AlumaCraft vs MirroCraft

TinBoats.net

Help Support TinBoats.net:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

LaqueRatt

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2023
Messages
589
Reaction score
319
LOCATION
Cedar Lake, IN
Last year decided I wanted to start fishing again. Thought I'd just get me a little aluminum boat, something light I could stick in the back of my truck. Soon decided that was too much work and launching out of a truck bed would be quite a sight at the boat ramp. So picked up a 14' AlumaCraft model F that came with a trailer. After a little searching I realized decent small outboards were hard to come by and bringing big bucks. Supply shortage?

Then the MirroCraft came up for sale and it not only had a promising looking Fastwin 18, but came with most off the piddly stuff on my shopping list for the other boat. So I snatched it up for what seemed like a fair price. Not much more than what a decent outboard was selling for. Then as luck would have it I stumbled upon a McCulloch 14 that hadn't seen daylight in years. Took me awhile, being a total noob, but I finally got the Mickey motor purring. So anyhow now I have two tinnies, both with motors......and two other "spare motors" I picked up since then.

My dilemma is which one should I keep? Both have their strong points. The Aluma has a flatter bottom and is shallower, but with the 14 on the back it seems squirrelly. Too much power maybe? Think I prefer the MirroCraft which is what you call a deep V right? It holds the line better and runs on plane comfortably with the 18, but with no floor it's a bit hard to stand up in. Maybe not a great fishing boat?

I plan to just fish with my grandson and do a little joy riding. With no more than 4 people. So what say you old salts? Mirro or Aluma? Although I guess there's no law that says you can't own more than one boat, eh? They just seem a lot alike.
 

Attachments

  • Aluma Craft 04.jpg
    Aluma Craft 04.jpg
    165.7 KB · Views: 1
  • Fleet AC 02.jpg
    Fleet AC 02.jpg
    177.9 KB · Views: 1
  • Fleet AC 04.jpg
    Fleet AC 04.jpg
    155.3 KB · Views: 1
  • Fleet AC MC 03.jpg
    Fleet AC MC 03.jpg
    187.7 KB · Views: 2
  • Fleet AC MC 06.jpg
    Fleet AC MC 06.jpg
    165.8 KB · Views: 2
  • Mirro Craft 15.jpg
    Mirro Craft 15.jpg
    120.5 KB · Views: 2
If there is such a law, I'll be spending the rest of my life in jail! ;)

FWIW: I call both those boats Semi-V. V at bow but pretty much flat bottom at transom. The Mirrocraft may be a Mod (shallow) V at transom, but couldn't tell.

I would lean toward keeping the red Mirrocraft. Deeper boat, 3 bench seats, gives a bit more room. Four people in either of these boats you would want to be extra careful.

I have no experience with McCulloch outboards, but would want to find out if parts are available. The Sportwin is probably a 60's motor, and should have parts. Still check. Water pump, carb kits, points/cond, prop, etc. Also check to make sure compression is good on both.
 
I had an Alumacraft F7, it was tank, rated for 25hp. The bow eye was broken like yours appears to be, easy fix.

I would check the hull thickness of both.

The Mirrocraft is a much deeper hull as you say. Probably a smoother and drier ride. Not really a big deal on rivers or small bodies of water, but would be if you fish larger bodies of water. They're also harder to fish out of, and less stable if the V goes all the way to the transom.
 
Have owned both in past years, both well made boats.. The Alumacraft is less if a V bottom, smaller 14' boat, where as the Mirro is a bigger 14' V bottom, meaning wider and deeper. A couple inches here and there can make a big difference in safe boating. My 1964 14' Mirro had an 18 hp evenrude on it...great running outfit, did some tubing behind it with ease. Easy to add a floor if you wanted something flat. The Aluma would be easier to fish from in calmer waters, more comfortable for a smaller person in calmer water. Your call, but in my opinion it would be the mirro and the 18 hp all the way...mabey some fond memories......
 
You seem to like the handling of the Mirrocraft better. I agree with you about the lack of a flat deck, but that's easily remedied.

If the question is which one to keep, I'd go with the Mirrocraft. Sell the Alumacraft and turn the bucks toward that flat deck add-on.
 
Thanks for the input guys. The McC 14 is one tough motor. It endured a clueless me who ran it for a minute or two dry, not knowing it needed to be so deep in the barrel. It smoked like dumpster fire after sitting for so long. Once the cloud cleared and I realized no water coming out the pee hole I shut her down. Everybody told me the impeller was toast and nobody makes a replacement. NOS parts are rare as hens teeth. When it wouldn't restart I feared the worse. Finally I tried to start it at WOT and she roared to life, scaring the bejeezus out of me. I quickly idled it down and found she was pumping water! Other than a simple tune up, I've not had to do anything to her and she runs like a champ. So I'm a bit attached to that motor now. If I sell the Aluma it'll be with one of my other motors on the back.

