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Thread: Tell Me About Aluminum Boats w/2 Engines

  1. #1

    Default Tell Me About Aluminum Boats w/2 Engines

    I'm a current owner of a fiberglass 28 foot boat. It's heavy and it does cut through the water quite well. I am considering purchasing an aluminum boat of some sort in the next couple of years. This boat would be a "family boat" for fishing, shrimping, and overnighting in PWS mostly. Occasional fall hunting trips as well. I'd like it to sleep at least 4 adults comfortably I'm considering a boat with either twin outboards or twin inboards. I like he idea of twin engines for manuevering in tight quarters.

    Here's a few questions in no particular orders:

    Do aluminum boats tend to get better gas mileage? In my current boat we need to bring mucho extra gas cans to extend the range to reasonable distances. Not to mention the cost of such gas.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of outboard and inboard engines?

    What are some boat manufacturers I might want to look at?
    I'm thinking of used boats in under the 100k range?

    Thanks for any help you're able to give.


  2. #2
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time


    i will tell you the big diff in out board vs inboard...

    after 3 inboards and one merc out drive.....

    the out board came in the shop in the winter for service while the boat collected snow....

    twins are nice one will get you home when the starter on the other failed... but bad fuel will still leave you hanging... shop hours can be higher for the out board.. but i think.... the parts were cheaper and the maintenance less on them...

    you may not have the longevity of the inbourd... or be able to muffle them down... but you will have more deck space with out a hatch or worry about fumes... there are Tons of differences between them...

    for me... Maintenance and the ability to do it indoors is a HUGE plus!!!!!!!
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  3. #3


    For me the ability to beach the boat made my mindup. The aluminum does ride a little ruffer but trim tabs will help that alot. I also like the idea that I have no hull maintenance except zincs and a good powerwash.
    For me I like one large single outboard. I only like the idea of twins if 1 will get you on step or if you need the twins to get enough power. With a little practice you can move a single around any where you want. one 250hp gets better milage than two 135's. I have a 26' with a singal 225 that I average 9gal/h at 27knots( normal load). With a 125gal tank it alows me to go out several days without packing extra fuel. I would not be crazy about an inboard if it has a large dog house. I could live with a low rise one but that is it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Thumbs up Hewes craft

    sorry don't know much on that subject as i'm also debating it. Hewes make a pacific cruiser 26' and is well under a 100k closer to 76k, at Deweys marine store, with motors and all. hope it helps

  5. #5


    I second JAKIM's comments - I like aluminum with a large single outboard and a kicker. Aluminum holds value; easier to clean / less maintenance, lighter (for towing too), and can be beached.

    Single motor is more fuel efficient (about 20%) than 2 larger twins, less weight, less maintenance, and unless one motor on a double motor setup gets you on-step, there is not a huge difference other than how fast you're going to get home. Plus I do think there is some additional risk of having both (twins) in the water at the same time (hitting a log, rock, etc.) and possibly vulnerable to bad gas. I run my kicker off both an auxillary tank and the main tank.

    Just my 2 cents.

  6. #6
    Member bhollis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Here are some thoughts on the pros and cons of inboards vs outboards:

    Inboard pros

    - Inboards are generally more fuel efficient than outboards
    - Inboards provide heat for the cabin/defrosters
    - Better weight distribution with inboards
    - No outboards hanging off the stern to fish over/around
    - pretty much the only way to go if you want diesel engines

    Outboard pros

    - Easier to repair/replace
    - Can be tilted out of the water when not in use (avoids sea growth on lower unit)
    - No engine covers taking up space in the cockpit (although the engine covers on many larger boats are flush with the deck)
    - No below-the-waterline thru-hulls in the transom/less risk of flooding
    - Less risk of fire/explosion than with gas inboards

  7. #7


    Thanks for the comments so far. Keep 'em coming.

    It was said by Jakim that
    I have a 26' with a singal 225 that I average 9gal/h at 27knots( normal load).
    Our bayliner gets closer to 20 gph at about 24-25 kts. Now our boat is 28 ft and not 26 ft.

    Does the length difference plus difference in weight for the fibergalss vs aluminum make that much difference?


  8. #8
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006



    Hate to bust your bubble, but I had a 27' Uniflite sportfisher with a single 454 duoprop and that boat could sleep 4 and cut through the nasty 6-8 foot steep SE chop without pounding... I also got 2mpg with it.

    I sold that and just spend 43K on a new Hewescraft Ocean Pro with a single outboard. The economy is better by far, but even a 26' Aluminum isn't going to ride as nice as a 28 glass boat... and 43K buys a lot of fuel.

    I even gave a test drive to a guy on my Uniflite who was a 50% owner on a 26' Hewescraft Pacific cruiser and he was amazed how great the boat handled the rough seas... he eventually bought a 28 1990s trophy.

    As to your questions, the Aluminum boat should get better fuel economy and I like outboards over inboards/stern drives.

    I 'd hop over to the Glacier Craft forum and see what those guys have to say... they love their boats.

  9. #9
    Member jrogers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Do a search here, there have been a lot of discussions on this in the recent past. The hull deadrise and the motor have more to go with the mpg than the construction material. I have a 31' aluminum that gets over 3mpg with a diesel inboard (single). I debated the inboard outboard / twin single thing forever in deciding on my boat. I can tell you I can manuver it just fine, although I know I will get better at time in some of the tougher situations. I have a backup kicker that pushes the boat at 5kts. I wouldn't want to be using this in 15 ft seas, but this is one of the many tradeoffs. If you are looking at twin inboards, look at the room for maintainence. Most of the trailerable boats are pretty tight. Outboards are great and ultra reliable as well, you just have to decide what is important to you personally.

    2009 Seawolf 31'
    Fully Loaded

  10. #10


    Again thanks for the comments from everyone. I'm still learning a lot about our current boat. I'm sure my manuevering in tight quarters will improve as I increase my experience. We also took it out in some rougher weather recently and it did take the chop quite nicely.

    It's not that I'm crashing into anyone, but I find it tough sometimes when I come around the corner to dock in Whittier and all the end spots are taken and I need to wait for someone to leave before I can dock. My boat doesn't seem too happy just sitting there waiting. It doesn't help when boats behind me run right up our back end. It makes backing up difficult if not impossible.


  11. #11


    I'm a big fan of outboards, and TRUE inboards, the kind with straight shafts and rudders.

    My opinions of Inboard/Outboards (I/Os) is very low. Can't like all the extra parts and holes below the waterline.

    Driving a twin inboard (shafts and rudders) is very easy and they are very maneuverable in tight spots.


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