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Originally Posted by gregintenn
A free boat is worse than a court summons.

I’m just guessing here, but would the loose bolt indicate a rotten transom?

It's a bolt holding a zinc on, zinc's are sacrificial, they're made to deteriorate.
I'd guess that's why it's loose, the zinc has shrunk.

You replace them when they get to half their original size or every one to three years with freshwater use.

It's probably protecting the outdrive from corrosion and under one of the bolts holding it on since it'd be sorta stupid to bolt one to a fiberglass hull.

But ya never know, a 33 year old boat could have been in the hands of many different thinking men.

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I would run away from an 89 i/o anything. Anything. The only saving grace is fresh water use. Fresh water is hell on wood. Lots of wood where you can’t see on that boat. Run.

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Thanks for all the information. I had been told many times that a boat is a whole in the water where you put your money. Hopefully this one can be band aided together to spend a few hours on one of the tiny bodies of water in Southern Colorado on blue birds days until it gets cold this year.

We are going to take it out for shake down cruise, just he and I. I want to run it with the engine cover off. There is no water in it or sign that it has been water logged. It just made a trip our from Wisconsin so it has had time to dry out.

We will see. Ya gotta be cautiously optimistic or you'll never do anything. right?

I just got an inReach so I can text the Campfire one last time if it all goes south. Should be good for a few well deserved "I told ya so!"s.
I'll take lots of pictures.


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Does the transom have a wood core? Most do and if this is the case and your outdrive had loose or missing bolts than the core is highly likely to be soaked with water and on it's way to rotting out. Effective repairs of a rotted transom are complicated and expensive.

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X4 on the rotten wood in the transom. It happens all too often to many boats in that era. The typically drilled the drain plug hole after the transom was assembled and not properly glassed / sealed down there. Sometimes it’s due to people installing transom transducers and having leaks around the screws.

If so, it’s a big job. Remove the outdrive, engine and gimbal housing. Repair the transom and reassemble, including alignment. About $3-4K or more. It might also include some stringer work.

To confirm and find out the extent of the damage, tap lightly on the transom on the outside. Near the damage (bottom) you will hear a thud. As you move up and away from the drain plug you’ll hear where it gets solid. To leak around the gimbal usually take about 40-50% of the lower transom to be rotten. You can also wiggle the outdrive and see if there is any separation from the gimbal and the transom. Jack up the tongue and fill the inside with about 10-12” of water (if the trailer can take the weight), and do the same.

If you’re handy, removing and re-installing everything is about 15 hrs, depending on how accessible the engine is. The transom repair itself will be about $1k from a fiberglass shop.

The most expensive boats are the free ones. BTW, it does not have “good bones”.



Start at 2:23 if you’re in a hurry.

If you’re going to put that much money into a 30+ year old boat, you might as well drop another $1000 on new bellows, gimbal bearing, belts, hoses, lower unit oil change, water pump impeller, etc. while its all apart. Also the headers and risers should be inspected for excess corrosion.

Last edited by Stammster; 08/08/22.
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Originally Posted by WYcoyote
Goop up the area including the nut and washer with 3M 4200 and call it good.
Originally Posted by johnn
...put the plug in the transom and put your garden hose in the boat. Soon you will identify the leak.
Originally Posted by Osky
...If it’s a slow leak indeed I’d try 4200 as noted above...
Osky

Do NOT follow any of the above advice.

If a bolt that is supposed to keep the water out is so loose that you can wiggle it, and you really don't understand what to do about it, please seek professional help. If you refuse to seek professional help, at least post photos so someone here can advise appropriately.


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☝️Been around boats.

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Bought a boat, sold a boat, don't want another boat.

If it is a rotten transom, it is simple enough to find. If it is a rotten transom then your free boat is just letting you know that nothing is free with a boat.


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Boats is for fishing...



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Originally Posted by shrapnel
Boats is for fishing...



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LOL!

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This is a great thread!
I love reading all the advice of how to fix a problem that hasn't been identified yet!

I've had boats off and on (Mostly on) for 50+ years on freshwater in the midwest. Keep in mind, most boats average running time in this area is about 30+- hours a season(You mentioned the boat is from Wisc, right?). Our season is only used 3-4+- months a year. If a boat is maintained, kept dry and out of the elements when not in use, they can last almost forever.
So a 40 year old boat in the midwest equates approximately to a 10 year old car! A 1989 Sea Ray (Sea Ray has always been a quality boat) with an Alpha 1 outdrive that only needs a couple thousand dollars or so(Interior repair/replacement can get expensive) or so to bring it up to safe, dependable, and comfortable condition in my opinion is a no brainer!
A new 18-19 foot SeaRay I/O with trailer would cost you 30K or better by the time all the I's are dotted!

First, Identify the problem!

