5 NHAngler

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Posted October 09 2006 - 8:53 PM

I have a Tracker Targa 17 aluminum and use it in salt almost half the time. I had a bigger glass bass boat for years and would not put it in the salt for other reasons. The important thing is to clean it and take care of it. Any boat that is left un-maintained will eventually have issues; glass or aluminum.
At the end of a day on the salt, I dunk the trailer submerging it more than I had it in the salt and with the boat off I run the trailer back and forth to rinse it. Then I take the boat for a short drive around the pond or lake and turn on all the plumbing (livewell pumps, bilge, etc). When I get home I scrub the boat and trailer down with soap and water real good then I rinse the bilge area andlivewells out. Lastly, after it dries I make sure anything that is due for a wack of grease gets a squirt or two. I wax the boat about 5 times this year which also helps to keep it easier to wash.
I'm not saying that all that is necessary because I like to take extra care of my stuff. Heck, the boat is cleaner than the truck. My wife reminds me of that everytime I wash the boat.
Good luck and buy what whatever makes ya happy!
Brian


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Confidence catches fish! The rest of it is just there to keep us busy.

#6 NHAngler

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Posted October 09 2006 - 8:59 PM


Quote:








Originally Posted by raritan53


.... I'm very confused.If they can and are used in saltwater why don't the companies say to use them in saltwater?




The answer to this is likely that their market audience is not saltwater boaters rather freshwater.
It may also be that they don't want you to run out and rot your boat in the ocean and chime in for warrantee work when your wiring or other parts go bad. If you don't take care of them they will definately go quicker in saltwater.
Hope this helps.
Brian


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Confidence catches fish! The rest of it is just there to keep us busy.

#7 raritan53

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Posted October 09 2006 - 9:25 PM

Alot of truth said here but unfortunatly the fact remains that both Tracker and Crestliner boats said today when I called the Tech and Customer Support division that they will not honor the full warranty if the boat is used in saltwater (Tracker said void completly Crestliner said only one year if in salt,instead of 5yrs. I believe) I'm sure the other companies are the same.Except Duranautic they tend to imply that these boats handle the choppy waters of the northeast coast.I'll see if that is true when I ask about the warranty.


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#8 Arno

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Posted October 09 2006 - 9:42 PM

There are aluminum boats, and there are aluminum boats. And they're not all open seaworthy. But Starcraft, for example, builds a model or two with a hull designed for rough seas - according to their website.

The problem I have with aluminum boats is their weight - or lack of it. I don't feature getting tossed around like a cork when things get choppy. Aside from that, aluminum boats are fine (imo). In fact I have no problem with them when fishing the backwaters. But on the open bay? Uh-uh. Unless it's designed to handle it like the big Starcraft, they ain't for me.


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#9 NHAngler

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Posted October 09 2006 - 9:45 PM

Tracker sells some of their aluminum boats with a "coastal edition". This is the same boat with vinyl flooring. I think they also might add more to the wiring harness to prevent corrosion. It costs a little extra.
From their site on the TV18 all fish:
Coastal Edition - Includes Vinyl Floor, Corrosion Resistant Wiring Harness and Sacrificial Zinc Anode
Did you call tracker direct or a dealer? Might be worth asking them why they would sell this coastal edition and then discourage you from using it as advertised.
I think that like insurance, the pounding of heavy waves is more of the threat and why they are so edgy when people ask if the warranty includes saltwater use.
BTW: I have had pleny of warranty work done all ready for little things and the dealer knows I fish in saltwater.
Brian


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#10 raritan53

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Posted October 09 2006 - 10:03 PM


Quote:







Tracker sells some of their aluminum boats with a "coastal edition". This is the same boat with vinyl flooring. I think they also might add more to the wiring harness to prevent corrosion. It costs a little extra.

From their site on the TV18 all fish:
Coastal Edition - Includes Vinyl Floor, Corrosion Resistant Wiring Harness and Sacrificial Zinc Anode




Brian I do not see any reference to any of this at Tracker website


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#11 NHAngler

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Posted October 10 2006 - 8:41 PM

http://www.trackerbo....tops&boat=1771
Go to the Contstruction & Components option and open it.
They used to list this on the other boats too. I just noticed that it is not listed for the Targa anymore. They do still list the floor option though.
Sounds like you are really doing your homework. Good job. Whatever you buy don't be afraid to look at used boats. Huge overhead buying new especially with the epa regs forcing the older motors off the market. Don't get me wrong the newer motors rock but can be a price hike as much as 25% more for the same boat with a new epa friendly motor.

Brian


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Confidence catches fish! The rest of it is just there to keep us busy.

#12 yak too

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Posted October 11 2006 - 6:58 AM

Raritan53 Search welded aluminum boats. Pacific Northwest or Canada.
Harbercrafts are nice.


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#13 Steel Pulse

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Posted October 12 2006 - 2:23 PM

I've had a 14' mirrorcraft Deepfisherman for 20 years and it is still going strong. Never seen sweetwater, salt only. On my second motor but boat is still perfect and I beat the hell out of it. P.


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don't you ever wash that thing?


#14 Nitro882

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Posted October 12 2006 - 8:50 PM

I used to have a 98 Tracker Pro Team 175 that I used in salt water quite a bit and I never had any problems. I washed it after and scrubbed the trailer because it was painted.


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#15 bospa357

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Posted October 12 2006 - 9:28 PM

As I mentioned, this boat has been used extensively in the salt during it's 16 year life span. It's not perfect, but I've had no issues at all related to salt water use. Still running the original 60 hp Evinrude which runs like a champ. Economical as hell. 38 gallon inboard fuel tank goes a long way. It's going to get new floors this winter to replace the originals. I won't be replacing the carpeting. I also have plans and everything in place to convert it to a center console. And lastly, it'll get a fresh coat of paint on the hull. In all actuality, the floors don't need replacing other than the fact that I'm changing the layout. Got to see how long we can keep her going.


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