LOL, I think a have a pretty high standard of "kitchen awareness" and based on the information I know, I would say that wood is safer for home use, even more so on a boat, since most don't sanitize with bleach (as you point out) and most boats I know don't have a high temp dishwasher?
Just to be clear, I'm advocating the use of wood in a household situation, not commercial.
In my opinion, this quote from Wikipedia supports my view. "While plastic is theoretically a more sanitary material than wood for cutting boards, testing has shown this may not be the case. The softer surface of plastic boards is scored by knives, and the resulting grooves and cuts in the surface harbour bacteria even after being well washed. However, unlike wood, plastic boards do allow rinsing with harsher cleaning chemicals such as bleach"
"Wood has some advantages over plastic in that it is somewhat self healing; shallow cuts in the wood will close up on their own. Wood also has natural anti-septic properties."
Cutting board - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From the FDA website:
"As a rule of thumb, avoid using cutting boards that are made of soft, porous materials. Instead, choose those made of hard maple or plastic
, and make sure they are free of cracks and crevices. Smooth surfaces can be cleaned more easily and thoroughly."
Fresh and Frozen Seafood: Selecting and Serving it Safely
Another article(s) favoring wood over plastic, one is an except from the Journal of Food Protection.
ingentaconnect Cutting Boards of Plastic and Wood Contaminated Experimentally wi...
We just returned from Europe and one thing that always leaves an impression on me is how food is stored and handeled...eggs left out for days, cured meats sitting on the counter for days, etc.