Open Transom trend - SailNet Community

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Old 02-04-2011
Crow
 
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Open Transom trend

I have noticed a trend toward open transom boats in the new models. Am I the only one that thinks that this is a bad idea? Racers started using them because it is self bailing and reduces weight, but what are the advantages for a cruising boat? Does it just look cool? I have a number of concerns including:

Safety - Isn't someone going to get washed overboard?
Following seas - See my first concern.
Environmental - Every piece of junk in the cockpit is going to wind up in the ocean.
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Old 02-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crow551 View Post
I have noticed a trend toward open transom boats in the new models. Am I the only one that thinks that this is a bad idea? Racers started using them because it is self bailing and reduces weight, but what are the advantages for a cruising boat? Does it just look cool? I have a number of concerns including:

Safety - Isn't someone going to get washed overboard?
Following seas - See my first concern.
Environmental - Every piece of junk in the cockpit is going to wind up in the ocean.
yeah, that's pretty much my take on them too. Accident waiting to happen if you have kids.
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Old 02-04-2011
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I love em. It's fast.
If someone is going to get washed overboard, it's b/c they aren't tethered in. No one gets washed off the BACK of the boat, almost always the side.

The TP52 has an open transom, the Antrim 27, minis, open classes, and many others designed specifically to go from California to Hawaii (typically a downwind ride) all have open transoms.

If you have kids they should be in a PFD as the law states, or down below. Or better yet, watched by a responsible parent. Call me crazy, but that shouldn't be a big issue for boat designers, the safety of unattended children in the cockpit.
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Old 02-04-2011
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My friend has a Dehler 33 with an open transom that was designed as a cruiser/racer. It has a great feature that solves this issue. The boat has a custom designed removable locker that can be installed across the aft end of the cockpit, converting it from an open transom boat into what is basically a standard transom boat with a swim platform. I'm surprised more companies don't do this with their open transom designs.

I agree with the OP about his three points and think that for a CRUISING boat, it doesn't make much sense.
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Old 02-04-2011
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Open or Walk-thru transoms are great. I'm actually surprised more newer boats don't have them. Here's my take. As slip space becomes less and less available we will begin to see more of a Med. mooring type of setup. Having a walk-thru allows the crew access on an off a boat much easier because fingers won't be there. Also access to swim platforms really make the boat much more fun. On my boat the walk-thru has doors and life lines to prevent accidental MOB situations. As far as trash blowing overboard. It happens with or without a open transom.


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Old 02-04-2011
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Brezzin, If you can close the transom then like in your case then I am less concerned. I would not consider that an open transom, but a door to your swim platform. As for trash going overboard, I don't like your response. It shouldn't happen.

I have no problem with this feature on race boats with everyone leashed in, but on a cruising boat I am not going to be harnessed to be the boat all the time.
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Old 02-04-2011
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A netting should solve the problem of MOB.
Not sure I see the advantages. Saves weight? Then take off the sides and bow, and get a windsurfer? They do look cool though.
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Old 02-04-2011
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I like the open transom. It does self bail instantly and there is no concern about dirt in the scuppers leaving you with a wallowing boat with a filled cockpit, or with a hose clamp coming loose and causing the cockpit to drain into the bilge. It makes it infinitely easier to safely board the boat from the dinghy and also to get someone aboard in an MOB situation. We sail with a small dog and small grandchildren. When they are aboard I tie a fender under the folding helmsman's seat, and there is no room for them to go overboard. Both the kids and dog always were a PFD, and in rough conditions all should be tethered. I suspect that those who are worried the open transom will cause the boat to be pooped have never experienced that phenomenon. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has.
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Old 02-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crow551 View Post
I have no problem with this feature on race boats with everyone leashed in, but on a cruising boat I am not going to be harnessed to be the boat all the time.
I suspect that, other than serious offshore shorthanded racing, you'll seldom see "everyone leashed in". Serious weather would, of course, be an exception but then everyone ought to be clipped in regardless of boat styles.

Open transoms are without question fast draining, this is an issue that was often a big deal with production boats; scuppers were rarely adequate to safely get rid of a serious amount of water.

Getting in and out of, and loading and unloading, dinghies is much easier with the stern platforms that are part of these designs. This is especially true now that boats' freeboards are becoming so extreme. I realize stern platforms are possible without open cockpits, but those ones are generally a bit small comparatively speaking.

And as mentioned, the stern-to mooring practices is another area where these work well....

I'd have no qualms having one of these boats.
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Old 02-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
I love em. It's fast.
If someone is going to get washed overboard, it's b/c they aren't tethered in. No one gets washed off the BACK of the boat, almost always the side.

The TP52 has an open transom, the Antrim 27, minis, open classes, and many others designed specifically to go from California to Hawaii (typically a downwind ride) all have open transoms.

If you have kids they should be in a PFD as the law states, or down below. Or better yet, watched by a responsible parent. Call me crazy, but that shouldn't be a big issue for boat designers, the safety of unattended children in the cockpit.
So where do you sail with such clement weather that you NEVER get water sluicing down the deck? And since when will a PFD act to keep someone in the boat? FWIW, if and when you have kids you'll see that removing barriers to keep them on deck is a bad idea regardless of how "responsible" you happen to be. I'd rather not rely SOLELY on a tether to keep me and mine aboard.

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Last edited by cormeum; 02-04-2011 at 04:25 PM.
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