Once I removed some of the hardware, I found some protected areas that had the original color, and it was more of a typical honey varnish. I have replaced the be cap wood and totally refinished the rest of the wood, varnished with Schooner Gold, and it has ended up with the same beautiful color.
I'm interested in what your experience is with the ten to twelve coats. I have done six, and it's not as resistant to wear as it was before; it seems to have a sort of shell finish, very tolerant to wear. However, when I asked the people at Interlux (makers of Schooner Gold) about this, they said (if I remember the conversation correctly) it was likely some sort of final coat that gave it that shell and they could sell me such a product, but if I did that it would prevent me form doing an annual maintenance coat of anything else in the future. Apparently, constantly watching out for nicks and dings is just how life is with a wood boat. I can accept that; it's certainly preferable to not having the boat in the first place.