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Author Topic:   Transom Moisture and Repair
roccus posted 09-07-2002 08:41 AM ET (US)   Profile for roccus   Send Email to roccus  
I'm in need of some advice on the transom of the 1969 Nauset I'm bringing back. I had assumed the transom was dry given that there were no cracks of any significance in the area. Also, when I removed the original engine, the plywood visible through the bolt holes "looked" dry and a subsequent inspection with an awl verified that. In addition, nothing had ever been mounted below the waterline - no tranducers, paddle wheels, etc. Good, I thought, transom is dry. My greater concern then was the thought that the foam under the sole had taken on water through the spider cracks in the sole.

I recently borrowed a couple of moisture meters from a surveyor friend to check the deck. Good news: glass/foam sandwich is dry. Not-so-good news: Areas of the transom registered as quite wet. Surprisingly, the section where the motor is bolted on was OK. Section on either side and below showed wet.

The only possible culprit I could see were the towing eyes. I removed them immediately and discovered they had never been sealed with anything when originally installed (probably not unusual given what was known, and not known, about glass/wood cores and water intrusion back then). The wood core visible through those bolt holes was clearly shot - black and crumbly. Water apparently migrated from those entry points down through the core.

Has anyone had a similar problem and if so how did you correct it? Part of me says, "The transom seems strong. Held the old motor. Bolt the new one on and forget it." The other part of me says, "Fix it."

Is there any way to gauge the strength of the transom with some of the core wet and some in decent shape? How critical was the core to the strength of these transoms? The outside fiberglass skin seems thick by today's standards.

Was the wood used primarily for building thickness, strength or both?

How tricky is a wood core replacement? I suspect I'd remove the outer skin, chisel out the wood, put in a new laminated plywood core and fasten the old fiberglass skin back over it all - ouch!

Thanks for your help.

jimh posted 09-07-2002 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[This posting has been moved to this TOPIC area--jimh.]

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