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Transoms

Discussion in 'Boating and Boat Rigging' started by Chasin Tales, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Chasin Tales

    Chasin Tales

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    I often look on line at boats and see a number which say they just replaced or rebuilt the transom. I guess I am curious as to why this is happening. Is it that certain makes or manufactures have design flaws? A boat that is left out in the weather? Too much motor or hard trailering?

    It is a curiosity thing, plus wouldn't want to upgrade into a boat that might have repeat problems.
     
  2. Quack Addict

    Quack Addict

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    It's a combination of a lot of things. Quality of build materials is a big factor, design is another.

    I use to work at a big marina as a mechanic and fabricator. I've rebuilt a bunch of transoms, floors and engine mounts. Sea Ray, Thompson, Wellcraft, Rinker and others. Have had others torn down and parted out (mainly Bayliners). I'll never forget how the stripped hull of the last Bayliner (late 80's / early 90's) I had apart flexed when I walked on it. Compare that to my Sea Ray where the hull is almost 3/4" thick on the bottom as indicated by some thru-hull transducer holes I had to fill and plate.

    Transoms usually get bad from boats being left in the water (auto bilge pump doesn't pump it all out), or boats that are stored with drain plugs in. The transoms usually start to rot where the hole is cut for the outdrive and steering to poke through, or a drilled and uncoated bilge plug hole, or gimbal bolt holes. Water gets into the endgrain of the plywood and delaminates it. Then it freezes and expands in the winter, blowing the plywood apart. Then the gimbal housing gets sloppy and loses clamping force and even more water gets in the next time it goes in the water.

    I've seen boats like you mention advertised as "new transom" but no mention of the floor. I'd like to see how that job was done. I've NEVER seen a rotted transom that didn't have a soft floor. The engine mount pads are also sometimes attached to the transom and water gets in those too. And then you have saturated flotation foam in there as well, adding dead weight and providing moisture to rot even more wood.

    Beware - a hack can make a crappy job, paid for with cheap beer and help from drunk buddies, look A+ with a little caulk, paint/gelcoat and carpet.
     

  3. ebijack

    ebijack Premium Member

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    Gel coat is porous. The longer the boat sits in the water. The more moisture the wood stringers, transom etc absorb. Reason some manufactures went to non-wood stringers etc.
    The most common for aluminum boats like Lund, Crestliner etc. None of the hull scupper flappers or other protrusions out of the transom are sealed with RTV. Just snapped into place. There are some dealers and some factory assembly that do not even seal where the transom/engine bolts are placed. And they over torque the engine/transom bolts distorting the transom. Adding to possible leaks.
    There was one dealer I know of that knows the problems and when selling a brand new boat. They take apart and seal the scuppers and joints/locations.
    Easy to check and fix yourself. While you have the scuppers out, you can check the transom's condition where the water has been entering.
    Another reason, alot of guys only remove their drain plug at the end of the season or not at all. Removing the drain plug everytime allows air to circulate into the transom area. Helping to keep the moisture down.
     
  4. swampbuck

    swampbuck

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    Gel coat is not porous. Fiberglass is though.
     
  5. brigeton

    brigeton

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    One big reason on aluminum boats with outboards is the motor mount bolts not being sealed. Either when mounted new or if the motor was moved up or down.
     
  6. ESOX

    ESOX Staff Member Super Mod Mods

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    The biggest reason is the use of wood in boat construction. There are brands that use absolutely no wood in their construction, but they are mainly the better glass boats and some top tier west coats aluminum boats.
     
  7. Chasin Tales

    Chasin Tales

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    Thanks for all the info. Interesting how a little extra care on bolt holes and cut outs save headaches later.

    I would like to hear more on aluminum boats. I cringe when I see a boat that is ten years old or so and has a transom redone.

    I have always had aluminum fishing boats (current one is a 1998 1750 Alumacraft trophy). Always sits on a trailer with some sort or cover or under a carport. Never had a problem, so trying to understand why wood would go bad.
     
  8. syonker

    syonker

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    I suggest reading the restoration threads on the iBoats Starcraft forum (see link below) to get an idea on how aluminum boats are repaired/restored.

    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owners-groups-by-manufacturer/s/starcraft-boats

    One of the biggest no-no’s according to the Starcraft website is using treated lumber in the transom or in the floor as the chemicals in the wood interacts with the aluminum.
     
  9. bowhunter426

    bowhunter426

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    I looked at a lot of used boats before I bought mine in 2015. You could tell a lot of them sat outside, filled with water and froze. I believe this leads to a lot of transom problems.
     
  10. Chasin Tales

    Chasin Tales

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    Thanks bowhunter, I can see where neglect would cause it more than design issues. I have seen comments on the early G3 boats where they used treated wood and caused problems with the aluminum getting pin holes, but haven't seen anything on a particular boat line having transom issues from the factory.


    Thanks agin for the insight.
     
  11. 386xf

    386xf

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    Heard of quite a few lunds with the pinholes in the transoms. Seems like they didn't do much to keep water from coming in thru the transom top cap on some models. They possibly had used the wrong wood also for a few years. Check out walleye central lots of transom rebuild posts on there along with Iboats.