Old age cracks ribs?

You can see the flat spot in the bilge line in the upside down exterior photo. Mine has three similar but a little closer to the bottom of the curve. Each was also broken near the keel so I feel it was a big rock in the Delaware. I sistered these but it is VERY obvious & they will be replaced whenever I recanvas...

Age dries out the cedar and in some situations (dry climate) an infrequently used canoe could get very dry.

So "due to old age" is partially true but they don't crack without an impact - a rock in the river, dropping it while loading etc. Those can be quite honorable cracks and not due to abuse.

But they can be repaired.