Water in the bilge can come from many things. Engine drain plugs, Gimble hose Transom gasket, bilge plug, split engine hose, cracked head/block, loose bolt(s), split or cracked hull/transom, etc, etc.
First identify where it is coming from. A set of rabbit ears and a garden hose can be used to run the boat on land to make sure it isn't coming from the engine itself and that everything runs and works properly. Then install the bilge plug and run water into the bilge and look outside for leaks. Then, you can see what needs to be fixed.
Any loose bolts, nuts, screws etc are NEVER good on any boat.

Boats are fairly easy to work on for the average handy guy. basic tool skills is usually all that is needed. The internet and youtube can be a huge assistance! If your plans are to have a Marina do the work, my advice is schedule the work with them for the winter. It will make their lives much easier and therefore might save you some money!

We have averaged about 70 hours a year on our boat every season over the last 15 years and enjoy most every minute we are on the water! Its a 2008 I/O and looks almost like new. I keep it on a lift with a full canopy. It keeps the sun and rain off of it and allows the boat to dry properly after use. Covering a boat with a mooring cover is not the best thing immediately after use if the interior is wet!
Rain and sun are the 2 worst enemies of a boat when it's not in use!
These are just my humble thoughts on the subject.
Good luck with your project and please keep us posted on how you make out,
Ed

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Ed,

He did identify the problem. Loose gimbal bolts and water in the bilge.

That generally happens when the supporting transom material between the fiberglass around the gimbal rots.

I also learned a new one. Belts and hoses don’t care about time, only mileage. Let us know in 2048 if you’ve replaced any.

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Originally Posted by 06hunter59
...a 40 year old boat in the midwest equates approximately to a 10 year old car!
...our boat...I keep it on a lift with a full canopy...

Ed--if a boat is kept for 40 years, under a cover, on a lift, the way you keep yours, perhaps you might find 1 that equates to a 10-year old car (I doubt it). But most 40-year old boats are ready for a complete refit. Hoses will be stiff--some even cracking; same with rubber pump impellers and seals. Instruments will be far beyond obsolete, if even still functional. Anything with a wire on it will likely have some signs of corrosion. 40-year old upholstery will surely need some kind of attention; same with canvas covers. Etc.

Not saying they're all projects, just that one should be realistic about expectations.


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Originally Posted by SuburbanHunter
I wonder if any campfire members know anything about boats? <tightening chin strap>
I was in the USN back in '66'-'69 and the only 'boat' I was on were the old WWII submarines; USS Redfish and USS Razorback.. smile


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lI am at a loss as to how a bolt comung throught the transom into the outdrive is exposed in a way where you can grab it and wiggle it.
but my imagination on the suject is limited.


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x 2 yep. will be expensive to repair correctly


Originally Posted by Stammster
X4 on the rotten wood in the transom. It happens all too often to many boats in that era. The typically drilled the drain plug hole after the transom was assembled and not properly glassed / sealed down there. Sometimes it’s due to people installing transom transducers and having leaks around the screws.

If so, it’s a big job. Remove the outdrive, engine and gimbal housing. Repair the transom and reassemble, including alignment. About $3-4K or more. It might also include some stringer work.

To confirm and find out the extent of the damage, tap lightly on the transom on the outside. Near the damage (bottom) you will hear a thud. As you move up and away from the drain plug you’ll hear where it gets solid. To leak around the gimbal usually take about 40-50% of the lower transom to be rotten. You can also wiggle the outdrive and see if there is any separation from the gimbal and the transom. Jack up the tongue and fill the inside with about 10-12” of water (if the trailer can take the weight), and do the same.

If you’re handy, removing and re-installing everything is about 15 hrs, depending on how accessible the engine is. The transom repair itself will be about $1k from a fiberglass shop.

The most expensive boats are the free ones. BTW, it does not have “good bones”.



Start at 2:23 if you’re in a hurry.

If you’re going to put that much money into a 30+ year old boat, you might as well drop another $1000 on new bellows, gimbal bearing, belts, hoses, lower unit oil change, water pump impeller, etc. while its all apart. Also the headers and risers should be inspected for excess corrosion.

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Originally Posted by OldmanoftheSea
lI am at a loss as to how a bolt comung throught the transom into the outdrive is exposed in a way where you can grab it and wiggle it.
but my imagination on the suject is limited.

Agreed. He must be talking about an outdrive nut. No bolts go through the transom to the outdrive.

The gimbal bolts go through the transom through the inner transom plate. I may have misunderstood the OP and presumed he was talking about the nut/washer on that lower bolt.

Let’s hope it’s not the transom.

Last edited by Stammster; 08/08/22.
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Chit can it.Rent a boat.


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B O A T = Bust Out Another Thousand.

Ask me how I know...

I used to have a buddy that said if it Flys, Floats or P-Hucks, it's cheaper to rent.


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