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  1. #1
    Seaman mbhoag's Avatar
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    Default How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    OK, I have spent the last 2 weeks reading all the repair and rebuild postings, and what is involved in replacing stringers and transoms... so now I may just be paranoid... but I must ask the question.

    So I was able to get out on the water today myself with my 1986 Bayliner 18' fiberglass bass boat (125 hp Force)... and I noticed that every time I gave it a little gas, there was movement of the engine, and the transome itself 'flexed' or moved a little...

    I would make a guess that the movement or flexing was maybe 1/2 to 1 inch? (watching it from 5 feet away as I worked the controls) Is this normal, or do I need to pull my decks and start drilling core samples?
    A bad day on the water is still better than the best day at work!

    You can fish all you want in Iowa, if you want to Catch something you will have to go elsewhere!

    Mark

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral NYBo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    That would be 1/2 to 1" too much flex, sorry to say.
    Bob
    '88 Bayliner 1700 Capri Bowrider, 85 HP Force O/B, "Sea Weasel"
    Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
    Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.

  3. #3
    Seaman mbhoag's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Quote Originally Posted by NYBo View Post
    That would be 1/2 to 1" too much flex, sorry to say.
    Well crap... I was afraid of that... guess I am glad I was on a 'no wake' lake, and did not find out how much flex & give (or lack of give) it might have with a hole shot to WOT!
    A bad day on the water is still better than the best day at work!

    You can fish all you want in Iowa, if you want to Catch something you will have to go elsewhere!

    Mark

  4. #4
    Petty Officer 1st Class ThrottleBack's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    i dunno bout everyone else but if i can stand at the controls and SEE that the engine is moving at all it's too much

  5. #5
    Supreme Mariner Frank Acampora's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    104_7234.jpg104_7216.jpg104_7210.jpgSplashwell.jpgCharger.jpg

    On an 18 footer, there should be NO flex of the transom. Just to be certain, while the boat is on the trailer and with the engine vertical, stand on the anti-ventilation plate and bounce. You should see NO transom movement.

    Now if your transom IS flexing, I have had very good luck with capping it with aluminum and tying it into the splashwell. Beats taking the boat apart for repair. Done correctly, you will have a stronger transom than the original

    I also have had very satisfactory results with Git-Rot.

  6. #6
    Petty Officer 1st Class ThrottleBack's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Acampora View Post
    104_7234.jpg104_7216.jpg104_7210.jpgSplashwell.jpgCharger.jpg

    On an 18 footer, there should be NO flex of the transom. Just to be certain, while the boat is on the trailer and with the engine vertical, stand on the anti-ventilation plate and bounce. You should see NO transom movement.

    Now if your transom IS flexing, I have had very good luck with capping it with aluminum and tying it into the splashwell. Beats taking the boat apart for repair. Done correctly, you will have a stronger transom than the original

    I also have had very satisfactory results with Git-Rot.

    that engine cover is beautiful

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Normal-- no, not at all. Now time to check the stringers.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbhoag View Post
    OK, I have spent the last 2 weeks reading all the repair and rebuild postings, and what is involved in replacing stringers and transoms... so now I may just be paranoid... but I must ask the question.

    So I was able to get out on the water today myself with my 1986 Bayliner 18' fiberglass bass boat (125 hp Force)... and I noticed that every time I gave it a little gas, there was movement of the engine, and the transome itself 'flexed' or moved a little...

    I would make a guess that the movement or flexing was maybe 1/2 to 1 inch? (watching it from 5 feet away as I worked the controls) Is this normal, or do I need to pull my decks and start drilling core samples?
    EdgeWater 205 EX
    Yamaha 150
    2012 Dodge Hemi

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    What is the stringers?

  9. #9
    Commander MTboatguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Quote Originally Posted by 12thManFalseStart View Post
    What is the stringers?
    The supporting structure that goes under the floor.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Quote Originally Posted by 12thManFalseStart View Post
    What is the stringers?
    1st,,, any soft spots on the floor? OK,,, stringers are what supports the hull, fore & aft AND port & starboard. They also support the floor and everything above it. Very often if rot is found in the transom, stringers, or floor it will be found in more than one area.
    EdgeWater 205 EX
    Yamaha 150
    2012 Dodge Hemi

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Quote Originally Posted by crabby captain john View Post
    1st,,, any soft spots on the floor? OK,,, stringers are what supports the hull, fore & aft AND port & starboard. They also support the floor and everything above it. Very often if rot is found in the transom, stringers, or floor it will be found in more than one area.
    I'm not sure how to check the floor. Can't really get to it except for a small hole in the very back. I mean, the v hull of the floor, where the water drains out is a small square cut out about 10 by 10 inches. The floor you stand on is solid.

