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Old 06-04-2019, 05:28 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Outer skin is fucked, just cut the outer skin off and leave a 1" ledge around the outside like the picture above. Buy a couple pieces of coosa and some West System epoxy. 2 layers of Coosa and a layer or two of DVM on the outside and you're good to go. Use some peel ply and a sheet of plywood to get a flat surface on the outside, sand it smoothe and roll some get coat on. you'll be into it about 800 bucks in materials but it will be done right.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:26 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I don't know if I'd call fixing it with marine ply wood "right" these days. It would be cheaper, but will rot again.
IME wood has no place on a boat anymore except for cost.

I did a transom on a trihull 10+ years ago with plywood. Pain in the ass, but doable because I was able to pull the deck cap, not an option here. In hindsight I should have done a pour in on it and gone boating sooner.
Done "right" a wood transom will last till that boats long gone.

Done wrong it will be gone in a few years

Strip from the inside to the outer layer of glass, remove the outer layer leaving a edge and get to work.

I would not use coosa for that boat. $$$ and not worth it
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:56 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I new boat is a minimum of $25k and typically start at $80k for anything decent. I realize a lot of the cost is in the powertrain. But damn, what's $600 worth of material and $35 an hour for a fabricator to work in house?

All rhetorical. Just venting. I don't understand some of the corners companies in the craftsmanship business cut.


The new stuff of a reputable brand will be of woodless construction. That started in like 1989 for higher end companies like Master Craft.


OP: I've got something similar going on in my 1986 Malibu Skier. It is going to be harder to get that rotten wood out than you think and any kind of sea cast won''t make its way where it needs to go. Go ahead and commit to cutting with your vibrating saw. You will cut more than you think but it will take less time to go ahead and get started then dance around the problem and have to dive in later anyway. Once your wood is cut, the fiberglass takes no time at all going back on.

Or run it this summer and fix it in the fall.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:16 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I called seacast and got put in contact with a pro who looked at the pics. He said it is odd that the OE transom plywood core was 3/4" instead of 1.5". He said that since the inside access is restricted that if they were doing it they would take the back skin off, clean out the wood, glass it back on, fill with seacast, and re gelcoat the cut.

He suggested another option would be to cut out the biggest section of the inside skin I can get to, dig the wood out of the areas I can't, cast a new fiberglass inner panel on a piece of waxed white Masonite, and glass it into place. Then pour seacast in the whole thing to make the new transom 3/4" thicker which brings it into mercruiser's spec. Originally this boat had bare pieces of plywood glassed on to get the extra thickness.

IDK what to do. Cutting the back skin off seems like a massive PITA to get right putting it back on, seems like it would weaken it at the joint, and doesn't thicken up the transom.

Inner panel section removal/rebuild is going to suck as well. I'm leaning towards this route though.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:28 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Make a form in the area of the transom and melt up some lead, pour the molten lead into the transom form.

There now you have a intact transom, you could even hang a pair of outboards along with the stern drive.

And as a bonus you would now have ballast.

LOL.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:29 PM   #31 (permalink)
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how about something like a vacuum pump and vacuum bags to pull the resin/seacast in all the holes

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Old 06-05-2019, 12:26 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Well, I just ordered $1500 worth of seacast, accessories, and shipping. Probably nuts for sinking this kind of money and time into it but it's worth nothing as is and we use the heck out of the boat for the entire week of summer.
I've done a little boat shopping and the 2 somewhat similar boats I've looked at were $5k+ and had soft spots in the transoms.
I am of the opinion that every boat that's more than 5 years old with a wood core transom has some degree of a rot. Now I'll know 100% that mine is stronger than original and will never rot, even if nobody can see it.

My plan is to cut out as much of the inside as possible, space the removed section out to 1.5" and use bi-axial to Z it to the old part.

While it's out I'll back up all the damaged parts of the skins with a couple layers of 17oz mat backed bi-axial on the inside.

It looks like it's going to take around 15 gallons of seacast to do it all with the increased thickness over 75% of it. I'll put whatever is left towards stringers, though they seem oddly intact and solid. It's much cheaper by the 5-gallon bucket so I got 4.
Should I ever feel the need to build up a more powerful SBF for it, the transom won't be of concern.
Hopefully this doesn't bite me in the ass, but I plan to have it on the water by the 3rd of July fireworks show on the lake.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:18 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Your either going to be the biggest seacast fan or the biggest hater $1500 = wow

Good luck, I have always been interested in how that stuff works.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:21 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Your either going to be the biggest seacast fan or the biggest hater $1500 = wow

Good luck, I have always been interested in how that stuff works.
Almost $400 for shipping hurt a bit.

Considering the size of the transom, there really wasn't going to be a cheap wood free option. Doing it with marine plywood would have been about $1000 cheaper and probably less work, but I don't think wood belongs on a boat.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:28 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Almost $400 for shipping hurt a bit.

Considering the size of the transom, there really wasn't going to be a cheap wood free option. Doing it with marine plywood would have been about $1000 cheaper and probably less work, but I don't think wood belongs on a boat.
Not even teak?
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:36 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Not even teak?
Okay, I guess I should have said "anywhere structureal" although teak has its own share of maintenance needs so IDK.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:42 PM   #37 (permalink)
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we use the heck out of the boat for the entire week of summer.
That made me laugh.

