In another of those questions to ponder… what do you want?
Practically, now… I assume we probably all would like to have a gold-plated yacht with all the bells and whistles, and the money to run it and pay the crew to keep it in shape. I imagine that most anybody reading this page can rule that out… if not, please make a donation 🙂
Now then, what’s the draw to that type of craft? For me, its the "gee-whiz" features it can have… top notch electronics, power doors, etc. The huge fuel bill and large size would be a turnoff to me even if I could afford it. I tend more toward a boat a couple can handle… I want to boat with my family and maybe a couple of close friends, not a crew.
I want to boat to boat, to enjoy the water, to see and experience nature, to "get away". Not to just have a movable palace.
Given a certain size (say 30-50′), with decent capabilities, what kind of finish? I’m sorry, I love the look and feel of the wonderful woodwork that you see in many production (and home built) yachts/boats, but somehow, I just don’t understand it. It seems like it has just become tradition to build a boat this way. We (most of us, anyhow) don’t build our houses this way (even fairly top-end homes), but people expect a boat to have polished wood everything, and a floor that can’t be walked on without fear of scratching it.
I guess a boat to me is something to use and enjoy, not coddle. If it gets a scratch, I will be annoyed, but life will go on. Many materials and finishes can take much more abuse and day-to-day wear and still look good. Why not a nice linoleum tile (or maybe even granite, etc. tile if you want some ballast down low :-))? Put in easily removable carpet. Yes, the water will get to it in a few years… tear it out and go again. We do that in our homes.
Don’t take this as a knock against the beautiful work and boats that people have. If you like that and value it (and can do it or have it done), more power to you… but for those of us that go toward a more workboat appearance… what finishes and materials do you see used?