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  1. #1
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    transom repair questions

    I just bought this boat...thought I banged around on things pretty good and it felt solid before I bought it, but I discovered some rot behind a piece of sheet metal that acted as a bracket for some junk on the transom.

    Trying to determine the best course of action here.

    The original transom appears to be 1" think marine ply, and the interior and exterior glass appeared to be intact. Someone, at some time, had added a piece of 1/2" or so plywood and 2 ****ty knees down to the tops of the tunnels at one point...and that piece has turned to dust. After cutting the majority of that out (there is still a piece at the top of the transom that was being stubborn..so I moved on temporarily in my search for more damage)...whoever did it went OVER the original interior glass layer. I cut an inspection hole and found some rot in the original transom near one of the bracket holes....so continued to remove glass. Here is where we are presently.

    I'd originally made arrangement for the entire transom wood to be removed and replaced, all from the inside without damaging the gel or exterior glass, but we were assuming the original transom wood was worse than it is I think. The majority of it is solid, and I think it just might be a royal bitch to get it off removed from the exterior glass layer. Properly rotted wood is much easier to tear out.

    Another idea has been presented...cutting out as much of the rotted spots as we can, letting things dry out for a bit, then treating with penetrating epoxy, gluing in replacement sections where they're big enough, filling smaller sections with reinforced / thickened resin or epoxy, then bonding a new piece of 1" ply over the existing center area of the transom, building new knees, etc...

    One concern in the second scenario here is rot that's present on the backside of the original 1" ply that I can't see or have access too at this point. I planned on drilling out all the mount holes to 1" or so and glueing in fiberglass tube to prevent any further leakage into the core, which should expose any additional issues I'd imagine, but I'm not sure. This is a stepped keel, so no water should have ever been sitting where the transom wood meets the "false" bottom.

    I'd like to make a lasting repair...which means pulling out the whole thing generally, but I also have trouble tearing out an entire transom that appears to be 95% solid.


    Thoughts?Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Really, you will need to pull all the wood out and replace it or it will just be a project needing to be done down the road. But, If you want a quick fix and are using low power and anticipate lower speeds it might be usable for a while with a quickie. Medium to big power and it will be a waste of time to band aid it.

  3. Likes Dave Strong liked this post
  4. #3
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    Of course that is the right answer...just not the one I wanted to hear.

  5. #4
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    Sorry, I have a big problem with my sugar coating applicator......

  6. #5
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    I agree. I'll spend the weekend whittling away at it.

  7. #6
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    I guess I'll post some progress shots...about an hour and half tonight...Used an oscillating saw to cut the rest of the center piece into about 3" slices..then got a scraper under them and they peeled up nicely. Most of the interior glass is up...same method, cut around the perimeter and into strips. The wood will not be fun.Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #7
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    It sucks but it’s best just to get it over with. Metal transom brackets or plates are generally bad signs!

  9. #8
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    This was the bracket in question...the boat has no splash well. 18'10" Lavey Mod VP.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not really any other options.

  10. #9
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    The plan for the wood is to make a little hole saw jig to pilot off the OD the hole saw, and turn up a limit collar for the hole saw to stop about 1/8" from the glass....then cut a bunch of holes, kinda like a plug cutter, and pop 'em all out with a screwdriver, then grind / sand the last layer of ply off of the glass.

    I'm glad I dug deeper...found a loose piece of plywood laying behind glass that wasn't stuck to anything...none of the glass on the top side of the transom actually touched the top of the wood, or the layer of glass beneath it. I should have it all cleaned up this weekend, then I'll make the decision to either bring it up to Lavey (30 miles away) to have them glass it back together or I'll learn to do it myself...maybe have a local mobile glass guy come by to help out. I have some aluminum brace ideas that should save weight and be strong as hell, on top of adding a bit of bling. I'm more of a metal worker than a glass guy. I'll throw up some sketches to get thoughts in the next few days here.

  11. #10
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    Decided to do it right and replace everything....glad I did...boat was originally build like ****...I found a loose strip of plywood that served as a nailer for the rub rail screws...behind the glass that bridged the transom wood to the ... transom? Its all just ****.

    I ended up grabbing my trim router with a 1/4" bit and cutting a grid pattern in the old plywood, leaving about 1/16" or so. Most of it popped out out with a screwdriver, then some handwork with a nice sharp wood chisel to get within grinding distance of the glass. I'm about 30% or so finished with the demo. Another 4 hours it'll be nice and clean and ready to go back together. Everything I cut out is wet.

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  13. #11
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    There are an awful lot of rotten boats running around and the owners have no idea. You are doing what needs to be done regardless of how nasty the job is. The rewards are well worth the effort.

    Rock
    Team Junk

    No sparkling wiggles in here, only dump truck grinches.

    "Screamin Heathen"

  14. #12
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    There are a lot of rotten owners trying to sell those boats as good.

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  16. #13
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    Rot is interesting... I had the transom repaired in my Bahner about 5 years ago, through bolted the battery tray through one of the stringers at that time. In tearing it apart yesterday, the stringer is rotted all to hell...nothing left in there. It was solid when I drilled the hole 5 years ago. The stringer is on top of the tunnel, so water is never anywhere near there...so I didn't bother sealing the bolts. Lesson learned. That boat is getting sold for $300 to someone who wants to do a full resto and convert it to a jet, so they were planning on cutting out and redoing them anyway.

  17. #14
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    You're not one of them

  18. #15
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    Almost done with the tear out. I have a mobile guy that'll probably be coming by to help put it back together....but he usually works on saltwater boats. The original appears to be 1" thick. I was thinking of going back with 2 pieces of 3/4" laminated together. What's the typical layup schedule for something like this?

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