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What do you recommend as a repair technique to strengthen the top of these bench seats? They flex when I stand on them. They have no access, do you think they have foam in them? Should I install a large access hatch on the side and repair from the inside? Transom is solid and the hull is also solid. It's a 2008 15 ft Susquehanna Skiff that's been sitting for most of its life. The motor looks like it has less than 100 hours. I purchased it today from an older gentleman that never used it. I want to keep the same configuration, it works for me. I was also thinking what about just bonding a sheet of plywood coated in epoxy above the bench?

Thank you,
Jose Sirven

Get a look under the bow platform wher you have access and see if it’s cored. It’s likely just glass but could have some plywood as a core. The other benches are probably built the same way. The benches are likely filled with flotation foam.

You way want to take a drill and make a small hole to see what the thickness is of those bench tops and also to see if you have wet foam while you are at it.

If the foam is dry, great, now you can either sand the tops of the benches add some layers of biaxial glass or get some 1/4” marine ply and bond that down with thickened epoxy and cover with a layers of 8oz -12oz glass/epoxy. You could use poly resin also with the appropriate glass/mat. I wouldn’t think you would need much to stiffen it up. In any case you’ll need to fair the finished surface and either prime and paint or gel coat if using polyester resin.

Note: the only reason I bring up wet foam is I see hole at the base of the middle bench for drainage. Looks like water could reach the foam that way. Hull looks like it may have had had bottom paint which generally means the boat was kept in the water at some point. A few stray rains, hull takes on some water and you eventually have waterlogged foam. It’s something to consider.

I’d post this question /pics in the boat repair forum at
You’ll get a lot of good advice and if you buy your supplies from their store they will generally tell you what to do and exactly what to buy.

Maybe we’ll get some others to chime in with ideas. That looks like a nice hull/motor combo so would resist trying to do a quick cheap repair as you might cover up a hidden issue and before you know it you have soft spots in the hull under those benches. I’ve seen many a restoration job on hulls with those types of benches and it seems like all of them had rot and wet foam under the benches.

YMMV, good luck.

Brandon, FL
11,773 Posts
i will make a bet with you.

The front is wet and the bench is dry. Those skiffs were made with a 3 sided bench and tabbed into place and the bottom is open to the drain channel. The front is sealed off and that will be wet.
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