Fine Scratches On Wood Canoe

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I am curious if I'm just to rough on my wood strip or if it's just the way it is. I always get a few new scratches on my canoe hull when I take it out for a paddle. The scratches aren't deep. I can hardly feel most of them
A little fine sandpaper and a couple coats of poly, and they'll disappear. Is this normal or am I just to rough on it?IMG_20220505_120831902.jpg
 
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That’s normal unless you are incredibly careful. Wood strip canoes should get a new coat of varnish on a regular basis for continued UV protection. I built a Rushton Wee Lassie canoe 45 years ago and it still looks great. So I’m told, my ex has it still.
Jim
 
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That’s normal unless you are incredibly careful. Wood strip canoes should get a new coat of varnish on a regular basis for continued UV protection. I built a Rushton Wee Lassie canoe 45 years ago and it still looks great. So I’m told, my ex has it still.
Jim
What? The ex has it? Oooh. Thanks for the reply. I was to busy last winter to refinish it. It just sat in the basement collecting dust.

We are camping where we have a sandy beaching area. It has a few stones. Seems like even setting it down in the sand scratches it.IMG_20220505_082403556.jpg
 

Glenn MacGrady

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I remember when my wood/fiberglass Old Town OTCA was new, which was a very involved purchase-trade transaction with lots of driving. I took it on Calero Lake in San Jose, CA, with my young daughter. Landing the boat, I scratched it on some hidden rocks. I was so angry that I screamed out a stream of impolite words. I scared my daughter stiff.

That was 14 boats and 14,000 scratches ago. I try to be careful launching and landing, and I wetfoot entries and exits as much as possible. But if you are going to use a canoe, scratches are inevitable, and they will likely be plentiful if you are out in real wilderness, dragging and lining and tracking and rock bashing and smacking trees and dropping the canoe . . . .

I now worry about scratches on the bottoms of my canoes about as much as I worry about wear on the soles of my boots or on the treads of my expensive car tires, or dulling on the blades of my knives and ice skates. Use = friction = wear.

Still, when a canoe is new, and especially when it cost dearly in money or build time, scratchopobia is a normal reflex.
 
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I try to strike a balance between keeping scratches to a minimum without it affecting my paddling enjoyment. I've been getting better at doing things like paddling through an interesting looking rocky channel instead of avoiding it, or taking out on a rocky shore, either for a break or to check something out for fear of getting scratches.

I'm getting OK with scratches, my goal now is not to damage the filler or especially the wood hull. That being said I still cringe when I hit something.
 
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