"Gunwale (pronounced "gunnel") is defined as "the upper edge of a boat's side". It defines the sheer line of the boat, and on dories consists of an inwale and and outwale. So yes, sheer rail and gunwale describe the same…"
"Hate to butt in here, but in case David is away from the computer awhile. White oak is the typical material. I might also recommend installing transom wedge blocks that fit between the hull panel and inside handrail or inwhale. This will support the…"
"You do not need a strong back but I would recommend getting some instructions. I’ve got plans from Mike Baker, Don Hill, Ray’s and Tatman. Mike Baker hands down has the best instruction and plans. He is on this site.