Definition of Stern
The stern is the rear part of a boat. It usually houses the tiller and rudder, used for steering the boat, as well as the motor, engine, storage, or cleats, depending on the boat’s design.
The stern of a boat is also a core part of navigation, as it holds the stern light, a white navigation light visible from 2 nautical miles away across a 135-degree arc.
Beyond containing the engine, the stern plays a crucial part in the speed and hydrodynamics of a boat, mainly based on the design of the transom—the structural part of the stern where the two sides of the hull meet.
Here’s a brief overview of stern designs and how they impact a boat’s performance:
|Stern / Transom Design
|Description Of Stern
|Benefit For Boat Use
|Longer at the top and tapers sharply inward at the bottom
|Improves speed of racing sailboats by increasing waterline length, which generates longer, faster waves
|Rear view looks like a semicircle
|Adds strength and structural rigidity for larger boats
|Pointed and narrow like the front of a canoe
|Decreases resistance to waves both while moored or underway
|Back of the boat angles inward often creating a platform or steps
|Makes rear access to the water easier and improves speed because of the reduced the weight of the boat’s overhang
Example of Stern in a Sentence
"The stern of a boat is the back part of it that usually holds the engine."
Synonyms: back, rear
Related Terms for Stern