Transom Rebuild - The Saga Begins

Fishtales

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Late this summer I noticed couple of small bulges on the transom fiberglass top of my transom near the edge of the aluminum bang plate. When I brought the boat in for winterization and layup I told my dealer that I wanted to have the transom reviewed and glassed over. Got a call a few weeks later after the mad scramble of end of season winterization work and was offered a couple of options. Remove the bang plate, reseal everything and reinstall new bang plate and plastic pieces or re-glass the transom. As the motors have to come off in both cases and I want to solve the problem, I decided on the re-glass.

The re-glass estimate was more than I expected (turned into a top half transom rebuild) with the glass work being done externally (not by dealer). The dealer will remove the engines and store and then the boat will go to the glass shop for the transom rebuild and re-glass. When done the boat comes back and the dealer will re-install the engines and replace fuel lines, rigging tubes and whatever else is required to get the boat water ready.

I contacted Grady regarding the repair. I want them to know what occurred and how I plan to address, I'd like to get their input as well as they may have insight. I plan to contact again and provide all the info going into in as well as all during the repair process.

I've since talked to the glass guy as his cost is the driver of the estimate. He went through the work that is required to do the teardown, re-core and layup properly and estimates about 80 hours. He indicated has done a bunch of GW transoms the past few years and was not complementary of the transom design, deck hull joint at the transom and factory build process. He indicated the issue isn't a one off and not a customer induced issue. The glass guy will also replace the brass drain tubes with solid material, install a dense composite core material versus wood, isolate the aluminum brace that Grady installs from the coring material, fully glass the transom and eliminate the bang plate (I may bond one when done for protection) and plastic pieces that were screwed down in the corners. There will be no screws, fasteners or anything else that enable water penetration when complete. He assures me, when done this problem will be fully addressed and he will stand behind it.

I plan to be transparent with folks on the board. I'll share the facts, the pics of the rebuild and provide insights and learnings. Needless to say, I'm not going into this process happy. I'm a bit ticked that I have to spend a large amount of money to properly rebuild and glass the transom after 14 four-month in water seasons. The boat has been family used lightly with less than 700 hours on a slipped boat, with 100% dealer maintenance. I guess I could poke and hope and band-aid the issue with a transom reseal versus a rebuild. I feel a reseal is just kicking the can down the road and will make the issue worse over time.
In the end, I feel I have no option except to dig in and do what is required to fix the situation.

Stay tuned. Updates to follow.
 

Ky Grady

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Even though it's a pain in the butt and wallet, your rundown on what the glass guy is doing is excellent. I'd go that route as well, as to not have this issue again. It'll be nice knowing your transom is sealed and solid going forward.

Pictures of the process is mandatory in this thread.
 

magicalbill

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With the surfacing of this problem, do you still plan on keeping the boat?

I recall you having it up for sale awhile back.
 

leeccoll

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Sorry to hear this, but you definitely do not wanna go through this....


Thanks for keeping everyone updated through your repairs FT!
 

Blaugrana

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I know it’s the last thing on your mind, but maybe look into him reinforcing your transom during the rebuild to potentially handle a heavier engine. Not sure if your Grady was built during the 2 stroke era but something to think through while your spending all this money
 

Fishtales

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I'm told that the XL greenwood core (basically PT) that was used reacts with the aluminum brace in the transom (top engine bolts go through it). If it gets wet you get a jelly substance that forms (water, aluminum and core somehow react) and when it freezes bulges the glass. Otherwise, I'd have no idea. Its' not like I have not been watching this. With all the transom stories you hear, I was careful to inspect and caulked the bang plate, plastic pieces and screw tops a few times. My 2 bulge spots were very small at the top of the transom. Need to see what lies within but once I make the decision to go in, I'm committed and need to address whatever we find. 600HP is sufficient for me re horsepower capacity. It is the upper part of the transom down to the top engine bolts that appears to be the area of concern. We'll see when we open her up.
 

Fishtales

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Sorry to hear this, but you definitely do not wanna go through this....


Thanks for keeping everyone updated through your repairs FT!
Saw this. Scary indeed.
 

Recoil Rob

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Yeesh, I just logged on to get some info on the merits of having the bang cap on my 2004 180CC replaced or just having the seam glassed in.
The boat is new to me and has been trailered all it's life. I have very minor bulges on each side of the engine where the original aluminum cap is. I just installed trim tabs and the transom woods was dry when I drilled the holes, I even got the smell of burning pitch you get when working wood with power tools so I'm good there.
One option is I have a shop near me that will remove the engine, clean out the loose factory sealant, mask off and reseal with 4200 and then the new vinyl cap over it.
The other option is to have that area just glassed over and forget about bang caps.
Either option avoids having to shim the engine off the transom which some beefier bang caps require. I'm thinking the cost will be the about same.
I love the SS cap that Sdfish had made but the extra work in shimming the engine doesn't seem worth it.
 

HMBJack

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Your Transom Repair Guy seems very knowledgeable. Personally, I think you're lucky to have him work on your boat. If you intend to keep it a long time, you are doing exactly the right thing and will add value (and safety) to your boat in the long run. This is actually a good time of year to do a job like this. By Spring Time, you'll be ready for another season. Good luck and please keep us posted. Thanks.
 
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HTHM

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I'm looking forward to watching this unfold. (Better to unfold in the shop than on the water, I'd say...)
 

Fishtales

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Will do guys. I'm over the shock at this point and ready to get this thing torn down, reviewed and rebuilt. We talked about fuel tanks and cockpit scuppers. He's done a bunch of these. Tanks are fairly straight forward on most models, unfortunately some require deck cutting and rebuild. Same for the scuppers. On some boats you can get them done with access provided and others require either going in through the sides or deck. He's done both here too.

So for now, transom. But I'm going to tap his expertise on the tanks and scuppers as these likely are next on the big item list as well as repower. At that point, I might as well keep until I can no longer do it, then hopefully one of my boys will take over.
 

Stephnic

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I went through it two years ago. I ended up redoing the entire transom and glassing it completely closed. Make sure you address the brass through hulls in the motor well. I had water entering there also because one of the brass fitting had cracked. Youngs Fiberglass did my boat and I am extremely happy with the outcome.
 

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family affair

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I think those flared brass fittings cause a lot of transom issues. Anyone know if there is a better quality alternative?
 

Fishtales

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I glassed the holes then put the brass fitting in so if water does get in the green board will not get wet.
That is what the glass guy is recommending. I'm doing it for sure. Going to investigate the flanges and flaps on the aft side. I really don't want a single screw in the transom when done.
 
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Blaugrana

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I glassed the holes then put the brass fitting in so if water does get in the green board will not get wet.
Any idea why this is not done from the start? Is there a reason not to glass from the start rather than using 4200/5200 or whatever they use??
 

Stephnic

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Any idea why this is not done from the start? Is there a reason not to glass from the start rather than using 4200/5200 or whatever they use??
I think because it’s easier and quicker and I’m sure more inexpensive. Once it wet it is a very costly repair.
 

wireline

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I have same issue with my 2000 Voyager. Had area caulked pretty heavily , first freeze came now fiberglass protruding past bang plate. I guess is time to get looked at.
Any one have recommendations for a transom repair guy here in CT. Transom feels & sounds solid, no flexing when I stand on engine. Not intending to grab your post
Fishtails, very interested in your out come and hopefully I can use your issue to help with mine.
Thank you
If not for this issue only reason for another bout would be to go bigger!
IMG_2198.jpgIMG_2199.jpg
 

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