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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-31-2009
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Damp Transom Issues

So I recently bought a 1985 Spindrift 22, and I have been doing my best to fix up the leaks and get her in the water to sail. The boat is one of Jim Taylor's designs (he designed Starwinds and Precisions of similar lenghts.) Up until now, I hadn't encountered any major issues. Reseal the scuppers, some leaky through-bolts, and a couple of gel-coat repairs.

However, it has been raining several inches in upstate NY the past weeks. As I was taking things apart to look for leaks, I noticed that a section of the transom was soft and the paint was beginning to crack. I peeled a bit back and found soft, slightly rotted wood. I was surprised that . Nothing else appears to be damp higher up than the soft spot. Is it possible that capillary action could draw the water up from the leaky scuppers? There isn't any hardware nearby that is soft. The only thing that I can think of is a poorly sealed bumper guard.

The rotten spot is 1x1inch and there may be another small spot that size. I don't understand why the wood isn't cased in both sides of the fiberglass. Does it serve a less structural purpose? It appears to have a grain so it isn't plywood. I poked at the spots when I got the boat and they were dry. Unfortunately my excitement prevailed.

I don't know much about boats, so I am looking for any advise on what to do. I know that I need to release everything on the transom, but what else should I do? Get an estimate on a repair? Just sail her for the season? Is it no big deal because the board isn't inbetween fiberglass? Should I sell her as-is and buy a smaller boat?

Last edited by electricc0wb0y; 05-31-2009 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 05-31-2009
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I should also mention that I am waiting for results of a skin cancer biopsy. I probably won't be sailing every weekend like I planned when I bought the boat. If the tests come back positive, then I probably won't be sailing at all.

I only paid $3,000 for the boat (without motor and trailer), but now I'm wondering if I can look someone straight in the face and tell them that it's worth that much on a resale.
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Old 05-31-2009
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EC—

There's really no reason you couldn't still sail, even with a diagnosis of skin cancer. With UV protective clothing, sunscreen, a good hat and sunglasses, the exposure to UV can be quite manageable. As for the boat, can't say much without more information, but a Spindrift 22 is probably a decent size boat to learn to sail on, and probably well worth fixing up.
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Thanks for the reassurance on the UV protection. I better step my game up in that area.

Right now there is a 2006 Honda 9.9 on the back with manual start and an alternator. I'm considering to trade that in for an engine that is the boat's size. Then maybe I can make up the majority of the difference.

The motor mount is definitely sinking in about a quarter of an inch. I wish that it did that when I bought it! I gave that thing a great big heave and it didn't move at all.

I just hope that the damage is limited to the transom. A survey should give me a better idea. I should have paid for that in the first place :-(
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Columbia makes good UPF (UV Protection Factor) clothing, as do several other manufacturers... As for the motor, you really don't need anything as large or heavy as a HOnda 9.9. A 6 HP tohatsu or something similar would be plenty for that boat.

I'd also recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine what problems your boat is going to have and then post the list and we'll help you setup a plan to fix them.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Here is a total list of all my problems: (It just wasn't worth it to get $3000 boats inspected).

- Leaky front hatch. I knew about this when I bought it (but I was not aware of how badly it leaked.) It is in my plans to replace this. The deck around the hatch is dry.

- Some through-bolts are leaking. But these are easy, but time consuming repairs.

- Nicks in the gelcoat that I have already repaired.

- The bilge pump hose is plugged. (Some boats this size don't even have bilge pumps).

- There is one drizzle mark coming down from the deck/hull connection, but I haven't seen any water come down it. There is no signs of water on the teak or cusions where it runs down. The deck is not soft anywhere that I know of.

- There is a 1ft high board on the back side of the transom on the inside. It is damp and rotted.

- The motor mount had some wiggle in it this morning. After I took off the motor and it has sat outside on this sunny, dry day, the wiggle has reduced.

- The 9.9hp Honda is overkill.

- There is a creaking noise when I put my weight on the port-side cockpit seat. (I also didn't notice this when we looked at it, but a few weeks of 250+ lbs guys climbing on it has made it obvious.)

- I fished some paint chips out of the bilge. I'm not sure if this is a bad sign. I can't tell where they came from. All the bilge water is rusty-metalic. I'm not sure if these are bad signs.
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Old 05-31-2009
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By the way, the drizzles between the deck/hull are coming on the inside of the cabin. The guy did say that it was spilt drink (and indeed he spilt plenty of drinks) so I'm not sure.
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