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Old 08-01-2021, 08:09 AM   #1
TexasBob
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Default Aluminum Boat Brands

Doing my research for a purchase this fall. Are any aluminum boat brands beget or worse than others? Looking at G3, XPRESS, Alumacraft, sea ark etc. prices used and new seem about the same.


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Old 08-01-2021, 08:34 AM   #2
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Doing my research for a purchase this fall. Are any aluminum boat brands beget or worse than others? Looking at G3, XPRESS, Alumacraft, sea ark etc. prices used and new seem about the same.


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Old 08-01-2021, 08:37 AM   #3
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I would put Alweld at the top of that list.

Then you could include Boatright, but they are in a class above all to their own.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:42 AM   #4
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I would put Alweld at the top of that list.

Then you could include Boatright, but they are in a class above all to their own.

These 2 and if you want higher sides the alweld is the answer.


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Old 08-01-2021, 08:42 AM   #5
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I currently have an Alweld, I've owned a G-3 and an old Lowe deep and wide. The old Lowe was built like a tank, it was a great boat. The G-3 was a good boat just not as solidly built. I had a cracked hull not long after I bought it and G-3 repaired it quickly. The Alweld I have now is my favorite by far, it's well built and "feels" good in the water. I hope that helps.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:10 AM   #6
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Uncal J if you want a custom job
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:19 AM   #7
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Thanks. Keep it coming. I didnít mention boatright because the now/low sides wonít work well with kiddos.


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Old 08-01-2021, 09:20 AM   #8
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Timber creek, prodigy I believe j is the most bang for your buck but you can’t beat prodigies fit and finish
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:42 AM   #9
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Coming from a family where i grew up with couple of these brands, what are you going to be doing the most from them? Bass fishing, utility/work boat, all the bells and whistles?

I ask because my dad bought a 16 ft Express with an 88 Johnson back when I was little. It was fantastic bass boat. Had carpet and would scoot pretty quick. Was not very stable as it was narrow. Sucked for open water and had short sides. I distinctly remember my younger brother tripping and taking a dive off the side, bobbing up thanks to his life jacket.

Not long after we got a 14í Alweld with a 25 Yamaha 2 stroke tiller handle. Boat was purchased in Ď98 (boat motor trailer for $3800) and i still have it all original. Its what i learned to back down the ramp and load on the trailer. I will say, the aluminum seems much thicker than the original Express we had. Its a work boat. Simple bench seats and a flat nose/bottom. It can be rough in open water but not horrible. No broken welds. We pretty much abused it, pulling tubes and kneeboards, duck hunt from it in louisiana, etc. still no broken welds.

Also had a 2010 model 20í Express with a 115 Etec . Had it customized. Was originally a side console bass boat. No carpet, added second console and saltwater troll motor. Was our marsh rig. Runs real shallow and takes the lakes pretty well. Material is thicker than our first one. No broken welds and super stable with a dry ride. Casting deck front and rear. Sides are short on the casting deck but 14Ē or so down in the bottom.

I would absolutely say either one of these brands would probably do whatever it is you want to do and then some. Just the fact that our little utility boat is still kicking after 23 years of abuse is a good sign.


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Old 08-01-2021, 10:27 AM   #10
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If you're buying new go custom. So many great builders and you'll pay the same or less than a mass produced boat, and get way better quality.

I'm partial to Uncle J, but Hanko, nerowalker, sabine, boatwright, prodigy, so many amazing builders now. One day I'll have an uncle J rig in my garage.

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Old 08-01-2021, 10:28 AM   #11
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I have a G3 1860 CCT. It has been a really good boat for me. Drafts 9Ē loaded with two guys. I hunt and fish from it.
The aluminum isnít a heavy gauge, so it drafts very little, but that did allow a weld to split. G3 repaired it and havenít had a problem since. The boat is 16 years old. I am going bigger next summer and wish I had the space to keep it. Really easy to trailer, launch and use.


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Old 08-01-2021, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks. Keep it coming. I didnít mention boatright because the now/low sides wonít work well with kiddos.


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You can get with rails.
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:39 AM   #13
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https://excelboats.com/
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:18 AM   #14
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I bought a G3 1652 about two years ago. It has without a doubt been the toughest Jon Iíve ever owned. All metal and no wood to rotten out. Iíve been very happy with it with the exception of the motor should be a 50-60hp. I put a 25 ho Yamaha on it and it only goes 24 mph loaded with me and one other person.
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:19 AM   #15
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Would be worth it to price custom. I would look at seaark, war eagle, excel, and prodigy for better quality. Good look in your search!
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:23 AM   #16
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Check out Havoc


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Old 08-01-2021, 11:28 AM   #17
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I’d look at Avid boats (21 fs or 21 fusion bay series) or, like you mentioned, Xpress 20HB or 22HB with the hyperlift hull

But that’s just me. Center console bay boat... I could not care less about ANYTHING freshwater

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Old 08-01-2021, 11:52 AM   #18
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Lotta good info/recommendations on brands in here, so far.


