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transom restoration

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  • transom restoration

    Finally got around to this. As mentioned in an earlier thread, the previous owner of my 1973 Sea Nymph had done a half-***** transom extension because he had been given a long shaft 40 (?) HP Mercury outboard for free. My single misgiving about acquiring this boat was in regard to what kind of nightmare I might find when I diassembled his work. Well, what I found wasn't too bad for me, but I find the idea that he intended to use the boat set up this way to be pretty scary. He cut a piece of 2 x 6 treated lumber to fit the contour of the existing (low) transom. He attached this piece to the existing transom with four angled 2-1/2 inch powder coated deck screws that penetrated the existing transom wood to a depth of about 3/8 inch. He actually intended to use six deck screws, but two of them entirely missed their mark. He cut two relief slots in the exterior plywood transom facing for the bottom of the four point motor clamp (so that the clamp rested direcctly on aluminum), and drilled a hole in the center of each slot for the bottom bolts of the clamp (he put two 4 inch bolts through those holes, but didn't bother to use any nuts - they functioned only as location pins). He then wrapped some stainless steel sheet metal over the "extended" transom and attached that to the existing transom with about 30 small self tapping screws. So the clamps at the top of the bracket grabbed the added piece of 2x under the sheet metal, which was in turn supported by only the 4 deck screws and the tension of the screwed down sheet metal itself. The bottom of the bracket was kinda, sorta located by the two screws pushed through the newly drilled holes, but had no support in any other direction. I could be wrong, but I am not very optimistic about what might have happened here after the torque from a few hard accelerations was applied to this set up...

    Anyway, my fix doesn't look too challenging. I intend to fill the holes and replace the external piece of plywood. i can get marine glued Meranti locally pretty reasonable. The existing (main) transom wood shows no signs of rot or any other major trauma beyond a few extra drill holes. Since I'm getting a little anxious to get in the water, I plan to scrape, fill, and paint here, and plan to possibly do a transom replacement for next year. My goal is the sell the Mercury and find an older 38.1 inch OMC short shaft in the 25 - 35 HP range. I figure for cruising the rivers, creeks and back bays around here (mostly single handed) that should power this boat nicely. Any comments or suggestions regarding this project will be appreciated.
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