As the saying goes, "water soaks through fiberglass. Wood gets rotted and steel gets rusty". But what about aluminum? One of the first questions many people raise about aluminum is the problem of corrosion. However, aluminum is one of the least corrosive metals. This is especially true for alloys used in marine applications where aluminum is of low corrosivity. Aluminum alloys do not contain steel or iron, so they do not rust. Aluminum can and certainly will undergo oxidation. But this oxidation creates a surface layer of hard alumina that prevents further corrosion of the underlying material. Aluminum boats will last for generations if they are built properly with the right alloys and welding wires -- and remain so.
Fire is the most dangerous disaster on the sea. While some materials used to build hulls, such as fiberglass or wood, burn quickly and spread flames, aluminum does not burn. Also, aluminum needs temperatures higher than 500 degrees Celsius to melt.
Although unlikely, aluminum boats can develop small leaks and sometimes need to be repaired. These repairs are mainly corrosion or collision related. When corrosion occurs, it is usually visible and limited to small areas. If the damage is minimal, you can usually repair it using epoxy or welding. For larger repairs, you should ship to the shipyard for aluminum boat repairs. Repairs to large areas can be as simple as cutting corroded parts with a saw and welding them in new plates. The use of the correct aluminum alloy and welding wire always needs attention. As long as this is done by qualified professionals, this should not be a problem.
Another advantage of aluminum boats is that the pipes running through the hull can be simply welded to the hull. Welded piping eliminates most of the risk of leakage through hull holes, which is often a cause for concern for GRP boat owners. In addition, when these pipes are above the waterline, they can be repaired on a aluminum boat in the water. While this may seem like a small thing, it does add extra safety and convenience to the boat.