When it comes to big water fishing, nothing beats a heavy gauge aluminum boat. These boats are made of incredibly sturdy materials and can handle even the roughest waters without so much as a wobble. What’s more, they’re less likely to vibrate at high speeds, which can be crucial when you’re trying to reel in a big one.
Of course, heavy gauge aluminum boats come with a price tag to match their quality. But that price is well worth it in the long run, as these boats will last for years and years with minimal maintenance. If you’re serious about your fishing, then a heavy gauge aluminum boat is the only way to go.
Most suited for saltwater and big lake fishing, a heavy gauge aluminum boat can take on just about anything. With their thick hulls and reinforced construction, they can handle big waves and choppy waters with ease. And because they’re made of aluminum, which has great tensile strength, they won’t flex or bend under pressure.
A thing to note here the word heavy doesn’t mean the boats are heavy rather the thickness of the aluminum being used in the construction is much more as compared to other metals. A heavier gauge will always give you a more durable, dry, and stable ride.
What Gauge and Aluminum Alloys are Used in These Boats?
A quarter of an inch for hulls and .190 inch for sides is considered a good standard. The bottom line is the thicker the better. For those planning to do some serious fishing in saltwater, it is best to go with .250 or .300 hulls.
For heavy gauge boats, 5056 and 5086 alloys are used for aluminum because of their high resistance to cracking from fatigue. These are also good alloys to use in welding and can be worked with using standard tools. 5052 is also a good choice because it is more ductile which means it can be formed into complex shapes.
As claimed by many aluminum boat manufacturers the building process of these boats is pretty simple. Laser-cutting machines are used to cut sheets of aluminum.
These cut sheets are then processed in a CNC lathe for bending and shaping. The body of the boat is then welded together and left to cool. After that, the hull is placed on a jig where the floors, Stringers, and transoms are installed.
Let us now look into some of the best heavy-gauge aluminum boats in the market:
Known for their reliability and durability, Hewescraft boats have been a favorite among fishermen for many years. Their heavy gauge aluminum boats are no exception, as they’re built to last even in the roughest waters.
The heavy gauge is all welded and then finished with a powder coat for extra protection. All of their models come standard with fishing features like live wells, rod holders, and storage compartments.
Plasma cutters are used to cut the aluminum which is then formed using a CNC machine. All of the parts are then TIG welded together before being powder coated for extra protection. With excellent fishability and a variety of different models to choose from, Hewescraft is a great choice for those in the market for a heavy gauge aluminum boat.
North River Boats
One of the largest heavy gauge boat manufacturers in the USA, North River boats are built to withstand the harshest conditions. U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard use these boats which says a lot about their quality.
H116 – 5086 aluminum bottom makes these boats extremely durable. All of their boats also come with a ten-year warranty, so you can be sure you’re getting a quality product. Manufactured with a box beam structure, North River boats are built for strength and stability.
For interior paints they use Zolatone and for exterior paint, they use a powder coat. All of their boats go through a 16-point quality control inspection before being released to the customer.
Fish boxes and storage compartments are built into the design of North River boats, so you’ll have plenty of space for all your gear. With a variety of different models to choose from, there’s sure to be a North River boat that’s perfect for you.
King Fisher Boats
With a Pre-Flex® hull design, King Fisher boats are built for a smooth, dry ride. Their heavy gauge aluminum boats are no different, as they’re built with the same attention to detail.
All of their models come standard with fishing features like live wells, rod holders, and storage compartments. One of the unique features of King Fisher boats is their hull design. One of the major complaints for aluminum boats is vibration, but the Pre-Flex® hull design eliminates that issue.
Superior fuel efficacy is another one of the benefits of this hull design. King Fisher boats also come with a lifetime warranty, so you know you’re getting a quality product. Reliability and durability are what you can expect from a King Fisher heavy gauge aluminum boat.
Made with 5086 aluminum hulls, Raider boats are built for durability. All of their models come with fishing features like live wells, rod holders, and storage compartments. Engineered with a stringer grid system, Raider boats are designed for a smooth, dry ride.
Heavy gauge aluminum sheets are cut using a CNC machine and then welded together. Double welding is used on all the major seams for extra strength. For an added layer of protection, a powder coat is applied to the exterior.
Quality control is a top priority for Raider boats, as each one goes through a rigorous inspection process before being released to the customer. You can be sure you’re getting a quality product when you purchase a Raider boat.
Made for fishermen by fishermen, Thunderjet boats have been a favorite among anglers for many years. Their heavy gauge aluminum boats are no different, as they’re built with the same attention to detail.
Lifting strakes are added to the hull design of Thunderjet boats to provide a smooth, dry ride. 5086 aluminum hulls make these boats durable, so you can be sure they’ll last for many years. All of their models come with fishing features like live wells, rod holders, and storage compartments.
Vinyl decking is used on all of their models for easy clean-up. Quality control is a top priority for Thunderjet boats, as each one goes through a rigorous inspection process before being released to the customer. You can be sure you’re getting a quality product when you purchase a Thunderjet boat.
With more than 150 years in the boat-building business, Duckworth boats are some of the most well-known and respected boats on the market. Handbuilt by experts, Duckworth boats are made with the highest quality materials.
With plenty of storage space and fishing features like live wells and rod holders, Duckworth boats are perfect for anglers. Heavy gauge aluminum is used for the hulls, so you know they’re built to last. All of their models come with a lifetime warranty, so you can be sure you’re getting a quality product.
Heavy gauge aluminum boats take away the worry of corrosion and provide extra strength and durability. With a variety of different models to choose from, there’s sure to be a perfect fit for you. With a stable ride and plenty of fishing features, these boats are perfect for anglers. Priced at a premium, but with a lifetime warranty, these boats are a wise investment. King Fisher, Raider, Thunderjet, and Duckworth boats are all great choices when it comes to aluminum fishing boats.