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What is the stern of a boat: function and definition

Nov 11, 2020

less than a min

  • What is the stern of a boat: function and definition

    There are a lot of terms that you might not be familiar with when it comes to boats and marine life. Most of them have to do with parts of the boat itself. You might think that these vessels are composed of the same parts as other vehicles, but no! Boats are quite particular and unique in their design and architecture.

    One of the most common items composing a boat is the stern. But what is the stern of a boat? The stern is the aft-most part of a boat. Aft-most means located in the very back of the boat. The stern includes the extension of the counter rail to the taffrail as well as the bottom part, the entire area where the sternpost is positioned. The stern is located opposite of the bow.

    In the beginning, when people referred to the stern of the boat, they meant the aft port section. However, nowadays if you hear the term stern, it implies the entire back portion of the yacht. This part is highlighted by a white navigation light at night. So, if you have ever wondered where that small start- like light comes from when you see a boat in pitch-black darkness, that is the stern!

    Initially, sterns used to have two shapes, square and elliptical. The square stern was also known as the transom stern while the elliptical was referred to as merchant stern. The part of the hull where the stern was mounted was formed of rib-like frames in a U shape.

    In the 1800 the round stern was introduced. This was developed as a more stable stern that could support guns and cannons.

    The main function of a stern is to provide a space for the tiller and steering device. In some cases, the outboard motor of the boat is also located there. This motor is the one that moves the boat forward thanks to a propeller that powers it. It is located close to the propeller to shorten the distance between the two so that fewer materials are used to connect them. It is tilted to make the boat turn as well.

    Some larger boats and yachts use more than one marine engine.

    The stern has different functions in different boats, however. In cruiser boats and mega yachts, the stern is the part with the most spectacular view so the dining area is usually located there.

    In the past, however, the stern was where the captain used to have his sleeping quarters. During those times, the stern was also known as a transom and was decorated with various features. In modern days, this is where the name of the yacht goes.

    When building a boat, the shape of the stern is determined by hydrodynamic efficiency, aesthetics, flow, and construction techniques.

    To get more information on sterns and other parts of the boat such as bow or hull, visit our site and blog at TheBoatAPP. This is our app containing all your marine life in one platform that can be accessed whether online or offline, anywhere in the world!

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