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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Khaine Posted - 04/11/2022 : 09:37:26
I've noticed a long, shallow crack on the underside corner of my transom. The crack extends several feet, from one side to the other. Photos can be found here:

Any thoughts on what caused this? Backstays too tight? Or just a random issue? Have others seen this before?

It looks like it is just a gelcoat crack so I'll plan to Dremel it down and fill with MarineTex or maybe thickened epoxy. Most of it will be covered with new bottom paint. Any tips for a newbie on working around this area?


10   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
slacker Posted - 01/19/2023 : 10:57:39
A good way to check to see if you have structural damage as opposed to a crack in the gelcoat is to crawl back to the battery hatch with a flashlight and take a look from the inside. I can say on my boat with my cracking on the outside the inside looked really good but that was my boat.
slacker Posted - 04/21/2022 : 08:07:44
My boat is a 2007 with a WK and a wheel
Stinkpotter Posted - 04/20/2022 : 22:43:20
Paul, we know Khaine's year and keel--what are yours?

Your dealer speaks of gelcoat cracks (having just seen some photos)--indeed they ("spider cracks") are not uncommon, and are usually due to gelcoat being a little too thick in some areas. But I have serious doubts that Khaine's crack is just the gelcoat. And the fact that yours "opened up" as much as you describe gives me some doubts as well. I'll just say from the evidence so far, I don't share your dealer's lack of concern.
slacker Posted - 04/20/2022 : 08:41:17
I do expect this crack to come back. There is just too much weight and torque going on back there with 120 lb motor, battery, septic tank , gas tank, two captains chairs, steering seat and the people in them. You can easily hit a thousand lbs. Then throw in wind and waves for good measure. I did talk to a Catalina dealer and showed him pictures . He didn't seem too concerned
Stinkpotter Posted - 04/19/2022 : 22:23:47
I don't know about the structure of the C-250 transom, and photos can be misleading, but that does not look like a gelcoat crack to me. The way it follows (roughly) what looks like the hull/transom joint from one side around to the other is very concerning. I'd want to look at the corner of the transom inside the hull and would probably ask a marine surveyor or fiberglass repair pro to look at it. I might also send the photos to Catalina for their comment. Sticking Marine Tex in there might be little more than hiding a structural problem.
slacker Posted - 04/19/2022 : 08:54:49
Wow, that could be a picture of my boat. The crack is in the exact same place when I noticed it on my boat in the fall of 2019 just after I boat it. I did a quick patch with Marine tex, not really cleaning is out good and sailed for two seasons. This spring I noticed a crack while installing V 17 bottom paint which wouldn't hide cracks very well so I decided it was time to put more effort into the repair.
This is how I repaired it. You might do something completely different. I broke the dremel tool out and cleaned out the cracks in the gelcoat good and went around the stern and did the same to any crack I found in the stern area. Some of the little cracks opened up and got a lot wider which is a good thing. I used Marinetex to patch the cracks with 2 or 3 coats, sanding in between. I put it on a little thick at first and had to used 80 grit then followed with 220 both wet. When I got it to where I wanted it I switched to 1000 grit then 2000 grit to smooth it out. I of course wiped it down with denatured alcohol or an interlux product between coats and sanding. Then hit it with cleaner wax and wax ( Collinite ).
The results were good but the Marinetex did not match the other gelcoat perfectley.
I did talk to a boat dealer who said it was pretty common with Catalina gelcoat and was not too concerned
Again this is how I fixed it that doesn't mean its the only way to fix it or the right way. I'm always looking for a better way to fix things
Voyager Posted - 04/11/2022 : 19:48:29
Could it be a deep gouge due to a sharp object scraping the gelcoat? Your best bet is to use a sharp knife or putty knife to inspect the crack. If you can insert it beyond a few mm, then you should dig in and inspect further. Otherwise, if itís a surface defect, you may be able to fix it with a gelcoat repair kit. The color is not bright white, but a creamy white. MarineTex is about the right color. Best of luck.
Khaine Posted - 04/11/2022 : 18:12:10
Thanks Bruce and Henk for the comments. You both have been incredibly valuable to my learning as Iíve read through old topics and posts.

To add some details - this boat was purchased last October and both myself and the surveyor didnít notice anything at the time of purchase so I feel confident saying the crack wasnít there at the time. About a month after purchase I had the boat trucked several hundred kilometres to my location. I checked the boat following the move and didnít notice the crack. But I suspect, based on your comments, that the move must have caused the crack and I either missed seeing it after the move, or it was just weakened and split over the winter. No moisture issues were found in the transom during the survey last fall.

From what I can tell it looks shallow - maybe 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch deep. I checked the corner from the inside and couldnít see any obvious cracks or anything like that. I think Iíll just need to dremel it out and hope that itís just in the gelcoat and not a structural issue.

Anything else I should consider?
zeil Posted - 04/11/2022 : 17:23:56

This is very surprising... to my knowledge not seen before on this forum.

In 2008 we had an opportunity to visit the Catalina factory in Florida. At that time we saw the application of joining the hull/transom joint of a C250 which seemed pretty solid and sturdy. We were all the more interested since the Hunter series cold glue/bolt and cap this joint.

Can you tell how deep it is? Could it be just surface scratch? Could the hull have come under some type of load or stress?
Voyager Posted - 04/11/2022 : 13:40:02
Thatís pretty surprising frankly. Did you notice this when you hauled your boat last fall? or any time before or after the beginning of freezing weather in your area? Possibly due to water intrusion into the transom from leaky scuppers. If you look inside the hull, is there a corresponding crack?

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