Wooden Sailboat Blog

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Tough Lesson

All new ribs...

Old Ribs

The old ribs were simply not going to fit. Even after trying to put in the screws through the hull I did not get a tight fit. So I got out the miter saw and got rid of the evidence of a hard learned lesson.

Better Material

I went back to the hardwood store and spent 2 hours picking through 8 foot white oak planks. Finding the best lumber seems to have a big impact. I tried to get planks that were cut close to the center of the tree.

Reducing Size

My initial thought was that the larger the ribs the better the support. But getting a snug fit was simply impossible. The new ribs a slightly thinner and wider. This allowed the bending to go very smooth.


I pre-drilled and marked the position of the ribs. Ones out of the steam box they are in place and bolted to the keelson within 10 seconds.

Bolted in Place

I also pre-drilled the holes through the hull. By over-bending the ribs and mounting them from the keelson out there are simply no more gaps to the planks.

Many helping Hands

My wife and I can put in the 1/2 ribs. But for the full length pieces we got the neighbors over for a glass of wine, dinner and wood bending.