  12. #12
    Commander MTboatguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    You have jumped in with both feet buddy, you need to spend some time in the repair and restoration section of this forum, you will be amazed at how much you will learn, there is a lot more to a boat, than just buying and putting in the water, spend some time reading and learn.

  13. #13
    Seaman mbhoag's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    I am fully aware of what & where stringers, transom and bulkheads are.

    I did take a look at things and grab a couple of pictures. It is hard to see in Pics, but it looks like the PO had sealed up a couple of stress cracks where transom meets splashwell with some sort of silicone...I've had the boat 3 years and never really looked that close! (that was silly of me I know).

    Also, you can see a slight bowing of the transom under the weight of the motor. I had noticed this before, but thought It was normal with a several hundred pound motor attached.

    Last, is a very shaky video... it is hard to hold phone, video and wiggle motor at same time... but if you look closely you can see some 'give' in the transom as motor moves.

    It may be a week or two before I can get started, but looks like I will be adding a teardown and restoration thread of my own to the forum. I wanted to remove and reconfigure my decks anyways, and add more storage space




    Video
    Last edited by mbhoag; August 14th, 2013 at 10:07 PM.
    A bad day on the water is still better than the best day at work!

    You can fish all you want in Iowa, if you want to Catch something you will have to go elsewhere!

    Mark

  14. #14
    Lieutenant Commander NSBCraig's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Fix it right. Don't spend a bunch of time and money trying to slap some aluminum on it to make it "good enough". Good enough isn't good enough when it comes to everyone who is gonna ever get on your boats lives. No there is no way to do it correctly. (Sorry it's true) AND NO you will not have a transom stronger than it was originally. That's completely not true and (yep this one is harsh) demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge of boat construction.

    To all the LEO's, Coasties etc who frequent this forum- Anytime you see a boat with an aluminum plate on the transom, the boats owner fully understands that their vessels is unsafe to operate. These are the first people you should stop and do a safety check on because they have already demonstrated a complete lack of concern for safety.

    It's not that hard to fix right and there are a bunch of people here that have done it and will guide you through it.
    1982 Baja 16ss

  15. #15
    Supreme Mariner Frank Acampora's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    100_5942.jpg102_6449.jpg104_7210.jpg

    In this instance DONT listen to NSBCcraig: With your Chrysler/Force, the engine clamps tend to bite into and deform the transom fiberglass. Eventually this causes the trim cylinder ram to move off the stainless seat on the steering yoke and trim will not work. The ram will simply move in free air, not against the yoke.

    With your engine it is absolutely essential for continued good performance to use a minimum.080 thick hard aluminum plate on the outside of the transom, under the clamps. Do not go too thick or the transom clamp screws will no longer fit over the transom.

    Usually, if you have repaired the transom, a plate about 16 by 16 inches is plenty large. You will need to drill a drain hole in it to match the splashwell drain hole in the transom.
    Last edited by Frank Acampora; July 28th, 2013 at 10:11 AM.

  16. #16
    Vice Admiral NYBo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    I have agree that in this case that puny piece of aluminum under the clamps is a tip-off to investigate further, especially with that crack at the splashwell. But hindsight is 20/20; thankfully you caught it before a catastrophic failure. Plus, this thread inspired another member to check his, discovering a major rot problem.
    Bob
    '88 Bayliner 1700 Capri Bowrider, 85 HP Force O/B, "Sea Weasel"
    Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
    Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    I'm not sure that Frank and NBSC are actually disagreeing. NBSC is indicating you need to do a proper transom repair, and Frank is indicating that you need an aluminum plate on top of an already solid transom.....if I'm understanding them both properly. An aluminum plate on top of a solidly repaired transom would be the way to go. Slapping a metal plate on a rotten transom will be a bandaid fix.

    The cracks and deformation in the transom you have look like you have a rotten transom - looks to me like it is ready to let go. I would not take that boat out on the water.

