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Author Topic:   Rotten transom worth repair?
flyfisher1771 posted 03-24-2004 03:42 PM ET (US)   Profile for flyfisher1771   Send Email to flyfisher1771  
As you guys can probably figure out from my posts I am working my way through an old 13 sport. I have gone to the trouble of buying a short shaft outboard and felt like I had committed myself to the hull only to drill the transom today and find rotten wood and water. I have everything else completed (wood interior, motor, etc.)and I was going to sand and paint the hull which has required extensive repair underneath. I am looking for input as to wether or not to ditch the hull and get another notched hull in good shape. The hull is a 67. Are most of the notched transoms in rough shape at 30 to 40 years old and need repair? What about transom repair? Would you cut away the outside of the transom and put in new plywood or the pourable transom that was mentioned in my last post? I am not afraid of major repair, but I also don't mind spending $500 or $600 for a hull in good shape that I don't have to paint or do major repair. Seems like I am looking at a minimum of $200 to $300 just in paint and prep for this hull, all repairs aside. I just want some input from you guys. BTW I am inept at taking pics but I will post some of the project when I finish.


flyfisher1771 posted 03-24-2004 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for flyfisher1771  Send Email to flyfisher1771     
Just talked to Marie at Seacast( per AC(Thanks). Sound like the repair isn't that difficult. She says they cut off the top of the transom and remove the wood(the hard part) and then just pour in their product and it bonds to the fiberglass. Then you just put the cap back on. What do you guys think?


brisboats posted 03-24-2004 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     

I am hearing more and more about this product and intend to use it this summer on a project boat. I think Bob Klemmer (sp) may have used this on his Rage bracket project. At any rate I too would like to hear of anyones experiences with Seacast. If you do go ahead with it please give a report on yours.


jimh posted 03-24-2004 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Regarding making repairs to a Boston Whaler transom using Seacast:

The transom is one area of a Boston Whaler boat that is the same as most other laminated fiberglass boats. As far as I know, the transom of a Boston Whaler is just plywood encased in fiberglass resin and laminates. If this company has a product and a technique for making successful repair to rotted wood transoms, I do not see why it could not be used on a Boston Whaler boat transom with as much success as on any other similarly made fiberglass boat.

The only really unusual thing about a Boston Whaler transom is the "green line" joint between the hull laminate and the deck/liner laminate. You might not be able to preserve that feature, but it would not affect the integrity of the hull, as long as the fiberglass and gelcoat repairs were made in a workmanlike manner.

In consideration of all the effort already put into the boat, it seems like a reasonable course to carry on and try to fix the transom.

I don't have any first hand advice to offer, nor do I recall if anyone else here has succeeded in restoring a rotted transom with this material. If you do proceed, please let us know by follow up articles your results.

In the very worst case, you could always make a repair to the transom by bonding a new, external plywood transom in place, and cover it with laminates and gel coat. If you look at the transom of a 15-foot Boston Whaler boat you will see that this almost looks like what was done with that hull design.

Good luck,

--Jim Hebert

dscew posted 03-24-2004 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for dscew  Send Email to dscew     
I wonder if a person could put about 25 gallons of this stuff in a giant blender, set it on "frappe," and whip it up into foam, then pour it into a hull where the soaked foam has been removed. Call it Bucket-O-Whaler?
whalerron posted 03-24-2004 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     

At first, I didn't believe in the SeaCast product because it sounded too good to be true. Then, one day, Bob Kemmler stopped by with a sample that he obtained from SeaCast. It sure looks a feels like a very strong product to me. We didn't have anyway to actually compare it to plywood or to measure its breaking point but our opinion was that it is stronger than plywood. It really is some tough stuff. I would have no problem using it to replace the rotted plywood in a Whaler transom.

I will see if I can find Bob and get him to respond to this thread.

- Ron

DaveNJ posted 03-25-2004 08:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for DaveNJ  Send Email to DaveNJ     
I had looked into seacast but only to build up the "notch" in the back of the old 13' transom. I decided to use the aluminum angle brackets and removeable transom fill piece instead, so it could always be returned to a stock condition.

I thought the SeaCast product looked great and I spoke with the inventor several times about it. He said he had done some Whaler transoms with it. I got a sample of the material too to check out and it was nearly indestructible.

The important thing is to preserve your fiberglass skins of the transom. You have to dig out the rotted core as much as you can. I am not sure how to do this. Contact SeaCast on this. DO NOT cut out the entire transom, skins and all and expect this material to make a new transom on its own!

