Transom Rebuild on 13' Water Bug

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by ABK, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. ABK

    ABK I Love microskiff.com!

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    I picked up a 13' Water Bug earlier this year at a price that as too good to let go. I knew when I bought it that the transom would need to be replaced. I just didnt realize that it would need it so soon. After only a couple runs with an 8hp Johnson, I noticed a couple stress cracks and the transom felt a little spongy.

    After doing a good bit of research online, I decided to get started. I ripped out the old transom and it was not pretty.
    Here are several pictures of the damage and demolition process.

    http://s838.photobucket.com/user/kitchens2197/slideshow/13ft%20Water%20Bug

    I will be replacing the transom with 3/4" water resistant OSB and I will try to upload pics throughout the process. I know there are already several threads about this topic, but since this is my first attempt at this, I will take any suggestions you are willing to offer.

    Thanks
     
  2. PG350

    PG350 I Love microskiff.com!

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    That transom will be a piece of cake to replace. Looking good.
     

  3. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    EEEK! Do not use OSB! It is not structurally sound and may break apart from the inside out do to vibration and force. If you are on a budget get a piece of 1/2" exterior grade plywood (not pressure treated!). The ply will be much stronger. Cut some strips to laminate for a clamping board up top and you will be golden.
     
  4. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

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    x2 what firecat said.

    Who makes the waterbug? Nice looking little skiff.
     
  5. ABK

    ABK I Love microskiff.com!

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    I'm not sure if you are familiar with the stuff or not but I had planned on using Advantech. Its a subfloor material that I have seen withstand several months in the weather with little or no signs of wear or rot. I was mostly concerned with the potential for water damage. Vibrations never crossed my mind. Its pretty tough stuff but Im new to this so I will take your advise and pick up some plywood tomorrow.

    Also, I have encountered what should have been an obvious issue. I'm not exactly sure how the old wood was installed due to its condition when I removed it but it did cover the entire back end of the boat. Since the transom is narrowest at the top, I'm not sure how to get the new transom in as a single piece. Would it be best to install this as two pieces or one piece as large as I can get to fit?
     
  6. ABK

    ABK I Love microskiff.com!

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    I haven't been able to find very much information about these boats. The design was was based off of the Gheenoe. My boat was made in Brooklet,Ga but I have heard of other Water Bugs being made in other towns in Ga. Im not really sure of anything else. Im hoping to run across someone here that has a little more information.
     
  7. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    I am familiar with that product, and no it does not belong in a boat! A transom needs to have dynamic strength. I know the stuff seems like it is strong, and no offense, but honestly OSB is junk and will fail quickly over time.

    Once you glass your transom in and paint it, if you did it right, especially if you used epoxy resin, then you won't have to worry about water damage.

    It needs to be installed as one piece, use cardboard to make templates before cutting the wood. You can trace it from the outside, then make adjustments until it fits right.
     
  8. ABK

    ABK I Love microskiff.com!

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    I agree that a single piece would be better but I'm having a little trouble finding a way to get it in there. If you notice in the pictures, the interior shape of the transom is not the same as the exterior. On either side of the boat, there are foam filled boxes(for lack of a better word). If these were not in the way this would not be an issue. I would really like to avoid cutting these out. The plywood that came out matched the shape of the exterior of the transom. The interior shape is a good bit smaller because of those boxes. Any ideas on how to get it in as a single piece?
     
  9. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Hate to say it, but the best option is to cut a section out of those boxes. Keep the cuts clean and you can easily glass then back in place once the transom is in.
     
  10. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

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    Cut out those pieces, but only 6" so you have room to work. Keep the pieces intact so you can reuse them.
     
  11. ABK

    ABK I Love microskiff.com!

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    I wasn't able to figure out another way to do it, so I cut out a section of those boxes on each side of the boat. I cut my plywood to shape and finally got a tight fit after a little sanding here and there. I coated my wood with resin and now I am waiting for it cure. I have a heater in my shop but with the temps we are have around here now, it will take a little longer that usual to cure. Hopefully I will be ready to move forward with the installation of the new wood this weekend.
     
  12. ABK

    ABK I Love microskiff.com!

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    Im almost finished with the transom rebuild. I got the wood in there and put on a layer of fiberglass cloth. After a couple days I reinstalled thoae "boxes" and then out on another layer of cloth. I hope to get the rough edges knocked down and cut some new boards for mounting the motor today. Its looking pretty good so far. I will try to update the pictures to show my progress.