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Old 03-05-2009, 08:13   #1
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Stern Types

Can you all help me understand more about stern types on sailboats? I see multiple configurations - reverse transom, sugar scoop (?), angled transom, and then many where the stern rises up out of the water (e.g. Block Island 40 -- see attached -- I like this look). Many are squared off at the back whereas others draw to a point.

I'm pretty new to yachting and am looking at something in the 32-36 foot range. I'd like to know what the pro's and con's of these various stern types are on . . .
  • sailing ability
  • accomodations/space below
  • etc.
Is it mainly aesthetics?

Thanks for any help you can provide.
Steve

[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/steve/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/steve/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/steve/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/steve/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-3.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:38   #2
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it's mainly about waterline

You'll notice that the type of boat you admire has a fairly short waterline for its overall length (LOA). A reverse transom allows for a longer waterline without increasing LOA. This leads to greater speed and stability, as well as increased interior space. It also eliminates overhang which made those beautiful boats of yore tend to hobbyhorse a bit in a seaway.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:46   #3
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addendum

By the way, if that traditional yawl is what rings your bell, then purchase a traditional yawl. Getting from point A to point B via sail is rarely more about expedience than aesthetics, and, in reality, most of us spend most of our time going from point A back to point A, even if it takes us a week or two to get there.

Who cares if you're going slow as long as you're looking good?
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
You'll notice that the type of boat you admire has a fairly short waterline for its overall length (LOA). A reverse transom allows for a longer waterline without increasing LOA. This leads to greater speed and stability, as well as increased interior space. It also eliminates overhang which made those beautiful boats of yore tend to hobbyhorse a bit in a seaway.
hobbyhorsing is from the trim of the boat not the stern of the boat--if all the weight is in the bow and stern, any boat will hobby horse. a properly trimmed out boat will NOT hobby horse....the stern of the boat/transom shape is for the way the boat handles in a following sea...pointy ends are for supposedly preventing being pooped by a following sea--flat and rising transoms tend to slap the seas, pointy ends slide and cut the waves, scoop transoms are for racing as are the reverse transoms-----each shape has a reason....for example--the heart shaped transom of a leaky teaky(formosa, ct, hardin sea wolf, etc) is for sliding down a following sea and splitting the wave, as is the pointy or canoe transom of the double ender.......racers like to surf for faster sailing speed.......if you are seeking a boat for yourself, the best thing is to sail as many different kinds as possible so you are able to know what it is you like best....there is no perfect transom shape---is up to you, the prospective buyer to figger out what it is about the boats you look at that you like and donot like and go from there--research is very important so you do not become "stuck" with something you really donot want to deal with.....donot confuse boat trim with design......trim is how ya stuff your things into the boat after purchasing it---how the water tanks and fuel tanks and other mandatory stowage affects the way the bosat handles.......most weight goes into midships or the boat---ANY boat --will hobby horse...btw---the formosa and ct and hardins designed by william garden are still cruised extensively---are no tboats of yore.....lol...and yes, thereis a difference between racing a boat and cruising a boat----.
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:08   #5
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In my humbleness of dogmatic opinions I reckon its all about age of design and the evolving racing rules... now a tad supplanted by comfy cruisers.

As you can imagine since computer modelling and computer testing as well as water tank testing boat design has come a long way in the last 50 years.

In the 60's to 80's the racing rules meant that every handicap system made designers try to take advantage of one rule or another. Suddenly something would be all the craze... not because it made boats better but made their handicaps lower.

In the later 80's racing boats just got too damn expensive and hard to sail. I reckon the Farr boats did that. Instead of Dad racing on a Saturday and then taking Mum and the kids out on Sunday, mums across the world (Moms in USA) got totally freaked out at trying to hang onto a down hill sled with only 2 crew instead of 20.

So cruising boats split from the Cruiser/Racer.

At about this time chartering slipped into vogue and people paid more for spacious accommodation and the charter companies had the power to tell boat builders what they wanted.

