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Mitzi Madness
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

Hi friends. As you can see here, we have a lovely, old Power Pole that has created a stress crack/soft spot in the transom after years of pounding. Unfortunately the backside of this assembly cannot be accessed without removing the cap since I am assuming it must have been installed at the factory. I am seeking guidance from those who might have dealt with something like this before. The fiberglass in this area has gotten soft, so it will need to be replaced either way, but I'm just looking for solutions.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

Boat: 2000 HPX-T

1) Is it possible to simply cut this PP out and glass the hole from the outside?

2) Does anyone know of any tutorials or links for the process of removing the cap? I've been looking around and know that I definitely can't afford to pay someone to do it. I just want a better idea of what I'd be getting myself into.

3) Are there any options that I'm missing? Any advice helps.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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you could try cutting the bolt heads off and lifting the PP assembly out, then pushing the bolts inside to remove (if you have access).

As far as the transom repair - without examining what is going on in there, I'm not sure you will get much help.

If you are going to try and remove the cap, the process involves removing the rubrail, and cutting any bonding putty out to pop the cap off. If I'm not mistaken, I believe @Smackdaddy53 may have done this on his boat??
 

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Brandon, FL
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10,096 Posts
I highly doubt this was installed from the factory and before the cap was put on. Are you sure those are not lag screws?

The damage you are showing is going to require a transom rebuild so you will have to take the cap off anyway because the transom has been compromised.
 
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I agree with @DuckNut on how the repair should be addressed.
You don’t necessarily have to remove the whole cap though. Many times the cap can be cut forward of the transom and just the rear section removed. You will of course have to splice and blend the cut back in when re installing. The transom is compromised though and will need to be addressed soon!
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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I have the same year hull, you should have access to the inside from the rear hatch. There’s no way they thru bolted just into the sponson because there’s no access without lifting the cap UNLESS the cap was lifted for se other repair and they installed this power pole then. Most guys will drill holes all the way through the second wall (the transom) and sleeve the bolts so when they are tightened the thin wall doesn’t compress the core too.
Fast way: look in the starboard hatch and see if you can see the bolts and nuts.
The only other way to get in that separate foam filled sponson without lifting the entire cap is cutting an access hole and sticking a round deck plate there.
 

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Whoever installed that Power Pole may have done a blind installation using toggle bolts (the same way you install deck chairs when you can’t access the underside of your deck). If that’s the case you really need a skilled glass shop to do an evaluation and estimate on that repair... That visible damage might just be more cosmetic than structural. If toggles were used -you might just be able to actually unbolt that base without needing access to the inside of the transom.

Hope this helps
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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I agree man.

BUT, but, but...look at the drain, it was held on by screws :eek:

Not 100% sure that is original location. All the ones I remember are in the back.

Smack should be able to shed light on this issue
When I found out I had about 3-4 gallons of water in both sponsons I drilled 1” holes into them and installed Gemlux garboard drains. The only way to fasten them is to use 3M5200 and stainless screws because there’s no access to the inside to thru bolt. The sponsons are completely separate from the hull. There’s a wall that is basically the transom that separates the sponsons from the hull. There is a gap on top that’s about 2-3” between the cap and the top of that partition but that’s it. The sponsons are filled with foam.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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The toggles might have been an option but not a very sound one. As thin as these hulls are on each side of the core I’m not surprised it cracked like that. That area can be cut out from the outside and glassed back in, it serves very little structural purpose since the transom is about 14” forward of it. They can just cut out the cracked area, slide some coosa or foam backer in there and glass over it then gelcoat.
 

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Mitzi Madness
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for all of the great answers! I am overwhelmed by the quick responses.

The drain hole that you see was added after the fact because I do have the rubrail leaking issue that these boats are known for. Since I work in conservation, I only have the funds to address my issues as they arise! That being said, the resealing of the cap and new rubrail is a project that is on the horizon, but just not in the budget yet. This power pole issue seems to be much more pressing.

Looking through the back hatch, there is no sign of the screws from the power pole. Since I was not the owner of the boat at the time of installation (nor do I know who installed the PP), I am not sure of what method was used to screw this sucker in.

Just like @Smackdaddy53 's boat, this boat had the added drains on each sponsons when I bought it. In this particular photo, I was replacing the brass fittings which had completely corroded, with stainless ones and new screws.

@Boatbrains I'm not so worried about the transom as a whole since this is simply out on the sponson. The rest of the transom structure seems to be in great shape. My title is somewhat misleading, which I just now realized.

@lemaymiami thanks for your ideas. I saw your thread on fixing the cap to hull leaks in these skiffs and plan to follow your directions. That being said, I'd love to pick your brain on your years of using this particular hull. I work for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and live in Miami, so I'd love to buy you lunch sometime.
 

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Brandon, FL
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Thanks Smack. I did not realize the sponsons were an afterthought and just hung on the back, I thought it was part of the transom.

Appreciate the clarification.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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Thanks Smack. I did not realize the sponsons were an afterthought and just hung on the back, I thought it was part of the transom.

Appreciate the clarification.
I wouldn’t say they were an afterthought but they are an odd design for sure. I am contemplating drilling a hole with a long paddle bit and make it in line with the garboard drains I installed on the sponsons then stick a 3/4” piece of PVC between them so the hull can drain on both sides of the tunnel instead of just one side.
 

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Interesting to learn that some smart fella hung a power pole on the back of a thin walled sponson... Glad to hear that your troubles don't include your transom (so far...). As a famous writer said many years ago... "There is never just one thing wrong with a boat"....

Some years back I had a full custom re-build of an old baby SeaCraft that we hung live well boxes on (think sponsons that were hollow with small holes in bottom and sides to allow water to circulate with no live well pump needed...). Since they could be run wet or dry and each side would hold a live well's full of pilchards they were pretty handy...They were real solid but I never put trim tabs on them since I was worried that they weren't that strong... Here's a pic...


If in fact this is a power pole mounted on a sponson (something non-structural)... then a competent glass man might just be able to make the repair from the outside if you don't want to raise or remove the cap... Of course that Power Pole would get the round file...

By the way don't worry about the lunch - call me any night before 9pm and I'll be glad to answer any questions you have (954) 435-5666... Remember, though, my Maverick is one of the first smaller skiffs they ever built (a 1988 so it's every bit of thirty years old)... Mine has no inner liner, no sponsons so it's pretty straight forward compared to your model with the recessed trim tabs....
 
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