Nothing about a boat makes sense financially. Glad you picked a plan and are executing it. Take us along for the ride, please. I know very little about their construction and love to learn new things. Preferably by watching someone else's pain...
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:52 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Hacking away at it. The center section around the IO was 3/4" plywood, everything outward of that was 1/2" wood (balsa?) endgrain, as is the bottom of the hull. Looked like they took a 2x4 of balsa and cut it into 1/2" slices and stacked it in, then fiberglassed over. I guess it's a common wan to do it and the theory is that the resin seals the end grain so it won't rot if exposed to water. Turns out that's total B.S., several examples on the internets of boats and young as 5 years old having rotten balsa cores.





The transom inner skin is turning out to be a major PITA to get out where the core is still good. I'm having to cut it into a lot more sections than I wanted so it may end up getting a completely new inner skin rather than patching together 10 pieces.
A 12" long sawzall blade is so far working, then the pressure washer blasts the wood off the fiberglass. I tried cutting the wood with the pressure washer but it isn't really any faster than the sawzall nor does it allow for larger sections to be removed.

O, and of course as soon as I started working on this the weather got hot, grinding fiberglass in a tyvek suit in 85 degree weather sucks.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:06 AM   #39 (permalink)
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whats the plan to keep everything aligned when you done?
engine>outdrive
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:09 PM   #40 (permalink)
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whats the plan to keep everything aligned when you done?
engine>outdrive
That's fairly straightforward. The bellhousing bolts to the inner transom plate via two rubber mounts, then then engine mounts are adjustable up and down. A friend of mine has the mercruiser tool that slides through the gimble bearing and into the drive coupler. You adjust the engine until the tool slides in easily, then wipe grease on the tool where it goes through the splines and adjust until the grease gets wiped off evenly to get it lined up even better. The rubber in the coupler takes care of the rest. If its off, then it wears the aluminum splines in the coupler out instead of taking out the shaft splines.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:20 PM   #41 (permalink)
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That's fairly straightforward. The bellhousing bolts to the inner transom plate via two rubber mounts, then then engine mounts are adjustable up and down. A friend of mine has the mercruiser tool that slides through the gimble bearing and into the drive coupler. You adjust the engine until the tool slides in easily, then wipe grease on the tool where it goes through the splines and adjust until the grease gets wiped off evenly to get it lined up even better. The rubber in the coupler takes care of the rest. If its off, then it wears the aluminum splines in the coupler out instead of taking out the shaft splines.
ive done the alignment part last year when i swapped engine in my boat
LOLs at the specs.
alignment tool has to come out easy, holding it by only 3 fingers

i meant aligning everything with the hole in the transom
i thought for some reason you removing that as well
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:42 PM   #42 (permalink)
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ive done the alignment part last year when i swapped engine in my boat
LOLs at the specs.
alignment tool has to come out easy, holding it by only 3 fingers

i meant aligning everything with the hole in the transom
i thought for some reason you removing that as well
Ahh. The hole will still be there in the outer skin. I'll wrap the I/O hole out-out with biaxial and then drill the holes back through the seacast.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:06 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Had to be out of town for a week for work, add in fire tournament and some other misc. delays and I'm probably not going to make my goal of july 3rd. Some progress being made though.
Decided to bore 1/2" holes to get access with a drill bit, they ended up a little oval. I'll have to fix later.


The arsenal including the custom built chisel and drill bit welded to the end of a 1/2" rod.


Custom chisel that breaks the balsa loose between drill holes.


Getting there:
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:40 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I might have found the original problem. I started grinding away the inside of the outer skin and found that when they made the boat, the hull must have hooked inward before they installed the plywood transom core. There was a 16"x3" area where the fiberglass had air between the layers.


This might have contributed to the crack, water, rot.
Ground it all down to solid glass


Braced it out with angle iron, sheetrock screws, then ground off the screws.



Two layers of mat


Followed by a layer of biaxial/mat and strips along the bottoms to back up all the holes in the bottom of the transom from trim tabs, etc. The biaxial/mat stuff that secast sells seems extremely strong compared to the old CSM.


Put all the inner panel pieces back together as much as possible, it's in three main pieces now.


Clamped them to make them flat during curing.


Been hot and dry here, hasn't been fun fiberglassing and the schedule is slipping but making progress non the less!
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:52 AM   #45 (permalink)
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A+ on the use of a minibike in the process
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:14 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:31 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:05 PM   #48 (permalink)
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I am wondering what the difference is of going from the outside vs the inside.

I had only seen it done from the inside before this.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:28 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Ever take that thing off any sweet jumps?
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:58 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I am wondering what the difference is of going from the outside vs the inside.

I had only seen it done from the inside before this.
If you don't have access to the inside, you can take the outside off but it's generally discouraged. The inner panel is a thinner piece of glass than the outer panel and it's usually put on after the plywood is set in the hull. The outer "panel" is actually the hull, so when you cut it you need to do more work to fix it to make it as strong as it needs to be, plus now you have to make it look good. Nobody will see inside joints so you can concentrate on strength alone.

The glass I'm putting on the core side of the panels isn't really necessary but I figured why not as long as I'm here.
Once the core is poured and cured I'll wrap the I/O hole with biaxial/mat, then I'll tape all the connections between the inner panel and the hull with 3" tape, then cover the entire inner panel with one great big piece of biaxial, 4" past it to the hull at all the joints. Also going to cover the outer skin near the I/O hole in biaxial/mat and then mat then gelcoat.

This will make the inner skin twice as thick, the outer skin twice as thick, and the core twice as thick and from a material 3x stronger than new. I'm shooting for a total 2-1/16" thick transom with no external spacers vs. the original 1-1/8" with plywood spacers.

I am design protecting myself in case the original motor ever goes out, I can build up a 400hp LQ4 without worrying about the transom. Would make for a fun sleeper.
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