I wouldn't go quite as far as SloopJonB.
The main reason most boats are fiberglass is that is the only material that lends itself to series production in molds.
For a one-off custom sailboat both aluminum and modern cold molded wood and epoxy construction is excellent. A cold molded epoxy boat has as little maintenance as fiberglass and no chance of any blisters ever.
My first choice if I was able to afford a custom boat is aluminum. In this area - B.C. - many fishboats, whale watching boats and pleasure boats are welded aluminum and they have few problems and a very long service life. The French produce many aluminum sailboats - Garcia, Alubat, and others - and they are cruising world wide without problems.
Steel though is heavy unless the boat is large and rust protection is a huge issue, especially on an older boat.
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
Last edited by mitiempo; 07-31-2011 at 09:39 PM.