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b_cdot

Aluminum to Fiberglass

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I am sure this topic comes along every so often but I recently purchased a Ranger 621fs. I am coming from 2 previous aluminum boats, a crestliner fishhawk 1650 and a Lund Pro v 1875. This is the 2nd biggest purchase I've made in my lifetime. I fish for bass and walleye on the great lakes and big rivers. I just wanted to start the discussion for all people that made the switch from an aluminum to a glass boat or vice versa. I am curious what your opinions are regarding the difference fishing out of these different platforms. I only went for a test drive in the Ranger and pulled the trigger, I have yet to fish out of it. The boat is put away for the winter and I will be picking it up in March/April. 

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That's gotta be torture!!!   I can't give an opinion because I've only ever used aluminum, but congrats on the purchase!

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Not quite a valid comparison but at one time I had a 24 foot Searay Sundancer, it was a well made boat and suited for bigger waters, I kept it docked in the Erie island area. Still care needed to be taken, some days you just weren't meant to be out there?

Compare a glass boat and aluminum of similar length and style and a heavier glass boat should have a better ride in rougher waters. My options with my 17 foot aluminum usually involved inland lakes and calmer waters in questionable weather.

It is sort of a person choice? I never had a desire to go out and get beat up on any day's weather. That is a nice boat, just depends on the amount of punishment you are willing to stand to catch a fish?

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There will be a marked improvement in ride! That is a sweet hull that you have! If you need a second I'm happy to accompany you. 

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I own both a glass Ranger and an aluminum Xpress. They have different rides as pointed out with the glass boat being a smoother better ride due to the weight as well as the way the pad is designed.  The down side of glass is if you leave it in the water you have a better chance of it getting damaged from wakes on the dock and if you do get a ding in the glass it will absorb water so make sure you stay ahead of any rash below the waterline.  The  water noise in a glass is quieter and  being heavier will also run cleaner in the water when it gets snotty.  You also need to watchout for having water entering the boat while you store it many of them are damaged because the owner lets water stand in the livewells and the bilge area. I have always keep mine indoors and to date the 1989 Ranger is solid and  still beautiful. The aluminum boat I have is more of a tank than the glass and both have their uses. The aluminum is a jetdrive outboard for running thin rivers due to it being lighter and a much larger pad to plane on. This is not because it is aluminum but rather the way it is shaped. The other Aluminum boat I have is a 28ft Marinette which has twin 318 and lives in a marina. This is where  aluminum makes a big difference. This boat lives in the water and has not gained an oz of weight from water absorption which can add 20 % to a glass boat that has dings in it.  I have also taken a few good shots from debris in the river I run and where glass boats get holes I have a few slight bruises to the hull. Enjoy the glass you will be very happy with it and take care of it and it will give you many years of fun I have 30 plus years and still going strong. 

Art

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Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and insight. I did read up a little bit on this before making the decision. I just wanted to open up another discussion with those that might have some experience with different types of boats. It's not everyday that a used boat this nice comes along. It was a gut decision and I knew I wasn't overpaying. I really like the forum and I know there are knowledgeable fisherman that have great opinions. 

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23 hours ago, BillM said:

That's gotta be torture!!!   I can't give an opinion because I've only ever used aluminum, but congrats on the purchase!

It is torture, especially when I was fishing this time last year on the boat and this year the ramp is frozen. That's why the boat has been retired for the year or else I might have had some opportunities to use it a few times before winter

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22 hours ago, OhioFisherman said:

Not quite a valid comparison but at one time I had a 24 foot Searay Sundancer, it was a well made boat and suited for bigger waters, I kept it docked in the Erie island area. Still care needed to be taken, some days you just weren't meant to be out there?

Compare a glass boat and aluminum of similar length and style and a heavier glass boat should have a better ride in rougher waters. My options with my 17 foot aluminum usually involved inland lakes and calmer waters in questionable weather.

It is sort of a person choice? I never had a desire to go out and get beat up on any day's weather. That is a nice boat, just depends on the amount of punishment you are willing to stand to catch a fish?

I definitely want to fish a few more days I wouldn't normally fish out of the aluminum. I also tend to get caught on the lake every year when a front or a swift wind kicks up when I'm miles away from the ramp.It's nice to know you think that it would be a bit more manageable in a fiberglass hull.

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19 hours ago, aplumma said:

I own both a glass Ranger and an aluminum Xpress. They have different rides as pointed out with the glass boat being a smoother better ride due to the weight as well as the way the pad is designed.  The down side of glass is if you leave it in the water you have a better chance of it getting damaged from wakes on the dock and if you do get a ding in the glass it will absorb water so make sure you stay ahead of any rash below the waterline.  The  water noise in a glass is quieter and  being heavier will also run cleaner in the water when it gets snotty.  You also need to watchout for having water entering the boat while you store it many of them are damaged because the owner lets water stand in the livewells and the bilge area. I have always keep mine indoors and to date the 1989 Ranger is solid and  still beautiful. The aluminum boat I have is more of a tank than the glass and both have their uses. The aluminum is a jetdrive outboard for running thin rivers due to it being lighter and a much larger pad to plane on. This is not because it is aluminum but rather the way it is shaped. The other Aluminum boat I have is a 28ft Marinette which has twin 318 and lives in a marina. This is where  aluminum makes a big difference. This boat lives in the water and has not gained an oz of weight from water absorption which can add 20 % to a glass boat that has dings in it.  I have also taken a few good shots from debris in the river I run and where glass boats get holes I have a few slight bruises to the hull. Enjoy the glass you will be very happy with it and take care of it and it will give you many years of fun I have 30 plus years and still going strong. 

