Floor rack/half ribs

Jeffrey Ward

Curious about Wooden Canoes
How important is a floor rack or the use of half ribs to the strength of a wood/canvas canoe? I ask because I recently bought a 1953 Old Town Guide canoe in need of restoration. It has neither a floor rack, nor half ribs. I haven't gotten started on the restoration yet, but I have been reading a lot in preparation for the project. I have read about floor racks and half ribs in a few places, and I understand that they give strength to the bottom of the canoe. I don't want to add a floor rack or half ribs to my canoe because they weren't there originally and because they would add extra weight. But, will I risk damaging the planking if I stand in the canoe without them?
You should be fine standing in an Old Town Guide without half ribs or a floor rack. These do add some strength but the primary purpose was aesthetic and to help keep your gear from getting wet from the small amounts of water that often collect in the bottom.