I have an old town wc canoe I'd like to restore - serial no 119835 16 - it hasn't seen the water in over 30 years. From what I can discern, it is probably a CS model built in the 40s sometime (steel fasteners along the stem - spruce inwhales and outwhales, ash thwarts and breast hooks, likely WRC planking although its all a weathered silver gray now) Anyway, it has 4 fractured ribs along the mid section, stems need to be spliced, in whale ends are gone, the spruce out whales are toast. The planking is very dry and weathered, and the hood ends are very thin, fragile and split by the multitude of steel fasteners into the stem. I had originally contemplated just replacing the inwhales (they're largely intact but very worn and rough) and the stem tips and the few broken ribs, but given that just about every plank is going to need to be replaced at the end I figured it best to just go ahead and put on all new planks. So... new planks and some new ribs...hmmmmm I'm contemplating a radical approach, the end result of which would be a new canoe generated from the old one that retained the original stem heels (and serial number) and thwarts: I would generate a pattern and scarf in new stem ends. Then I would build a keelson/strong back from a 2x6 to maintain the rocker and screw it in from the outside at every other rib. I would then spring stiff battens at intervals along the inside fastened from the outside at every other rib to form a longitudinal framework over which new ribs could be bent in between old ones. New inwhales would be bent in against the old ones. I would then separate the ribs from the old inwhale by running a hacksaw blade between them, lift the old whale out and the new whale into place. I would temporarily fasten every other rib to the new inwhale. The thwarts and breast hooks would be re-installed along with some additional temporary cross bracing across the rails. I would then invert the boat setting the 2x6 keelson (strongback) on a couple of stantions. After it was braced into place, I would break away the planking allowing every other rib (the ones to which battens and whales were not fastened) to be removed and fed to the stove. I would leave the ribs in way of the stem heel in place - they're pretty much fine and I can discretely scarf in new rib ends on these where needed. New replacement ribs would be bent into place over the battens and themselves fastened to the battens and inwhale allowing the remaining original ribs to be likewise removed and replaced. Planking would proceed in the usual fashion (with the awkward inconvenience of having to buck every single tack). Battens would be removed as planking proceeded to allow access with the backing iron. Not sure yet when and how I'd fair the ribs - maybe as planking proceeded so batten fasteners would be out of the way I'm pretty confident that this method, although more effort, would yield a final result that is much more structurally sound than scabbing new tips and plank ends into a rickety 70 year old (I think) canoe, while preserving the original shape as much as possible. Still less work than taking off lines, doing planking reductions and constructing a proper solid mold for a one-off Specific questions: 1) The original ribs seem to be quarter and rift sawn - should I do the same or would I have better luck bending flat sawn stock? Does flat sawn stock result in too flexible a bottom? 2) Am I going too far overboard here? Is there a more practical way to restore this canoe to functional soundness?