All 132 of the original one and one quarter by
one and one half- inch white oak ribs also had to be replaced. The plan
was to remove and replace the ribs while leaving as much of the boat's
interior intact as possible. All of the old fastenings had to be removed
from each rib before it could be replaced. However the original frames
were not about to give up their home of some seventy or so years without
In some cases where there was easy access, the ribs were split and cut
into pieces and the fastenings removed later. Everyone involved in the
process was impressed with the tenacity of the old oak ribs. Even the
ones that were previously cracked or partially destroyed by rot still
retained a tremendous amount of strength.
Old ribs were removed to be replaced with new.
The ribs were replaced a set at a time, one on each side. Newly cut white oak ribs were steamed and driven down inside the hull planking and fastened in place where an old one had been removed. By working from side to side and spacing out the replacement sites the old frames served as a form to retain the hull shape as the hot, limber new ribs were driven home and fastened into place.
New ribs are driven into place.
Most of the galvanized screws could be backed out
with some effort. Some required drilling and the use of an easy out. The copper
rivet heads were easily drilled off and the rivets driven out. The galvanized
rivets fastening the ribs to the stringers were drilled, chiseled, sawn, ground,
pounded and sworn at until they finally were removed one by one.
New ribs cooking in the steamer
Master boat builder Mike Becker fastens a new rib to the new keel.