Hull paint scratch prevention/hiding

-- Last Updated: Jul-06-05 4:39 PM EST --

for goldenglass red 1983 Sawyer Summersong? I've only had this boat for about a month, but the surface scratches are becoming unsightly. It's no longer the smooth, almost scratchless hull that I fell in love with. The scratches are very obvious even though they just barely rough up the surface. The scratches occur when setting the boat down on the shore before launching, setting the boat in the water when launching (I place the boat completely in the water parallel to the shore before getting in, but the side of the boat rubs the shore) and when getting out and picking the boat up, not while paddling on the lake

303 temporarily reduces the visibility of the scratches, but they became visible again in a coupble days. Star Brite marine polish doesn't change the appearance of the scratches at all.

Are there any surface treatments that help reduce this type of scratching, or do I either place a mat or carpet on the ground where I launch the boat to prevent contact with the rocks or just get used to the accumulation of scratches?

Of course, I'd rather have a scratched up boat that's used alot, rather than a pristine boat that just sits, but is it possible to have a nearly pristine hull and a well used boat of this weight (about 60lbs with rudder?) when carrying and launching solo? My understanding is that the original owners (I'm the third) only used their two Summersongs for tripping in the BWCA and I am baffled as to how they kept from scratching the hulls.

Thanks in advance for your tips and suggestions.

no scratches…
“My understanding is that the original owners (I’m the third) only used their two Summersongs for tripping in the BWCA and I am baffled as to how they kept from scratching the hulls.”

That’s probably because they launched and debarked in ankle to knee deep water. There’s a lot of lakes in the BWCA where that is a requirement due to very rocky landings. It’s the accepted technique.

Have you looked here for techniques?

– Last Updated: Jul-08-05 11:03 AM EST –

Unless you are older than dirt or a real desk weenie you should not have too much of a problem picking up, loading, unloading, setting down even your heavier canoe if you have the right techniques.

Now us older that dirt weenies have all sold our old heavy canoes and bought much, much lighter ones so we can still out do the young squirts! ;^)

Canoe lifting:

Look at all the good info. Go to and look at middle of right hand column.


beach rolling launch pad
saw exactly what you need in the latest canoe/kayak mag. don’t remember what it’s called but it’s a series of rollers on a folding frame. allows you to pull up on the shore without touching bottom. probably pricey.

anybody know what i’m taling about?

Don’t you have to set the boat on the
rocky shore sometimes? How do solo paddlers take a canoe from their shoulders and set it down on a rocky shore without scratching it or pick it up without scratching it? My guess is that since they paddled their solos together, they could pick the boats straight up with one person on each end and set the boats straight down without it slipping from side to side or or front to back while touching the ground.

The particular place I paddle in after work doesn’t give me the option of entering and exiting is shallow water because the lake bottom droppes off too quickly. I do use the shallow water wet entry and exit when possible.

Thanks for the links mcwood4
Alot of good info at that site. I have a lift and set down technique that is easy enough on my body, but it also results in a little hull slippage on the ground when moving the the boat into position for the lift and when setting it down.

I’m just puzzled how the original owners kept from getting even little scratches on the bottom of the hulls when picking it up and setting it down, unless they always set them on a pad or something. My experience with this particular boat has been that any contact - even gentle or slight - results in visible scratching even when empty. Scratches on this glossy red paint seem to be very visible and almost look white until you look very closely and can tell that it’s actually roughed up red. This is the first glossy red painted fiberglass boat I’ve been acquainted with, so, as far as I know, maybe all glossy red boats have scratches that look this obvious. Scratches on my butterscotch colored fiberglass boat and my clearcoat natural color boats don’t show scratches nearly as conspicously.

I guess I may be a little over protective of this beautiful boat and and have unreal expectations. I think I’ll take it out again tomorrow and put some more scratches on it : )

I did see that ad for the launch rollers
I’d have to examine that a little closer to determine if that approach would result in fewer scratches when getting the boat in the water.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.