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I always tow with a cover on. It saves me well over 10% on petrol. A significant amount of money on a trip to Copenhagen and back.
With my old boat I discovered that most damage comes from road dirt that splashes against the hull to the extend that it leaves marks as you describe. My guess is that the marks of the straps are the undamaged parts rather than the damaged parts?
Because of the road dirt I now use an under cover on my boat. I use it always no matter how short the distance to travel. An under cover is made from nylon and hence not very expensive. It is far less expensive then a paint job, for that is what it takes to remove the road dirt damage. No amount of polish will remove the scratches caused by road dirt. On most Porter build boats the gel coat has minimal thickness to keep the weight down (..) and it is remarkable how fast you polish through the gel coat.
Since an under cover is put on before the top cover it also protects the hull from damage by the top cover straps, but I don’t believe that to be an issue.