Last fall, when I pulled my wooden skiff out of the water for the season, I banged up the bow below the water line. It took three of us to position the boat onto the trailer, with constant gusts of wind and waves hammering us relentlessly. A storm was brewing and I didn't want to risk leaving the boat at the dock.
In the process I also tore off the forward section of a 3/4" X 1 1/4" wooden strip that was nailed to the bottom of the skiff. Capt. Rob explained that this is called a worm shoe. According to an on-line source, a worm shoe is "a non-structural piece of wood, fixed to the underside of a wooden boat." It is designed to protect the bottom of the boat from worms and collisions with underwater objects in shallow water. It is also the part of the boat that comes in contact with the rollers on the trailer. The worm shoe is made to be easily removed.
It took a couple of hours to raise the bow of the boat off the trailer, remove the worm shoe, cut a new piece of wood, and fasten it with stainless steel screws. Next I'll repair the bow with epoxy, then scrape and paint the boat. If all goes well I'll have her in the water sometime in May.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a history of the Ocracoke Preservation Society. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042111.htm.