On a related subject, the penchant for enormous-diameter “racing” wheels almost universally obstructed the flow from the helm forward. In a tacit admission of this problem, many major manufacturers began offering removable and, more recently, folding wheels. While this addressed the problem dockside or at anchor, when under way the helmsperson still literally had to climb over the racing wheel to release the main, which was less than ideal.The latest cockpit craze is the drop-down hinged transom. When raised, it provides gunwale-to-gunwale aft seating and creates the sense of security that only comes from an entirely enclosed cockpit; when lowered, it becomes the aforementioned boarding platform. Either a simple rope/tackle setup or an electric or hydraulic mechanism operates these platforms. Although these “trick transoms” may at first seem gimmicky, in tight marinas their ability to retract can be very handy, particularly by extending usable deck space (when down) while reducing the cost of berthing (when up). Flip-up transoms — such as those found on the Beneteau Sense 46, where the helm seats fold up to open the entire transom — are an offshoot of this idea, though they don’t provide the same containment aft.