The work or putting on the steel rails is exaggerating some of the weaknesses of the boat and some cracks are showing. After consulting with a boat builder he endorsed my notion that the boat won't withstand being vertical unless the entire thing is reinforced. So the decision is made to fiberglass the hull and to strengthen the floor timbers.
Meet Dennis. He is a master boat builder. While we worked on fiberglassing he told me all about his life in boats. He built a boat for Billy Joel and worked on carbon fiber America's Cup Yachts. He also has a 52 foot traditional wood motorboat. Which he built. I can almost see him chuckling about the small time problems I have with my 17' rowboat, though he did admit it was a very interesting project
the fiberglassing is pretty straightforward and slow. It's just a matter of laying the cloth and painting it with epoxy resin. Strengthening the floor timbers uses the same epoxy mixed with stuff called colloidal silica which makes it into an incredibly strong paste. It is put in place i with a curved spatula at the joints. Once that sets a bit, fiberglass cloth strips are laid overtop and painted into place with regular epoxy.
In the last picture you can see the filleted floor timbers and the post for the transom seat which is also filleted
This was the single biggest expense of my entire budget for this project.