Why aluminum for a boat hull?

The trend to build more marine-grade aluminum boats in recent decades is due to the many advantages that this metal possesses. Properties that make him a star in shipyards.

But then what are the advantages of an aluminum shell?

Voilier en aluminium en cours de finition

An environmentally friendly material

100% and infinitely recyclable, aluminum is a sustainable material requiring little energy in its recycling process (about 5% of the energy supplied to its initial production). So in addition to greatly reducing its environmental footprint with this process, it is just as interesting in its consumption.

The energy consumption of an aluminum boat is lower than a boat with a fiberglass hull thanks to a 30 to 40% lighter hull. A lightness that promotes faster journeys without reducing its carrying capacity or the rigidity of an aluminum shell.

Unfailing resistance

The advantages of an aluminum shell also lie in its resistance to shocks, friction and puncturing.

Indeed, an aluminum shell has exceptional strength thanks to its flexibility and its ability to absorb impact. An ideal safety asset for journeys on the high seas where encountering a floating or stranded object is very likely.

The aluminum hull is also preferred for long voyages and the polar seas thanks to its natural rigidity which is perfect in hostile places.

Another major specificity of aluminium, it is a non-ferrous metal which has an excellent resistance to corrosion, a main reason for its use in the maritime sector. In the exceptional case where corrosion is present at an advanced stage on an aluminum hull, it is possible to repair it simply and at a reasonable cost with professionals.

Une coque de bateau durable

La durée de vie d’une coque en aluminium n’est pas exacte mais certains l’estime à minimum 30 ans. Néanmoins, les consommables n’ont pas cette durée de vie et seront à remplacer au cours des années (batteries, voiles, moteur, etc …).

Malgré une importante longévité, les avantages d’une coque en aluminium demeure aussi dans sa valorisation qui reste conséquente à la revente du fait que la structure alu ne se détériore pas et ne s’use pas au fil du temps.

L’aluminium de qualité marine a la particularité d’avoir besoin de peu d’entretien. Sur la coque, simplement un rinçage et un récurage régulier sont préconisés pour garantir sa durée de vie.

Toutefois, la coque en aluminium peut nécessiter davantage d’entretien si elle a subi un choc, une déformation grave, etc …Ces réparations ne sont pas onéreuses et simples d’exécution par un professionnel et contribuent à prolonger sa durée de vie par rapport aux autres produits présents sur le marché.

Squelette (couples) de la coque du bateau en aluminium

The natural qualities of aluminum

Fires at sea are a sailor’s nightmare, so they can rest easy knowing that aluminum is a incombustible material. This fire resistance combined with its thermal conductivity allows rapid cooling in the event of fire and heat dissipation throughout the shell. And, aluminum is a metal that does not burn in air.

The aluminum hulls do not show blisters due to the phenomenon of osmosis or leaks unlike polyester hulls. This advantage is due to the marine grade aluminum which does not deteriorate or delaminate over time.

Finally, of course, aluminum is more sensitive to fatigue than steel, but design codes have been created for aluminum hulls. The advantage of an aluminum hull comes from the study of the structure which is not affected by structural fatigue. Thanks to this, the life of an aluminum boat is at least 30 years without appearing fatigue problems.

The elegance of an aluminum boat

In addition to the technical and natural qualities, the aluminum hulls still have a very refined and aesthetic raw appearance which gives them their charm. In the manufacture of a boat, the aluminum hull has the advantage of marrying well with a polyester deck. This asset coupled with the desires of the customer, allows a complete customization of the bridge according to their needs and their use.

Thus, there are endless possibilities thanks to the design provided by polyester on a deck that will make the elegance of the boat while being in the image of the navigator.

At IDRA Novacco, we specialize in naval aluminum boilermaking and design naturally hulls of this type.

Whether it is aluminum hulls in small and large series or a unique project, we are the ideal partner for your projects with nearly 40 years of experience in this field.

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