Saturday, September 30, 2017

Transom Shapes on the Australian Historical 18's

The three reproduction Australian 18-footers that made the trip to Annapolis represent the design evolution of the 18-footers from pre-war WWII to post-war WWII. Following are photos of the transom shapes of Aberdare (1932),  Alruth (1943), and Australia IV (1946).

Aberdare was one of the early ones to straighten out the hollow garboards of the wineglass transoms typical of the 18-footers at the beginning of the 20th century. She still sports a very fine transom compared to the fat, flat ones of the modern skiffs.

Alruth started flattening the transom shape (though still very Vee'd). Note the raised lee-cloth which are raised most anytime the historical 18's are afloat to keep the briny sea from swamping these beasts.

Australia IV has a transom shape similar to a typical pre-war Uffa Fox International 14 though the shapes were developed independently.

In what seems a reversal of modern sailing design theory, the very fine-transomed Abedare is currently the fastest of the historical 18's, though many knowledgeable observers credit this to a very accomplished crew of Abedare, led by John "Woodie" Winning.

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