Cutting the Transom

The transom of our dinghy has fully cured and was then planed smooth. Now it is time to cut it to its final shape and attach it to the dinghy.

The width of the transom at the gunwale is supposed to be 23.5 inches, and the topsides flare 1.5 inches on each side. The other known factor is the rabbet line is 1 inch below the top of the keel and the chine is located 4 inches above this point. The last known is the height of the hull is 18 inches (plus one inch for the rabbet). Taking these very crude facts into account, we are able to sketch out and design the cuts to make to produce the transom.

The whole process began by marking the selected points on the board and connecting the dots. Using a square helps ensure that the measurements are correct and not offset. You can see the many steps taken to finally narrow down the design to the finalized and ideal transom cutout.

A quick trip to the bandsaw produced a very clean cutout of our transom for the dinghy. A light sanding helped to remove any residual blue lines and to remove any fuzz that may have developed near the saw line.

When viewed from the side, the grain pattern is clearly evident. The growth rings were set in an alternating fashion, that way any distortion that occurs from swelling and contracting of the wood will not warp the entire transom. As the board swells and contracts, the opposing grain patterns will result in a net zero change in the transom's surface.