The aft end of a ship terminates the structure and is designed to provide a smooth water flow into and away from the propeller. The propeller and rudder are also positioned into and away from the propeller. Yhe propeller and rudder are also popsitioned and supported at the after end and require certain structural arrangements in order to operate satisfactorily. The after end construction involves an amount of overhanging structure to accept the steering gear below deck and mooring equipment higher up on the weather deck. The arrangement leads to large slamming forces in this after region, and adequately stiffened structure is therefore required.
Two main types of stern construction have been used to date-the cruiser stern and the transom stern. The cruiser stern is rarely used in modern construction but it is still to be seen in a large proportion of ships at sea. The transom stern, with its straight line form, lends itself well to current manufacturing techniques. It also provides a greater deck area aft and is currently much used for a variety of ships types.