Originally Posted by rgp
Disclaimer: I own a steel boat
I'm not about to get into a debate about which is better, I'll just describe my experience. As wise person told me the best boat is the one that when you look at it from your dinghy you smile.
I'm on my second steel boat, both Waterlines.
The previous owner of the first boat had hit a whale, it bent the rudder shaft and broke the skeg free of the boat. He made it back to port without any water in the boat. Fast forward a couple of years, I've bought the boat, sailed it from San Francisco to the Puget Sound, and brought it back to Waterline for a check up. They found some cracks in the plating around the rudder post, not seen or fixed after the whale. Fast forward again, a couple of months, new rudder skeg and plating, thinner wallet and all is good. I think you'll agree after looking at the photos that this would have sent most boats to the bottom.
Looks somewhat like the damage that a GRP Phantom 42 had when hitting a rock going at hull speed, except only the rudder stock was damaged
Point being that no hull material is "holing-proof" - had it been a bigger whale or had the previous owner been going faster, would your boat have been holed then? (Glad it didn't).