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Wood used to be the most popular choice for building boats as it was the only option available. Boats were built from strong timber and a select few spent hours crafting their talents in the earliest of shipyards. Today, boats are mostly made from aluminum, fiberglass, molded plastic, or are an inflatable boat. Modern boats have their advantages and disadvantages, but of course, each has environmental challenges. Construction methods for boats present a challenge also and it’s essential to take many factors into consideration when buying a boat.
As a buyer, you need to consider the following factors:
- How stable the boat is while resting.
- The ability to turn or corner the boat without toppling the passengers out.
- The overall ease of the journey on choppy seas.
Choosing the best boat construction is important, whether you’re buying a craft or building one from scratch. Why don’t you read on to find out a little more about each type of boat available?
The Wonder of Fiberglass Boats
Boats are versatile and while they used to be exclusively made from wood, it’s a declining material. Of course, there is still a small majority of boats made from wood but the numbers are dwindling. Modern boats tend to be made from aluminum alloy or steel, but the popular choice remains fiberglass. Over half of all boats created are fiberglass boats and that number will continue to increase.
So why is fiberglass so popular? It’s mainly down to how versatile fiberglass is, but, it’s also light and strong, not to mention heat and chemical-resistant. Construction may be slightly trickier but more manufacturers use fiberglass because of its power and strength. It’s used to build roller coasters, airplanes, and even F1 racing cars so there are good reasons to choose fiberglass. What’s more, it’s a popular choice for smaller boats that require a lot of speed.
Here are the top reasons to opt for fiberglass for boat construction.
- How Strong It Is
Fiberglass materials are known for their strength and boat hulls made from fiberglass tend to be fairly long-lasting. It can also be molded into shape and that means boats can be created from one or two pieces of fiberglass. What’s more, it tends to be stronger than wood, steel, and aluminum boats. Since there are fewer joints with fiberglass, it’s stronger because the more joints to contend with, the greater the risk.
- Cruise With Higher Speeds
The strength to weight ratio is stronger with fiberglass than steel and that means the hull is stronger, however, it’s also thinner. Having a thinner hull can keep the weight down but increase your cruise speeds. If the boat is a kayak, the boat’s lighter and makes it easier to paddle across the waves.
- More Space Available
Space onboard a boat is a premium – no matter how big or small the boat is. A fiberglass boat tends to offer slightly more space in the interior and that means more space for your equipment. Having maximum space onboard is essential no matter how long you’re going to be on board.
- Runs Silently
Anglers love fiberglass boats because they tend to be far quieter than most other boats. For instance, on an aluminum or steel boat, every move you make can travel through the hull. Essentially, the fish know you’re there and that can scare them off quite easily. With fiberglass, it absorbs the sound rather than let it travel through it so that it doesn’t cause vibrations in the water. It’ll be harder to frighten the fish away with fiberglass vessels.
- More Affordable
Fiberglass is convenient because it can be molded to any hull shape required – within reason – however, it’s also cost-effective. Fiberglass is far less expensive than many other materials and more efficient. Manufacturers find fiberglass affordable and that ultimately is passed onto the customer. That’s why these boats remain popular.
Fiberglass offers great advantages to manufacturers and buyers. There are many great benefits from fiberglass, including its affordable costs.
Inflatable Boats Are the More Convenient Choice for Buyers
When you think of a boat, you imagine a big ocean liner or speedboat skimming over the waves, but the majority of boats are small inflatables. These boats offer lots of advantages, including a hard hull; however, it’s also cost-effective and convenient.
A Rigid Inflatable boat can be a smart choice and the following are a few reasons why it’s so popular.
- Inflatable Boats Are An Affordable Option
Hard hull boats – along with many others – are expensive but inflatable boats tend to be a little more affordable. You probably won’t need a big engine either as the boat is lighter and less expensive. There’s a lot of money to be saved and that’s why inflatable boats are so popular today. They’re also portable, more so than many other vessels and they are easy to transport and storage out of the water.
- Inflatable Boats Are Convenient
An inflatable doesn’t need to be moored or kept dockside. You can conveniently deflate the boat and store it elsewhere. What’s more, since it can be deflated, it takes up far less storage space than most other boats. That’s ideal and there’s no need to buy a boat trailer to transport it to and from the water. Inflating the boat can easily be done with a hand-pump.
- Sturdy And Safe
When you first see an inflatable boat, they don’t immediately strike you as the sturdiest or even the safest, but actually, they can be fairly stable. Even on choppy waters, inflatable boats are stable and they don’t flip easily either. If one buoyancy tube is punctured, it can be easy to repair and won’t automatically sink the boat. Inflatable boats are sturdy and safe to use – as long as you use them carefully and don’t overload them.
- More Versatile
There are many different types of inflatable boats available and that means there’s one for almost every occasion. You can find a boat for whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing, and much more – and they’re more likely to be within budget. You can attach a motor for convenience or paddle without one. That’s why inflatable boats tend to be the popular choice for recreational water activities.
- Carry Heavy Loads
While inflatable boats have weight limits or onboard capacity restrictions, they can hold a lot of weight. Of course, remaining within the recommended weight limit is necessary for onboard safety and should be adhered to at all times. Inflatable boats are light but can withstand heavier loads and that makes them ideal for anglers everywhere. You can store all the necessary fishing equipment for the day ahead.
Finding the Ideal Boat
When it comes the time to select a boat you have to consider your individual needs and requirements. Fiberglass and RIB vessels are great but each comes with advantages and disadvantages. It’s essential to think about what purpose the boat will serve as well as weight restrictions. You have to think about if you want versatility over comfort or if plenty of onboard storage is required. A fiberglass boat can be a great choice but RIB boats can be too; so it’s important to think about comfort and water performance also, when boating a fiberglass watercraft
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