Skipjack 24 Flybridge Transom Rebuild

Tally Phillips

Almost A Member
  • Dec 28, 2018
    130
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    Escondido
    Name
    Tallyphillips
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    Anticipator
    I am considering and praying about rebuilding the transom on my 1972 Flybridge. The boat is paired with a low hour (1900hr) AD41p-a and a 280DP. The engine, outdrive, fuel tank were installed around 2002-2003 (aft stringers were also redone then to support new motor) and the boat has seen some serious fishing. I bought the boat off of the original owner August 2021 and I'm a sucker for old boats with good stories. Well... while going to reseal the swim step brackets this week, every screw I removed was black color and had water leaking of its hole. The trim tabs were the same story. I also took core samples from inside of the transom and found wet wood as well. The transom is strong but clearly soaking and very smelly. I have 3 kids under 5 and I wont be able to enjoy our boat trips knowing the transom is in this condition. This is my third boat (purchased exactly 1 year ago) and I have spent the last year taking old/new friends out fishing weekly, many of them caught their first fish on this boat as well. On top of all the fishing trips were countless bay cruises with friends and family. The boat has my heart and I do think the value and passion is there to rebuild successfully.

    I need this communities help before I think anymore about this. I have lost count of how many boat projects go unfinished. I refuse to be another statistic that has a crusty boat covered in leaves sitting in their yard.

    I have a good idea of the process involved but everyone says that. I cant do it alone, I have zero fiber glass knowledge other than YouTube, I have no idea how I'm going to remove the diesel motor, no clue on how to remove a deck... Then no clue on how to make it look pretty when I'm done. I love working with my hands and learning new skills from experienced folk. Id like to create a plan and items list that is well informed and realistic. Wishlist: Id like to fish the 2023 rockfish opener if possible and would love to have a shiny boat lol.

    Anything you have or know that will help me is very appreciated. Love to meet new people and hang out... beer, BBQ and tacos on me at all times. Located in Escondido, CA. DM me anytime.

    Would like to publicly thank Big Mike at Skipjack for his help.
     
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    fishgrappler

    Member
    Jul 4, 2015
    604
    594
    Name
    Bru
    Boat Name
    Skipjack 24 Open
    I did the transom (and stringers) on my 24 open. Had to remove the I/O. I chose to remove old transom from inside since I was doing the stringers too. Not a fun job, not easy, but definitely doable. Was my first boat, so I knew nothing about these kind of jobs. I'm glad I did it, but I hope to never do that again.

    If you decide to do it yourself, good luck and keep asking questions along the way.

    This is my rebuild thread:

     
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    reelbadlarry

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jun 25, 2005
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    Name
    Larry
    Boat Name
    23ft parker, reel bad
    I would say go down to the local boatyards and ask or call skipjack and ask...sounds like a lot of Work.....maybe worth it? Maybe not, but there sounds like a lot of $$ already in the boat.
     
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    Tally Phillips

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  • Dec 28, 2018
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    Tallyphillips
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    I would say go down to the local boatyards and ask or call skipjack and ask...sounds like a lot of Work.....maybe worth it? Maybe not, but there sounds like a lot of $$ already in the boat.
    Have spoken with Mike a bit, I'll definitely be leaning on his expertise during the planning phase. Im completely convinced it's time to replace yet.
     
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    Tally Phillips

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  • Dec 28, 2018
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    Tallyphillips
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    I would say go down to the local boatyards and ask or call skipjack and ask...sounds like a lot of Work.....maybe worth it? Maybe not, but there sounds like a lot of $$ already in the boat.
    There is ALOT of money lol. Stainless Pacific Tower, Beautiful 2 scoop tank, custom low profile engine cover, brand new Garmin units... The engine is butter.
     
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    Tally Phillips

    Almost A Member
  • Dec 28, 2018
    130
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    Escondido
    Name
    Tallyphillips
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    Anticipator
    I did the transom (and stringers) on my 24 open. Had to remove the I/O. I chose to remove old transom from inside since I was doing the stringers too. Not a fun job, not easy, but definitely doable. Was my first boat, so I knew nothing
    I've heard to always do the transom from inside to protect the outside finish. I believe my stringers are solid, as they were done in 02... Would you suggest I still go from inside regardless of stringers?
     
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    Rusty123

    Yep
  • Mar 7, 2019
    231
    240
    Long Beach
    Name
    Rusty
    Boat Name
    Bayliner cuddy
    If your transom is shot, very likely everything else is, even though you “redid” it, since you are down there glassing, may as well start from the bottom up, new/add stringers, new deck/floor, new transom.

    The amount you spend on tools and glassing materials may end up costing close to what a pro may charge. And it may take you who knows how long. But the plus side is you get to do it exactly how you prefer. Dont forget a good tyvek suit and a good vacuum system. Dont try and go cheap on materials, it may come back and bite you on the ass. If you dont know what you are doing, leave it to the pros. Your families safety isnt worth the risk.
     
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    fishgrappler

    Member
    Jul 4, 2015
    604
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    Bru
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    Skipjack 24 Open
    I've heard to always do the transom from inside to protect the outside finish. I believe my stringers are solid, as they were done in 02... Would you suggest I still go from inside regardless of stringers?
    I don't have enough experience to give recommendations. My understanding is that if you can't or don't want to deal with making the outside look pretty, you do it from the inside.

