Aluminum is the material of choice on ocean or lake for the commercial boating industry, serious adventure seekers, and sport fishermen. An aluminum hull will last longer and require less maintenance than fiberglass or steel. It will handle more abuse from driftwood and rocks, without chipping and cracking (common in fiberglass boats). And a well-designed aluminum hull can survive being beached without major hull damage.
Questions to ask your builder?
How many boats this size have they built?
Will they give you references of boat owners?
Can you get a test ride on a boat in the size you want?
Can you look in the shop/plant at various stages of construction?
What alloys do they use (should be 5086 series or 5052 these are marine grade aluminum's)?
Do they have pictures at various stages of construction?
Do they have photos of floor assembly? It is structurally important to the strength of the vessel.
Are the sides one piece or are they two different gauges? Two different gauges welded at the chine sides are not as strong as one solid piece of aluminum.
Do you have a good sense of space and proportions? Look at the boat out of water and from the side. It should look smooth and balanced.
Flare at the bow front - most welded aluminum boats have minimal or no flare; this translates to a wet bow. The Wolf press formed lifting streak and formed fiberglass boats have the necessary flare for a drier bow.
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