Water in the transom. or How to ruin a nights sleep for a week.


Petty Officer 1st Class
Apr 3, 2013
About 6 years ago, I undertook the rebuild of my Stratos center console. Cut the cap off and took it down to a bare hull. I put it back together with 1708 and epoxy while keenly ensuring that all stringers, bulkheads and exposed wood was sealed.

Yesterday I was mounting a transducer. It is an expensive enough one that I didn't want to trust it to a glued on Starboard mount so I drilled into the transom. When I pulled the drill bit out, water started trickling out of the hole. I was sure that I had sealed everything to the nth degree when I put everything back together. It was a heart breaking WTF moment.

The transom is still solid but doesn't pass the tap test like it should. It will be fine for many years I am sure but it is nagging me and is going to get addressed down the road. In the mean time, I am just sick to my stomach thinking about it.

In looking at my rebuild pictures, I can clearly see that the wood was completely encapsulated in fiberglass. I can also see where I left drywall screws in it from where I epoxied the 2 pieces of plywood together. That rules out using a chainsaw to remove most of the material. BTDT. It will be many hours of long drill bits, long chisels and endless cursing. I might look into using lye or similar to disintegrate the wood.

Until that time though... I am sick.

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
Jul 23, 2011
wet wood would last many many years prior to rot.

I would make an access hole, then add anti-freeze to kill the bacteria and go boating until you feel like re-doing the transom again.


Supreme Mariner
Mar 8, 2009
Same amount of work if you do it now or later. Wait till it needs fixing

I would try to figure out where the water is coming from. D rings, engine bolts or other