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small crack in lower transom - help

Hello,

I found a hairline crack in the gelcoat on the lower port side of my transom. I am in PA and the boat is stored outside. I do not believe this crack was here last year. Tthe crack is probably 10 inches long and does not follow a straight path. It can hardly be felt with the finger, but a finger nail will catch it. This on the lower transom with a 225 Yamaha above and to the right of it. It is right above the port bunk and there are no other cracks in the transom.

It has been very cold this winter. There is no water inside. I did store the boat for the first time in a marina all last year.

Can anyone look at the attached picture and give me some ideas what might cause this? And should this concern me. It looks cosmetic, but what put it here? This is the most solid part of the transom at the bottom of the boat. Does this need work since the boat will sit in the water again this season.

Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks

Comments

  • angler1
    angler1 Member Posts: 11
    Also, boat is a 2003 GS 211
  • nquirk
    nquirk Member, Moderator Posts: 674 ✭✭✭✭
    angler1, unfortunately from time to time you will see cracks develop in your gelcoat.  With its age, size of motor and flex exerted on the transom, its bound to develop some stress cracking.  However, that doesn't mean its bad.  Have you inspected under the hull?  Are there any other noticeable marks, spidering or other cracks?

    The rest of your transom, from the pic, looks solid.  Few things to do.

    1.  tilt your motor up so you can easily grab the skeg.  Pull up **** it by hand and see if the crack opens/widens.  It shouldn't.
    2.  take the handle of a screwdriver and tap all along the transom.  If you hear a sharp tap all around (particularly in the area you've mentioned) that's a good thing.  If you hear a dull thud, you could have water penetration or separation inside the transom.

    From the pic it looks solid but worth investigating.  It's really hard to tell, but if you leave it in the water all season, worth having a gelcoat/fiberglass guy inspect it.  Not to ensure its current integrity so much as to be sure it won't get water penetration this season.




    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2010 Hurricane SS 188 OB
    2010 Mercury Optimax 200HP / Mercury SS High Five 19P
    2010 Trailmaster SC trailer
  • angler1
    angler1 Member Posts: 11

    nquirk, thanks for your reply.  I will be checking it out more thoroughly.  She is still covered tightly from outside winter storage.  Anxious to look inside/behind.  I waxed her up real well when winterizing late fall.  I do not think this crack was here when I put it in the back yard.  I would have caught it.  We have had some extended below zero weather here in PA this winter, and I think this crack showed up just sitting in the back yard.  The rest of the hull and transom is solid.  No cracks or spidering.  The top side is another story and has a handful of cracks and spidering.

    I will be keeping her in the water 24/7 most of the season with some pull outs and other lakes.  If I do not find any problems inside or any other evidence of a problem, should I dremel this out and re-gel, forget it, or rub some marine-tex or something in the crack?  It is pretty long, but very minor/tight.  It is at the bottom of the transom...I would think one of the strongest spots on the transom.  This stuff is a bummer.  But want to make sure I'm not inviting worse problems if I don't do something about it.  Thanks

  • nquirk
    nquirk Member, Moderator Posts: 674 ✭✭✭✭
    @angler1, my only concern is that you've stated that it wasn't there before storage and is now.  The only thing I can think of is that there is a possibility of water penetration in the transom itself that has frozen and caused this 'stress' crack.  I can think of no other way for a crack to appear other than from freezing from the inside the transom, or from stress of the boat being towed/used, etc.

    If the crack isn't deep, it shouldn't cause further problems from water penetration but as you've stated, sealing it with Marine-Tex, etc would prevent that.  The source of the crack appearing while in storage outdoors in the winter weather is what concerns me.

    I wish you luck and will be interested in what you discover.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2010 Hurricane SS 188 OB
    2010 Mercury Optimax 200HP / Mercury SS High Five 19P
    2010 Trailmaster SC trailer
  • angler1
    angler1 Member Posts: 11

    Gentlemen,

    Trying to bring this post back alive because I found what I did not want to find.

    I mounted a pair of underwater LED lights to my lower transom for night fishing this season.  I mounted the port one right on this crack area (after squeegee in some marine tex in the crack) and was anxious to drill through the transom for the wire, and see what I got.

    Well I got moisture as soon as I penetrated the outside transom wall.  It didn't poor out, but I got some brown water tears running out of the hole.  The hole I drilled is about 5" above the bottom, on the top of the gel coat crack area.  So I expect I did get water freezing in there, which caused my stress crack.

    Now, how the heck could water get in there?  My Hurricane 211 is "tight" and in very good shape.

    In despair, I dried the hole some with a heat gun, globbed in and on some 4200 around the LED wire, and mounted my light.  But now what?

    The transom is about 2+ inches thick with a 1" outer board, and a 1" inner board, and I could feel a short void in the middle with the drill.  That's where the moisture is...between these walls. 

    How can I dry this out (assuming I reseal engine bolts and find how water is getting in)?  What about drilling a drain hole on the inside transom wall, bottom, so any water drains into the bilge?

  • nquirk
    nquirk Member, Moderator Posts: 674 ✭✭✭✭
    unfortunately the answer may to replace the transom.  Its an unknown what inside the structure of the transom beyond the fact that it has been penetrated with water and the structure (particularly if there are voids, etc) isn't as it was originally designed to do.

    I think at this point, you need to consult with a marine shop to get a professional opinion.  Not ideal answer but if the wooden embedded transom structure is compromised, over time it won't support the stress and weight applied to it.

    I really wish I had a better answer to give you.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2010 Hurricane SS 188 OB
    2010 Mercury Optimax 200HP / Mercury SS High Five 19P
    2010 Trailmaster SC trailer
  • donmat
    donmat Member Posts: 41 ✭✭
    I would definitely have a marine expert look at it as it may not be a problem. I owned a 2000 Stingray and was active on their owners site. Many, including myself, had this same issue when installing smart tabs. A brownish fluid would seep out of the drilled hole  (not a lot). It was attributed to, I believe, small amounts of uncured resin and wasn't deemed a serious issue in those cases. I never had any issues with the transon for the 10 years I owned it and don't know of any others. Hope this is the case here also. Perhaps the manufacturer could offer their opinion also.
  • angler1
    angler1 Member Posts: 11

    Yeah, not sure what to do.  I'm probably just going to use it and forget about it..  Whether I'm cutting out and repairing a small problem, or forgetting about it an letting it get to be a bigger problem, I expect the cost to fix won't be that different.  Both will need wood, fiberglass, gel coat, so what's the difference if it uses a little more material.  The labor is probably the significant factor which will probably be similar small or larger. 

    Wonder if the "manufacturer" monitors their owners forum and has any comment?  Why is there water in my 211 Hurricane transom? 


  • donmat
    donmat Member Posts: 41 ✭✭
    I would probably do the same based on my past experience. Perhaps Capt.Steve could ask for a comment on this from the manufacturer.