Wood is amazing stuff, and it is a wonderful material for making custom boats. Doug Hylan’s thoughts on this topic are eloquent and succinct, so I’d like to quote him here:
“Why would you want a wooden boat? Well, why would you want a hand made mahogany dining room table? Because you chose it or had it made to match your taste, because of the warmth and elegance it brings to your life, because of the pride you feel at the craftsmanship it embodies. A fiberglass dining room table simply would not do!
How many times have we heard it: “Wooden boats are so beautiful, I’d love to have one if only the maintenance didn’t cost so much”. In all honesty there are significant costs involved in having a boat professionally stored and maintained. But the pervasive misconception is that fiberglass boats cost less.
Are fiberglass boats really so cheap to maintain? The answer is yes, if what you want to do is to neglect your boat. There is no denying that fiberglass can withstand a shocking amount of neglect. But if you want to keep your fiberglass boat looking it’s best, it will cost you.
If you take two equivalent boats, one fiberglass and one of traditional wood construction, both the same age, both with an equal amount of brightwork, and both kept in true yacht fashion, their maintenance costs will be virtually identical…”
— Doug Hylan, used with permission from http://www.dhylanboats.com.