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What is Parking Lot Syndrome?


If you strap a wooden boat to your roof and drive to a put in for a paddle, you will need to learn to deal with the inevitable delays that occur when people gather around your car to ask about your boat. "Where did you get it?", "How much did it cost?", "You didn't build that.", and on and on. This is the Parking Lot Syndrome or PLS. It is the burden you will take on when you have a wooden boat on your car.

You will need to plan on leaving a little earlier for the launch so you have time to deal with the admiration. If you pull in on a beach for lunch, be prepared to be interrupted while eating your sandwich. When you paddle with unfamiliar paddlers, don't be surprised if one of them moves in beside you as you paddle to ask a few questions.

You may get tired of telling people that your boat is not heavy, but is actually lighter than theirs. You may feel a desire to point out the flaws that only you seem able to see. It is OK if you want to tell people "No, it is not wood, I just used wood-grained contact paper to make it look like this."

These problems are the inevitable result of exposing a strip-built or stitch-and-glue boat to public scrutiny. It will attract attention. People will want to talk to you about it. You will have to learn to deal with it.

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