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Anytec has raised the status of aluminium boats to an entirely new level. Photo: Anytec
Anytec has raised the status of aluminium boats to an entirely new level. Photo: Anytec

Lifestyle

Aluminum boats, for the trendy skipper

Scandinavians love to get out on the water. And to look smart while they’re at it. This year’s new range of aluminum-based pleasure craft will help them do both.

From wood to glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) to metal, the construction material of choice for pleasure boat builders is ­constantly changing. Today, aluminum is increasingly becoming the most popular material. Aluminum offers several clear advantages over GRP. It is light but at the same time strong, ­totally recyclable and virtually maintenance-free.The Buster LX. Photo: Buster

“We’re seeing a change in the way people use pleasure craft,” says Stefan Pålsson, Project Manager at Sweboat, the Swedish Marine Industries Federation. “They’re abandoning week-long holiday cruises in favor of shorter cruises and day trips. So they want boats that are easy to maintain. As aluminum boats require very little maintenance, they have become more and more popular in the last four-five years.”

One disadvantage of aluminum is that the hull and fittings, for production technology reasons, are often angular with unfriendly edges and corners.

In the past two or three years, however, there has been an explosion on the market of aluminum boats whose cockpit fittings are made in GRP. In addition to a softer design, the deck feels less cluttered and the ­cockpit is more comfortable to sit in, particularly on sunny summer days as GRP doesn’t get as hot as metal.

Within the next couple of years, the boat industry expects the range of aluminum boats to expand even more. Larger boats with cabins, more space and ­higher comfort levels will join day cruiser ranges.

The future for pleasure craft skippers looks metal, sturdy and simple.

Three milestones for pleasure craft skippers

Gore-Tex

What this breathable man-made fabric meant for sailors trying to stay dry cannot be overstated. A revolution that’s easily taken for granted.

Electronic navigational charts

Pinpointing your exact position on an electronic ­navigation chart has opened up archipelagos in a way not previously thought ­possible.

GRP

Aluminum and carbon fiber may be the future, but it was low main­tenance and ­inexpensive GRP boats that turned sailing into an ­affordable luxury for the masses.


Text: Anders Helgesson

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