Forums > Sailing General

Open Transoms?

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Created by Reef Knot A week ago, 12 Feb 2020
Reef Knot
NSW, 55 posts
12 Feb 2020 7:04PM
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What is the fascination with the open transom in a lot of modern yachts?

Seems like a recipe for a large wave in a following sea to fill the cockpit and anything dropped on the cockpit sole to roll out the back into the ocean.

What am I missing?

Reef Knot
NSW, 55 posts
12 Feb 2020 7:05PM
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e.g.

Craig66
NSW, 1838 posts
12 Feb 2020 7:19PM
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Your missing the collection of water around your feet and possible flowing down stairs into the cabin when you take a big wave on the nose and over the deck top.

SandS
VIC, 5804 posts
12 Feb 2020 8:19PM
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modern boats also have large cockpits [ as pictured ] . So as Craig said when you fill the cock pit with water either from being Pooped or from the bow ,if you relied on a couple of drains to do the job , the weight of the water could sink your boat .

waikikin
NSW, 29 posts
12 Feb 2020 8:48PM
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It's to let the water out & to make life easy getting out of the dinghy or from swimming. Some like the Dufors have a boarding platform that swings up....

nswsailor
NSW, 1269 posts
12 Feb 2020 9:32PM
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Actually it's not a modern thing.

Back in 1965 the original 'Top Hat' and the racing version 'Cloth Hat' JOG yachts designed by Illingworth and Primrose in England had open sterns.

But JOG required both of these designs to have push-pits to prevent sailors being washed overboard.

While the push-pits were retained in the Top Hat version it was altered so the the cockpit was enclosed in today's versions.
I'm not aware of any Cloth Hats being built.

shoodbegood
VIC, 756 posts
12 Feb 2020 9:55PM
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Added bonus it looks really fast !

slammin
QLD, 887 posts
13 Feb 2020 5:46AM
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I have an open transom on my TSer. The fascination is as mentioned. Step on at marinas or into/off the dinghy. Swimming has nothing to climb over. The transom hung outboard and swing rudder are easily accessible. Showering at the stern has no water pooling. I've never had anything roll overboard or fall off the back. Absolutely love it.

2bish
TAS, 437 posts
13 Feb 2020 9:44AM
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Even with my limited racing experience, I've seen the advantage of quick draining open transoms. Whether you're taking water over the deck when punching through waves or scooping it up during spinnaker broaches, they work really well.

Some good examples in this Volvo footage:

shaggybaxter
QLD, 1972 posts
13 Feb 2020 7:41PM
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Hiya Reef,
I found it surprisingly dry in regards to water over the transom, I honestly can't remember when it happened last, and the same for losing kit over the back, I've lost a dolphin torch, a spare line that was carelessly tossed to the rear of the cockpit, but I've lost much more over the side.
The open style is great as the previous posters already mentioned and some little things like rib ingress and egress or mediterranean style docking, but one thing still sucks, it's still bloody hard to pull yourself back on board with clothes on. Admittedly you do have the dinky rope ladder in the transom thingy but's its pretty awkward,
I keep meaning to brainstorm a retrieval line mounted on the pushpit within arms reach of the water. A short thickish rope with loops you could get an arm in or something, I need to do some playing.
Back on topic...open transoms? I'm a fan .

keensailor
NSW, 655 posts
14 Feb 2020 4:02AM
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It's horses for courses. The Northern Europeans don't wish for water over the stern or to go swimming eg Hallberg-Rassy designs.




boty
QLD, 563 posts
14 Feb 2020 7:52AM
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love them pity they don't look good on traditional yachts

2bish
TAS, 437 posts
14 Feb 2020 9:02AM
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And they're so much easier to take a piss from....

nswsailor
NSW, 1269 posts
14 Feb 2020 9:13AM
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2bish said..
And they're so much easier to take a piss from....


OOPs not a good idea to piss out of a cockpit, best to piss IN the cockpit!

shaggybaxter
QLD, 1972 posts
14 Feb 2020 8:18AM
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2bish said..
And they're so much easier to take a piss from....


Yep, just have to look down before you do..





AzureF305
NSW, 160 posts
14 Feb 2020 12:49PM
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keensailor said..
It's horses for courses. The Northern Europeans don't wish for water over the stern or to go swimming eg Hallberg-Rassy designs.





But you can't have an open transom in a centre cockpit design unless your rear cabin has a water bed!! (sorry, couldn't resist)

sydchris
NSW, 298 posts
14 Feb 2020 1:14PM
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AzureF305 said..

But you can't have an open transom in a centre cockpit design unless your rear cabin has a water bed!! (sorry, couldn't resist)



Unless you have this.... www.nauticexpo.com/prod/sea-voyager/product-24923-109211.html

Still probably less transom area than one Pogo

sirgallivant
NSW, 1456 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 1:02PM
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My old Adams had a mix of the two styles and l loved it.


It gave good drainage for most of the water, if filled, and the cockpit floor had two 3 inch scuppers draining the cockpit quickly.
This type of stern does not allow the water destabilizing the yacht by slow drainage of a large cockpit, if filled.


Reef Knot
NSW, 55 posts
Thursday , 20 Feb 2020 12:40PM
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Lots of opinions here and I understand the theory, but how many times does green water come over the bow that completely fills the cockpit? Against how many times does a wave come up in a following sea where you get wet feet? Or how many times do you drop things in the cockpit that disappear out the stern?