How big a boat you wanna get? How much HP do you want? Console or tiller steer? You can get a tiller steer up to 150HP now. Most of those are for bigger boats and have props used for moving heavier loads. They also have electric or hydraulic assist in steering.

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Old 08-01-2021, 01:03 PM   #19
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Havoc, ambush or Edge if going with an outboard.


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Old 08-01-2021, 01:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Thanks. Keep it coming. I didnít mention boatright because the now/low sides wonít work well with kiddos.


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I took many dozens of kids of all ages fishing on my no side Boatright and never had a single one ever fall in.
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:14 PM   #21
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Budget will determine which hull.

You'll spend more for prodigy, excel,avid,boat right etc but it will be higher quality.

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Old 08-01-2021, 01:16 PM   #22
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There are two I really like the quality of besides Boatright. I have a buddy who got a Hanko built this year and it's a beast of a boat. He had a 24-25'er built. Very nice quality and the price wasn't bad for what he got. Now he pieced his together and rigged it himself but it was way cheaper than a Boatright.

The other I have seen in person several times is the Long Beach aluminum boats out of Mississippi. I spoke to the Long Beach folks at length about building me an almost identical replacement for my Boatright but 26' long instead of 24' and the price was much better than Boatright. I have checked out several of them in person and the quality is better too. Very well built boats.

The other two I'd tell you to look at are Alweld and Weldcraft. But they are not in the same class and don't ride the same as Boatright, Hanko or Long Beach.
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
I bought a G3 1652 about two years ago. It has without a doubt been the toughest Jon Iíve ever owned. All metal and no wood to rotten out. Iíve been very happy with it with the exception of the motor should be a 50-60hp. I put a 25 ho Yamaha on it and it only goes 24 mph loaded with me and one other person.

I recognize that rig by it's rod holders.
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:39 PM   #24
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I have a duracraft from 98 no cracks or leaks not sure if there still made as well as they used to be seems like anything new don't last
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:53 PM   #25
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I grew up on aluminum boats, and even though I like bay fishing a lot I still like to be able to hit the rivers and lake and catfish so I needed something a little more ďdo allĒ

Went with a WeldCraft. 16í (forgot the width)
Has been a great boat so far.


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Old 08-01-2021, 02:02 PM   #26
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I recognize that rig by it's rod holders.

I've been out in it once or twice. They are working great.
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Old 08-01-2021, 02:24 PM   #27
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Lund
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Old 08-01-2021, 02:47 PM   #28
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My old Texas Made.
I sure miss her.
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:09 PM   #29
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Ranger, Xpress, Allweld is where I'd look. I'd only consider a welded aluminum boat (i.e., no rivets).
-M
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:34 PM   #30
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If you're not dead set on buying new, I'd look into an older hull and have it built out how you want it. I'm in this one for about 7k total. That's after the motor as well. I fish sabine lake, east bay, Trinity bay, rayburn and toledo with it. It's not the best riding boat, but I can find fishable water almost any day, and it's been paid for since day one. It's in the water at least 3 times a month, but sometimes 8-10 times. Just depends on what projects/sports/ work is going on at the time.

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Old 08-01-2021, 06:26 PM   #31
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I have had excellent luck with my xpress
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:06 PM   #32
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I just sold my 20ft Xpress with a 115 SHO. I have nothing bad to say about Xpress. 0 problems. Just had to sell due to buying a ranch and moving from the coast. Iíd buy another one.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:52 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
Doing my research for a purchase this fall. Are any aluminum boat brands beget or worse than others? Looking at G3, XPRESS, Alumacraft, sea ark etc. prices used and new seem about the same.


