Separation between Transom and knees

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Separation between Transom and knees

Postby John Hart » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:18 am

I have a condition that I want to address when I get my Seacoaster out of storage in a few weeks. I wonder if any of you have seen this on your boat. Over the past several years there is a widening gap between the Transom and the knees that support the transom and the sides.

This is more on one side than the other. It looks a little worse in the pics below than it does in person due to shading and transom angle, but it is 2 to 3/32nds... I have been keeping an eye on it, and it didn't exist when I redid the boat 6 years ago.



My first thougt was 'gee whiz my 250 lb engine is yanking the transom off'.. However, the more I look at it, I think it might be something else. Number one, I want to make sure it doesn't get any worse, and number 2, you can see that the varnish and the wood underneath is splitting where a screw goes through the knee and the transom.

Looking all around the outside edges of the transom, the edges are all dead on.. there is no deflection anywhere that suggests the transom is moving away from the plank ends. Looking at the inside of the transom, there is at most just a cracked seal of varnish between the cross support and the transom, and there is an aluminum bar support at the center of the transom that is rock solid. Although I cannot lay a straightedge across the outside back of the transom because of the motor brackets being in the way, it doesn't look like there is any bow out there.

I have trailered the boat perhaps 5000 mi the past few years, I am wondering if the separation is due to the sides of the boat wowing out a little... Maybe rocking back and forth on the trailer is allowing the sides to move out just enough to open up the inside end of that right angle knee.

I also realized that I stopped using a strap several years ago that wrapped over the sides and down to the trailer. Given that there is no cross supports across the gunwale until the dash, maybe the sides have drifted out a little. I would think that it wouldn't take much deflection to open up the short span of the knee.

Since I have never replaced the brass carraige bolts through the transom, I plan to do that first. That won't help this situation , but Andreas and others have found their 60 yr old bolts to be in pretty rough shape.

Then I think I will try to lift the motor skeg to take the weight off the transom, and shoot one or two recessed SB screws wherever I can from the inside, through the knee and into the transom. Although I hate to put a screw where there wasn't one originally, I would rather not drill out the plugs and redo the old screws and have to refinish the transom... but I might.

So back to my original question... have any of you seen this sort of separation in your transom knees... If you have a well, I doubt you would ever have this problem.

John Hart
Posts: 208
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:26 pm

Postby Torchie » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:30 pm

I have seen separation like this on other boats. Worked on a large CC Holiday utility inboard and we never did get the covering planks to fit perfect at the transom corners.
These wooden boats have a lot of flex. Alot more than people realize. Even more so on the open cockpit/utility syle boats.
Trailering,and just plain useage will cause lot of gaps to open up and boards to twist.
If it was my boat I would just keep an eye on it and I wouldn't put anymore screws thru the knees into the transom. I doubt that you are going to close that gap up with screws anyways.
I would block up the motor to take some of the pressure off the transom during storage.
Lets see what anyone else has to say.
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:55 pm
Location: Alden, Michigan

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