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1994 Crestliner Sabre V205 - Transom material & replacement

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Hi - Newbie here.

 

I am doing a pre-purchase on a 1994 Crestliner Sabre V205 with Volvo I/O. My first question is about the transom construction. The factory video and online info says that some boats have a plywood transom while others have composite.

 

How can I easily tell which one I have without removing the leg? When I look aft of the engine, I see plywood - but this doesn't make sense - doesn't Crestliner sandwich the transom between two sheets of welded aluminum?

 

Second question; how tough of a job is it to replace the wooden transom - if that is what I have? I have done a fibreglass boat once - Is it about the same in difficulty? Is there any welding required?

 

Thanks - in advance!

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All the aluminum boats that I have owned had a plywood transom and the wood was not encapsulated in aluminum. So what your looking at is a wood transom,not composite.  Taking the leg off isn't going to show you anything but aluminum. My guess on the replacement process would be, the whole out drive assembly, inside and out,will have to be removed along with anything attached to the wood.  There is probably a cap on top of the transom that gets removed, slide old piece out and use that as a template. Two pieces of exterior plywood glued together to get the proper thickness and then epoxy sealed is the least expensive/ easiest way to go. Probably videos on You Tube or Google it for more specifics .

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Yes to what Bozeman said, it's a big job but not especially hard technically if you can pull the motor and everything else attached back there its just parts replacing. Using wood glued and screwed and epoxied is the easiest. I have done several.

 

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51 minutes ago, Knotlost Charters said:

Yes to what Bozeman said, it's a big job but not especially hard technically if you can pull the motor and everything else attached back there its just parts replacing. Using wood glued and screwed and epoxied is the easiest. I have done several.

 

 I would think the motor does not have to be pulled. I am not familiar with a Volvo out drive but with the Mercruisers once you pull the leg out your detached from the motor. The old transom should slide out after removing all the through bolts etc.without any interference from the motor and still have room to access all screws and bolts that hold wood in place when your installing. Yes having the motor out MIGHT make it a bit easier but your also  getting into possible alignment issues once its dropped back in. Again not familiar with Volvo and how much leeway, if any, you have with alignment.  I would not be afraid to tackle a job like that ,just take it one step at a time and you will be fine.

Edited by Bozeman Bob
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Another thought might be to add a couple pieces of new aluminum plates across the transom to strengthen it. Looking at the law enforcement boats and their transom are triple plated to support dual and triple engines. No wood is involved. Since your Crestliner is welded aluminum this could also work.


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With that small of a piece of wood I wouldn't worry about weight. No need to add any renforcement as your replacing factory designed and tested material. Along with the fact you have a I/O not outboards which add weight and probably more torque to the transom.Composite or wood is your choice, personally I would go with what was originally in it and just do a better job with the epoxy / sealing it watertight, than the factory did. If it lasted for 24 years with wood done by some 10.00 a hour laborer then your work should last twice that and I am sure you will move on from it before that happens !

Edited by Bozeman Bob

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I have a 1992 sabre with a I/o and had the transom replaced last winter.  I had someone else do it, but, I do know he pulled the engine/outdrive and had to cut the plate across the top of the transom to pull the old wood/replace new.  Replaced with marine grade plywood.  2 sheets epoxied together and painted with sealer.  I know he had issues getting the new piece in, vaguely remember something about the kicker cut out giving him problems.  My transom is cut out for the kicker motor.  The only welding involved was on the top of the transom where cut to access plywood.  A local welder did mine for $100.

 

The outboard model of the sabre has the sandwiched aluminum transom.

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1 hour ago, hawkeye625 said:

I have a 1992 sabre with a I/o and had the transom replaced last winter.  I had someone else do it, but, I do know he pulled the engine/outdrive and had to cut the plate across the top of the transom to pull the old wood/replace new.  Replaced with marine grade plywood.  2 sheets epoxied together and painted with sealer.  I know he had issues getting the new piece in, vaguely remember something about the kicker cut out giving him problems.  My transom is cut out for the kicker motor.  The only welding involved was on the top of the transom where cut to access plywood.  A local welder did mine for $100.

 

The outboard model of the sabre has the sandwiched aluminum transom.

Just wondering, was it a Volvo outdrive. ?   And to Planestore, have you verified the wood in the transom is shot or are you just thinking it needs replacing because of age ?

Edited by Bozeman Bob

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It is a Volvo 432. The transom seems ok now. I’m just planning for the future. After owning a few boats I’m researching the inevitable. 

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If it ain't broke then don't fix it . No reason for it to suddenly rot out on you unless you or PO recently put holes in it and didn't caulk them or did with the wrong material.  [ I had a 40 + year old StarCraft I/O with a rock solid transom.]    I would double check every nut and bolt making contact with the transom and if in doubt reseal and then epoxy/seal/exterior paint with a lacquer base over the exposed wood. Regular exterior paint that you clean up with soap and water will not last and is useless for your application... I was asking Hawkeye about his drive and from the sounds of it it's a Volvo as well.

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Mine is a mercruiser.  Crestliner had a poor design with the caps on the back corners.  Water runs down the rails and seeps under the corner caps..then it runs down onto the transom.  Most of the ones I've seen, start to rot in the corners, that's where mine was bad.  The tie down hooks started coming loose from the rotten wood.  Mine wasn't horrible and likely would been ok for several years, but, I don't like to tempt fate and figured I'm going to own the boat for a long time so replaced it.  Chances are, if it's starting to go bad, it will be in the corner.  Take a screwdriver and poke at the transom behind the batteries.  That should tell you all you need to know.

 

Get some good sealant and run a bead around the corner caps.  That should stop the water intrusion and give you a few more years if it's not too bad now.

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If it just started , you may be able to use a product  I think called called Get Rot or something similar and inject that stuff into the corners . Then caulk her up where Hawkeye noted. I guess I would have to see the setup to grasp why the motor has to be pulled, just seems to me that you can work around it after the drive is pulled. Maybe the inner outdrive plate bolts are blocked or inacessable with the engine installed.

Edited by Bozeman Bob

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