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Wooldridge bottoms

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  • Wooldridge bottoms

    Hi everybody this is my first post.I would like to say that I have learnt much by reading this forum, you guy's are great! I need your input on
    the wooldridge boat, I know that alot of you say it's a very good boat
    to run skinny water, but how does it take a hit even a small hit?
    Most river runner are at least 3/16"thick,but the wooldridge is only 1/8"
    I have run the sportjon's with this bottom and tried not to hit but the
    bottoms just don't stand up.Does wooldridge design bottom diff so they
    can away with the 1/8 hull?

    Any advice/input would be super!

  • #2
    Bottom construction depends more on just thickness. For example, for the sake of arguement lets say we are building a floor.
    Floor A is built on joists with 24 inch centers but is covered with 1 inch thick plywood.
    Floor B is built on joists with 16 inch centers but is covered with 3/4 inch plywood.
    Which one would be stronger? I suspect it would be floor B.
    Another point to consider is how rocky are the rivers you will be running? Talk to people in your local area for the best information. There are also different types of aluminum to consider.

    The only Wooldridge river boats that I know of that have 1/8 inch bottom metal are the Alaskan series. The other river boats have 3/16 and sometimes a 1/4 inch is an option.


    • #3
      From what I gathered talking to the guys at Silver Streak boats in Anchorage and he said that the wooly boats are made with a different aluminum which is not as rigid as many other welded river boats. Esentially it is a little more brone to bending and a little less prone to breaking/cracking. I wouldl recommend calling wooldridge and talking to them. You can call and actually talk to owner, they are really good people and are eager to help! I like my 93 and they are only making them better today. I still would probably get a new jetcraft extreme shallow if I could cough up the big $$$.


      • #4
        got fist hand expierence

        I have 2003 wooldridge sport. I hit a flat rock last year, the whole boat came out of the water. Nothing but a little dent and a good scratch. The hull is made of extruded aluminum, like lujon said, more prone to bending than breaking/ cracking. That said, the Floor supports in my boat are made from some other type of aluminum, as I had few cross braces crack this past year, and had them welded up, not a big deal. The newer wooldridges have gusseted supports in this area. The bottom on this boat is certainly NOT 1/8, more like 3/16 or maybe 1/4 (haven't checked) And like said above, this boat has alot more stringers for supporting the hull, they are alot more closer together than other competitors boats. The other thing to take into account, which is often over looked, is how is the welding? That can make a HUGE difference, was the welding to hot, or not hot enough. How do you tell just by looking, I'm not sure, but thats what the welder told me was the problem in my cracked areas. He looked over the whole boat and said I was good to go. Thats my expierience for the two cents it's worth. Bottom line, an abused boat is going to break eventually


        • #5
          wooly's bottoms

          Good points guy's.There are three models I'm looking at for sale (used)
          two are the AK types with 1/8 bottom and one is the EX plus with the 3/16 bottom.Of course the 3/16 is more $.



          • #6
            The hull is made of extruded aluminum, like lujon said, more prone to bending than breaking/ cracking.
            Pretty sure that the Wooldridge bottoms are a 5000 series sheet, not extruded. The stringers and other structural components are 6061 T6 extrusions.
            The 5052 series, either H32 0r H36 are non heat treatable, work hardening Al., great for hulls. T6 heat treatment makes for a strong extrusion, however, it will crack more easily than non-heat treated.
            Horses for courses. None of the Wooldridge are what i would call "extreme" type jet boats like the Outlaw Lynx Tuchodi or the Jetcraft extreme. Those are a different type of boat altogether, not that the Wooldridge aren't excellent boats. They are!
            If your gig is flying over exposed gravel bars/rocks, well, even 3/16" Al is going to give out pretty quick.
            If you are just looking for a solid, dependable boat to get you into the small waters whether exploring, hunting or fishing, even the "thin" hulled Alaskan is a proven design capable of giving many years of dependable service. I would make the choice based on whether the Ak or xtra+ best meets your needs design wise, and not on hull thickness. Either will be an amazing boat.
            Fighting gravity is never cheap.


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