Originally Posted by Britannia
Fashion plates is the term I believe.
Yes "fashion plates" is a good name.
They are for vertical support no doubt but they have a visual impact that is not subtle. What
I'm saying is that they are big slanted slabs of probably plywood and almost always slanted. For roof or overhead support a metal tube (round or square) or a wood post is hugely lighter and stronger when vertical.
Many adhere to the expression "form follows function" and the function obviously is to support something overhead but many designers of many things feel the need to attach something very visable that is vouge and shouts that the product is popular and fashionable now. Well there it is .. fashionable. I've also heard them called "beauty boards" and I don't like that as I think they are anything but beautiful.
But an engineer would just employ something to support the overhead as efficiently as possible. Probably a metal or wood vertical member. But lines on boats, especially slanted lines are usually thought of as suggesting speed. Speed, or the visual essence of speed is vouge on most vehicles so eventially somewhere someplace somebody slanted the fwd windows back to suggest speed. Obviously at the boat speeds of the day little if any reduction in drag would result but it suggested speed and that sold boats. The windows could have easily been called fashion windows.
Slanted lines became fashionable to the point that lines that wer'nt slanted didn't fit well w all the slanted lines. Support for roof overhangs on boats w walkaroung decks needed a support that was slanted and went well w the rest of the design. One of the nice things about metal tubes is that due to their strength they could be made quite small and sorta disappeared .. visually. Wonderful solution to a problem. And an organized solution to a problem is what design is.
So the "fashon plates" evolved. Not a good solution to a problem w\o the need for sales and vogueness, but those needs are very real. IMO they are much heavier than the metal tubes, more expensive but worst of all they are so visually dominant and "in your face" that they distract form the actual design of the boat. The shape of the transom, the sheer line and many other basic elements of boat design that are genuine and core elements of the design. So if a boat is otherwise a good and beautiful design the "fashion plates" don't do the boat any positive service. They simply distract form what a boat really is .. a boat. So I don't like them but I have seen some that work quite well visually but usually not. Regrettably I predict that they will be around for some time.
Sorry no time for edit.