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Oldad
06-25-2015, 08:03 AM
The tops of many of the ribs on my 1937 OT are in rough shape cosmetically. The ribs are well and truly nailed with brass tacks to the inwales but will not look so good after the outwales are reinstalled as little bits and pieces are missing from the edges. The canoe has had lots of work done on it, recanvased at least twice, planking nicely patched in several places. Here is my plan: I am thinking of carefully sawing the top 1/4 inch off of each bad rib, at least half of them, and then glue in a 1/4 inch section of good looking rib to the top of the rib, flush with the top of the inwale. Structurally nothing will change because the ribs are all sound except for looks, and when I recanvas and install the outwales it should look pretty good.
Just curious to see if anyone has ever done that or is it unethical, unsound, or ?

Peerie Maa
06-25-2015, 08:41 AM
Personally I would not bother. The nibbles are a part of the history of the boat.

Would you have a face lift to get rid of your facial wrinkles?

Canoez
06-25-2015, 09:14 AM
When you've got rot and it is at the top of a lot of the ribs, you've got a structural issue in that type of boat - particularly if this affects a majority of the ribs, or a large number of ribs in a smaller section. In a traditional cedar and canvas canoe, the inwale is often attached to the ribs with ring-shank nails. The sheer planking and gore planks are clench-nailed to the ribs and the canvas is tacked or stapled at the top of the planking into the ribs. The outwale obviously is screwed through to the inwale, creating scuppers between the ribs.

You can scarf on sections of good cedar that matches the existing ribs. This is not an uncommon repair if nothing is wrong with the rest of the rib.

However, if you have cracked or otherwise broken ribs, now is the time to deal with this while the canvas is off.

Oldad
06-25-2015, 09:18 AM
Good info. The ribs are in good condition except for the "nibbles".

boat fan
06-25-2015, 02:55 PM
I think what you intend to do to repair the ribs sounds / is perfectly reasonable oldad.


You can scarf on sections of good cedar that matches the existing ribs. This is not an uncommon repair if nothing is wrong with the rest of the rib.

What Canoez said . You have end grain in those ribs that can wick water down into those ribs .That can mean potential or existing rot.

Good way to make it look good , as well as sound.It may be fiddly but you are obviously prepared to make the effort.Go for it !

Jay Greer
06-25-2015, 03:46 PM
The art of restoration, most often, dictates that original components be allowed to remain in situ in the condition they were found in. Only for the sake of preservation should such as you propose be attempted.

Personaly, I would prefer seeing your boat with those damaged frame heads left as is. However I would choose to make sure that they are fiinshed off in such a manner so as not to allow further degradation to progress as a result of normal usage of the boat.

Even so, if it makes you feel better to do as you are considering then do it. No one who sees the job should find you wanting for making that decision. If it is done right, does not weaken the structure and looks right then good on you mate.
Jay

boat fan
06-25-2015, 03:53 PM
Personaly, I would prefer seeing your boat with those damaged frame heads left as is.

Why ? Just so you can have a damaged boat ?

Those repairs could be made so as to be virtually invisible , as well as sound , and indistinguishable from original.

Fitz
06-25-2015, 08:10 PM
Don't glue on pieces. As canoez mentioned, if there is significant rot or damage, scarf a new rib end on or replace the rib. There are many rib scarfing tutorials at WCHA.

Jay Greer
06-25-2015, 09:27 PM
Why ? Just so you can have a damaged boat ?

Those repairs could be made so as to be virtually invisible , as well as sound , and indistinguishable from original.
Some times more damage can be done by going too far to do a repair. It is a matter of personal taste. If you want to see what was done on a boat that needed more than a casual repair check out the Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" on this forum. In this case the owner chose to go all the way. You are looking at a thirty foot boat that is truly one of a kind that has had the best restoration possible. It all depends on how much the owner wants to spend and how far he or she is willing to go. I trust you will see the restoration of "Vapor" as being a worthwhile an well executed restoration.
Jay