Are you interested in boats? If you’ve just started learning about it, you might have recently realized that boats come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Boats also have their own construction methods based on their intended purposes, such as sailing, fishing, the like, available materials, or local practices.
It can get pretty confusing for a beginner. But don’t be overwhelmed! While there are many different types of boats, an easy way to distinguish them is to identify the material they are made of. The material impacts the way your boat functions. For example, some materials corrode faster than others, which means that you may need to take extra care with them.
So if you’re a newbie to boating and fishing, and you don’t know what boat you should use, you might need to start by learning more about the materials used in most boats.
4 Materials Used in Designing a Boat
A boat typically has a hull – which is what we call the body or main structural component – along with propulsion, mechanical, navigation, safety, and other systems. Let’s take a look at some of the most common materials used to construct a hull.
The most traditional boat building material, wood, is buoyant and can help make lighter vessels. It is also widely available and easy to work with. While many types of wood can be used to build a boat, it is important to note that the wood must be hardy and durable to be able to withstand moisture and decay due to salt water, sun exposure, saltwater air, and heavy impact, and more.
If you’re looking for a material that can create bigger boats, metal might be the one for you. Different metals have their own advantages. For example, steel is one of the most popular materials used for boats because of its high strength, durability, resistance to wearing and erosion, and relatively low cost.
But if you’re looking for something a bit lighter, go for aluminum, which is more lightweight than steel. Because of this, aluminum boats are stable and can travel faster on water. It is also not prone to corrosion, magnetism, and deformation, resulting in more long-lasting boats.
Also known as fiber-reinforced plastic or glass-reinforced plastic, fiberglass boats are preferred for production because they can be made from a single mold. It is also light, speedy, strong, watertight, durable, and corrosion-free.
Tips on how to choose the right material
Now that you’re aware of all of these materials and their advantages, how do you choose which boat is for you? The answer is simple: it all comes down to your personal needs.
If you’re looking to spend some time creating your own boat, you might want to consider wood as the base material for your hull. If you’re going to use your boat out in the open water, a steel boat may be the one as its rigid structure can stand grazes, rubs, and bumps.
But what about fishing? Fishing in shallow or rock-covered saltwater or freshwater calls for a boat that is agile and can be easily maneuvered. If this is what you need, you might want to consider an aluminum fishing boat.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a smooth ride, take a chance on a fiberglass boat, which travels more smoothly in the water due to its improved stability.
Choosing the right boat is a matter of personal preference. Just remember to take note of the material used in it and check whether that’s compatible with what you’re going to use the boat for. Happy sailing!