Aluminum jon boats and fiberglass jon boats each have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is a good idea to choose one that best fits your specific needs.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the most important pros and cons both types offer.
Aluminum Jon Boats Weigh Less
Aluminum is lighter than fiberglass and this fact is evidenced by the weight of similar sized jon boats.
For example, an aluminum Lund 1436 L that is 14 feet long and 57 inches wide only weighs 146 pounds while a Pro-Strike 14’ 2” fiberglass jon boat that is 55 inches wide weighs much more at 260 pounds.
So the aluminum jon is almost half-the-weight as the fiberglass one. This marked difference in weights makes the fiberglass boat much harder to lift and move around.
Fiberglass Jon Boats Need Trailering
Fiberglass boats are harder to lift and place on top of vehicles and many times need to be trailered.
An advantage of aluminum boats is that the smaller one’s can be mounted on a vehicle rooftop. This saves the owner the cost of purchasing a jon boat trailer.
Aluminum Jons Are Easier To Launch
Weight also is a factor when you get to the launch location. You’ll certainly notice the extra weight when you have to move your boat (possibly by yourself) to or from the water.
When you factor in the weight of gear and supplies, the amount of fun diminishes. Especially in the rain!
Fiberglass Jons Need A Bigger Engine
Due to their extra weight, fiberglass boats run deeper in the water. As a result, they require a larger engine to power them. This results in a bigger initial outlay, lower fuel efficiency and increased fuel cost.
Aluminum Boats Are Easier To Modify
Another advantage to having an aluminum boat is that aluminum is easier to drill through. This matters if you would like to modify your boat in any way.
You can drill though fiberglass. However; caution is advised as fiberglass can crack around your hole, causing much bigger problems.
Fiberglass is Better Suited to Seawater
Fiberglass jon boats are better suited for saltwater. Their extra weight makes them more stable and this is an advantage in waves. Also, fiberglass does not corrode but aluminum will, in certain circumstances.
Aluminum jon boats usually have quite a few places where galvanic corrosion can occur. These include chipped paint areas, dents, scratches, and any place saltwater can accumulate. These areas should be watched closely if you plan on using your boat in saltwater environments.
Lastly, aluminum boats need to be cleaned after every saltwater use to protect against corrosion.
Fiberglass Is Easier To Clean
Yet another advantage to purchasing a fiberglass boat is that fiberglass is generally easier to clean.
Fiberglass will stain, however; there are plenty of chemical cleaners on the market that will help make your boat look shiny and new. Bio-Kleen makes a fiberglass cleaner that is good for cleaning fiberglass and aluminum boats. But it is used in only one step to clean aluminum boats. Then, you still need to use an additional aluminum cleaner.
With Bio-Kleen fiberglass cleaning products, you only need to use one cleaner on a fiberglass boat. Depending on how stained or soiled your boat is, it’s easier and cheaper cleaning fiberglass.
Before purchasing your jon boat, you’ll need to consider all these factors. Then you can decide which one suits your fishing or hunting conditions the best.