Glad I could provide comic relief and that I am “amusing.”
My canoe with Royalex decks had wear on the first 1/2" of the pointy end-I was OK with that, because the stuff wears like iron so had plenty of years (had I not misplaced them when I disassembled the canoe 2 moves and 7 years ago).
My experience with wood with a canoe with high ends (bow and stern) is that when the canoe is inverted the deck caps get scraped up, and unlike you, I wa not amused, so in the absence of something expendable (like Rotalex or probably UMHW) that doesn’t show scratches.
I know scratches don’t impare usefulness, but in view of the fact my late wife and I picked up the canoe new at the factory, shared perhaps out happiest times in the canoe tripping in Canada and Alaska, and once almost died together in when we flipped it in 34deg choppy water a mile from shore in 1982 (our fault-it was the first paddle of the season, we were over confident, the canoe was empty without a heavy load to stabilize it). It’s times like that you bond with your partner and your canoe. So cosmetically, yes, I am being a wuz, as somehow the restored canoe represents more than just a transportation device with it’s stained mahogany inner and outer gunwales, new seats. People walking in on it think it’s new, and sacreligious as it is, I’d like it to remain that way, as it was when my soul mate and I excitedly carried it out of the office in Waitsfield so many years ago, and lifted onto our vehicle so many years ago.
Maybe it’s no longer just a canoe, but rather a tribute, emotions and memories, and to me it matters, as incomprehensible as it may seem, and I guess I understand you might find that amusing it it was “just” a canoe.
Actually I call it progress-I have a Klepper Aerius II I bought and put together just once 32 years ago. My late wife and I took it for an initial shakedown paddle, we put it in the bags, and I lost her shortly after, and have not been able to even open the bags and look inside, so I see that I am going to actually USE the Explorer as we did, fishing, tripping, sightseeing, and am only weird about a few scratches is for me indeed progress.
And, for the record, I am leaning toward looking for some kind of hardwood plank for the decks, even if I have to glue some up to get them 10" wide, a width uncommon today I suspect.