The imperfections make the Sled unique, and each new blemish adds to the boat's character. It's like that with a lot of the belongings I treasure most. When I think of my favorite things—Thistle No. 1055, the Buick Century I recently sold, my electric guitar—they're all mass-produced. When they were new, there was nothing to set them apart from all the other brand-new Thistles, Buicks, and Fender Telecasters. They weren't terribly valuable new, and they haven't appreciated since then—just ask the salesman at the car dealership who offered me $200 for the Century. Their value is mostly sentimental, and their distinguishing characteristics are the imperfections picked up along the way. In the same way I remember my Buick by the notch of vinyl that crumbled away from the steering wheel, it's the dings the spinnaker pole puts in the foredeck grating that sentimentalize the Sled for me. Maybe that's why Willie Nelson plays such a beat-up old acoustic, when he could've traded out for a nicer instrument years ago.