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"Stressed Out"

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  • "Stressed Out"

    I have acquired some "spider" stress cracks in the transom area on the 211 in the floor area as it meets the transom. Ten years ago I would have dismissed this as normal wear and tear and not batted an eye. However, after reading all of the horror stories on this site about transom rot and such, I had to overcome a long cold sweat when I noticed the blemishes. I've done the bouncing on the engine deal with no noticable play in the transom. My questions is are, 1) are the "spider" cracks probably nothing more than superficial and 2) what do I need to do to prevent a more significant problem down the road, ie. repairs if necessary?

    I trailer the boat everywhere and believe the cracks are from engine bouncing while trailering. I have tried various transom savers but they just don't seem to be much benefit. I did notice an engine lock apparatus from Swivel-Ez that looks pretty good. Do any of you have any experience with this device?

    Justus

    93-'211

    Baton Rouge
    Justus[br]\'93-211 Classic [br]Baton Rouge

  • #2
    Justus-

    Those horizontal spider cracks in the liner just under the engine are pretty common in Mako's....both of my Makos have/had them. I would keep an eye on them and if they appear to get bigger or longer, then I would address them. Right now, they are probably just cosmetic.

    If you feel the need to fix them, grind them out in a v-shape and then you can either braid some strands of 24 ounce roven woven together and wet them out in the crack or you can try mixing up some resin/epoxy and milled fibers.

    -Ed-

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    • #3
      Dear Ed,

      Thanks for the advice. I'm relieved at your belief that the spider cracks are merely cosmetic and has not allowed any water penetration. But, as paranoid as I am, I will be adding the repair work you suggested to my "To Do" list. One question though, if I may. You stated to grind out the cracks and fill with epoxy/resin with fiber. The cracks I'm describing are in the "sand" colored gelcoat. Man, these are lot of small cracks. Do you suggest to grind out each one of these cracks or would it be better to grind out a larger square area and match and fill with gelcoat.

      I appreciate your input.
      Justus[br]\'93-211 Classic [br]Baton Rouge

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      • #4
        In my experience trying to fix spider cracks, which is not really extensive, I have found that more often than not they return in the same or similar areas. For example we have a 77 25 foot mako with several areas of spider cracks in the corner of the storage compartment near the transom on the port side. We ground those things out and filled with poly or epoxy (I do not exactly remember)with mat and or cabosil, shaped them, sprayed with gelcoat, and finished it by wet sanding and buffing and waxing. After about a year they returned. Did we miss a step? We finally came to the conclusion that a 27 year old boat is going to settle in areas and spider cracks are inevitable.

        However, I was admiring an old 31 Bertram last weekend and could not find any spider cracks so maybe that idea is flawed. What do you guys think?

        Cliff
        Columbus, Georgia[br]1973 Mako 17 angler \"Reel\'s Angler\"

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        • #5
          When stress cracks show, it's a sign of flexing. Stop the flexing and repair the cracks and it will not come back. The problem is stopping the flexing. The underside needs more glass to stop that.

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