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  It's all relative
  Posted by: guideboatguy on Dec-06-12 11:59 AM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Dec-06-12 12:26 PM EST --

I've seen poly kayaks with holes in the hull due to dragging, usually over asphalt or concrete between the car and the put-in. Also, just look at rental canoes. They get dragged in and out of boat landings more than most boats because the users don't care about them, and nearly 100 percent of them have big, thick, ugly skid plates bonded to the places where the hull was worn most of the way through. For any individual dragging situation, I think you have to weigh the damage done versus the convenience. I tend to be more careful than a lot of people. By the way, if your boat is "worn down to the fabric" in some spots, that's really not so bad considering how you treat it. A hull of any thickness would show the same amount of wear, as seen from the outside, but yours just has a lot more material "left to go" before you end up with a weak spot.

Personally, I don't like the "tool" analogy at all because it only works for people who barely own any tools. You might toss a wrench into a bucket of similar tools from 6 feet away, but would you do that with a wood chisel or a plane? Would you kick a micrometer across the shop floor to get it out of your way or "deliver" it to where you are about to use it? Then of course, the word "tool" also applies to innumerable high-tech items that can't be abused

Okay, here's a rant since you mentioned Craftsman tools. Craftsman tools are too glitzy nowadays, and very "cheap". I've often heard it said that today's Craftsman tools are barely any better than what you can get from the discount shops, and since my newer Craftsman wrenches weigh only 3/4s as much as identical models made 30 years ago I can believe it. Also, I just bought a new ratchet wrench that is "just like" a model that my dad has, but it has a plastic tab for setting the ratchet direction, and does NOT have the robust "feel" in operation like the old ones. In fact, if you aren't really careful about how you set it, it will slip. Also, it does not move nearly as freely in the "coast" direction as the older models (tends to seize up), and it's clearly not made to be used for years and years because it doesn't even have a lubrication port like the old ones. But my biggest gripe is that my middle-aged eyes can hardly read the size designations on their new wrenches. The new wrenches have a mirror-shine surface and a "dainty" style of stamping that makes them SO hard to read, especially when I'm under a car with a bare-bulb light source nearby. The letter stamping on my old Craftsman wrenches isn't any bigger than what's on the new ones, but instead of being "dainty" on a shiny curved surface, it's printed on a flat spot that's designed to make it readable, and it's very legible and clear even from several feet away. The older wrenches don't have any polished surfaces at all, let alone the whole wrench looking like a mirror. What ever happened to "functionality"? I believe that Sears just wants their tools to look pretty so that they appeal to the kinds of people who shop there - home owners who have a few dozen wrenches laid out neatly in drawers or hanging on a ridiculous peg-board - people who might change a lawnmower blade once in a while. Okay, rant over.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Reflective Hull Decals

Gedi Convertible Helmet

Portage Carts/Carriers

Kayak Seats

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