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I think ifthere is any curve to the sides of the boat, that you'll almost certainly want to create a template. If the curve is the same both port and starboard, you can flip it over for the second one. You can trace the pattern onto the wood you're using, then rough cut it and so some hand work to get the shape and size just right on the template. Once the pattern is smooth as a baby's behind, you can use it to outline the shape on your final material, then use a jig or band saw to cut the shape, leaving a little proud. You can then use a trim bit with a bottom mounted bearing riding on your perfected pattern to do a nice, clean final work piece. If you have a boat that requires it, you can cut a groove on the underside to match the top edge of the boat. I'd clamp that thing down and mark the groove carefully. This is a general process, but I think it's what you're looking for. I don't think you can hand shape the final wood piece so it matches exactly. That's why you make and perfect the pattern. I'd probably use a strip of half inch MDF for the pattern. You can hold the pattern in place with double stick tape.
 

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Back again. Looking at your picture, it dawned on me that you can simply take the old rail off and use it to trace onto your new piece. It will also give you exact locations of screw holes and any under side cuts..

If the wood isn't wide enough for the next four feet, you can use waterproof glue and glue an additional piece to widen the piece. Water proof glue for sure, but also either T&G or a long spline to reinforce that lateral joint. It would look something like this: Red lines represent the cut line. You could even trim some of the end of the top board to add to he smaller add on.
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I apologize. I just realized Desert Rat answered this question on an earlier post. Template on bottom, bearing on bottom.
Top/bottom is always relative to the position on a hand held router where the bit is pointed down. So a bottom bearing is near the tip of the bit, a top bearing is closest to the router. Here's a picture to make it clear. This bit is for illustration only.
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For a smooth bottom in a groove, consider using a half inch shank, 3/4 inch mortising bit. They are terrific. See if you can use the outside edges of the template as a guide for the mortising bit. Clamp it all in place, and you might even want to cut the groove before you cut the rail material to shape. That way the router will be supported on both sides of the groove. I would NOT do this freehand. I wonder if you could just put a fresh coat of paint on the old rail, press it against the material so you have an exact shape to work with? Wipe the paint off after you make the impression.

Cut the outside shape with a saber saw or band saw about 1/8 th inch away from the cut line and just use the trim router and template to take off the rest and produce a smooth edge. My thoughts on the matter, anyhow. When putting in drywall, I put a little lipstick on the electrical boxes, push the drywall against the wall, so I can make an exact cut. Same idea with the paint. You can easily sand off the paint
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You should be able to use the curve of the template to mark a line, or if it is constant, just with a marker and a rule from the edge. Looks pretty good to me.
 
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