    As Rusty mentioned, if you have to do stringer work, you may as well do it from the inside. What I noticed on my skipjack is that the stringer and transom had layers of fiberglass between them. In other words. the transom was glassed, and then the stringer was butted up to the glassed transom. So the transom going bad does not necessarily mean the stringers are bad as well. But I would check them to be sure.

    Time, as Rusty also noted, is huge. Took me about 4 years do finish. Again, it was my first time and the only help I had was asking advice from random strangers on the interwebs. If I had to do it again, I could easily knock it out in a year, or less.
     
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    Tally Phillips

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  • Dec 28, 2018
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    I don't have enough experience to give recommendations. My understanding is that if you can't or don't want to deal with making the outside look pretty, you do it from the inside.

    As Rusty mentioned, if you have to do stringer work, you may as well do it from the inside. What I noticed on my skipjack is that the stringer and transom had layers of fiberglass between them. In other words. the transom was glassed, and then the stringer was butted up to the glassed transom. So the transom going bad does not necessarily mean the stringers are bad as well. But I would check them to be sure.
    That's incredibly helpful information man. You perfectly explained the transom/stringer separation so I'm tracking.
    @SkipJack Boats can you confirm or deny this?
     
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    SkipJack Boats

    55 YEARS OF BUILDING OFFSHORE FISHING YACHTS
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  • Jul 8, 2020
    553
    661
    66
    Oak Hills, CA
    www.skipjackyachts.com
    Name
    Michael Englebrecht
    Boat Name
    20 ft Skipjack
    Sure, I've seen it both ways and done it both ways. Most of the professional jobs I've seen are done from the inside and I prefer replacing from the inside. It's nothing to do with cosmetics.
    The resin as it gets older is harder to adhere to. At the factory we've thrown away hulls because they were put aside and the fiberglass cured too long. To do it right you would have to draw the glass around the transom up the hull to get a good enough bond.
    We always install the stringers after the shell is made and glass it together against the transom. On my boats I use epoxy on any project because you get a better bond. More of a mixing of the surfaces and more like what is called a chemical bond. When the resin is fresh you can achieve a chemical bond. When it's long cured you get a mechanical bond like tape.
    Attaching a wood core is tricky but much easier then then replacing the surface of the transom. Notching the the transom for the stringers in my opinion before glassing seems to work well also. Doing transom and stringers work works well because the are glassed together.
    When you attach the core if it's wood scratch the wood to get a good bondable surface lightly cote with epoxy both core and inside of transom. give it time to get tacky then cover the core with a thickened epoxy that has glass flower mixed in. That gives you a much better bond. The trick is clamping the core to the transom. It should be hard enough to squish out the epoxy mix around the edges. In my case I've gotten good at filling small holes. Some companies make special clamps for this that clear the gunnels and work like giant c-clamps.
    I don't have those so I put in backer boards drill through the transom with long small screws fender washers through the boards starting at the middle and at this point I take the excess and build it up around the edges of the wood core to make a better shape to glass over.
    One other trick I do is to epoxy any wood I want to install. I cover the entire piece and really load up the end grain to try to avoid dry rot returning.
    I do this to my boats and it has worked well. Here at Skipjack they do things differently as it's new construction it goes back to the fact that it is a new construction and the core is foam and the stringers are made in a mold without much wood and are reinforced with carbon fiber so they will never need to be replaced.

    Sorry for the long version.

    Mike
     
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    Tally Phillips

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  • Dec 28, 2018
    130
    69
    31
    Escondido
    Name
    Tallyphillips
    Boat Name
    Anticipator
    Sure, I've seen it both ways and done it both ways. Most of the professional jobs I've seen are done from the inside and I prefer replacing from the inside. It's nothing to do with cosmetics.
    The resin as it gets older is harder to adhere to. At the factory we've thrown away hulls because they were put aside and the fiberglass cured too long. To do it right you would have to draw the glass around the transom up the hull to get a good enough bond.
    We always install the stringers after the shell is made and glass it together against the transom. On my boats I use epoxy on any project because you get a better bond. More of a mixing of the surfaces and more like what is called a chemical bond. When the resin is fresh you can achieve a chemical bond. When it's long cured you get a mechanical bond like tape.
    Attaching a wood core is tricky but much easier then then replacing the surface of the transom. Notching the the transom for the stringers in my opinion before glassing seems to work well also. Doing transom and stringers work works well because the are glassed together.
    When you attach the core if it's wood scratch the wood to get a good bondable surface lightly cote with epoxy both core and inside of transom. give it time to get tacky then cover the core with a thickened epoxy that has glass flower mixed in. That gives you a much better bond. The trick is clamping the core to the transom. It should be hard enough to squish out the epoxy mix around the edges. In my case I've gotten good at filling small holes. Some companies make special clamps for this that clear the gunnels and work like giant c-clamps.
    I don't have those so I put in backer boards drill through the transom with long small screws fender washers through the boards starting at the middle and at this point I take the excess and build it up around the edges of the wood core to make a better shape to glass over.
    One other trick I do is to epoxy any wood I want to install. I cover the entire piece and really load up the end grain to try to avoid dry rot returning.
    I do this to my boats and it has worked well. Here at Skipjack they do things differently as it's new construction it goes back to the fact that it is a new construction and the core is foam and the stringers are made in a mold without much wood and are reinforced with carbon fiber so they will never need to be replaced.

    Sorry for the long version.

    Mike
    Mike,
    What can I offer you to come check this thing out. :D I'm very serious about doing this project over the winter but I'd hate to do something detrimental out of ignorance.

    Did you see the video I sent you? The water? Lol
     
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