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Author Topic:   Wood In Transom
panther posted 06-28-2004 02:51 PM ET (US)   Profile for panther  
I want to add a kicker bracket. [Is Boston] Whaler still [manufacturing their boats] using wood in the transom? Or have they gone to [a synthetic material]?

Will 5200 in the mounting holes stop water from rotting the wood?

gimcrack225 posted 06-28-2004 03:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for gimcrack225    
Call Boston Whaler. They furnished me with a schematic of transom on my boat.
Good Luck
davej14 posted 06-28-2004 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
I recently raised my motor and called Boston Whaler to discuss the sealant I should use for the mounting bolts. I did this because my local Whaler dealer said they use 3M-5200 behind their motor brackets! My understanding is that 3M-5200 has a very agressive cohesive bond, is dificult to remove and could damage gelcoat during removal. Customer service at whaler confirmed my concern and said they just use marine silicone sealant for the motor mount bolts. They recomended against using 3M-5200 for this application. Unless you are trying to glue the bracket to the hull, just use a marine silicone rated for below the waterline.
jimh posted 06-28-2004 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I believe the factory uses BOSTIL 902 sealant, although this is hard to source at retail in small quantities.

For information on the construction of current Boston Whaler boats, you can find an article on the factory's website at:

This mentions:

"And deck fittings are not just screwed through the deck to a wooden block, our fittings are anchored to Whaleboard™ a virtually indestructible phenolic block."

davej14 posted 06-28-2004 06:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     

I could not find Bostik 902 on their website. I did find a Bostic 900 and also Dow 902. Neither of these is recommended for below the waterline applications. I went with 3M Marine Sealant 101 which is for use above and below the waterline. This material is available as in 3oz tubes at most marine stores.


jimh posted 06-30-2004 05:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Bostik has information at:

3M101 sounds like a good choice to me.

I believe Boston Whaler still reinforces their transoms with marine plywood. It is an excellent material for that application.

panther posted 06-30-2004 08:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for panther    
I disagree. I think marine grade plywood is the pits. There's no excuse today for not taking advantage of the many fine non-wood products available. As soon as the motor bracket bolts are drilled into the transom, the damn plywood starts to deteriorate. Only real way around it is to fiberglass the hole before installing the motor. Why not just use Kledgecell (sp?) foam or the like? No worries, no rot.

Oh I know the old argument, "but it's been good enough all these years". Yeah, so what. Horses were good transportation at one time in our history, but we've progressed to cars and trucks. Whaler needs to ash-can ALL wood in it's hulls.

Sal A posted 06-30-2004 08:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Unfortunately, while we have moved away from horses to cars an trucks, we have also moved away from spanking children.
panther posted 07-01-2004 03:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for panther    
Are others in agreement with me [about the complete unsuitability of plywood for use as a transom reinforcement]?
jimh posted 07-01-2004 08:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Apparently most of the boating industry is not in agreement with panther, as plywood is still widely used as a reinforcement for the transom.
newt posted 07-01-2004 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     

Why did you buy a Boston Whaler? I don't believe you have ever said anything positive about them.

RonB posted 07-01-2004 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
I believe panther is decidely negative towards Boston Whaler for whatever reasons,perhaps panther is in the business and sells a different brand, or perhaps panther had a negative experience with Boston Whaler, I do not want to speculate.

Whatever the motivating factor, while the desire to respond adversely towards some of panthers posts is prevalent among CW members I think there are positive lessons to be gleaned from panthers words.

Panther has recently mocked the performance of the Nantucket. While most of us agree that going 40+ mph on a Nantucket is plenty fast, how does that 40+ mph stack up against comparable boats in the Nantuckets class?

Panther mocks wood in the transom of Whalers, are all of Boston Whalers competitors using wood in the transom or is there a stronger material out there that makes a competitors transom stronger?

I have not done the research on Grady's, Mako's, and the like to know all these answers, however it wouldd not surprise me if panther owns, sells, or works for a brand of boat that goes faster than a Nantucket and does not have wood in the transom.

Panthers posts prove one thing though, whatever boat is in his stable, I doubt that it is a Boston Whaler.


panther posted 07-01-2004 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for panther    
Indeed, at the moment I do not own a whaler. I've owned two over the years...a Montauk and a 11 tender. I loved them both. But, I could never keep the seats from unscrewing in the 11, and the Montauk had it's share of nitpick items that bugged me too, but what boat doesn't.

All I'm saying here is that there are better products to use in the transom than plywood. I can't imagine they cost any more either. Wood rots and delaminates...get over it, it's just a fact of life. Why do you think Whaler got rid of the wood seats and consoles and such?

Having been in the boat business a few years ago, I've seen my share of rotted plywood floors and transoms. Whalers, Grady Whites, Wellcrafts...take your pick. Upscale, forward thinking builders today are for the most part using maintenance free, non-rotting materials. I think any high-end builder (and I put Whaler in this category) should be on this bandwagon. It will only make a great boat all the better.

That's all I have to say about it. Flame away!!!

Marsh posted 07-01-2004 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
I must agree that it does seems a bit inappropriate to use plywood if there indeed are equally economical, but better performing alternatives available. Wood or no wood, Whaler is a great boat. But Panther's opinion does beg a question: why does Whaler still use wood?


RonB posted 07-01-2004 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for RonB  Send Email to RonB     
Not into flaming panther, unproductive stuff, enjoy your posts as they break up the lovefest that all of us have with our Boston Whalers.

Like Marsh reminds us, if we pay x amount of dollars for a worthy boat plus an additional premium amount of dollars so that worthy boat is a Boston Whaler, then why is there wood in the transom?

Cost reduction efforts, competition and shrinking profit margins likely have something to do with it.


panther posted 07-01-2004 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for panther    
Ron B, I hope that Whaler is not feeling the pinch so much that they cheapen their line into another "used to be good" category. I don't have a problem with trimming fat and searching for more economical ways to build a product, but to cheapen it, or to compromise on construction is not what Whaler should consider for two seconds.

Whaler is never going to be a cheap boat, and they shouldn't try to be. If I want a cheap boat I'll buy a Bayliner.

Hopefully, by suggesting things in forums like this, someone at Whaler will act on some of the good ideas and wants of real Whaler owners. I find it hard to believe that anyone here would not embrace the demise of wood in their Whaler.

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