Grady Transom inspection

seansylva

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I know this subject has probably been beaten to death but I'll risk it. I'm looking at a 2003 grady white sportsman. The boat is in excellent condition but I did notice the bang plate on the transom is eaten away and there is a slight bow, just at the top (see photo). I have thumped the whole transom with a ball peen hammer and I notice no sound differences. The hammer rings back and bounces off as you would expect. Full discloser, this is the first time I've done this. What are folks opinions? is this something I should run away from? is it even worth paying for a survey? There is zero flex on the transom and no stress cracks anywhere in the well. Thanks for any opinions.
 

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efx

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I’m surprised that I can see a gap from the gel coat to the aluminum plate. If that area isn’t sealed well under the plate then that’s an easy way for water to seep into the transom. I’ve seen worse than that and the transom is still solid. Is the boat on a trailer? Or in the water?
 

seansylva

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I’m surprised that I can see a gap from the gel coat to the aluminum plate. If that area isn’t sealed well under the plate then that’s an easy way for water to seep into the transom. I’ve seen worse than that and the transom is still solid. Is the boat on a trailer? Or in the water?
The boat is on a trailer currently.
 

rprieser

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I am also surprised by the gap between plate and actual fiberglass -- this does indicate an issue that if not taken care of will lead into Bigger Problems. At the very least you should remove the plate, dig out any rotten areas (if any), reseal with thickened epoxy resin, and replace the plate. As one of the Grady White owners who has replaced his entire transom taking care of this now will save you Big Time in the future. To use a dental analogy: right now you have a filling that needs attention but if not taken care of soon you will need a root canal or a tooth extraction and no I am not a dentist.
 
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seansylva

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I am also surprised by the gap between plate and actual fiberglass -- this does indicate an issue that if not taken care of will lead into Bigger Problems. At the very least you should remove the plate, dig out any rotten areas (if any), reseal with thickened epoxy resin, and replace the plate. As one of the Grady White owners who has replaced his entire transom taking care of this now will save you Big Time in the future. To use a dental analogy: right now you have a filling that needs attention but if not taken care of soon you will need a root canal or a tooth extraction and no I am not a dentist.
This is on a boat that I'm thinking of purchasing and trying to decide if I should do so.
 

rprieser

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This is on a boat that I'm thinking of purchasing and trying to decide if I should do so.
I understand, just know you got a repair that should be reflected in the price. Good luck. Grady's are great boats!!
 

efx

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If the boat spends 99% of its time on the trailer, you will have better odds at this being repairable.
 
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PointedRose

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Could get moisture readings done before buying. I’d definitely recommend a survey in this case. If you’re still interested in the boat it will provide you some negotiating leverage.
 
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Mustang65fbk

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Could get moisture readings done before buying. I’d definitely recommend a survey in this case. If you’re still interested in the boat it will provide you some negotiating leverage.
I definitely agree on the advice of having a surveyor/inspector come out and take a look at the boat first. I was about to pull the trigger on a 228 Seafarer bak on the east coast that was in much worse shape than advertised. If it's your first boat, or if you don't know a lot about what to look for, or in my case if you're out of state then a surveyor is a great resource to use. If you feel confident in your ability to look a boat over, grab a moisture meter off Amazon... you can get a pretty decent meter for anywhere from $25-50 and that will give you some very good insight as to how much moisture is in the transom.
 

Paul_A

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Or you could pull a couple screws, transducer, garboard drain plug, and see if any water runs out.
 

ddog

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When you say zero flex, how did you determine this? Tilt the motor up and stand on the lower unit and bounce? That's a pretty good test.
 
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pmgia

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Mine looked like that and turned out fine. We pulled the motor and the bang plate and the shop inspected it. Used a PVC bang plate when I hung the new motor.
 

seansylva

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When you say zero flex, how did you determine this? Tilt the motor up and stand on the lower unit and bounce? That's a pretty good test.
Yes, I leaned heavily on the motor with it up and I also, very jerckily put the motor down with the power trim button on the motor and watched for flex and saw none. There is also zero cracking or crazing in the motor well.
 

CapeCodguy

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I (original owner), recently sold a 2001 Voyager at a $9k discount because a surveyor found 30% moisture in the transom, no visible distress and it did flex when tilted, all due to corrosion of the cap plate. GW said that the wood is marine plywood and would not admit it was a design error, nor stand behind it. I believe GW was aware of their mistake of mounting the bracket over the plate and failed to issue a warning to owners. My boat was in top condition, except for the transom.
 

seasick

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The corrosion of the cap plate is a sign but not the cause of transom water intrusion. The transom would normally be the same strength with or without the cap on that hull

I also suspect that the person who took the moisture readings used a meter intended for the construction industry and not a meter designed for fiberglass.
30% moisture is what you would see for totally soaked wood fiber give or take a bit based on wood species.
A fully soaked fiberglass hull will have a moisture content no more that about 3%.
That said, most marine meters do not display percentage moisture but rather percentage of full scale reading .
 
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Pat Hurley

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... And a decent moisture meter suited for boats runs in the neighborhood of + $400.00
 

seasick

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... And a decent moisture meter suited for boats runs in the neighborhood of + $400.00
Yup.. The real thing isn't cheap.
That said a box store contactless moisture meter can give some information when used to compare readings from many different spots on a hull or deck. The percentage readings though have very little validity as to the real moisture levels.
It is also important to note that the distance a moisture meter's signal will penetrate is kind of small which is why when possible it can be helpful to read the levels from both the front and the back of the panel being tested.
 

Fishtales

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I had less of a bump than that on mine and had it done. The issue is water is getting in. No easy way except to remove the engines, get rid of that stupid bang plate and see what is going on for damage, then glass it all up and gelcoat. If you want, install a plastic or metal bang plate but bond it versus screw it is my advice.
 
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