order of attaching gunwales

Brad Koeneman

Maker of fine kindling
I have dry fitted my gunwales and all is well and plan to begin gluing them on today. Can anyone tell me why the inwales are typically attached first? It would seem to me that the outwales should be attached first as they are easier to fit, clamp, and keep fair. My strips do not follow the sheer so my reference to the sheer is not black and white and it is much easier to sight down the outside than the inside. I typically use no fasteners, only epoxy, and have no trouble keeping the beam correct when dry clamping in either order.
I put the outwales on first, following the instructions from the kit I bought. These are fastened with screws, most of them from the inside, then near the ends you have to go from the outside (into the decks). The inwales were then screwed from the inside, into the outwales. I've only built the one boat, but it worked fine for me.
I've built 2 strippers, and on both, installed the inners first, this allowed me to install the decks with screws from the outside.

As for glueing the rails on, I did and regret it, never again.
IF you decide to change something later, it's much harder to do it with glued on rails.

outwales first

I always put on the outwales first, shortly after taking the hull off the form. It allows me to worry less when sanding the inside. I use 3/4 x 1/2 mahogany outwales and epoxy them inplace without any screws. It saves aout two pounds in the canoe. See pics.


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