It really, really depends on the specific boat.
Most sailboats don't sink because of structual failures, but because of poorly installed or maintained equipment
. Think rusting hose clamps, broken through hulls, corroded keel bolts
, ect. The likely hook of a hull
breach leading to a sinking, while possible in any boat is a very remote
To protect from a hull breach, the only thing that would really help is positive flotation. So in this regard I would think a carbon foam hull would be best, followed fiberglass
, then aluminium, then steel. But specific design elements would be much more important than construction material.
According to BoatUS insurance
claims 80% of boats sink at the dock
, and the most common cause of sinking is underwater fittings accounting for 50% of all at the dock
sinkings, or 40% of all sinkings.
Underway sinkings account then for 20 of sinkings, the biggest problem is taking water
of the gunnels (this survey
included power boats) at 30% of underway sinkings. But another 30% of underway sinkings were caused by either bad through hulls or leaks
In total about 2% of all sinkings were caused by either the hull separating or hitting debris while underway.