Chester Yawl, Transom Finish

Pictured here is the transom with plank ends left natural rather than bringing the hull color around the corner to meet the transom. Does anyone have an opinion on this option. I have viewed both options and I am leaning to the finish pictured above. Thanks, Marc, Gettysburg

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RE: Chester Yawl, Transom Finish

Different boat but much the same issue.  I am a fan of wrapping the paint around the back onto the transom a bit because it is much easier to mask.  Trying to get the masking tape to stick in a perfectly straight line along the corner is hard, where the tape sticks easily on the flat transom.  Varnish the transom first then mask with good quality tape (I like 3m Fine Line) before painting.


RE: Chester Yawl, Transom Finish

The only varnish on our PMD is on the transoms, and we wrapped the white topsides paint around the plank edges.  I was never a big fan of varnish in general, varnished plywood in particular, and especially not varnished plywood ends.  There's a photo of our PMD, currently #18 of 66 in the PMD Take Apart gallery, which gives a good view of the stern.  You can see the effect on the bow transom, which got the same treatment, in some of the other photos of our boat in there, notably #9 and #12 of 66.  One the interior side of the transoms, we only varnished the doublers.

I like the effect, myself; it seems to set off the shape of the transoms nicely, to my eye.  It wasn't hard to do, as noted above.


RE: Chester Yawl, Transom Finish

"Does anyone have an opinion"

I am going solely on the photo you posted. I haven't spent much time looking at the yawl recently, so I'm not familiar with build details, hence my brain does not see what my eyes cannot, at first.

My first impression is that the transom is floating behind the boat. I can't tell if it overlaps or is flush with the hull panels, without looking very closely. It's relationship to the boat is a little unclear to me. I believe that painted ends on the hull panels would clarify the issue and give a strong impression that the transom is integral to the hull, like in the skiff photo.

This might be a subtle design argument that only appeals subconsciously. Most people are going to see a beautifully crafted piece of wood with its natural grain expressed, although expressing end-grain doesn't have the same effect. Perhaps its a question of balance. FWIW

RE: Chester Yawl, Transom Finish

Hi Marc,

I'm with you on this. I have a varnished stern transom on my EP, and the paint stops at the corners and does not continue round to cover the end of the planks.

I think this emphasises the lines of the hull, whereas painting the plank ends emphasises the construction of the boat. I find the painted plank ends look a bit fussy. I want it to look like a boat, and not to remind the viewer that it is just a collection of pieces of wood stuck together!

I didn't find masking at the turn of the hull-transom corner tricky.

Just my opinion! Tim

RE: Chester Yawl, Transom Finish

   Thanks to all that have weighed in on my questions! Marc

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