A Less Radical Transom Job?


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    Our transom has taken a few hits over the years, and with the effort involved to make it look pretty again (fairing and painting), I’m considering doing a little bit of surgery while I’m at it. I really like the open transom look and ergonomics, but it’s a major undertaking to do properly. I’m thinking of lowering the sheer line of the after deck down to the level of the bench seats, and adding a pseudo swim step into the transom itself. Considerations and thoughts…

    1) I don’t want to totally lose the storage space in the lazerette. I figure this would preserve 50% of stock volume.
    2) Create enough of a swim step to transfer kids on/off stand up paddle boards in the summer
    3) Create more space for crew or heavy items (like a liferaft) aft in big breeze condtions downwind/offshore.
    4) Make it less of a pain in the ass to access the outboard. Not just controls, but also taking it on/off boat etc. Might even be able to get a little more shaft in the water.

    Mods to make this work would involve…
    1) Shortening rudder stock/building new tiller with slight rise
    2) Move backstay tangs and re-configure backstay rigging (probably an improvement over current system)
    3) Modify outboard bracket to mount on a vertical surface
    4) Modify existing inboard pushpit support to fit on narrower deck.

    What am I missing? What other mods have people done back there, beside the all out opening of the cockpit?

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    An Olson 29 is similar to what you’re suggesting. Not exactly the same but some of the details are the same. The 29 is the same hull as an Olson 30 but has a different rig, rudder and keel and some differences to the cockpit and interior. In principle I am not a big fan of modifications that involve cutting significant amounts of the boat apart but your drawing looks like it would work. Hard to know exactly what the mod would do for the ergonomics of the cockpit. The fully open transom boats have more room in the cockpit at the expense of losing the quarter berths, which for people who use the boats for offshore sailing – especially with crew – probably doesn’t work very well.

    Good luck with the project!

    Scott Willey's Olson 29 at finish

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