You're making plenty of sense. It really depends on a number of factors- here's 3:
So- in a nutshell it's almost down to a boat-by boat discussion- it's hard to generalize.
Ours is 45 years old, has a wood hull, very good build quality and good maintenance over the years. I'd feel comfortable going anywhere in her (and we're "high latitude" sailors).
Wood doesn't have a "service lifetime"
The boat was built to last
We're pretty psychotic about not letting things go.
We have the original Aluminum sticks, but they're very heavy extrusions so they're lightly loaded compared to a more "modern' rig
Some other boats that age wouldn't be safe to leave the dock (osmosis, delamination, stress fractures etc)
Last edited by cormeum; 12-11-2009 at 04:48 PM.