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Old 11-02-2019, 03:42 PM   #1
Dtodt223
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Default Cracks on transom cause for concern?

Hey guys while inspecting my boat I noticed the two cracks pictured here on transom. Obviously I bring my family on this boat like everyone else and I want it to be safe. Should I bring this to a shop to fix or how serious is it? The left side was clearly epoxied before but now cracking again, the right side looks new. Boat's a 1889 Ebbtide Campione 204 with 350 mag and alpha 1. Thank you! note: the two closeup pics are uploading sideways for some reason.
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Old 11-02-2019, 03:56 PM   #2
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Default Transom

This is a no-brainier, have it checked out and amend date of mfg as fiberglass did not exist then. The cost of an appraisal is nothing compared to a potential disaster.
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
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This is a no-brainier, have it checked out and amend date of mfg as fiberglass did not exist then. The cost of an appraisal is nothing compared to a potential disaster.
The "advanced" 1953 Chevy Corvette had a fiberglass body—which actually followed fiberglass construction in boats.

By the 1980s, boat manufacturers had figured out how much fiberglass to leave off.

There's a good chance the wood that makes up the transom has been compromised. I'd move the boat about three feet back on the trailer, take a reciprocating saw to the damaged area, remove everything that looks like damaged wood, and build the area back up with lots of fiberglass mat and cloth. I'd cut away about three times the area that appears cracked.

What you have "repaired" there appears to be Marine-Tex, a substitute for gelcoat, used to make cosmetic repairs. Like gelcoat, there's very little strength to it.

Use epoxy resin, as it is odorless and very strong.

Sand smooth and fair, and use paint to match. Don't bother with gelcoat, as it's expensive, and too difficult to match color—even with white.

You'll have spent about $300 to save this old boat.

As for sideway pictures, be sure you've hit "save" when working with photos.
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Last edited by ApS; 11-02-2019 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Marine-Tex comment
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ApS View Post
The "advanced" 1953 Chevy Corvette had a fiberglass body—which actually followed fiberglass construction in boats.

By the 1980s, boat manufacturers had figured out how much fiberglass to leave off.

There's a good chance the wood that makes up the transom has been compromised. I'd move the boat about three feet back on the trailer, take a reciprocating saw to the damaged area, remove everything that looks like damaged wood, and build the area back up with lots of fiberglass mat and cloth. I'd cut away about three times the area that appears cracked.

What you have "repaired" there appears to be Marine-Tex, a substitute for gelcoat, used to make cosmetic repairs. Like gelcoat, there's very little strength to it.

Use epoxy resin, as it is odorless and very strong.

Sand smooth and fair, and use paint to match. Don't bother with gelcoat, as it's expensive, and too difficult to match color—even with white.

You'll have spent about $300 to save this old boat.

As for sideway pictures, be sure you've hit "save" when working with photos.
Thank you for all the good info. I don't think this is something I'd do myself since I've never worked with fiberglass before and would like it to be done right. The hull is fiberglass. I heard something about old ebbtides being years ahead with their hulls. I'm not sure about how this one is constructed like where the wood would be located and stuff, but it seems all solid no soft spots when hitting it. I'll most likely have to bring it somewhere in the spring. Sucky part is I'm located near Manchester and any boat repair is pretty far from me.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:06 PM   #5
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I am no expert but if it were my boat I would wonder...

Are the cracks deep enough for water to seep in and rot the transom?

I would find a pro with experience to assess the condition and make recommendations for determining the condition of the transom and repairing the cracks.

The stuff that is there already indicates there was an issue in the past.

Water seeping into the transom may have been happening for a while.

Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:21 AM   #6
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If you wait till spring be prepared for a long wait to get it back. Seems almost everyone waits till spring to take their boat in for repairs. Look for someone who can do the work over the winter and you won’t lose any boating time.


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Old 11-03-2019, 09:06 AM   #7
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Before you get yourself all worked up over nothing...

Based on the pictures this looks like superficial cracking in the gel coat. Nothing more. The area that had been previously repaired.... well no offense but just looking at how that was done do you really think whoever did that knew what they were doing? Looks like a 2 year slapped that on over a problem (there I fixed it) and is clearly a sorry excuse for a repair. It likely cracked again because of that.

Fiberglass as a general rule doesn't just crack like that, if you think about it, what is fiberglass? Layered resin filled fabric typically in multiple overlapping directions which is exceptionally strong and can't just crack unless there is some sort of massive impact. Even at that it sort of tears versus cracks. In fact much like a vintage corvette (all fiberglass body) the paint on those notoriously cracks over time in the same way gel coat can.

IF there was a transom problem where it has imbedded wood and it was compromised this is to me the last place you'd see a problem as there is far more stress in and around the actual stern drive housing. Also if there was that much compromise I'd think the damage inflicted would be quick and catastrophic.

I've looked at plenty of used boats, and see this sort of thing all the time with age comes superficial cracks like this.

The only thing I would be concerned about is if the boat sits in the water which it clearly does, water getting between the gelcoat and underlying structural glass which would cause blistering. This was a very common problem in and around the time of when your boat was manufactured across all brands. Modern day building techniques and materials have all but eliminated this problem.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:25 AM   #8
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Default Don't wait

Do your search now. Quality shops do a lot of scheduling when boats are being winterized. Some can work out storage until they get your boat inside, so it doesn't matter if your shrink wrapped boat is in your yard or theirs. I have two projects pending, two different shops. They both look forward to doing the work in February or March, a couple of weeks each. I'll be ready for ice-out.
I think there are other threads recommending various fiberglass repair outfits.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:28 AM   #9
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Call Unique Boat Restoration in Moultonborough....across from Subway. They seem to do a lot of this type of repair and can work inside. (603) 253-3848. It would be worth stopping in and showing the pictures to start.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:21 PM   #10
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Personally, I wouldn't worry about those cracks. I have an old Ebbtide myself, 1986 17' Dynatrak closed bow w/ a 115hp tower of power, in excellent cond for it's age. Last year I kept it on a dock in the association where I live, and the water got so low that the boat was bouncing up and down on the top of a big rock underneath it without my knowledge. I went to go out on it earlier this season, and the boat took on so much water, it almost sank!! I found a big crack on the bottom of the hull, and even though the boat is in great shape for it's age, it's not worth much, so I didn't want to put thousands into it to salvage it. I found 3M Marine High Strength repair filler (46012), on line and ordered it for like $50. I put a patch of that stuff on the crack, bought a new DA, and sanded it down nice and smooth, and it completely sealed this crack. The boat doesn't leak a drop of water!! This stuff gets hard as a rock!! You can drill it, tap it, put bolts through it, whatever, it's like steel!! I would highly recommend it, and try and do it yourself. It's not that hard to use, just follow the mixing directions, and go to town!! Good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:21 AM   #11
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Thank you all for the input. Can anyone recommend a place near Amherst NH? It's a real pain to haul all the way up to lakes region without the intent of going boating.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:43 AM   #12
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Thank you all for the input. Can anyone recommend a place near Amherst NH? It's a real pain to haul all the way up to lakes region without the intent of going boating.
Never done business with them but Nashua Marine boasts on their web site they do this kind of work. Might be worth looking them up.
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