It's also precisely the reason Doug and I felt so stupid for having one shipped in this fashion. Luckily, this particular incident wasn't a customer order - it was our good-willed attempt to get one of the new olive colored Hobie's in time to show off at the recent Ballina VMR camping, boating & fishing show. As you can see, it backfired on us. Behold our new demo Revo!
Of course, we had to do something about it because although not really hindering function in any way, those gouges are as cosmetically pleasing as a hat full of bums. Fortunately, turning them into much less of an eye-sore isn't terribly difficult. In fact, this effort amounted to about 70 - 80 minutes work and it was time well spent. The process for which goes something like this...
Using a heat-gun (or a good quality hair-drier might do), hold steady heat onto the scratches just long enough for the sharp lips of the gouges to melt back upon themselves and back into the gouged groove. Use a smooth surfaced object (such as the underside of a teaspoon) to help push the melting edges back in lightly, working your way from one end of the scratch to the other. Be sure to avoid over-heating the plastic though - you'll know you're getting close to doing just that if you note the plastic surface change glossiness or shape in any way. Use caution.
The next step is to take to it with a block & sand-paper, starting out with 600 grit, sanding it back lightly. Don't work it too hard and be wary of taking away too much plastic in any one area. Better end results will come with more time taken, stepping up in fine grades of paper for best effect, 800, then 1000. To finish it off you'll want to use some buffing compound, applied vigorously (but not too vigorously) by hand with a clean rag, or with a buffing machine. This will put a nice polish around the area and should help to smooth out the gouges even more. Be wary of going too heavy-handed with the buffing though - it's possible to take off too much.
Much the same technique can be used to bring an entire hull back to life, although obviously it's a longer process. Usually, however, in these cases it’s more a matter of many small scratches to deal with, as opposed to a few really deep ones. Perhaps it'll be a bit of both. In any case, the heat treatment should only be reserved for the deepest gouges. Sandpaper & buffing will take care of the rest nicely.