Now we have a situation where there's 'classic' designs that look great but are crappy at sea and below; Designs that are great below but too slow for some; and multi million dollar specialist machines for racers that can't really be sailed otherwise.

So you need to work out what you want to use the boat for, and with whom.

If you are a racing man, get a modern racing boat; if a cruiser get a modern cruiser; and if you are an old git hankering to eons past get something that looks nice!

If you have a prospective wifey get a boat with a sugar scoop, a well laid out galley (that you will call the Kitchen) 2 heads, and any other expensive gadget on the Opitions list....


Mark
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:26   #6
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There are some designs which are good compromise between racing and cruising, meaning they are good sailers, don't need large crews and have good accommodation plans. Most are not inexpensive especially the well built ones with designs from the 80s, like Sweden Yachts, Swan, Wauquiez, to name a few. Offshore boats tend to meet the multiple demands of speed and comfort and ease of handling all in the mid 30s to mid 40s in length.

A sailboat design is a balancing act, ain't it?
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:32   #7
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"..crappy at sea....."------the phrase is one should be saved for the likes of clipper marine , et alii-----if one likes to race and is sailing a cruising boat, yes, you will THINK is crappy at sea---but is , in all actuality, performing in a very appropriate manner---only racers are in need of pointing into a wind---GENTLEMEN NEVER SAIL TO WEATHER means a lot----if you intend to cruise you will definitely desoire a different kind of boat than a racing sailor.....the only sailor who is in a hurry isw a racer---cruisers prefer the smooth handling of a traditional cruising boat, for the most part---everryione has his/her own definition of sailing--i own both kinds of sailboat--i would never expect my 11.600 pound ericson 35mII to perform the same way a traditional heavy cruiser, like my 28000 pound formosa performs, and vice versa---the old "performance cruiser" is one that folks used to race and twist-o-flex the hull into uncruisable distortions----as is seen in some of the "older" ones from 1970s-80s.....cracked decks and such donot make for smooth cruising without major refits.....the heavy cruisers designed by perry, garden,alden, colin archer, and such were not designed for racing---they were and still are designed for comfort at sea in heavy weather----there are many many examples in history of this exact phenomenon----races intruded into by weather in such ways as to deem the situation deadly--and there are solid heavy boats that went thru perfect storms unscathed--
--the answer to your question originally posed is the trim of the boat not the design of the boat......look for that which suits you--not for that which suits someone else---what are YOUR interests in sailing--do you want to race?? do you want to cruise---do you want to do both?? let your senses dictate your desires--try everything---sail EVERYTHING--then decide what it is you like best and go for it!!!! just remember---cruising boats, in general, do not enjoy going to weather and , hence , will not perform well under racing conditions....racing boats were designed just for that ---going into weather and sailing fast......

ps--not all femalles desire a fast boat with an easy access transom....
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:29   #8
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Hold on!

Let's not get back into the 'traditional designs suck' vs 'modern construction suck' arguments again. Let's answer the OP's question.

The shape of the stern, if it is completely out of the water, is mostly about aesthetics. A good nautical architect will usually draw out the hull as though it's longer than it really is, so all the curves flow smoothly and maintain laminar flow along the hull shape, then 'cut' a transom onto the design. This will let xyr play with the look and shape of the transom until it works with all the details of what that specific stern must do - anchor the rig, provide shape and lift for the aft waterlines, provide structural strength for a variety of boat elements, probably be the location for a series of vents/discharges, may be tied into the rudder, etc.

Now, your comments about overhangs are not really about the stern, they're about the hull shape. When the bow or stern projects over the water, it's called an overhang, and usually this was designed to beat some racing rule or another. But not always - there are some very graceful overhangs on boats from the 1800s and early 1900s. There are some speed benefits to overhangs, but not as many as there are for fat quarters and wide beams/tall rigs/short overhangs. There are considerable comfort benefits to overhangs, but a few drawbacks as cruisers - the biggest is the easy ability to put too much weight in the ends, resulting in hobby-horsing.

