I hereby waive my "copyrights" to WB! Quote away! Keith and I are really not all that far apart, as usual. We just like debating things and we know how to "play by the rules." You won't find us devolving to name calling, although Keith does sometimes "bend the rules" by trying to put an advantageous spin on what I say. His premises seem more absolute, while I like to paint mine in a broader spectrum of "shades of grey." (That'll get a rise outa him!)
I am certainly no Luddite. I use modern materials when they seem appropriate and I'm always on the lookout for new mehtods and products, as anyone who knows of my affinity for CPES can attest, but I think there are two constants in the game that don't ever change, the "physics of wood" and the "physics of the sea." A craftsman who has a command of the traditional methods can build any "wooden" boat, be it plank on frame fastened with treenails or a "plywood box" "encapsulated in plasic resin like a fly in amber (which I concede, in the case of amber, is a "wood product" that does last a long, long time!) I appreciate that others may debate differing boatbuilding philosophies, but there can be no denying that the mechanical properties of wood and how it moves as its moisture content changes in a marine environment are inconsistent with rigid adhesives that don't move along with it. That's really the distinction between building with mechanically fastened natural timber assembled with consideration for shrinking and swelling and building with "manufactured wood products" fastened and encapsulated in adhesives and coatings that are intended to prevent the wood doing what it naturally does.. The traditional approach requires a respect for and acceptance of how wood moves and an accommodation of that, while the "modern" approach confronts those same inherent characteristics of wood and seeks to negate or overpower them with modern technology. Even though I might be considered a "Confucian," I do think there's a "yin" and a "yang" in that, in much the same way that similar differing perspectives in Eastern and Western philosophy are reflected in the differences between Asian and European sailing hull and rig design. It isn't "a matter of opinion" that laminated wood structures subjected to wetting and drying cycles, however mitigated by moisture inhibiting barriers, will inevitably tear themselves apart. That isn't to say that traditonal construction doesn't have it's own well known limitations, but when wood decays, as nature has decreed it will inevitably do, traditional construction takes that into account by factoring the anticipated need for repairs into its engineering equation, unlike "modern" methods, which reflect the "modern" economics of our "throw-away" materialistic culture. The "traditional" boatbuilding methods address the inevitable forces created by the nature of wood by vectoring them in the direction desired, while "modern" methods meet those forces head on and seek to overpower them.
That said, can we truly consider a method that of its essence seeks to overcome the very nature of wood by holding it together and covering with plastics to be "wooden boatbuiding?" Is that qualitatively any different from other modern technologies that have made it possible to turn barrels of crude oil into unquestionably fine fibreglass boats? It's all "wooden" at the end of the day, oil being, after all, merely decomposed vegetable material.