Transom condition

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by tommyboy050, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I don't know what else I can tell you, but it looks like someone has tried to address this issue already by using expanding foam, between the deck cap and hull shell. This is likely because the core has swollen up and pushed things around, making for a some gaps, which were then filled with the foam in a can trick.
     
  2. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Yes, the transom's probably got a rotten core (foam repair) but I see no crushing or deformation or anything that looks immediately dangerous. This boat could be used for quite some time as-is, but would eventually need repair.
     
  3. Commuter Boats
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    Commuter Boats Commuter Boats

    With those photos I am with PAR , 90% sure that that transom is unsafe. There is no expansion around the stern eyes because they don't go through the transom core, I'm a little surprised that core expansion hasn't popped those plastic through-hulls but they could be cracked internally and I can see it. The fact that somebody's gone in there with spray foam is an indication of how much movement has gone on.

    If you can get away from that liability you should...
     
  4. tommyboy050
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    tommyboy050 Junior Member

    Foam?

    Where are you seeing foam? If your talking about the white discolored section of the motor mount flat piece, that is not foam, it looks to be some kind of growth on the motor mount bottom flat piece. You can see it more clearly in one of the pictures. There is no kind of foam that I could see anywhere coming out of the transom bolts, wholes or at any spot. Foam confused?
     
  5. tommyboy050
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    tommyboy050 Junior Member

    Foam2?

    The top white trim needs to be glued back on as you can see from the picture it has seprated from the transom top and when looking at this open section, I do not remember seeing any rot, but then again, I have no idea what to look for anyway. To me, under that top white loose trim looks solid and not soft.
     
  6. Commuter Boats
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    Commuter Boats Commuter Boats

    The foam that we see is under the transom trim on the port side ( left) of the engine.
    We've already discussed that most transoms utilized two sheets of three-quarter inch plywood to gain the stiffness required to spread the load of a transom mounted outboard to the rest of the structure and yours only has one 2 ft.² piece of plywood with all of those angles incorporated into your transom providing the stiffness that would have been provided by that inch and a half thick plywood. You have stress cracks that not only radiate out from all the bolt holes but are also parallel to the transition between where the transom is cored and where it is not. I think I see a crack above the top, port motor bolt and a crack there would most certainly seal the fate that that transom is unsafe.
     
  7. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    "Some kind of growth" is not supposed to be there and is likely shelf fungus.
     
  8. Yellowjacket
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    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    The transom is shot

    Look at the first two shots, the area under the motor is soft and is bending inboard as a result of motor thrust. This is causing the transom under the motor to crack where the stiffness increases near the bottom of the v and where the transom is ribbed to increase the stiffness.

    In the old days we used to use a material called stress coat, it was a brittle paint that we would paint metal parts with it and then stress them so that we could see high stress areas and determine vibration mode shapes. We learned to read it and this is very much the same thing, if you know where the stiff areas are you can see where the stress is concentrated in the areas where the stiffness increases.

    Problem is the cracks aren't just in the gel coat, they are likely deeper and there is a lot of work that is going to be required to fix this one.
     
  9. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    There you have it, Tommyboy, your transom is an abomination........I must say it does have obvious signs of distress judging by those pictures, the use of cheap rot-prone stiffeners in fibreglass boats over the years is somewhere south of proper practice, particularly considering safety implications.. The gelcoat may be too thick as well. Out of sight, out of mind, and not least, out of warranty ! I don't resile from my original contention that an external repair is do-able, but unless you have experience and knowledge of the materials, I would not urge it. Epoxy resin is wonderful stuff ( expensive and toxic, though ) If ever I tumble in to a boat with a shot transom, I would be prepared to use my method discussed and condemned by the wiseacres, and not worry about the unconventionality of it. And please folks, a little less of the advice to unload the hot potato on to another buyer, would be uplifting. I have never sold a boat without giving a full account of what I knew was wrong with it, if I thought I had an unsafe boat, I would not try to sell.
     
  10. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Sounds like one of us has real experience with stress analysis. Thanks, I never heard of stress coat but what a great idea.
     
  11. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Even if the cracks were no deeper than the gelcoat, you can't leave the underlying laminate unprotected from water. Who knows what the history of tommyboy's transom is, and where the rest of the timber inclusions, stringers and bulkheads are at as regards rot. Are there any of those cracks on the hull bottom, tommyboy ?
     
  12. Yellowjacket
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    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    Tommyboy got this boat for a song basically, the cost of the boat and trailer were so low that you have to figure that it was in pretty sad shape.

    If he fixes it properly it will be worth more than he paid for it, and he can use it and enjoy it for some time. If you look at what he paid and what a boat like that in good condition costs, you can figure that's probably what it will cost for the materials to fix it right. You lose your time and effort, but that's probably the price of learing to look at what you are buying better next time.

    And yes he absoulutely needs to fix the gelcoat, but he needs to do that AFTER he fixes the internal structure. Then grind out ALL the glass down to where there are no more cracks (not just the gelcoat) and and repair the outer surface too. This whole job is a lot of work and the reason it was for sale is that it wasn't wort repairing if you paid somebody to do it. If tommyboy doesn't want to back out of the deal, he needs to start reading up on transom replacement and plan on doing it in the spring...
     
  13. tommyboy050
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    tommyboy050 Junior Member

    No Mr Efficiency, there are not stress cracks or crazing anywhere else except the transom. Also, everything that I could get at to see, under the seats (front and rear), battery compartment, storage bunkers and even under that lose transom trim piece all look like solid wood (wood with fiberglass covering). That is one reason I think the stringers and runners are solid, also the floor has no soft spots, completely solid and I looked and banged on every inch. I do believe the floor is original. I am hoping that the transom is okay but I am going to look for a surveyor to look at my transom and get his opinion. I was told it would not be over $100 bucks for someone to look at it and I want to do this before I put down my next $400 payment to the dealer. I am getting from others that even if the transom is bad, the motor is not going to fall off anytime soon, so, if I seal up the cracks, I can get a summer out of it and see how it goes. If the stress cracks don't get any worse and I can still jump up and down on my motor at the end of the season without the transom flexing, I may be okay for a while longer. Heck, what do I know except to hope and pray for the best and forget about the rest.
     
  14. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Does your boat have proper foam flotation ? I wouldn't venture out in any vessel of that size without it, let alone one with "issues".
     

  15. tommyboy050
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    tommyboy050 Junior Member

    I am having a boat surveyor come out and look at my transom. I called a few surveyors and the price was $250 for travel time, survey and paper work. I did not have a local surveyor close to where my boat is being stored. One surveyor I talked to said that he would charge me $75 to look at my boat when he is in the area, no report and just regarding my transom concerns. That is all I really want is someone that knows what they are talking about actually go look at it for me. I do think the rest of the boat is solid since everything I could see was very good and not one inch of soft spots on the floor or anywhere else. I will feel much better either way once this guy looks at it. He is also part of the Surveyor Association which is where I got his name.

    I bought a 7.5 Eska/gamefisher from ebay and went to pick it up Sunday.
    The guy had a pretty impressive shop, fixing boats and motors. He tested the motor for me in a nice indoor vented test jig, very impressive to me. He had a few boats and motors he was currently working on and seemed very knowledgeable regarding boats. I told him the story regarding my transom and he proceeded to show me a couple boats he had with stress/crazing and told me not to worry about it, the motor is not going to fall into the lake. Made me feel alot better but I will feel a whole lot better once the surveyor gives me his opinion. Thanks all, I will report back.
     
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