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boats: aluminium vs. fibreglass
With summer fast approaching more boats are hitting the water - and a large number of those boats are likely to be made from aluminium. 
 
Aluminium vs fibreglass is a common debate in boating circles but there are clear positives for the aluminium variety.
 
With the spotlight on climate change we all need to do our bit for the environment and since aluminium is a light metal, aluminium boats have several weight saving benefits including lower fuel consumption, being easier to tow and typically weighing 30 to 40% less than fibreglass boats and 45 to 55% less than steel boats.
 
Aluminium is more durable and can withstand rough treatment, such as concrete boat ramps.  This also means aluminium boats last longer and require less maintenance. And one of the big pluses is that aluminium doesn’t burn while fibreglass boats contain petroleum based resins.
 
It’s not hard to see why aluminium has long been accepted as the metal of choice for fine boats, both sail and power, and has been the choice for most America’s Cup sailboats since 1974.  In the US, aluminium is the first choice of government agencies for boats in the 6 to 20 metre range.
 
Sources:
• Alcoa Global - Commercial Transportation
Alcoa Nautical
• Cairns Customs Craft
• Aluminium vs Fibreglass chat forum
 
journey to environmental awareness on alcoa boat
41-year-old South African Mike Horn is recognised as one of the greatest modern day explorers. After circumnavigating the Arctic Circle and reaching the North Pole without the help of dogs, Mike is embarking on a new challenge: travelling around the world at the helm of an aluminium ocean sailboat.
 
Designed by the team of renowned engineer Henry Stump, the vessel, named Pangaea, was built with aluminium from Alcoa.
 
“The boiler work, which includes structure modelling, comprised profiles and the sealing layer was made of plates of various thicknesses, both for the hull and superstructure,” explains Stump about how he used Alcoa’s aluminium.
 
In addition to applying mature technology in the structure, at Mike’s request, the boat is also able to accommodate guests in its six cabins, with the capacity to sleep 30 people. Important figures, businesspersons, European princes and kings, artists, and especially children from various cultures will use the boat as a tool to see the current environmental state of our planet.
 
Mike’s major goal: raise awareness and seek solutions for environmental problems.


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