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While boats were traditionally made of wood, today there are many fiberglass and composite construction boats on the market. Composite boats are those that combine wood and synthetic products like fiberglass and epoxy to produce a boat that is lighter yet stronger than boats that are made of wood or fiberglass alone. The wood component of the composite gives the boat high compression strength, while the fiberglass and epoxy components give it high tensile strength.
So when choosing a material for your boat, which is the way to go? Well, some diehard traditionalist boaters feel that nothing but wood will do, but others feel that composite materials are far superior. Still others feel that it doesn't matter whether a boat is made of wood or composites — what matters is the quality of materials as well as the quality of construction.
If you are planning to buy a new boat from a boat builder, be sure to read our new boat buying article tips and pointers to consider before purchasing a new boat. If you are researching boat building history, you may wish to browse Robert Smith's master index of maritime museums.
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