Lotus Egret question

I have acquired a Lotus Egret, a 1988 model, in mint condition. In fact, I hesitate to put it on the water for fear of getting it dirty or damaged.

The wood trim looks like it was shaped by Shaker furniture makers. The bow deck, which is the top of the flotation chamber, has a piece of wood crossing it which puzzles me about its function. It measures seven inches long, approx. an inch high, and half an inch thick. It crosses the bow deck just aft of the corner where the deck turns downward. What is its purpose? I suppose it would keep a beverage from sliding off the deck or possibly would reduce glare from the sun. I’d appreciate hearing your opinions. Thanks.

Not sure I am visualizing the wood piece
properly, but your guess about it making the flotation chamber into a slightly useful shelf may be correct. Is the wood piece flush on the chamber, or is there a gap between them? How are the ends of the wood piece connected to the boat?

wood piece
The wood piece is glued to the bow deck, and sticks up about one inch high. The ends of the piece do not quite reach the gunwales–probably short by two inches. It’s a real mystery to me.

Binocular rack

– Last Updated: Jun-14-05 6:48 AM EST –

it is called a binucular rack in the ad,
and I assume it is meant for that,
after all, the Egret was designed as a Sport canoe
that would be nice for birdwatching and so.
In the memory of the late Mike Galt,
here is part of the advertising text for the Lotus Egret in the
Canoe Sport Journal Volume 2, #1, 1988

Designer Mike Galt unwinds the EGRET while he waits for his bow
paddler to show up. Then they're going birdwatching, because that's
the sort of thing the EGRET is really for. But isn't it nice to know
that this elegant, mannerly little canoe, that you might take on a
picnic, or an occasional overnighter, will never limit your skill
development the way, uh, other canoes do.
The EGRET, 14'-3" x 48 lbs, is a compact, classy, sport canoe,
specifically designed for 'couples'. And because the contemporary
coupe can't always do everything together, the EGRET is also set up
to be paddled solo.