For the most part we and our customers build boats that we want to shine; I’m not talking about the way in which they fulfill their intended tasks. Though we do want them to shine in that way, what I am talking about is that wonderful look you get with a boat that is built of wood and covered in coats of carefully applied varnish, giving them that warmth that you only get with wood. I have said more than once when we are at shows that if we just charged a dollar a picture we would always make back the money we have invested. This tells me that many of you feel the same way about wood and wooden boats as we do.
The problem that this glossy finish brings to the fore is that first scratch, at shows we are often asked if we paddle the boats, or if they are just for display. Yes we do paddle them, as often as we can and like everyone who enjoys getting out on the water not nearly as often as we want to. Those who pass through our display booth will follow that question up with, aren't you worried about damaging the boats? The answer I usually give is that the cure for that worry is to go out the first day and just get it over with, scratch the boat. This answer is given somewhat tongue in cheek as it does seem to me to some small degree a sort of sacrilege and I have scratched many boats.
The fact is that the answer really is yes, like any boat owner you do not want to damage your boat but damage and scratches are not the same thing. A scratch just means that you use your boat, all boats get scratches some are more visible than others due to the fact that some colours and materials simply make them more obvious than others. Some are more obvious because well you have hit something a little harder. These wood and epoxy boats are amazingly tough but like any boat they where designed for a purpose, you would not run rapids in a sea kayak and neither would you do so in one of ours its not what they where made for. That’s what playboats are made for and they use materials that are appropriate to the use when they build them.
Varnished boats actually have a distinct advantage over the average fiberglass boat when it comes to those inevitable scratches. The varnished boat can go home and into the garage and with a couple hours of work the next day comes out looking like new. Not many people are equipped to repair gel coat but most everyone can handle a paint brush and a little varnish. So get out there and use them it he reason they where designed and built.