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Cause for concern or not?

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  • Cause for concern or not?

    After months of looking for a nice 171, I found a 1991 with a Yamaha 90 on it. According to the dealer, the previous owner tied it up to his Hatteras on the weekends and just used it to booze cruise. It appears to have never been fished as there are no electronics and the deck is immaculate. I would consider it in excellent condition for it's age. One concern that I do have is a slight crack that runs along the place where the deck meets the transom - basically in line with the scuppers. There are no visible cracks on the outside of the transom and everything sounds/appears very solid. I was planning on touching it up some with some epoxy and gell coat but was wondering what everyone else thinks.

    SCMako17[br]1990 Mako 230 WA[br]Yamaha 200 2-stroke[br]Greenville, SC

  • #2
    How deep/wide is the crack? A picture is worth a thousand words.

    Barring that, an investment in a marine survey will tell you much more about your concerns...

    My .02

    BTW, I am working on my Marine Surveyors certification!
    Rob[br]1980 Mako 238 WA[br]\"Mischief Mako\"


    • #3
      Does the boat have bottom paint or does it appear to have been left in the water for extended periods of time? You can tell this because the hull will be slightly browned from being continually stained. I am assuming this crack is inside the boat which *could* indicate some stress to the transom, althought the 90 Yamaha is not that heavy compared to the Evinrude/Johnson 90 v-4's or 130's that you normally find on these boats. This crack may only be cosemitic or it could indicate that the owner towed it all around behind his Hatteras and the stress of the boat being pulled at 15 - 20 knots or more with the engine tiled partially or all the way up could stress the transom unusually. I would at least have the transom and stringers surveyed. Other than that it sounds like a nice boat that may have seen some very light use. Good Luck!
      1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
      1985 Mako 20c - sold
      Fort Walton Beach, FL


      • #4
        One minor detail. I've already purchased the boat so there's not much sense in having it surveyed now. I knocked around the transom and everything sounded solid upon my inspection. I didn't really even notice the crack until about a month after I purchased the boat.

        I would say the crack is about 1mm wide by about 18 inches long. There is no bottom paint. There is some brown tint to the bottom of the hull but not so much that it really stands out.

        I think that I'm going to epoxy/gell coat and see what happens. I suppose if it grows then I may have a problem.
        SCMako17[br]1990 Mako 230 WA[br]Yamaha 200 2-stroke[br]Greenville, SC


        • #5
          Most older Makos I have seen have some gelcoat hairline cracks in corners etc. My 25 has one in the splashwell about 8 inches long that worried me but after taking both motors off and the wood is solid and then replacing all scuppers in transom and that wood was solid then I did not worry. I ground out the crack and filled it with glass before I painted whole boat, it has not returned using it all summer.



          • #6

            I have owned (2) 1991 model Makos and both had that same horizontal crack where the liner meets the transom. Unless it gets noticeably bigger, it isn't much to worry about.

            Just to be safe, take some white marine caulk (LIFESEAL is good) and rub it into the crack. If you prefer to make it go away for good, take it to your local fiberglass shop (or do it yourself) and have them grind out the crack and reglass/regelcoat it.

            Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.



            • #7
              I feel better now. Thanks for the input.
              SCMako17[br]1990 Mako 230 WA[br]Yamaha 200 2-stroke[br]Greenville, SC