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Boating in the SE

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  • Boating in the SE

    Just how much flexibility does one lose going with 'glass instead of aluminum in the SE? Still pondering which way to go (realtor has given me encouraging news very recently so hopefully my second retirement will start prior to spring).I ask this from the perspective of my wife's enjoyment of clamming and her fear of very small boats such as dinghies.

    I'm probably going to target the 22'-26' range with the great majority of excursions as day trips. I might consider something larger but after seeing how miniscule house lots are in Juneau and also the projections on yearly slip fees I'll probably stay toward the lower side of the range.

    Any comments appreciated.

  • #2
    Is this solely for fishing, or are you going to use it for hunting?

    The advantages of Aluminum is you can beach it in the smaller boats, it is almost maintenance free, and it is very tough and strong. The disadvantage is it is a cold material, ie cold water and air temps radiate off the hull, and it can make for a louder hull.

    If you're looking for a hardcore hunting/fishing boat, I wouldn't consider anything other than aluminum due to it's ability to take abuse and all you need to do is hose off the fish slime and blood.

    If you're looking more for a cruising boat then some glass boats are tailored more towards that end.

    As far as I know, all Alaskan boat builders use only Aluminum.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


    • #3
      I should narrow it down more. How common are spots in the SE where you could put in a glass boat to offload without using a dinghy? Creature comforts on the glass boats are usually better than the aluminum but from experience I know getting my wife to load onto a dinghy is chancy at best (late childhood experience that I won't relate here). Strangly enough though a larger boat is no problem for her. She enjoys piloting, which is great since that'll leave me to fishing

      Main reason for putting in at unimproved spots would be clamming. Hunting not much of an interest anymore.


      • #4
        I really can't speak from experience for SE but something to think about if clamming and going ashore is what you would like to do is the tides. In and around clamming areas it is generally flat and shallow. I don't need to go into a bunch of blabber but glass and the bottom don't usually go together well. Aluminum on the other hand, run it up to shore, let the tide go out, clam, search for seashells, etc. and be ready to boat once the tide comes in. Glass your gonna get wet trying to get to shore and that's no fun. Just a thought.


        • #5
          Glass or not

          I've had both glass and aluminum and from my perspective aluminum is a better choice for Alaska. Not only can you take them onto the beach (as long as you keep and eye out for rocks-no boat will do well laying on or hitting a submergered rock) but you don't need to be as careful about what you do in the boat. As an example we do a lot of trolling for winter Kings and there is not much that sounds worse than a 10lb ball hitting the side or deck of a glass boat when you are in a bit of choppy water. If you are using the boat for more than just cruising you will drop stuff on the gunnels or on the deck and it will chip the glass. Metal is cold but I don't spend a lot of time in contact with the hull and the deck isn't metal-having a heater will make a difference in whatever type of boat you're out in. Good luck and be safe.


          • #6
            Dinghy Boarding

            If you can go with a boat with a swim step and adequate beam, then dinghy davits make it a piece of cake for loading older folks into the dinghy. They hook onto the swim step and side of the dinghy and if set up right, make the dinghy secure to the swim step when lowered into the water. Look around the harbor and lots of boats have them.


            • #7

              Okay, impression I'm getting is the SE shorelines are mostly unfriendly to glass boats. Wasn't to sure on this, that's the reason I made the query. I was sorta coming to the same conclusion seeing the lack of used aluminum hulls on the boat lists. Hmm nuts, gonna miss the creature comforts I guess but oh well (also the price difference with prices as they are now for aluminum). My thanks to all for your responses. Hope to see some on you on the water this summer (if my realtor gets off his tail that is).


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