I wish I still had the results but I ready an article by a structural engineer who took all the materials used in boat building and after exhaustive comparison the final conclusions for the ideal boat building materiel was WOOD.
Wolf: check out chapter 47 of Dave Gerr's book "The Nature of Boats". The subtitle is "Insights and Esoterica for the Nautically Obsessed". My wife saw it in the store and immediately bought it for me.
The title of chapter 47 is "Believe it or not, wood is best". Other chapters talk in depth about new space-age boat building materials, but in the end Dave comes to the conclusion (backed by tables, charts and other un-Brent-like evidence) that pound for pound, wood is the best. Read in conjunction with Jeff's writings on the subject here, its a mini-master's degree in boat building! If you never find the study you reference, Dave's is right in this book.
There are many subjects covered in this book, all them patiently explained in relatively non-technical terms for those of us who love boats and wonder why they are designed and built in the various ways that they are. Highly recommended.
btw, I love this thread. I learn something, and its entertaining!