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What Is a Transom on a Boat? – All You Need to Know

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson

what is a transom on a boat

A vessel, similar to any motor vehicle, is constructed from many parts of a boat, and most boaters cannot name all of them.

While they would dismiss it as a trivial problem that can be solved by reading the boat’s manual guide, being confused with boating terminologies may cause you some troubles.

One of the most confusing boating terms is watercraft transom. Hence, it leads us to the question: “What is a transom on a boat?”

A transom of a boat is the component that supports the reinforcement of the vessel’s stern, so it’s important to know certain knowledge of this part, such as boat transom plate or boat transom repair.

In this post, to help boaters have a better understanding of boat transom, I will cover all information about the transom on a boat as well as tips on fixing and installing the boat transom. So, make sure you stay with us until the end!

The Boat Transom Definition


When looking at the back section of a boat, you can immediately identify a transom. It’s a strong support component that strengthens the boat’s stern. At the rear of a watercraft, the transom can appear as a thick perpendicular, simple surface. If your boat includes one or two motor pumps at the back, the vessel transom might be seen ahead of them.

A boat transom is sometimes confused with a stern. Although many boaters tend to utilize both terms interchangeably, they are not actually the same. The boat transom is a part or component of the back wall that is attached to the vessel’s stern.

Some transoms are simply positioned upright or slantwise, based on the required structural system and dimension of the watercraft. Transoms, despite being vertically built, do not have ideal angles. They generally point forward and backward, similar to their functions on sailboats.

Therefore, you shouldn’t be confused between a transom of boat engines and its stern.

Furthermore, regardless of the vessel’s type and its specifications, craft transoms come in various sizes, form, or height.

Their terms might also differ depending on their shapes and applications, including a circular, rectangular, or cylindrical transom.

A transom can also travel along the construction materials from which it is made, such as aluminum, polyester, and specific woods, including thick plywood layers.

How to Examine and Repair a Boat Transom


Working as a support for the reinforcement of the vessel’s stern, the boat transom is very easily damaged.

Sp, to maintain the function quality of the transom, it is important for boaters to understand how to assess and fix a wet transom.

In this part of the post, we will cover essential instructions to help boat operators perform the boat transom’s examination and fixing process:

1. The assessment of a boat transom

Water leaking into a transom may occur for a variety of reasons. Even though it might not destroy your boat transom within one night, this damage will rot the transom from time to time if it isn’t discovered and fixed timely.

Here are some other signs of a broken boat transom:

  • Splash well drain fittings have been damaged or fractured (outboards)
  • Mounting bolts have lost their sealant (silicone) (outboards)
  • Water passes between the transducers and the mounting screws
  • Steering gear seals leak due to open transom cover mounting holes

These signs may sound complicated but they can be easily assessed by simple observations and actions. Follow the guidelines below and practice examining your boat transom:

  • Press down the motor leg.
  • Examine whether the transom contracts around the motor bolts.
  • Inspect the fiberglass parts around the bolts for searching cracks.
  • Washers are frequently seen squeezed into the vessel transom in sections where the wood has lost durability.
  • Remove a few screws or even a motor bolt and see whether water shoots out from the hull. Rust-colored liquid is frequently a symptom of rot.

2. Repairing a wet transom

There will be occasions where your boat transom encounters damages and needs to be fixed immediately. Hence, memorize these following steps to repair the transom efficiently:

  • Step 1:

Determine whether the transom is wet. A watercraft repairing expert would utilize a densitometer or an engineering hammer to determine how wet the transom is and where the wet areas are.

A frequent method used by professionals is hammer tapping, which involves intently listening to the echoing sound pounded by a hammer in the region being evaluated.

  • Step 2:

After determining where the wet area is, evaluate whether the moisture is harming the transom’s quality. (Assessing strength is easier if you place the transom bending in a certain angle).

  • Step 3:

Cut a small crack into the watercraft’s transom, as a core sample may provide a genuine visual examination of the transom’s interior condition.

  • Step 4:


If the result of the transom is bad, the solution is to install a brand new transom and replace the old broken one.

Drying a soggy transom isn’t the best option and may even worsen its condition, according to many boating experts since the craft transom’s original resistance or strength are not restored after drying.

Otherwise, you are advised to use a transom saver on a boat to avoid corrosion or stress from engine forces and hits to the core of their vessel. Also, transom supports can help prevent bending, deformation, and degeneration over time.

To learn more about boat transoms, please check out this video:


What is a transom on a boat? I believe that after reading our article, boaters would be able to identify and understand this boat component. No matter how strong your boat transom is, it is necessary to learn this knowledge and avoid mistaking the transom with other boating parts.

I hope that this post was helpful to your boating experience! Did you enjoy the article? Do you want to add anything else? Please let me know and leave a comment below.

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