How would you fix this?


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When the last owner of this canoe loaned it out, it came back with patched like the pictures.

Ribs that were scabbed in look to be about 1/2" shorter than the wood they replaced. The short ribs took out the tumble home on the side of the repair. They are also coming through the hull on the plank seam.


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I think a proper repair would involve replacing the long/short rib pairs with new full length ribs. Some of the long halves of the pairs are already cracked anyway.

The hull shape could be maintained or restored with battens. It could be tricky as there seems to be more cracked ribs on the right in the 1st picture, not to mention the planking in the foreground.

Here's a couple other views. I'm new at this so tricky is the right word. All of the batten pictures I've seen are pulling existing curves fair, not recreating the curves in empty air.

You are right about cracked ribs in the forground. There are a couple under the bow seat too.


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When replacing ribs, one usually steams them and bends them at a place where the outside dimension of the hull is equal to the inside dimension where the rib is going.

Well, if only one side of the boat has the correct shape, it seems that you would have to steam half the rib, bend it onto the hull on the correct dimension and correct side; then steam the other half of the rib and bend that over the same dimension, same side, but ON THE OTHER END OF THE BOAT. This will ensure that the "drift" of the rib-ends will be in the same direction.

I might also suggest that the floor is not as flat as it should be. I think that adding half ribs along a large section will help in achieving the tumblehome shape.
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If all the broken and repaired ribs are towards one end of the canoe, you can remove every other rib from the good end, turn it around, and install it in its corresponding location on the bad end (you can do this because the canoe is symmetrical end-for-end). Once you have done this you can bend new ribs to fill in all the gaps on the outside of the hull.

If the broken ribs are in the distributed across the middle of the hull, you may not be able to do this. In that case, the use of battens as Martin suggests, may be your best bet, along with the clever use of clamps, Spanish windlasses, etc. to regain the hull shape prior to bending new ribs.

Thank you gentlemen.

Looks like I'll be spending the next few days pulling the hull into shape.

Floor flattens up some when I fair up the up keel. How to you get it stay put after you have it in shape? Replace a lot of ribs? Half ribs? Boiling water and towels?