Serious, or really serious?


New member
OK.. Just back in the States from living abroad for many years. Found a used Procraft 180 Bass Tour Edition with a 120 Merc Force on it. A bit oxidized and looked as if it had sat out in the elements for a good while.. but nothing elbow grease and a few bucks couldn't fix.. AND it fit my budget.

I got it home and after a couple of days, set to work clearing out the birds nest of wiring in the back. On pulling all four batteries, I decided to replace the trays and give the bilge a good clean. In getting everything out, I found that the horizontal shelf that the two main batteries sit on had cracked fiberglass and the plywood underneath rotted..

I've never done any kind of work like this before, but I'm game to try. I was thinking that I might cut the 'shelf' out and install a new one. My concern though is that the water has wicked into the transom. Can anyone offer suggestions of what to check, etc.. to see if the transom is still on good shape? It feels solid and there is no cracking anywhere.




Outstanding Contributor
While that looks bad, it doesn't appear that the shelf and the transom are connected. That is, the battery shelf was put in after the hull, and the transom, were already laid up. It's basically a hunk of ply that is tabbed in place. Sadly the factory decided to go ultra cheap on this critical bit of furniture and it failed.
When you put in the new one, first off you should thoroughly encapsulate the wood in epoxy. Start with several coats thinned with 50 percent acetone so it really soaks deep into the wood. Follow that with a couple coats of straight resin until the surface is shiny and won't take any more. The wood will not absorb any moisture and should never rot again unless you poke holes in it.
Prep the area that you will be gluing this to by grinding/sanding back to clean smooth fiberglass. Extend this several inches out from the joints. Using thickened epoxy (peanut butter consistency), lay the part in place and weight it until the epoxy kicks off. Be sure to scrape away any squeeze-out with a tongue depressor or popsickle stick so you have an easy cove at the edges. Begin tabbing the part to the hull by laying a 2 inch strip of glass in the joint. Follow that with a 4 inch strip, a 6 inch strip and an 8 inch strip. Use a resin roller to get the air bubbles out as you go. You don't want the resin too rich in the fiberglass. You can use an auto body filler applicator to scrape off excess resin. If you want a little extra protection from scrapes and dings, lay a couple layers of glass on the top of the shelf. You may wish to sand it before you paint with bilge paint, but it isn't crucial.
I should note that if you need to install fasteners...screws, bolts, etc. You may want to do this: every place where you want to put a screw or bolt should be drilled out with a 1/2 inch bit before you even begin encapsulating with resin. Tape up the bottom of the hole and fill it with (pourable) thickened epoxy and let it set. Pull the tape off and proceed. When it comes time to make holes, you'll be drilling into epoxy and not raw wood.


Outstanding Contributor
You'll also want to double clamp every fitting below the water line. I know those pump arrangements are there for the live wells, but all that plumbing would make me a nervous wreck


Silver Medal Contributor
I'd give the transom a decent inspection before jumping all in.

If that's ok, I'd check out the 'shelf supports' as well...