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All of those were good brands except alumicraft when I bought my first boat over 15 years ago. How are they now not real sure but I ended up buying a G3 and it was a real good boat. There are some great custom aluminum boat builders out there, if money was no option I would buy a Gator Trax.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:56 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K. Lane View Post
I’d look at Avid boats (21 fs or 21 fusion bay series) or, like you mentioned, Xpress 20HB or 22HB with the hyperlift hull

But that’s just me. Center console bay boat... I could not care less about ANYTHING freshwater
I believe these are some of the Vexus guys that left and started their own company, Vexus makes a fancy tin boat but they are too proud of them in price IMO considering how young a company they are.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:07 PM   #35
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I believe these are some of the Vexus guys that left and started their own company, Vexus makes a fancy tin boat but they are too proud of them in price IMO considering how young a company they are.
Vexus is built by people who left ranger when Johnny Morris took ranger to the dumpster. I wouldn't exactly say they're a young company

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Old 08-01-2021, 08:21 PM   #36
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Vexus is built by people who left ranger when Johnny Morris took ranger to the dumpster. I wouldn't exactly say they're a young company

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Forrest Wood is dead, the kids run the company now, its not the same, why would a bunch leave to start Avid so quickly. From everything I've heard Randy Hopper is a leach. And yes Ranger is a dumpster fire now.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:26 PM   #37
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Look into havoc boats

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Old 08-01-2021, 08:27 PM   #38
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I have a 18ft xpress that I'm really pleased with. Nothing modern to compare it with; all my other boats were old riveted boats.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:34 PM   #39
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Look into havoc boats
Pretty cool video. But I'd never hire one of them guys to run a jackhammer.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:35 PM   #40
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Pretty cool video. But I'd never hire one of them guys to run a jackhammer.


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Old 08-01-2021, 08:36 PM   #41
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Forrest Wood is dead, the kids run the company now, its not the same, why would a bunch leave to start Avid so quickly. From everything I've heard Randy Hopper is a leach. And yes Ranger is a dumpster fire now.
I don't know about avid. But I do know how the people of flippin and mountain home Arkansas talk about the Wood family. I also know how well the people of vexus treated my parents and son on a tour of the plant last summer.

That's enough for me

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Old 08-01-2021, 08:48 PM   #42
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I had a Xpress 2072 and never had many issues with it. The front bracing under the deck broke once but other than that, I never had any issues...now on the other hand, my buddy had the exact same boat in an Alumacraft and he had a ton of issues with his (hull cracked two different times and had to be rewelded). If I had to buy another one, I would go with
SeaArk as i'm pretty sure they build theirs with a little thicker aluminum.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:02 PM   #43
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Look up GatorTrax. I loved mine.


Boatwright also makes a great boat
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:09 PM   #44
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Oh, I forgot to mention.
I'll give $500.00 to the person, who can physically locate that boat.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:37 PM   #45
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I have been very impressed with my SeaArk however itís a commercial hull and built heavier than most production aluminum boats. I have a thread in here if the rebuild I did (still not done) but you can see how the boat is made pretty well in the pictures.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:45 PM   #46
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I'm getting ready to buy a Crestliner 2200 bay. Love the way it's laid out.
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Old 08-02-2021, 10:16 AM   #47
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I'm getting ready to buy a Crestliner 2200 bay. Love the way it's laid out.
I like the look of the crestliner boats for sure as well. I need to read reviews.

A few clarifications. I'm looking for a few years old, preferably fully rigged ready to fish. Promised the wife this wouldn't be another project she wants to pick it up and hit the water as do I. Will primarily be used on Lake Livingston, Trinity River and Lake Conroe. A few bay trips a year max, but galvanized or aluminum trailer is a must as it will see some salt. I prefer center console but do like the storage and layout of a bass boat style so I could be persuaded either way there- neither is a deal breaker but between two similar deals I would pick center console. Similar deal on bare bones vs bells and whistles. Storage and jump seats are nice, but I would go utilitarian if the right deal came up.
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:01 AM   #48
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Not many "deals" out there, used boat market is as smoking hot as its ever been.
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:22 AM   #49
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Quote:
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Not many "deals" out there, used boat market is as smoking hot as its ever been.
Truer words have never been spoken...I've been looking for months, and refuse to overpay, sooooo I've been looking and not buying if the boat I'm working a deal on right now falls through, I will probably go the route of aluminum as well, suck it up and give up running offshore, and quit waiting for the crazy prices on bay boats to come back down to realistic numbers. I just can't make myself pay 80-90k for a year old boat with 300-400 hours just to have it "now" instead of waiting 9-12 months for a new one to be built for the same $$

If I do this, I'll look at either SeaArk, Xpress, or Excel
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:35 AM   #50
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Had an 02 Xpress X17 w/Yam 115 and it was a great fishing machine. Just that it did not hold up to windy North Texas fishing conditions and cracked multiple times. Got rid of it and went to fiberglass. I would really assess where and conditions you want to fish and make sure it matches.
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