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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at buying either a Saltmarsh Heron, or a Hog Island Skiff. The Saltmarsh is advertised as a Kevlar Vinyl Ester Resin layup. And the Hog Island is a Rotomolded Polyethelene I believe. How do these two compare to each other in terms of toughness and durability? Am I splitting hairs here? My heart say get the Heron, as its clean refinement, better matches my fly fishing stalking the flats persuits. Oh and it doesn’t hurt that the Herons clean lines and asthetics are way more visually apealing! On the other hand my gut says get the Hog Island because it’s tougher, more utilitarian, and can handle much more abuse then I could probably throw at it. Both are advertised as being alternatives to being used in areas once reserved for aluminum jon boats. Really? Is this even true?
 

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The Heron is much nicer all around but if you’re worried about scuffing a boat up the Hog Island is probably a better fit. I think it’s safe to say a rotomolded hull will be tougher than any gelcoat/fiberglass hull will be. ...at least as far as showing scuffs/scratches/dings.
 

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its an apple and oranges thing and in the end it will be a personal choice. Any rotomolded anything is stupid tough and I'd rather have that any aluminum anything of the same class. That being said I know who I'd like to take to the prom and it wouldn't be either....but of course I'd say that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Heron is much nicer all around but if you’re worried about scuffing a boat up the Hog Island is probably a better fit. I think it’s safe to say a rotomolded hull will be tougher than any gelcoat/fiberglass hull will be. ...at least as far as showing scuffs/scratches/dings.
Sorry for the confusion, I am definitely not worried about scratches! I am more concerned about long term durability of the SM hull. When I buy things I like too keep them till they die. If you saw my old Toyota truck you would understand why I wouldn’t be concerned about scratches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
its an apple and oranges thing and in the end it will be a personal choice. Any rotomolded anything is stupid tough and I'd rather have that any aluminum anything of the same class. That being said I know who I'd like to take to the prom and it wouldn't be either....but of course I'd say that!
I am definitely leaning towards the Heron as it checks off almost all the boxes. Do you think SM Kevlar/vinyl ester is on par with aluminum? I am really just concerned about durability of SM hull in an around inland rivers. Aluminum is not really a good option for me because it is too loud for super spooky fish. I am also intrigued by the Tavernier 17. It’s reminds me of a micro Panga!
 

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The Heron is still a gel coat exterior like most boats, nothing extraordinary there. It will scratch but can also be repaired or polished. I have a a Heron 16 lodge and love it, rides great, gets shallow, sexy lines and a great price imo. Unless your gonna be bouncing off rocks and stumps I don’t see why it wouldn’t last you.
 

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I don't think Kevlar boats are really as tough as they sound. They still use the same resin fiberglass boats use for strength. The plastic boat will probably be tougher. But in terms of long term reliability aluminum is king. The bottom of my Sea Ark looks like it's been through a war. No leaks. I've slammed stuff that surely would have demolished a fiberglass hull.
 

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Do yourself a favor and look at the Sabine skiffs.....

All aluminum and top of the line finishes for that style of boat. The hull is designed for no hull slap and it looks pretty damn impressive and you'll never have to worry about your gel coat.

If you got it in a flat color paint or even some semi gloss it would be nothing to touch up.

Put sea deck on all the floors and platforms and you have one badass and tough rig!

https://www.sabineskiffs.com/
 
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