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How to Replace Transom on Fiberglass Boat

A transom is a vital part of a fiberglass boat as it provides support for the outboard motor and plays a crucial role in maintaining the boat’s structural integrity. Over time, due to wear and tear or water damage, the transom may need to be replaced. In this article, we will guide you through the process of replacing the transom on a fiberglass boat.

Materials and Tools Required:
– Fiberglass mat
– Polyester resin
– Transom plywood
– Circular saw
– Jigsaw
– Drill
– Screwdriver
– Sandpaper (various grits)
– Paint and brushes
– Safety goggles
– Gloves
– Respirator

Step 1: Preparation
Begin by removing the outboard motor from the transom. Drain any fuel or oil from the motor to prevent spills. Next, remove any trim or accessories attached to the transom. Clean the transom area thoroughly, removing any dirt, debris, or loose material.

Step 2: Removing the Old Transom
Using a circular saw, cut along the top edge of the transom, separating it from the fiberglass hull. Be careful not to cut too deep and damage the hull. Once the top edge is cut, use a jigsaw to cut along the sides and bottom of the transom. Remove the old transom carefully, ensuring not to damage the surrounding fiberglass.

Step 3: Preparing the Replacement Transom
Measure the dimensions of the transom and cut a piece of marine-grade plywood to the appropriate size. Ensure that the plywood is compatible with the boat’s structure and is suitable for marine use. Sand the edges of the plywood to remove any rough spots or splinters.

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Step 4: Installing the Replacement Transom
Apply a coat of polyester resin to the inside of the transom area using a brush. Place the plywood into the transom area, ensuring a snug fit. Apply more polyester resin to the top and sides of the plywood, saturating it thoroughly. Press fiberglass mat onto the wet resin, ensuring it adheres well to the plywood. Apply another layer of resin over the fiberglass mat, ensuring it is evenly distributed. Allow the resin to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 5: Finishing Touches
Once the resin has cured, sand the transom surface using sandpaper of various grits to achieve a smooth finish. Clean the area to remove any sanding residue. Apply a layer of paint to protect the transom from water damage and give it a finished look. Ensure that the paint used is suitable for marine use and matches the rest of the boat.


Q: How long does it take to replace a transom on a fiberglass boat?
A: The time required to replace a transom can vary depending on the size of the boat and the extent of the damage. On average, it may take anywhere from a few days to a week to complete the process.

Q: Can I replace the transom myself, or should I hire a professional?
A: If you have some experience with boat repairs and are comfortable working with fiberglass and power tools, you may be able to replace the transom yourself. However, if you are unsure or lack the necessary skills, it is advisable to seek professional help to ensure the job is done correctly.

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Q: How much does it cost to replace a transom on a fiberglass boat?
A: The cost of replacing a transom can vary depending on factors such as the size of the boat, the materials used, and whether you hire a professional or do it yourself. It is recommended to obtain quotes from boat repair shops to get a more accurate estimate.

Q: How often should I inspect my transom for damage?
A: It is a good practice to inspect your transom regularly for signs of wear or damage. Ideally, this should be done at least once a year, or more frequently if you frequently use your boat in rough conditions or store it in an area prone to moisture.

Q: Can I use epoxy resin instead of polyester resin?
A: While epoxy resin is a viable alternative to polyester resin, it is essential to ensure compatibility with the materials used in your boat. Consult with a boat repair professional or refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations before making a decision.

In conclusion, replacing the transom on a fiberglass boat is a task that requires careful planning, preparation, and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this article and seeking professional help when needed, you can ensure that your boat remains safe and seaworthy for years to come.