  18. #18
    Seaman mbhoag's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    As you can see from these pictures, there are no plates on the outside of the transom, just the two metal plates on the inside under the clamp heads. After I pull it apart and replace/repair the transom, I will take the advice to add a single aluminum plate under the clamps so that they will not dig into the fiberglass.

    I have seen plates under many many motor clamps in my life, I never gave them a second thought when I bought the boat a couple years ago.

    I have no intention of doing a 'half assed' repair, it will be torn down and done correctly.





    Last edited by mbhoag; August 14th, 2013 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Pics moved
    A bad day on the water is still better than the best day at work!

    You can fish all you want in Iowa, if you want to Catch something you will have to go elsewhere!

    Mark

  19. #19
    Vice Admiral NYBo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Quote Originally Posted by mbhoag View Post
    I have no intention of doing a 'half assed' repair, it will be torn down and done correctly.
    That's the spirit!
    Bob
    '88 Bayliner 1700 Capri Bowrider, 85 HP Force O/B, "Sea Weasel"
    Want a vessel safety check? Click here. Want to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary? Click here.
    Disclaimer: Although I am a member of the USCG Auxiliary, the opinions and advice in my replies are my own and do not necessarily reflect CG or CG Auxiliary policy or regulations unless so specified.

  20. #20
    Lieutenant Commander NSBCraig's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    My bad. I didnt see your motor didnt have top bolts, just clamps. Yeah I would put something under them.
    1982 Baja 16ss

  21. #21
    Master Chief Petty Officer Alwhite00's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Acampora View Post
    104_7234.jpg104_7216.jpg104_7210.jpgSplashwell.jpgCharger.jpg


    Now if your transom IS flexing, I have had very good luck with capping it with aluminum and tying it into the splashwell. Beats taking the boat apart for repair. Done correctly, you will have a stronger transom than the original
    Sounds like a band aid at best, What about the rotten stringers attached to the transom? I see a lot of boats with this "modification" but would definately not reccommend it to someone.


    LK
    Last edited by Alwhite00; August 10th, 2013 at 09:18 AM.

    1997 Sea Ray Sundancer 250 5.7EFI / BIII

  22. #22

    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    I have a 1982 Angler , a specialist told me the transom was degraded and not to operate more than a 35hp on it . I want to repair , reinforce , etc the less expensive way as possible but still safe . Any advice anyone ??? I like that aluminum idea I saw from a post prior ... Let me know

  23. #23
    Master Chief Petty Officer Alwhite00's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Quote Originally Posted by MsNewToBoatOwning View Post
    I have a 1982 Angler , a specialist told me the transom was degraded and not to operate more than a 35hp on it . I want to repair , reinforce , etc the less expensive way as possible but still safe . Any advice anyone ??? I like that aluminum idea I saw from a post prior ... Let me know
    Well there is a way to fix it but not cheap or easy. That aluminum idea has been done before but I can not believe tha anyone on here would recommend to anyone. Fix it right or don't fix it. C'mon guys, keep the boats and your loved ones safe. At a minimum have a good life jacket and a waterproof marine radio.

    LK

    1997 Sea Ray Sundancer 250 5.7EFI / BIII

  24. #24
    Supreme Mariner Frank Acampora's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    mbhoag: When you bought the boat did the owner tell you the engine was rebuilt? Notice the Wiseco on the side? people don't just put the sticker on because it looks good. Now, Rebuilding, if done correctly will yield a new engine, sometimes better than stock, and I personally believe that Wiseco pistons are way better than stock ones. BUT: You do need to know that that engine most likely now has oversized pistons installed.

  25. #25
    Seaman mbhoag's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much "Transom Flex" is too much...

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Acampora View Post
    mbhoag: When you bought the boat did the owner tell you the engine was rebuilt? Notice the Wiseco on the side? people don't just put the sticker on because it looks good. Now, Rebuilding, if done correctly will yield a new engine, sometimes better than stock, and I personally believe that Wiseco pistons are way better than stock ones. BUT: You do need to know that that engine most likely now has oversized pistons installed.
    Previous owner never mentioned motor being rebuilt, but it could have happened long before he had it. I never realized that the Wiseco sticker was from something aftermarket... like new pistons and a rebuild! I just thought it was that way when it was new!

    Guess I just learned something new, and I wasn't even trying!
    A bad day on the water is still better than the best day at work!

    You can fish all you want in Iowa, if you want to Catch something you will have to go elsewhere!

    Mark

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