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Denr 04-27-2002 02:53 PM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
What the hell are those designers thinking of when they make the stern of the boat so wide? Buying one of these new boats eliminates any possibility of sitting on the leeward coaming to watch the trim of the headsail and steer. Wandering around the marina this weekend I noticed new boats made by Jeaneau, Benehuntalina, C & C all the same. Your arm would have to be 6 feet long to sit on the cockpit coaming and reach the wheel! Sure there''s enough room in the aft cabin for a multi-person orgy but what about sailing the damn thing! Do the sailors buying these boats even care about sailing them or are these boats bought to be used as marina queens meant to live in and entertain on the weekends? When heeled over does the fat ass stern have any adverse affect on the stability of the boat? The new designs are pathetic! I am more convinced than ever that the people that design and build these boats have never sailed one of their creations. I feel better now that I have that off my chest!

SailorMitch 04-27-2002 03:49 PM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
Hey Denr,

I think the only thing you need right now is a good sail. You know the answer to your own question of course. All that "beam carried well aft" means more volume on the inside, probably a nice wide sugar scoop stern for swimming and getting into the dink, or in general -- making the missus happy, etc. Sailboats are meant to sail?

You will note that dual wheels are becoming more common to handle that pesky issue of 6-foot long arms. Used to be you''d only find that set up in racing boats, but no more.

Talk to some of the old-time designers, and they all hate the wide sterns. Those wide sterns have to decrease performance.

BTW, my boats in the water. Yesterday I went out into the Patapsco River to watch the Volvo Ocean Boats head to Annapolis for the weekend and the start of the next leg of that race on Sunday. Awesome sight yesterday! Talk about some serious racing geat, it boggles the mind.

Glad you feel better. Now go sailing.

tsenator 04-27-2002 04:11 PM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
I don''t know what boats you were looking at but I find my ''99 Cataina 36MKII more than easy to steer from the coaming. No I do not have 6 foot arms (Far from it ! I''m only 5''7"). The wheel is right there ! and its comfy resting my back on the lifelines.

You shouldn''t be so quick to make broad statements that are not accurate. If you noticed something it would make more sense to note "Make Models and years".

Take a look at this picture of the New Catalina 350 which has a very wide stern ! (Go here )

As you can see the helsman can *easily* steer the boat from either coaming. I guess the extra large wheel''s on the newer boats help. Also note that the Jenny Winch''s are right there where the Helmsman can easily adjust if he wants to, which would make singlehandling a bit easier. Traditional boats have the winches about 4 feet forward which means that the helmsman needs 6 foot arms or a crew to do the constant trimming (or like most people do, turn on the autopilot and go forward)

So I think you just like to trash anything that does not fit into your idea of what a boat should be....Which sounds like Ultra traditional. Hey I like traditional too, but there are some new innovations that are not bad.

As far as what effects a wide stern has on sailing I will leave it up to the others. I know some high end boats (Hylas for one) are widening their stern. From what I have read there are pro''s and con''s. I have read that some of those "pinched off" canoe type sterns are not quite as efficient a sailing design as first though, something to do with turbulance in the aft end, etc, etc. plus a wide stern can add to bouyancy of the stern which can be a good thing. I''d be less concerned with the wide sterns on some boats, than the "ever increasing" freeboard you see on some of those newer boats (Think wedding cake). In high winds and large breaking seas I might be a little more concerned with all the exposed hull above the water line. And That is where all the room in the aft cabin is from, not the width, but the height.
I feel if you need stairs to walk off the dock into the cockpit then the freeboard is too high.

I recall the early days of roller furling headsails and all the traditionalists trashed them too.

ps...I sail my boat all the time and she sails great and I love sailing her.....I''ve been out the last three weekends and that''s pretty early for up here. So I also appreciate some more modern features like a walk thru transom, Not having to carry the dog or lift the children over the side when cruising is a god send......Its all in how its designed. The devil is in the details.

Jeff_H 04-28-2002 10:24 AM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
I think that you have walked off the end of the earth on this one. Actually those of us who buy boats with powerful stern sections do so expressly because we do care about sailing ability.

The broader sterns that you are referring to in many cases is there to improve speed and exists because these designers care about sailing ability rather than the other way around. Bringing the center of bouyancy aft allows a finer bow for better upwind performance a more surface area through the run for better surfing and planning ability. It also allows some increased form stability without paying the snap roll penalty normally associated with form stability.

While wide sterns used cause a problem with pushing the boat''s bow down ,and jacking the rudder up out of the water, thereby causing wipe outs,a better understanding modeling of the hull form nor results minimizes changes in trim and steering issues.

I am more convinced more than ever that the people who criticize these designs have never sailed on a decent performing boat.


Jeff_H 04-28-2002 10:28 AM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
On the being able to see issue, one thing that has happened is that wheels have gotten larger in diameter (mine is 64") and that actually allows you sit on the coaming and have a better view of the jib. It also allows for less gearing to achieve the necessary mechanical advantage so that some of these newer steering systems begin to have close to the feel of a tiller.


bporter 04-28-2002 10:36 AM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
Well put as usual Jeff.

The wheel on my new boat (2000 First 40.7) is large too - and I have no trouble seeing the headsail from either side and controlling the boat. With a max beam of 12''4" I wouldn''t call her fat, but you can definitely see the aft falreout in the design.

A 40'' boat with a PHRF of 54 that can hit 8-9 knots with little difficulty is probably not suffering too intensely from having some extra beam aft.

Take the removable lockers out of the cockpit for races, and the crew has tons of room to work.

Don Foley 04-29-2002 04:16 AM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
Sailing my wide-afted Beneteau is easy, but thanks for your concern.

What really makes me wonder is the divisive nature of man. Anyone who spends a weekend wandering his marina and getting upset about other people''s afts is a perfect example. In reality, pointing out the perceived flaws of others is just a way of saying "Look at me, I''m so much better." Sure, you may own a Sabre, and thus want the world to know that you have a better boat.

It doesn''t really matter what the subject is, religion, race, politics, automobiles or lawn mowing. We inherently try to divide ''them'' from ''us'' with the expressed concern that the world knows that ''they'' are inferior to ''we.''

Sad to see it in the sailing world, but the Bene/hunter haters are there. More of the same. I think it''s great to define ourselves by our choices, I think it''s sad to define ourselves by our opinion of other people''s choices.

Feel free to continue to get upset over those of us who buy these less expensive, inferior (but incredibly wonderful to experience) sailboats. As I leisurely stroll into my dink off my own private dock (swim platform), relax in my beach-side cabana (cockpit) or stretch out in my double bed (aft berth) I shall ponder these thoughts. I won''t be in a marina though, I never spend more time there than to load or unload my boat. I''ll be out there, somewhere, suffering in my ignorance and enjoying a really nice sail.


henryvand 04-29-2002 05:34 AM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
I find it odd that someone would suggest that the wide sterns would result in a drop in performance. It seems when ever I watch the big boats in the top level races I see the same wide sterns - I guess they don''t know they are slow ..... (:-))

jmedina 04-29-2002 11:31 AM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
Very well put, Don.


Ps. Are you still at Beach Marine?

Sailmc 04-29-2002 11:35 AM

Fat Ass Sterns of New Boats
Somehow you must have missed all the fat asses on those slow "Harbor Queen" Volvo boats. I know they put a high premium on luxurious aft cabins.

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