Some might say wood, others might say metal. But Egyptians first used papyrus material that is a paper like material made from a reed of the same name. Rafts were usually made of papyrus but would you trust it.....I didn't think so. To me, anything that is supposed to float on water should be very strong and papyrus doesn't sound very strong. To hold this material together, twine was often used to keep it together. You will not catch me on one of those boats. Then dockyards started using timber to build boats. Timber, to me, is stronger than papyrus but I still wouldn't trust it. Cedar was used to build rather big boats but I still wouldn't trust it would you? Later on, boatyards starting building wooden ships. Since Egypt was a desert, trees were hard to find. But the Egyptians managed to find wood, how, from acacia trees sometimes. Larger and heavier boats had sails because a paddle would not be strong enough. And when boats docked, they used planks for people to walk off the boat on. Well if a boat didn't have any planks, they had to dive into the water, and cross as quickly and quietly as possible so the hippos or alligators wouldn't attack them. I would not even get on a boat without a plank so I wouldn't get wet. And I would not risk my life like that.