It will only work if it is poured into the empty cavity of the already intact transom. If you follow their directions, that transom repair will be solid as a rock.

flyfisher1771 posted 03-25-2004 08:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for flyfisher1771  Send Email to flyfisher1771     
Seacast says you cut out only the top cap of the notched part of the transom and then get the wood out somehow. They also say to keep the cap and reuse if possible otherwise lay new mat. I am planning on a long spade bit, a ship auger bit and some long chisels and of course a vacuum. What do you guys figure the cubic inch capacity of an old transom is? I was thinking I may need to fill and area of about 20x20x2=400ci. Does that sound right? I want to figure high here so I only have to do this once.


bwguardian posted 03-25-2004 11:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for bwguardian  Send Email to bwguardian     
I have seen them remove the old wood via a chain saw. Once the cap is removed, you lower the fired up saw carefully and chew up the plywood sandwich. Then you can flip the hull over and get the rest of the wood chips out. Finally, you can then apply the SeaCast product.
brisboats posted 03-25-2004 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
I would be too scared to lower a chainsaw into the transom cavity, one slip either way and you are through the inner or outer skin. I have the same thoughts as Hugh. Some spade and auger bits and wood chisels. Lots of vacuming and lots of patience. Whatever wood is left remaining I plan on drilling pilot holes into simply to allow the seacast to flow into it and perhaps seek out any rot not removed from above. I have bought some spade bits that are close to 30" long and plan to have at it as soon as the time and weather allows. Hoping that Hugh proceeds first and can add some insight.


TampaTom posted 03-25-2004 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for TampaTom  Send Email to TampaTom     
Take a look on Lots of transom jobs done there and some comments about SeaCast. Some things I noted. SeaCast will be heavier than the original transom. One guy did the chainsaw method and found it to be the most effective way to remove rotten wood. Apparently the Seacast people are very helpful and the best source of info. Most of the Mako guys opt to do traditional transom repair.

You might use a moisture meter (used in the hardwood floor business) to determine the extent of the rot.

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-25-2004 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
flyfisher, I'd remove the wood, then order the Seacast.


GeneNJ posted 03-25-2004 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for GeneNJ  Send Email to GeneNJ     
How about a Sawsall with a blunt tipped blade? It should be easier to handle and the speed can be varied.
jimh posted 03-25-2004 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It seems appropriate to point out that indeed the best source of anecdotal reports on making repairs to rotted transoms might lie outside of this website. If you give that simple statement some thought you will see my point.
GeneNJ posted 03-25-2004 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for GeneNJ  Send Email to GeneNJ     
Jim's right, check with Terminex, they're experts on rotten wood and they can probably supply the little workers that you really need.
Chuck Tribolet posted 03-25-2004 09:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
If I used a chain saw, I'd use a small one. BTW, the sides
of a chainsaw blade don't cut anything like the real edge.
If they did, you'd get some reall wide kerfs.


flyfisher1771 posted 05-08-2004 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for flyfisher1771  Send Email to flyfisher1771     
I'm baaack. Chainsaw method is highly recommended. You need a 16" bar to get all the way down. I bought an electric disposable at the Depot for $65 and it worked great. One trouble is that the outside of the transom is very thin and due to previous damage I have concerns about it. I don't want to lay mat on the outside because of the major amount of work in fairing it out. Do you guys think I could soak some mat in resin and mat from the inside before I pour the seacast?



jimh posted 05-08-2004 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In my comment above about other web sites and transom rot, I was thinking more along the lines of other brands of old boat enthusiast web sites.
Tom2697 posted 05-08-2004 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
I don't know anything about the SeaCast product. But, there is a product that you can look into. It's called Git-Rot and is available at Boater's World and other stores of the like. How this product works is you drill a series of small holes about 6" apart and then inject this product into the holes. The capillary action of the wood sucks up the product. When cured, you have an epoxy/wood block that is pretty durable. The product's been used for years at boatyards. Considering the amount of work you save by using it, the cost is extremely cheap...Maybe $20 a bottle or so....
jimh posted 05-08-2004 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I do think you could make a repair to the transom from the inside out, as you describe, by laying in some matte and resin. After all, that is how the boat is built, from the outer gel coat layer inward.
John O posted 05-09-2004 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Tom-Git Rot is a good product, however the wood needs to be completely dry before using.
cappy101 posted 03-12-2009 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for cappy101  Send Email to cappy101     
If you dont trust the product completly why dont you just take the transom cap off and dig the old plywood out. then pour the product in let it set up and plate the transom with aluminum plate. spread the aluminum plate out so it spreads the load. you can be assured the transom will hold up for a very long time.

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