My Penobscot is starting to get some scratches and a couple of them are deeper than the first green layer and into the second white layer of the hull. When should I start to worry about the scratches? When the boat wont float? Just kidding!
In my opinion, your guess of “when the boat stops floating” is reasonably close. Scratches that show the hull’s inner colours are minor. It’s just the vinyl coating wearing off, it’s not structural damage. It has more to do with your tolerance than the boat’s. Scratched-up boats will still be around for years.
However, the inner layers are more vulnerable to UV, so store the boat in the shade or buy some vinyl paint and keep touching it up. Most of the wear likely occurs bow and stern, so you could also intsall “skid plates”.
If you’ve really dinged the boat and put in some deep gouges, you can patch that with Royalex repair epoxy. Deep rips should be repaired to prevent water from rotting & delaminating the inner layers, but you’ll know when it’s that severe. Sounds like your wear is no big deal. Don’t sweat it unless you need a perfect looking canoe. In which case you should find some paint.
10-4 on the cosmetics
IF you paddle the rivers we have out here you don’t sweat the stratches…we refer to them as patina or more accurately…battle scares:)
You can fill in the really nasty ones with epoxy resin… small batches of the really good stuff are tough to come by, but don’t hesitate to use the good ol’ 5 minute epoxy from the hardware store. It will protect the inner layer and is a bit thicker and more abrasion resistent than just paint…
OR…you can just leave em alone and name each one after the river or rock that you hit (ie ooooh…that one was from runnin’ “Widomaker” on the Owyhee during Spring Run off…
The Shoo Goo is still holding tight on
our Penobscot. We had some deeper scratches and I applied Shoo Goo. Very easy to use compared to epoxy. I put a 2 inch wide strip on the bow and stern instead of skid plates. Don’t need skid plates yet.