Wooden sailboats are made out of different types of timber and is made into a shape that will float on the water. Since ancient times, boat builders made their boats out of wood all the way through to the Age of Sail and then even in our modern day and time. Wood is not a very dense material and so in small blocks, it can float on water. When the wood is crafted into a buoyant shape (ie: the boat shape), any amount of wood will float as well as its cargo and passengers.
Wood is not as versatile as modern boat building materials such as metals like aluminium and plastics such as GRP. It is more difficult to bend into a boat shape and this led to the development of the 'pram' dinghy such as the Mirror, which does not have a curved front.
Despite its short comings, wood is a great material to look at and is chosen for its aesthetic values. The GP14 that Mark owns is made of wood and is generally much better looking than the plastic alternatives.
Other things you may wish to consider about wooden sailboats is the fact that they can be heavier than their plastic counterparts, but when glossed they seem to have less hydrodynamic and aerodynamic resistance than plastic boats. However they are usually much more expensive to buy and repair compared to plastic boats.
Wooden dinghies are really nice looking boats when fully glossed as you can see your reflection in them and just generally look amazing. This is one of the main reasons to own a wooden dinghy when compared to a plastic dinghy. However as I mentioned above, the resistive forces acting on wooden boats seem to be less than plastic.
Wooden boats are more expensive to repair, because the entire part that has been damaged, must be taken out and replaced, instead of what happens with plastic boats, where they just inject more mould into the breach.
Might be wondering, why I placed this article here, but the reason is so that you get the opposing main material used in boat making. Plastic is now far more commonly used in boat manufacture that wood, because it can be crafted more easily and it costs less to maintain and repair.
So if you are deciding between a plastic and wooden boat to buy, check out this article, so that you aren't completely fooled by the great look of some glossy wood.
Return from Wooden Sailboats to Started Sailing