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Any hard non porous wood with small to no grain should be OK.  I would avoid walnut as it is very porous and grainy.  I know the kits almost all use this wood but they have to be concerned with getting out a decent product at a reasonable price.  


I love castello but it's gotten very expensive and hard to find these days.  Cherry and Swiss pear are good choices if you don't mind a reddish hull.  Maple could be good depending on the type and the amount of grain in the pieces you would be getting to work with.    Lately there have been more folks using bass wood and some types of spruce with very good results.   


Depending on the year of the ship, if it is to have a white bottom you can use holly for the lower planking or just go with painting.    


I am sure you will be getting a lot of good information based on members own experiences.







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Don't forget Alaskan Yellow Cedar..


I was really impressed with how the grain showed up on Glenn Barlow's Cheerful.




It reminds me of curly maple.  Of course the effect would depend on the way the wood is sawn.


Then not everyone wants to see dramatic grain patterns because they feel it is out of scale.

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