Hobby-horsing is the tendency of the boat to plunge back and forth after hitting a wave, putting its energy into pushing its ends up and down into the water rather than pushing forward. Some of the fastest boats in the first half of the 20th century had this as an issue due to a racing trend toward long narrow hulls with very fine ends to the waterlines. It didn't necessarily make them slow, but it wasn't a fun part of sailing them (Chichester's Gypsy Moth is a famous example of such a boat.)

I can't think of any generalities I can say are usually true about sterns. A stern which drags through the water when the boat is sailing will have more drag aft than one which doesn't (some boats whose stern is slightly under water at rest will actually lift out when heeled under sail.) In small boats, the West Wight Potter drags its stern, and when racing their skippers put enough weight in the bow to lift that stern the necessary couple inches in order to win. They look kinda funny sailing that way, but it is faster.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:09   #9
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as i said initially--the tendency to hobby horse is due to trim rather than design --you didnt read my initial post, i see...i also said i HAVE two kinds of boats and two kinds of sailing types, as sailing methods reflect ones choice of boat design --neither is good nor bad--they just are, as the designs and tastes in these designs is constantly changing...have a goood day and enjoy your sailing...make sure you trim ypour boat to minimize the phenomenon of hobby horsing by keeping the weightr in the midships of your boat, as i said in my initial posting!! i also stated the person seeking a boat for the first time needs to sail many kinds of designs so as to know what he or she desires in a boat and be happy with it....who is into an argument?? i do hope you have a very very good dfay and may it be of sailing rather than drudgery!! have fun!!!.
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Old 04-05-2009, 15:45   #10
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Quote:
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The shape of the stern, if it is completely out of the water, is mostly about aesthetics. .
And that can be an important point.
If you have 4 wasted feet and you pay for a marina berth (in Sydney where it may be $2,000 per month!) each extra foot could be a lot of money over the life of a boat.
Especially if it puts it up into a new price bracket... say 38 to 42 feet...


Lots of people say the bow and stern make for 'nice lines'. But a boat is more that just 'nice lines. I thinnk Chitchester forund that out with gypsy Moth... a boat he did NOT like! I'm amazed after what he wrote about her that she had siuch a life after he got rid of her.


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Old 04-05-2009, 16:12   #11
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unless you're buying new, the condition of the vessel is much more important than the absolute shape. Lots of those shapes can't be bought new anyway...

Remember that NO boat is perfect. Find what you like to look at and go from there.

good luck
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Old 04-05-2009, 19:02   #12
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The shape of the stern...is mostly about aesthetics.
Yes, sailboats are like women in this respect.
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Old 04-05-2009, 21:24   #13
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Quote:
And that can be an important point.
If you have 4 wasted feet and you pay for a marina berth (in Sydney where it may be $2,000 per month!) each extra foot could be a lot of money over the life of a boat. Especially if it puts it up into a new price bracket... say 38 to 42 feet
Not to be discounted. As a 36 ft boat I tend to get the benefit of the 36 not including the 6 ft bow sprit or the 4 ft of davits. Sooner or later it adds up to real money. The shorter boat by the numbers costs less. I'm 10 ft shorter more or less depending how far north up the Chesapeake I go. As they say "it depends how you measure."
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:12   #14
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I thinnk Chitchester forund that out with gypsy Moth... a boat he did NOT like! I'm amazed after what he wrote about her that she had siuch a life after he got rid of her.


Mark
I remember reading an article about the restored Gypsy Moth - they were surprised that it did sail well despite what Chitchester had written about her.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:37   #15
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All my boats have been in the 26-33 foot range. Every time I've looked a boats I've been open to all trade-offs, but every time I end up with boats with fairly large sterns. It's simply a matter of the internal space I get for the length and in this length range it makes a big difference. Buying more length to get the same interior space is often reflected in the boat price and dockage as people have noted, but may also mean increased insurance premiums, tighter maneuvering in marinas, more surface area to paint, and larger rigging which costs more to maintain and may be harder to handle in a blow. The cost in terms of hull speed when going a few feet shorter is usually minimal.

I should note however, the usable interior space is not just a function of the stern design. It also has to do with the layout, beam, etc.
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