Swapping to Aluminum Hull

A general, non-powerplant specific, discussion on airboat technology, ie., hulls, rigging, polymer, etc..
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BlewbayouLA
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Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby BlewbayouLA » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:32 pm

I currently have a 16x7 Fiberglass Hull with SS Rigging with a 500 Cadillac DD. Wanted to know the possibilities of changing to an Aluminum Hull. Who would be the best to contact for the Hull Build? Looking for a heavy duty hull not looking to go dry mostly SE Louisiana Marshes. Do you need Poly or would a 3/16 Hull be strong enuff? Mud boats down here are 3/16 and they are like tanks and no Poly and I would need my Airboat for the same purpose. Anything else to think of?
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Gary S
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby Gary S » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:25 am

Built right 1/8 would be strong enough.

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BlewbayouLA
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby BlewbayouLA » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:31 am

Gary S wrote:Built right 1/8 would be strong enough.

Your saying 1/8 would be strong enuff for no Poly. I don’t want to start using Poly if I don’t have to. I also don’t want to put the boat together without Poly and regret it and need to put on. One builder here uses 1/8 for everything and 3/16 on the transom.


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Slidin Gator
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby Slidin Gator » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:50 am

1/8 for riveted aircraft Aluminum, 3/16 if it’s gonna be welded marine aluminum.

Given your location and intended application, 3/16 welded is probably the best option. It will be lower cost and best for survival in salt water.
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BlewbayouLA
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby BlewbayouLA » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:34 pm

I have prices from Alumatech for 3/16 transom and hull. 1/8 deck and sides. Their prices are decent compared to a price I got in Texas. Anyone else should I consider that will have a decent price.


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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby SWAMPHUNTER45 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:41 pm

Ramon and Steve at Alumitec are good people. They build a solid boat at a fair price.

Another point to consider is if you purchase an Alumitec hull it is my understanding you get a MSO or title where as other manufacturers require you to title as a home built vessel. That's worth $ on the resale FYI.

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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby Seven3 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:30 pm

If you mean you were looking to swap over your existing rigging and engine stand over to a new hull, just remember it is not always that easy. Stringer placement/distance is key. A lot of hull builders want their stringers in a certain place at a certain distance from each other. I’m not saying you can’t make things work with modifications, just reminding you it might not be as easy as it initially sounds.

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BlewbayouLA
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby BlewbayouLA » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:41 pm

In talking to Alumatech, I’ll be bringing my rigging and they will build to suite. Hopefully l can list my hull and some one in Florida will want it and I can give free delivery. Hull was redone has new Poly never been in water since re done.


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Huntingwithahoyt
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby Huntingwithahoyt » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:31 am

BlewbayouLA wrote:I have prices from Alumatech for 3/16 transom and hull. 1/8 deck and sides. Their prices are decent compared to a price I got in Texas. Anyone else should I consider that will have a decent price.


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You will not be disappointed with Alumatech.....I can speak from experience that their customer service is above the top!!!!!!
The owner, Raymond, is a very stand up guy who will ensure that you are pleased with your purchase....

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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby One Eyed Gator » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:14 am

I have a 98 Alumitec I am the second owner. Alumitec builds a tough hull. I run a very sharp rocky area of the gulf Waccassasa Bay. My hull is .125 bottom and sides with 5 full length t bar and 4 half length t-bars. You can watch the bottom flex as it goes over rocks.

When you are looking at price remember some builders uses different Aluminum 5052/5058 (Alumitec) vs 6061 Hamant for welded hull.

Also the decision to put poly on to me, is based on the terrain you run. if it has rocks and stumps poly is a good thing. I have owed this hull for 8 years and usually get about 3 years to a piece of 3/8" poly where some guys have run the same piece for years. We cross some fairly nasty stuff to get to the redfish on the winter low tides.

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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby bob_esper » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:10 pm

i don't see why you wouldnt want poly only a couple more grand and it'll give you a huge piece of mind.
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Rick McC.
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby Rick McC. » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:11 pm

I’m running an 11 year old boat that has an aluminum hull with no poly, 100% in the salt water.

Contrary to popular opinions, I won’t have it on my boat. Mine has no leaks, and has run over more rock and oyster bars than many will ever see. I know a few guys that have poly on their hulls, and they all have leaky boats. Most wish they didn’t have poly, but it was on the boats when they bought them.
Last edited by Rick McC. on Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby SWAMPHUNTER45 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:44 pm

I would discuss it with Ramon personally but lean toward bolted thick poly myself.

One thing about running bars I have found is that crossing a well traveled one is a lot less damage than being that guy to run up on one off the beaten path. I have been on a few up in Cedar Key that are brutal.

