What is an Aluminum Fishing Boat?

Ken Black

An aluminum fishing boat is a boat made of aluminum used specifically for fishing. Many aluminum fishing boats are considered low-end, entry-level models. However, there are some aluminum fishing boats that are quite advanced and come with a number of different features. Like nearly any product, it starts at a certain price and can be nearly as expensive as you would like to make it.

Many aluminum fishing boats are considered low-end or entry level.
Many aluminum fishing boats are considered low-end or entry level.

For those looking for a boat to simply get out on the water, an aluminum fishing boat may be one of the better options. Most are able to accept a small motor, perhaps 5 horsepower or a little larger, and can cover a good distance both in lakes and rivers. Many times, a usable aluminum boat can be found for approximately $300 US Dollars. It should be noted that aluminum boats are mainly used for fresh water.

Aluminum boats are stronger and lighter than fiberglass ones.
Aluminum boats are stronger and lighter than fiberglass ones.

While an aluminum fishing boat often holds up very well in salt water, they are not truly made to be ocean-going vessels. They are not as stable as boats specifically for salt water and run a slightly greater risk of capsizing. Therefore, many who use aluminum boats in salt water stick to bays and lagoons away from the main ocean, where the water stays a little calmer. Also, a manufacturer of aluminum boats may refuse to honor the full warranty if it is used in salt water. However, many aluminum boat owners report no corrosion problems at all with salt water use, as long as the boat is washed down after each use and maintained properly.

Most aluminum boats are known for their semi-V or flat bottom design. Those with a flat bottoms are also called johnboat. Generally, these boats are made specifically for fishing in very shallow water, or at least being able to get through shallow water to find good fishing spots. Thus, they are often favored by bass fisherman, who often search for the gamefish in shallower waters.

Some johnboats are wood, but an aluminum boat offers a number of advantages, the main one being weight. A wooden boat weighs significantly more than an aluminum boat of the same size. This will also affect speed in the water as well as fuel economy when using a motor.

While most aluminum boats do not come with many features, such as an elevated fishing platform or livewell, many companies do offer these options. Some can even be retrofitted to existing boats. The cost of doing these types of improvements varies.

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Discussion Comments


Wow, I feel like I spent half of my childhood sitting in a johnboat. We lived close to a big creek and each of me and my brothers had our own boat. We would go out fishing, or swimming, or we would throw rocks and mud at each others boats. They were kind of like our cars before we knew how to drive. I have some great memories from sitting in one of those boats.


I live in a community that has lots of lakes and ponds around it. Almost everyone in this area has at least one boat and most people have multiple ones. Every year in a big gravel lot close to one of the lake they have an aluminum fishing boat sale.

The area around here is just lousy with these boats and everyone is always trying to either unload one or pick one up for their kids or their brother or something. So once a year everyone brings out what they have and we shuffle the boats around the country.

Its a good time and people look forward to it as a social event. And you can find some great deals. I got a grumman aluminum fishing boat in great condition for less than $200. Where else will you find a price like that?


This article mentions that most aluminum boats are on the low end. Well my dad was a low end kind of guy and he had just about every different kind of cheap aluminum boat ever made.

We lived close to a big lake in Missouri and over time he had just collected all these boats. He must have had 15 of them scattered around our property. Any time someone was looking to sell one he would quote them a super low price and more often then not he got it.

Most of the boats were in terrible condition and a few of them wouldn't even float but he kept them around anyway saying that he was going to fix them up. It drove my mom crazy but that didn't stop him. That man just loved aluminum boats.

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