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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1990 Cobia 2250 Spirit. It is a 23' Cuddy Cabin with a low hour 2014 4.3 MPI Mercury. It has a Alpha One Gen II out drive. Its a good boat, I just took it to Cat Island to camp this weekend.

The work
-Transom has rot,
-Outdrive seals have a small leak, and I want to rebuild the whole thing with bearings and seals.
-Electrical works, but needs a rewire
-I have some wood rot and delamination up front in the cuddy.
-needs a new top and clear coats.

Has anyone rebuilt the transom on a Inboard/Outboard boat? Any advice? Lessons learned?

Has anyone rebuilt a Merc outdrive?
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Before you do that, consider a different route. Since you have to replace the transom anyway, do away with the I/O and put on an outboard. You'll regain all that lost room that the engine takes up and prevent future transom troubles by eliminating the troublesome bellows. You can use a transom bracket to hold the outboard so that you keep the full-height transom and not need a splash well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I/O vs OB. I am planning on staying to the IO set up. The motor was a 10K crate motor from Mercruiser, and it runs great and good MPG too. I dont want to break the bank with this project. I'm hoping if i'm doing most of the work i'll be able to keep it under $1.5K.

As far as the paint is concerned. The bottom half of the boat was done when i bought it. The top half needs to be done. The clear coat is all but gone. I have tried rubbing compound and others to try and work it to a shine with 0 luck.
 

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For a boat like that, I'd prefer to keep the I/O, also, regardless of cost. It's a pleasure boat, I/O is just better for the application. Our cuddy cabin had a nice big padded engine cover and teak deck across the back. I definitely wouldn't want to give those up for a bit more room and easier maintenance. OB would break all of that up and be noisier.

That sucks about the finish. I'm just surprised it has automotive style base/clear paint instead of gel coat. Is that more common on boats than I think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like the fact i know how the 4.3 runs and it's easy for me to work on without a marine mechanic. And plus they are a strong marine motor with a good history of reliability.

I have not idea about the coat type, im assuming that it has never been redone since its birth.
 

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I spent about two years on mine. Every time I worked on one area I found something else that needed to be worked on. It ended up being a complete overhaul. I guess my only advice would be to have a good dry place to keep the boat as you work on it. I ended up priming and painting the entire boat with awlgrip. I had done so much fiberglass work that it wouldn’t have made much sense to go back with gelcoat. Take time figured and multiply by 10. Take estimated $ figured and multiply by about 5. Probably not what you want to hear but it is the reality of working on an old boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So it begins. I got the engine out. Had to make my own homemade lift. Next i'll disassemble to rest of the transom, remove the gimbal housing, and power steering bracket. And then its time to grind fiberglass and see how much rot i have.
 
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So it begins. I got the engine out. Had to make my own homemade lift. Next i'll disassemble to rest of the transom, remove the gimbal housing, and power steering bracket. And then its time to grind fiberglass and see how much rot i have.
Unless you really have to cut the outside for some reason, try and keep the outer hull intact and do all the cutting on the inside. Much easier to make the inside presentable than to match the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ROT ROT ROT. The transom is MUSHY. The only reason i didn't have problems with flexing is this Cobia has a thick skin. I didn't think it was this bad, had i known i would have never been running it.

So i am not cutting the outside fiberglass. I can going to cut the inside skin and replace all the wood with a new piece and reglass.

Any suggestions on where to get marine grade plywood on the coast? Any thoughts on using Koosa board? Its spendy but i would never have to worry about it again.
 

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You don't need "marine" plywood. The only difference between Marine plywood and ordinary exterior is that marine plywood doesn't have any voids (kind of like baltic birch). You only need marine plywood if you are using that as the true exterior of the boat. When I did the two transoms I've done, I used pressure treated plywood. I found some that was already fairly dry and then I let it sit in the garage for a few months and get really dry. If you do use pressure treated, just make sure the moisture content is low and it doesn't touch anything aluminum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I know the boat had termites when i got it. But i didn't think they would eat the entire transom. Its like layers of glue is all that is left. Like little sheets of paper.

QUESTION !!!
So how do i get behind the back , sides of the boat. The rot goes behind where i have my hand in the photo. I really dont want to cut out any more than i need to. Any ideas on how to clean the rot out behind the side floors and get replacement wood back there?
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