Explaining the Transom of a Sailboat

By Matt Claiborne

What is a Transom?

The backend of a boat is called the transom.  The boat’s backend has a fancy name just like all other things nautical and on boats.

The word derives from as far back as 1300s Middle English and can trace its roots even further back to Latin and Old French words that meant transverse or crosswise.

Depending on the type of boat in question, whether it is a small boat or a large boat, the boat transom might support some important gear.

Do All Boats Have a Transom?

Yes, although various boat transoms can look different from one another. The transom is an integral part of the boat’s hull and an important part of the overall design.

Why Is the Transom Important?

The transom will belay what sort of boat you are looking at in powerboats. Outboard motor transoms are functional. Planing hulls will tend to have broad, flat transoms. And finally, displacement hulls will have a variety of transoms, much like sailing vessels.

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