Good luck on the new order

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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby barhopper » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:42 pm

I agree with One Eyed Gator. Depends where you run. I run between Rick McC and OEG. You won’t go where I go, without poly, for long without hull damage. I also replace every three to four years. It is amazing the damage sustained when looking at the cuts and gouges in the poly. I put my own on when it’s replaced. No leaks, ever. A lot of people weld up the old holes and reattach with new self tappers. If you don’t “chase” and surface grind every hole before welding the possibility for leaks increases. I’ve seen a re-poly job by a major builder leak so bad you better be sure the bilge pump works.

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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby BlewbayouLA » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:36 pm

Rick McC. wrote:I’m running an 11 year old boat that has an aluminum hull with no poly, 100% in the salt water.

Contrary to popular opinions, I won’t have on my boat. Mine has no leaks, and has run over more rock and oyster bars than many will ever see. I know a few guys that have poly on their hulls, and they all have leaky boats. Most wish they didn’t have poly, but it was on the boats when they bought them.

I will never run dry ground or want the option to. I will stick to the water and use the air boat for bow fishing, red fishing and duck hunting. I also don’t want to have to tear my boat down to change Poly. I think If I use the boat as a boat I’ll be fine. I was contemplating selling to get a mud boat but decided to upgrade hull instead. Alumatech has a customers hull today on FB switching from fiberglass. It shows how they put the 1” stringer for the guys existing rigging. Image


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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby Rick McC. » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:35 pm

BlewbayouLA wrote:
Rick McC. wrote:I’m running an 11 year old boat that has an aluminum hull with no poly, 100% in the salt water.

Contrary to popular opinions, I won’t have on my boat. Mine has no leaks, and has run over more rock and oyster bars than many will ever see. I know a few guys that have poly on their hulls, and they all have leaky boats. Most wish they didn’t have poly, but it was on the boats when they bought them.

I will never run dry ground or want the option to. I will stick to the water and use the air boat for bow fishing, red fishing and duck hunting. I also don’t want to have to tear my boat down to change Poly. I think If I use the boat as a boat I’ll be fine. I was contemplating selling to get a mud boat but decided to upgrade hull instead. Alumatech has a customers hull today on FB switching from fiberglass. It shows how they put the 1” stringer for the guys existing rigging. Image


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I agree!

No way I’m having anyone put hundreds of holes in the bottom of a brand new hull. :thumbleft:
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BlewbayouLA
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby BlewbayouLA » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:38 pm

Another question: What type of performance should I get out of my 500 Cadillac DD on this new 16x8 Alumatech Hull? I’m questioning to get the Poly or not. Hate to make the wrong decision. I do have a Duck Lease that is a 100 acre Crawfish Pond. During the season it’s mostly water. But working the land it does have some spots that the boat would be on the vegetation. Would my setup even run across this. I only had this boat for a short time before I tore it down to re do so really don’t have much time on the water. If not I won’t use the boat there, BUT if it can I would, and I would want the Poly then.
Thanks for all the help


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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby Gary S » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:20 am

Personally I would put a coat of Fasco 2000 on the bottom. If your going to use it in vegetation it will slide better than bare aluminum and vegetation will not hurt it. Rocks will scratch it up and sand will wear it down pretty fast. But it will slide a lot better with the coating. Its you decide later you need poly, it won't be in the way and will help protect against corrosion.

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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby Seven3 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:30 pm

16 x 8 is pretty big for a DD Cadillac. I’m not saying it won’t run dry, but that certainly is not the ideal set-up for running dry. I would stick to your original plan, No poly and slick bottom.

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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby Seven3 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:31 pm

16 x 8 is pretty big for a DD Cadillac. I’m not saying it won’t run dry, but that certainly is not the ideal set-up for running dry. I would stick to your original plan, No poly and slick bottom.

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BlewbayouLA
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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby BlewbayouLA » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:44 pm

Thank y’all


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Re: Swapping to Aluminum Hull

Postby One Eyed Gator » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:42 am

I ran a DD 472 on a 14x7-6 with 3/8" poly. Ran fairly well. Would start and stop on dry ground but put in any bind and you were pushing. fished the gulf a lot I would get up on the grass and run, pull up turn around and pull back to the edge of the creek with 3 people. Had the same motor on a 15x7-6 river master. planed in the water great carrier a heavy load, could cross short patches dry ground and pulled up yo fish anymore than that was asking a lot.

When I swapped I just built a stainless rigging and cage.

Should be a great hull love my Alumitec and I am the second owner.

Good Luck


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