a good piece of ash but cherry and spruce are all perfectly fine for outside rails. The cherry is pretty, spruce is easy to work with and lighter and ash is the toughest but the rails will black spot if you don't keep them varnished. Use spar, not poly and at least three or four coats.
This boat does not require steaming to rail but if it did you can get a bit of slip in the grain just by soaking in hot water for a (good) while.
I would use spruce or ash for the rails and cherry for the decks...that will give you a nice functional result that looks really sharp.
The Kayak Wing
Wall Mount Boat Racks
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
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