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Re-sealing transom screws

Old 09-21-2020, 07:00 AM
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Default Re-sealing transom screws

My boat is 24 years old, typical construction for the time with a 2.5" thick wood core transom. It's a stern drive. It's got about 20 screws into the transom from the factory for the trim tabs and swim deck brackets. I'm the second owner of the boat, having had it for many years. I read all the time about re-sealing screws being a regular maintenance process. I've never pulled any of the screws in the transom, and not sure I should. They're all in very, very tight, as in, it would take me leaning into a big screwdriver to break one free. I've tried putting torque on them all to see if they might be leaking, and with a pretty hard twist I can't get any of them to move. My transom shows no signs at all of water ingress or rot at all.

Do I leave them alone and figure the factory seal is still good? That's my inclination, but I'd rather hear from those that have more experience with old boats. Thanks.
Old 09-21-2020, 07:45 AM
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If they don't show a reason to remove, don't remove them. If you try to tighten them you will be breaking the seal that might be perfectly fine. If there is one that is clearly loose, then remove it, and rebed associated hardware.
I've had underwater fittings that are 25 years old, don't leak, so I don't mess with them.
If your boat is kept in the water you will know when you haul it if anything has been leaking. If it's not stored in the water, then you have nearly zero risk of core rot.
Old 09-21-2020, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by From the Helm View Post
If they don't show a reason to remove, don't remove them. If you try to tighten them you will be breaking the seal that might be perfectly fine. If there is one that is clearly loose, then remove it, and rebed associated hardware.
I've had underwater fittings that are 25 years old, don't leak, so I don't mess with them.
If your boat is kept in the water you will know when you haul it if anything has been leaking. If it's not stored in the water, then you have nearly zero risk of core rot.
Thanks for the input. Your inclination is the same as mine- if they're that tight, they're probably still well sealed and should be left alone. I just wasn't sure, given all the talk on here of re-sealing fittings and wet transoms on boats much newer than mine.

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