Re: cedar strip fishing boat "nipissing special"
A neat trick I have used over the years for putting ribs in boats is to take a piece of thin aluminum or stainless steel and bend it into a U shape. You then stick it on the end of the rib and it not only keeps the rib from digging into the planks as it goes in, it actually makes it much easier to slide them in place.
the other trick I use is to make up wedges a bit thicker than the rib+the gadget bent into a U and drive them in between the planks and the stringers. That opens it up just enough that you shouldn't have to use a mallet at all until the very end when you are pushing them not only down the one side but also up into the opposite side.
You want to be very careful not to tear up the planks with the new ribs, any damage you do to them while installing ribs is just wasting your time...
Good luck and keep posting pictures.
Fish and ships or is that chips