so a few thoughts..
Originally Posted by NateHaskovec
more expensive to repair, corrodes, dents easily, heats up fast and cannot be bent into curves.
so why then is it the ONLY material used for boats that are thrashing up and down hells canyon river, loaded with massive boulders that one wrong move would send a boat made out of any other material to a watery grave? and btw, they have been making em that way for years? repairs are as simple as a welded patch panel. if they dented easily(were talking major dents, not a simple dime-sized dimple then why would they be bouncing off rocks in whitewater? don't understand the heats up fast comment other than the topdeck in the sun but that was not an issue on the 90deg day in sacramento the day I was on it, and based on the wake potential I saw, compound angles are a non-issue. amazing what a skilled welder can do.
I do agree with the noise issue as it was somewhat louder from an engine and hitting the wakes perspective.
at the end of the day, take the boat and the company for what it is. a VERY solid fishing/river boat company that has the founders son taking on some of the reigns and he's looking out of the box for some untapped market that they are not currently in. from a business perspective kudos and if they take 5% of the overall market in 3-5 years, I would consider that a success. the boat was very well built, top notch welds, all high end components and some unique features and storage that would be impossible to get out of any other 21ft boat today due to the fiberglas vs auminum hull build process..
don' t discount it until you've been in it and ridden it. is it perfect? no, but the kid took a notebook full of feedback away and if he does anything with it, version 2 at the polar bear this year will be a force.. and fwiw, it was hands down the most talked about boat at the surf event..
I'm curious why the aluminum is more expensive to repair than fiberglass, by a factor of 5 especially. There are plenty of shops around that can weld aluminum; pretty much only boat specific places really do fiberglass repair that I know of. Also the aluminum should hold up better than fiberglass and it can get small dents and still be fine, where as fiberglass can be damaged relatively easily. I've had multiple fiberglass repairs on my boats in the past where I think an aluminum boat wouldn't have even been damaged other than a scratch or a very small dent. I'd definitely rather have small dents or scratches in my boat than cracks. I do own both fiberglass and aluminum watercraft, and I go places and do things with my aluminum boat in ways I would never consider using a fiberglass. I really think repair cost is a pretty insignificant point when we're comparing $65-100k boats, considering how infrequent most people have to get their fiberglass repaired.
Looking on a lot of other forums, what Nate mentioned though were all points I saw brought up. The noise was brought up at length, and Chuck who is apparently the owner talked about how they added reinforcements and dampening in areas to deaden the sound.
I wouldn't think heat is a factor as long as the boat isn't painted black or something dark that absorbs heat and is painted something light. I'm not sure about bare because I don't deal with a lot of bare aluminum in sunlight and heat, but maybe it might not be best to leave it bare as that might heat up in the sun? Although maybe the ambient air temparature cools the bare metal enough to overcome the radiant heat, think about touching aluminum foil coming out of the oven. Of course the boat aluminum is much thicker, so I'm not sure if it correlates.
I thought aluminum was a great material for boats because it won't corrode easily, especially with like zinc anodes?
Definitely a very interesting topic. Definitely hope I get a chance to ride behind one.
I don't know whats not to like. I'm with the guys that see more benefit to aluminum over fiberglass and I think the boats lines look great.
Will be interesting to see where it goes over the next several years. I would have imagined the price being higher than the 60's.
I am shocked that the cost is less than 70k. I would think it would be more time consuming to do all the wields correctly as opposed to the standard Fiberglass Mold construction. Also all the money I assume they are spending on R&D is more than just a little pocket change.
I am sure as their market share starts to grow their price will increase.
Also this is not the first time that I've hear about them being very receptive to input from people who had a pull or ride in the boat. Other people from the polar bear surf event that reviewed the boat said the same thing. That bodes well for the companies future.
And gelcoat/fiberglass repair is not cheap! I'm very excited to see where this company is in 5yrs.
That hasn't been confirmed. The first thing I saw said $100k, but they have 3 models. I saw multiple other people mentioning the company is planning on offering the smallest boat, the 21ft, at around $65k. Like I said before, in my mind that's a bargain to have a customized boat (if they actually offer that option at that price level, or even end up offering the boat at that price level). People were even talking that Pavati was going to allow you to customize the bow shape, interior configuration, dashboard, and all sorts of other stuff at a level of customization not available on the market today.
Originally Posted by Salyers
I will be watching this one closely. I spent much of my life on aluminum boats for commercial operations and contrary to what some people are saying here, nothing is more durable than aluminum in my opinion. I speak from experience. We even considered building a V-drive ski boat back in the 80s that would have been truly revolutionary. If done right, these guys could make a boat that caters to the salt water application and have a real niche market.
And right now it seems like it's all hearsay anyway on pricing. I don't think they have any dealers yet at all so it's all direct and custom. Can't imagine they can sell one for $65k yet.
I know the answer is probably never, but when is somebody going to come up with a good real wake boat for like $25k? I am more shocked every year at the prices of wake boats, especially compared to other boats.
Aluminum is durable and don't deteriorate over time as bad as fiberglas. Most law enforcement boats around here use them for that reason. Weakest point is the hardware hanging under them. A V drive aluminum boat can't go anywhere different than a fiberglas v drive. Most aluminum boats use jet pumps to minimize the draft needed. An outdrive aluminum boat still has draft issues. At our dive rescue, we are looking at a hard bottom (aluminum plate) zodiac with a jet pump outboard just for the rivers and those nasty rocks that go with it.
Because they are crew style boats, like the one I mentioned in my first post. If you are mass producing a hull shape, fiberglass makes more sense.
Originally Posted by sandm
If it is a low freeboard, wide beamed boat that can carry 20+ passengers, there is no reason for a company to build molds for it. There is a very low demand for such a boat. In these situations it is cheaper to fabricate.
These river boats can be beat to death and the owners don't care. I have yet to meet a wake boat owner who would be OK with deep gouges, dents, scratches etc in their 70k+ pleasure craft.
My more expense to repair is true if you care what the repair looks like. They don't.
TIG welding sheetmetal together and metal-finishing the welds requires a craftsman. Mixing resin and using fiberglass cloth is something nearly anyone can do.
Aluminum certainly would offer the ability to do changes to the hull or custom designs much much much easier than glass does. No need to make a new plug, then mold to make a change, just bend it a little differently and there you go. Changes to a molded piece cost a fortune to do and you have to hang onto that mold for quite a few units to recoup the investment. Aluminum, just make the change and keep notes, easy enough. Pretty cool but I'm not sure I like the look of it so far. Maybe one of those, it looks better in person things.