Only issue I had is the sheer pin was broken when I got the thing. Made for a fun first day out on the water: Motor purring nicely, prop turning, boat no go. Took it back home, replaced the sheer pin, but found the hub had some nasty cracks. Can't get a new prop, can't get a new hub. So out came my fave goop, Shoe Goo. Filled the cracks, buttered the hub up and clamped it all together for a couple days. Not sure if it can ever come apart again. Hopefully I'll never have to find out. So anyhow, yeah parts for the Mickey motor are pretty scarce.

The Fastwin is not too bad, but no props or hubs for it either. I contacted just about all the internet sources. The big prop houses, some local marinas. They all said I was out of luck. With the hub getting munched on my first trip out with the tuned up motor I was as the saying goes, dead in the water. Found a prop for Honda/Suzuki that was a pretty good match, but it rubbed like crazy. Ended up taking a dremel to a fairly expensive prop and after an afternoon of massaging, I got it to spin freely.

So anyhow, I guess unless I find a better boat I'm prob keeping the Mirro. I just wish it had remote controls. Jerking on the rope and using a tiller is kind of tough on my shoulders which aren't what they used to be.
 
Last edited:
I hear ya, no rope starts or tiller's for me either !! My little 2.2 kicker is the exception as it always starts on 2nd pull and is easy pullin!! Can't believe props are scarce for that fastwin, try prop repair shops, bet they have a bunch. Internet stores nope, nothing but high dollar new stuff on those. Ebay should also find some old stock that someone is sitting on. Shear pins are easy to make, no need to buy them. That mirro can be easily adapted to a side consol annd the fastwin could be easily converted to remote controls, those were really good motors if it had decent care. The old Mac is a nice collector motor, fun to clamp on and just go for a ride and show off, but for reliability...go with the Evinrude !! That Goop stuff is a favorite of mine as well, used it for leaks below the waterline with great sucess in the past, sealed up a pair of rubber boots about 5 years back, still no leaks!!! Keep us posted on that Mirro..
 
I'd really like to put a side console in my Mirro, but don't know where to start. People I've asked said it would be easier to just get a new boat. Not only would I need the wheel and lever unit, but the cables have to be a certain length don't they? Then what get an electric start motor? I'm thinking for a nearly 60 year old motor finding a working starter might be a little tough. I'd need an alternator too wouldn't I? I see a boat just like mine, but with a console for sale right now, but they want $4000 for it. 3x what I paid for mine. It does have a bigger/newer motor though.
 
I'd really like to put a side console in my Mirro, but don't know where to start. People I've asked said it would be easier to just get a new boat. Not only would I need the wheel and lever unit, but the cables have to be a certain length don't they? Then what get an electric start motor? I'm thinking for a nearly 60 year old motor finding a working starter might be a little tough. I'd need an alternator too wouldn't I? I see a boat just like mine, but with a console for sale right now, but they want $4000 for it. 3x what I paid for mine. It does have a bigger/newer motor though.

It can certainly be done. Would be a little tough to find a boat that size with a side console but they do exist. I have seen one console rig that was a pull start but it made for a pretty tricky starting sequence.

You would need to find or build a console first, then measure for your cables. Steering cables are available in pretty much any length, and you can get them with the steering gear. Same for the control cables.

Converting the outboard to remote controls, especially one that size, will be the difficult part. And that's not including the electric start bits. As far as that goes, its usually way easier and cheaper to find an electric start parts motor with a bad lower unit or blown powerhead and steal all of the parts from it.
 
I know nothing of either brand, but I'd go with whatever boat you felt most secure in. Pick the best engine and swap if you have to. If you can afford it, pick the best two engines and ride one and hold #2 in case #1 needs service or breaks down. This way you'll never be without.
 
I know nothing of either brand, but I'd go with whatever boat you felt most secure in. Pick the best engine and swap if you have to. If you can afford it, pick the best two engines and ride one and hold #2 in case #1 needs service or breaks down. This way you'll never be without.
That is pretty much my current plan as I continue to look for something better. I just don't want to invest a huge pile of money when I already have two usable boats.
 
Late 60's we rented a cottage in Ontario. Choice of either a starcraft or mirocraft 14' 3 seat boats and Pappy always took the starcraft though it was a little squirrly on the larger lakes if the wind got up VRS the deeper mirocraft
 
Top