From Bob Griffith's book "Blue Water"-
"In my opinion, a boat designed to sail the ocean should have a pointed stern. Boats with transom sterns provide more space below and more stern buoyancy than double-ended boats of the same length, but a transom stern is fundamentally the result of a longer hull
that has had it's tapered stern cut off. The transomed hull
has less space and floatation than if it had lines to please the forces of nature rather than the boat buyers bank book. Awahnee is a 53 foot boat. Give or take a bit, a transomed 48 foot boat is a 53 foot boat that has been chopped off.
sailboats are double-ended below the waterline. In light air a boat does not immerse the transom(unless she is overloaded). But a boat heeling 25 to 30 degrees or more in a seaway will suck water
behind a dragging transom with a great loss of spped, control, and, ultimately, safety
. Boats with especially wide transoms and rudders far astern can heel so sharply that all helm
, with the rudder
rotated up near the surface. This is especially true of boats with relatively narrow bows. Such a combination of features explains many a spinnaker
I consider a pointed stern the natural conclusion of a hull shape, allowing water to flow past with little turbulence on any course or condition of sea. A canoe stern, in addition, protects the rudder
and provides reserve buoyancy. When paired with a bow of good proportion and easy entry, a canoe stern increases effective waterline length when heeled, resulting in greater hull speed
. Sailing with her rail down Awahnees waterline length is 50 ft., rather than 43 feet when she is moored."
I really like Bob's writing and have the utmost respect for most of his ideas. He makes the point that if a hull must be double-ended below the waterline to reduce turbulence, then why wouldn't the same be true above the waterline? And for those who think double-enders are by nature slow, know that Awahnee held many speed records for many years, inluding 88 days around the world and several trans atlantic records, one of which stood for many years. The shape of a rounded stern does not mean buttock lines must cross LWL at an angle that is above the desired 15 degrees. Just cuz there are a bunch of Hans and the like with very rounded buttocks doesn't mean they are all like that. Bob did 8 circumnavigations in this boat, I'm listening to what he has to say about it.