A decision has been made and acted upon regarding the rotten transom. The top fibreglass lip was barbarically hacked off using a thin disc in a 4 inch grinder. What remained of the old plywood core was dug out very easily using a length of steel bar, and a piece of fresh plywood (exterior grade) was cut and shaped to slot in.

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Crappy rotten old ply?

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Then dig it out with a long (metal) stick.

It seemed like the original ply was merely held in place with optimism and the foam that provided the dinghys side compartment buoyancy.  As I couldn’t think of a cheaper way of gluing the thing in place, I did the same. Bought some budget expanding foam from screwfix for £7 and blasted it liberally into the bottom of the hollow transom. Then squished the new ply section down into it and G clamped the whole thing up to avoid it blowing up like a big green balloon under the pressure of expanding gunge.

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Roughly shaped up using a jigsaw and flap disc.

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Clamped in a sandwich of expanding sticky gunge.

This did look a right old mess at this stage as it squirted out everywhere and is incredibly filthy, sticky stuff. I tarped it over to allow it to cure for a couple of days then trimmed off the excess with a bread knife. Much tidier now.

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New ply piece glued, trimmed and tidy.

The ply was still exposed along the top edge though which would allow water ingress again. I’m looking for a repair that’ll last a few years here so I’m going to have to bite the bullet and glass over the top before painting it. A bit of a pain as it’s costing more money to do this and the whole point was for it to be a budget build. I do however have some polyester resin and matting left in the shed so I’m going to use it up. Call that cheating if you like.

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Fibreglass capping finished.

After 48 hours of curing time, the primer went on during a dry morning.

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Ta da! Strong, solid transom for mounting my mirror dinghy rudder etc. Result.

Not bad cosmetically and it’s now solid as a rock. Rudder and mainsheet traveller next. Then screw on the rubbing strakes and launch. Simple  really, should easily be done in time for a bit of new years day pottering.