I had the same problems with my Boats. Mine were a bit different and even more fragile. I installed the rudders but wish I hadn’t. They are delicate and wobbly. The kit came with three boats, but I had to use one for spare parts.I spent the last 2 weeks working on the ships boat/gig. Not the easiest project. The ribs are very delicate and break easily (3 broken during assembly). Even so, I was able to get it completed. I put in the floor boards early to add some strength and support to the ribs during planking. I stained the boat a dark walnut to the match gun carriages. I still have the oars to work on and I am considering whether to add a version of oarlocks. We'll see about that.
I had a number of small gaps between planks which is understandable with the quality of the wood strips provided. The wood strips were very thin and very difficult to sand the edges. To fill the gaps, I mixed white glue and wlanut sanding dust at about 1.5 to 1 parts and filled gaps with that. I thought it worked surprizingly well.
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What would I do differently if I could start over? First, I think I would try to assemble the frames and keel to the gunwale while it was still attached to the full laser cut piece. This would have added some additional stabilization the the ribs during the assembly process which would have helped considerably. I also would have considered a filler piece at the bow between the first and second rib. Since the bow deck would cover the filler, I think it would have been a good addition to get better planking at the bow.
I have not worked on the tiller and rudder yet. I am considering putting them in the bottom of the boat instead of attaching them to the stern. I have enough experience in small boat handling and storage to know that rudders and tillers are typically removed during transport and storage. Any thoughts on this?