Feels like a solution looking for a problem to me! But hey, that is just my humble opinion.

Maybe more relevant to racing yachts vs cruising I suspect.

boty
QLD, 563 posts
Friday , 21 Feb 2020 11:16AM
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Reef Knot said..
Lots of opinions here and I understand the theory, but how many times does green water come over the bow that completely fills the cockpit? Against how many times does a wave come up in a following sea where you get wet feet? Or how many times do you drop things in the cockpit that disappear out the stern?

Feels like a solution looking for a problem to me! But hey, that is just my humble opinion.

Maybe more relevant to racing yachts vs cruising I suspect.


depends on how you sail your boat and in what conditions we wear a bit over the bow going to weather in over 25 a lot in over 35 we fill the cockpit in over 35 with wind and waves on the aft quarter this would be very different on medium to light displacement boats they tend to be drier upwind and wetter downwind in very fresh conditions poking through the back of waves
no 2boats are the same though and everyone sails their vessels differently

shaggybaxter
QLD, 1972 posts
Friday , 21 Feb 2020 5:28PM
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boty said..

Reef Knot said..
Lots of opinions here and I understand the theory, but how many times does green water come over the bow that completely fills the cockpit? Against how many times does a wave come up in a following sea where you get wet feet? Or how many times do you drop things in the cockpit that disappear out the stern?

Feels like a solution looking for a problem to me! But hey, that is just my humble opinion.

Maybe more relevant to racing yachts vs cruising I suspect.



depends on how you sail your boat and in what conditions we wear a bit over the bow going to weather in over 25 a lot in over 35 we fill the cockpit in over 35 with wind and waves on the aft quarter this would be very different on medium to light displacement boats they tend to be drier upwind and wetter downwind in very fresh conditions poking through the back of waves
no 2boats are the same though and everyone sails their vessels differently


Can't argue with that. Proving Boty's point...fresh, shallow water and medium displacement


Jode5
QLD, 761 posts
Friday , 21 Feb 2020 9:19PM
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I think a lot of people commenting here have never owned a boat with an open cockpit. I have owned open cockpit boats for forty years and have never had a wave over the transom except when reversing under motor into a sea. I have had plenty of waves over the bow and even the side and been very glad to have an open transom. Open transoms are far more user friendly in marinas and getting in and out of a dingy.


Strachan
5 posts
Saturday , 22 Feb 2020 4:20AM
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Haven't tried an open transom since my days in 14 foot skiffs, but this vid shows they are needed on some boats! Check out the footage from 2:14 to 7:24: www.mysailing.com.au/index.cfm There's wet, and then there's truly wet.

Reef Knot
NSW, 55 posts
Saturday , 22 Feb 2020 9:14AM
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True, I have never owned a boat with an open transom but I have spent a lot of time at sea in everything from small outboard powered trailerboats up to those big grey ships berthed at Garden Island, and everything in between.

I would rather have a seaworthy boat and operate it in a way to keep the water on the outside, than deal constantly with what in my opinion is a compromised situation.

shaggybaxter
QLD, 1972 posts
Saturday , 22 Feb 2020 8:40AM
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Jode5 said..
I think a lot of people commenting here have never owned a boat with an open cockpit. I have owned open cockpit boats for forty years and have never had a wave over the transom except when reversing under motor into a sea. I have had plenty of waves over the bow and even the side and been very glad to have an open transom. Open transoms are far more user friendly in marinas and getting in and out of a dingy.



There is no way to say this without appearing a bit odd Jode, but....nice arse!

Chris 249
NSW, 2279 posts
Saturday , 22 Feb 2020 9:49AM
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Reef Knot said..
True, I have never owned a boat with an open transom but I have spent a lot of time at sea in everything from small outboard powered trailerboats up to those big grey ships berthed at Garden Island, and everything in between.

I would rather have a seaworthy boat and operate it in a way to keep the water on the outside, than deal constantly with what in my opinion is a compromised situation.


As one of those who has done a few miles offshore, I don't think that an open transom is a compromised situation. In modern boats, getting "pooped" by a following sea is all but unknown. The fast draining and ease of recovering swimmers almost certainly vastly outweighs any issue with pooping.

Also, if you are not going to accept reasonable answers, it's probably better to not create a forum asking a question.

shaggybaxter
QLD, 1972 posts
Saturday , 22 Feb 2020 9:42AM
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Chris 249 said..

Reef Knot said..
True, I have never owned a boat with an open transom but I have spent a lot of time at sea in everything from small outboard powered trailerboats up to those big grey ships berthed at Garden Island, and everything in between.

I would rather have a seaworthy boat and operate it in a way to keep the water on the outside, than deal constantly with what in my opinion is a compromised situation.



As one of those who has done a few miles offshore, I don't think that an open transom is a compromised situation. In modern boats, getting "pooped" by a following sea is all but unknown. The fast draining and ease of recovering swimmers almost certainly vastly outweighs any issue with pooping.

Also, if you are not going to accept reasonable answers, it's probably better to not create a forum asking a question.


Thinking about this, one interesting aspect that springs to mind is if you broach or accidentally gybe you're not aware of water in the cockpit at all. The gunnels can be well under, but there is none of that sensation of opposing forces from hitching a few tons extra weight whilst the rig is still driving forward.
Crack the sheets, you're back in control and the boat is moving again. So good for those blonde moments at least !



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"Open Transoms?" started by Reef Knot