This is my first post here. Please pardon any social blunders I might make before knowing you good folks on this forum. In June I bought a Chestnut Bob's Special. I absolutely LOVE that canoe! I grew up paddling a 16 foot Old Town Yankee, and I have two Yankees of my own (an 18 footer and a 16 footer) and this Bob's is far more maneuverable and versatile. It can be pulled sideways with ease; it turns on a dime; it is more stable; and it is wonderful solo, since the rounded bottom allows you to sit off to the side and rock the other side out of the water. (The flat bottomed Yankees don't do that well.) That makes it, effectively, narrower and slimmer to paddle. It's also far lighter. I can pick it up off the water and swing it over my head, and I'm not a big fellow. It's my dream canoe, can you tell? Chestnut is new to me. Most of what I've learned has been over the last two months, and I'm full of questions. Here are some, organized and ordered in a male mind's manner: 1) The ribs are closer together than is listed for them to be (about half inch apart) and there is a screw through each rib to the keel. Most I've seen pictures of (and also the Yankees) have screws through every other rib. Would this one have been a special order? Seems strange that a lightweight model would be ordered with extra weight. Any thoughts? 2) This canoe came with three paddles, one is solid, the others stripped, each marked with a Chestnut decal. Is this unusual? I've not seen any other Chestnut paddles. Is it criminal to use them? (My daughter refused to use one today, which got me to thinking...) 3) The seats are rawhide. How do I care for them? Should they be touched up with spar varnish just like the rest of the canoe at the end of the season? Oil? Do rawhide seats help to date this canoe? 4) The inside of the canoe seems to have been sprayed with lacquer. (Grrr!!!) It bubbles up in the sun and turns kinda white in humidity or when it gets wet. Any recommendations on how to remove this without stripping the varnish beneath it? 5) (May I please keep going??) The serial number ends in EXL. Any idea what this stands for? 6) I've read (on this site, posted by someone I hope to get to know) that the Bob's Specials had heart shaped decks til the end of Chestnut and not just before the fire, which takes that out of the lineup of dating details. Were the cant ribs/half ribs also kept narrow, the same as the full ribs, til the end? Mine are all the same width, with the same spacing. Is this usual? 7) (Oh, I know there'll be more questions, so I might as well keep numbering.) Thanks folks. P.S. I'm not always this windy--mostly when I've had two months of questions a-building about something that's as exciting as a new canoe.