Steel metal boats are relatively harmless to the environment, but aluminum is a superior metal for actually making a boat (lightweight, strong, flexible, less rust). The bad thing about aluminum boats is the damage caused by the creation of the alloy itself. The process of making aluminum is one of the most energy-intensive procedures known to man. In addition to requiring an enormous amount of electrical power to make this stuff, the main component of aluminum, bauxite, must be dug out of the ground. With wooden boats, the issue of wood destruction by bacteria is the main thing that requires environmentally-unfriendly acts. Heavy metal shields, chemical treatments, varnish, and toxic paint are just a few of the tools used to combat the organisms that will eat away at wooden boats. Several exotic wood species show remarkable resistance to marine pests, Ironwood, Teak, and Mahogany to name a few. The endangered status of these remarkable trees is a sad testament to how little value previous and present generations have assigned to them.
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