James S put it quite well. Same answer applies whether liveaboard
I have also owned steel, wood and several glass boats so can offer some expansion on his comments.
Wood - can often find a boat for less up front cost. Ongoing maintenance
can cost more or take more time. If you are living aboard
and have plenty of time to do a little all the time to stay ahead of the job, you have the woodworking skills, painting/varnishing skills, the space and tools to do it, then wood may work for you (you will certainly work for the wood
). If you will be in cold areas or winter on board wood is warmer and better natural insulation
characteristics so you will be warmer and see less condensation
Steel - While it will not be a do or the hull will rot
away issue you will also have to keep some regular paint
going to keep rust streaks cleaned up. If you are serious cruising in tough water
steel is the way to go. PO of my steel boat whacked a reef head
on at 9 kts, all sail flying and came away with a dent and a scrape. Glass or wood hulled boat would be scrap sitting on that reef. Test the hull thickness before buying
to look for thin spots. Worst corrosion
is usually from the inside out, around frames, bulkheads, ribs, etc where water
can get trapped.
Glass - Like he said, generally least maintenance, best material if you need to leave it sit for long periods between use. Of course glass boats can have their problems but they are well known and if you check before you buy you should be ok.