The modern preference seems to be going to cats for many good reasons.
If building from scratch a cat has several major advantages. From my point of view I'm seeing:-
1) Ready availability of well priced materials. Have you costed out steel
, lead and quality wood recently?
2) Fewer specialised techniques needed. In particular plating, pouring lead, welding, rolling, abrasive blasting and fairing are tricky, need specialised equipment
and have very unpleasant consequences if they go wrong. There can be an alergic reaction to epoxy
but it may be possible to minimise this with proper safety
3) The interior
of a cat is built along with the exterior. A steel
boat is essentially a wooden boat inside a steel shell. Very time consuming to do.
4) Owner built cats look to hold their value well. Have you looked at the price
of even well built steel boats recently?
I will admit that cats do have their disadvantages, mainly the need for a large building space and to be built and assembled close to their intended launch point, but from the point of view of an intending amateur builder
, to me, the advantages are overwhelming.