Art

Definitely did not know some of this stuff. I know with my lund and crestliner the dock didnt scare me too much. I will likely be trailering, now I will definitely be looking into some good fenders, maybe we should start another discussion on some good fenders. I also like to beach the boat instead of tying to the dock when I'm alone to avoid the dock all together. Thanks Art, great comment

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20 hours ago, HTHM said:

There will be a marked improvement in ride! That is a sweet hull that you have! If you need a second I'm happy to accompany you. 

haha get in line

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For big water that is my dream boat and other than a 620, probably the only hull to get me out of my Ranger bass boat. It will SHINE in anything rougher than 3’. 
Congrats!!

Edited by grimsbylander

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1 hour ago, b_cdot said:

I also like to beach the boat instead of tying to the dock when I'm alone to avoid the dock all together. 

Get yourself a Keel-Guard and install it on your glass boat, it's one of the best investments you'll make. I put my glass Skeeter on top of a submerged rock the size of a pick-up and even though I was going slow it could have done some serious damage, but with the Keel-Guard there wasn't a mark.

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1 hour ago, lew said:

Get yourself a Keel-Guard and install it on your glass boat, it's one of the best investments you'll make. I put my glass Skeeter on top of a submerged rock the size of a pick-up and even though I was going slow it could have done some serious damage, but with the Keel-Guard there wasn't a mark.

Way ahead of you Lew! I made sure this was part of the boat. Great selling feature.

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40 minutes ago, b_cdot said:

Way ahead of you Lew! I made sure this was part of the boat. Great selling feature.

Good stuff !!

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You need to install that 3 step ladder from trailer to boat . The other option is step ladder PIB.

Start immedaitly after every trip with screwdriver and check for loose. Don't just tighten take them out to be sure they are broke in half. Take crazy glue coat screw and tighten in.

Watch your rub rail for little bulges that's loose screws and most likely to break.

There's more but i'm going swimming.  

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went glass and not sure Ill ever go back. Ride quality is just so much better. I get it that guys like Deep v's when theres 6 feet of chop, or you specifically are down rigging. but on the average windy day or when its calm teh glass just rides so much better than aluminum

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First off, nice pick up! The 621 FS is a beautiful boat.

My comparison is not in a multi species boat but I went from a Bass Tracker 190TX to a Ranger Z119C 2 seasons ago. My main reasoning was rough water capabilities. I have a cottage on St. Francis and never felt safe in the 190 TX? Some people say they pick their days but in the bass tracker on Franny, it was more like picking your hours. Going from glass calm to 3 footers in ten minutes is quite common. And I always seemed to be mid lake when the wind picked up...

so 1, rough water ride between a glass bass boat with a pad vs a Mod V aluminum goes to the glass all day any day.

2. I had a 75 on the PT190. I got maybe 38MPH out of it so when that wind did start to pick up, it took a lot longer to get off. The Ranger does 70 plus (Ive had it to 70.9 and still learning) so speed plus better handling means I can go about 50 and stay on top of the waves where as I would get beat up doing 30 in the aluminum.

3. Now this may be different in your case but I got a lot more storagre in my Ranger than I ever had in my Tracker. Especially the back compartments.

4. Again, this may be different but the Ranger seems like a much more solid platform to fish out of. It is not as prone to wind moving it around and it is all around more stable while fishing.

Edited by Lape0019

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Great discussion, great input. The new lund pro vs are more expensive than the ranger fs series of boats. How did it get to this point, where aluminum boats would surpass the cost of fiberglass?

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This is  for all boats  messing with big  water

Get yourself a set 3/4 wrenches and carry them with you.

Make it habit to check 6 bolts holding motor to transom.

There is a torque spec but tight saves lives.

Edited by Garnet

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18 hours ago, b_cdot said:

Great discussion, great input. The new lund pro vs are more expensive than the ranger fs series of boats. How did it get to this point, where aluminum boats would surpass the cost of fiberglass?

Let's be honest though, a Pro V is nowhere near what people think of when they are discussing aluminum boats. It is a top tier multi species rig on the market that competes very well with the fiberglass options out there. 

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On 11/18/2019 at 8:33 AM, AKRISONER said:

went glass and not sure Ill ever go back. Ride quality is just so much better. I get it that guys like Deep v's when theres 6 feet of chop, or you specifically are down rigging. but on the average windy day or when its calm teh glass just rides so much better than aluminum

There are pluses and minuses for each.   I'd love one of both to be honest, lol.

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On 11/22/2019 at 8:05 AM, Garnet said:

This is  for all boats  messing with  water

Get yourself a set 3/4 wrenches and carry them with you.

Make it habit to check 6 bolts holding motor to transom.

There is a torque spec but tight saves lives.

I assume you have had jackplate bolts loosen before.   Good tip to carry and check the bolts every trip.  I've also seen a few people go past torques specs and crush the bolt right through the transom.

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Even scarier I've checked my boat at motels and threw conversion ended up checking every boat in lot finding most with loose bolts.

Guys that should know.

I carried a Detroit ratchet and a load tester every tournament.

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