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I have a '89 26' Thompson Hardtop
For the second time in two years spun the coupling between the engine & outdrive. The repair shop tells me that it is because the transom and stringers are not in good shape. I've heard that about older Thompsons. The repairs are pretty steep, but I have never been in a boat that was as nice to fish in. I'm getting older, and I figure I may have 10 years left to fish out of my own boat. Any one have experience getting transom & stringers replaced? How long did the last? Is it worth it? Anyone recommend a replacement boat that will not break the bank?
 

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Sean
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Depending on dry dock time and what they (or you) find once you tear down to the stringers, it could be a long drawn out repair. Transoms can be replaced, and re-enforced to better than original capacity, but stringers integrity once comprimised are too much of a chance I personally wouldn't take no matter how good the repair may be. IMO I would start looking for another boat. For what you'd spend in repairing you could have more than enough to put down or even pay in full on another boat. Just sounds like alot of repair in a money pit that probably won't last for as long as you want it to.
 

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I've replaced transoms and stringers in 3 boats myself. It's not an easy fix, and it certainly isn't cheap to pay someone to do it. I do imagine that the I/O thompson is less of a pain than the Makos and Bertram I have done with IB 350s and a 454.

Done right, the repair should last 30+ years. That is of course assuming the boat isn't stored outside for the winter with water in it, all screws/bolts/thru-hulls/etc. are sealed with 5200.

I'd say, if you love the boat, have it done. If you can see yourself fishing out of something else, I'd sell the boat as-is, and put that with the projected cost of a new transom and stringers, together and get something else.
 

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aka iridealot9
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i was in the boat business for a long time and a complete transom/stringer job is very costly and time consuming. there are so many good deals on boats right now it only makes sence to get another boat. if you look for the right deal you should be able to get a boat for half of book price. there are a ton of them for sale with this economy
 

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yea, again, I can't really say what it will cost without being really familiar with the Thompson hull. But the top cap of the boat has to come off in most situations to replace the transom, and the floor gets cut out and replaced as well. I'd have to guess it'll run 10k minimum.

The good news is, the boat is fairly popular, and if you do choose to buy another boat, you should have an easier time selling this one as-is to someone who wants to get a good deal and wants to do the work himself.
 

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I feel your pain. I spun 4 couplers in 4 years with my 83 Thompson. Then I put 4200 in stringer work only to have the boat split open again 2 years latter. I sold it for 5 grand w/ trailer which was about what you could have parted it out for back then. The guy tried to fix it and it sank at the dock in less than 1 month. It has however resurfaced in the last few years and appears fixed though I'm not sure what they did. So I guess what I'm saying is it's a crap shoot. Do you feel luckey? I myself would unload it and replace it with something else. I loved my Thompson but the 80s versions were junk hull wise. Terry
 

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Whaler
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There's a place in Canal Fulton that repairs transoms on fiberglass boats and such. They build duck boats too. I can't remember the name of the place but maybe someone else on here may know. Big Daddy probably knows it.
My buddy had his transom redone there on his 18 foot Glasspar a few years ago and they did a fine job on it.
 

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I think it really comes down to what do you want to do with the boat. When I bought my 95 Baha 4 years ago all the stringers needed replaced, which we included in the deal. The boat had less than 100 hours on it, so I went ahead with the purchase and repair. 4 years later and absolutely no issues. If you are going to have the repairs done, have it done by a professional. Done correctly the repairs do last and in my opinion are better than factory. During the repairs factory issues were found which most likely caused some of the stringer issues, such as fiberglassed over weep holes in the stringers which held water instead of letting it drain. Had the repairs done over the winter. Plenty of room below my deck floor as I have a 454 completely under deck so did not need to have the top cap removed. I think in your situation you are kind of stuck. I don't think an 89 Thompson is going to sell for much as is, especially with the economy the way it is. You are either going to put the money into a new to you boat or put the money into getting your boat repaired.
 

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The only place I could recomend for that kind of work is Walkers in Port Clinton. He did the stringers and transom in a buddys 30' sport, awesome work!

If your going to do it I would get calling for estimates and such now, hoping to have it done by spring.
 

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Defensor Fortis
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I say get it fixed. If you buy another boat, who knows what's going to go wrong with it down the road. And obviously you like your boat. It's already set up the way you like it. Get it fixed, and it will be better than new. And it will last a long time for you.
 

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Fish against the fish...
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there's a restoration forum on iboats dot com that I am addicted to - take a look there. Not an easy job on a fiberglas boat - but you may be suprised at some of the things these guys have accomplished. Worth a look and asking there too. THose guys really know how and where to get the job done - and if you supply pictures - they're even more helpful.

I do know you can do it yourself cheaper - but it looks like backbreaking work.

On the upside, you know exactly what you're in for with your boat. Like Toxic said. And you may be acquiring someone else's problems.

Good luck - I'd see what the costs are. I certainly wouldn't get out on it knowing that the stringers could be bad. Let us know what you end up doing.
 

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I know of a couple of places to get this work done and the guys do great work! They are former Baja employees who started their own business. They end up doing a lot of this work for marina's who claim to do it themsleves.

I will post their businesses tomorrow when I get back to work. They are very reasonably priced, compared to what I've heard others have paid for this service.

If done correctly and with how much fiberglass was actually used in them older boats, I would have them replaced. They don't build boats like they use to and you should see just as much life after the repairs, if not more even. I would think of the hours on the motor as the other value to consider though.

I sell them their supplies and would have them work on anything of mine! It's one thing to know how to repair a boat, it's another to be able build one from scratch. You have a very real and intrinsic idea of how things are suppose to be.

Also, unlike most marina's who have their hands full, these guys are hungry for new business and will turn the boat around quickly. This is all they do and don't have other concerns occupying their time.
 

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Here are the contacts I promised.

Lakeway Boats - 419-426-6875 (can't remember the guys name)

Scott Clayton - 419-569-5790 (can't remember the name of the company)

Tell them that Kevin form American Producers Supply told you to call.

Good Luck!
 

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If you go to www.tramsomrepair.com there is a product on there called seacast. You call and give them your daytime temps and humidity and they mix it custom to your climate. I have never used it but spoke to someone who has and he raved about it. Also on that site there is how to instructions. Go there and Iam sure they can explain it better than I. Good Luck
 

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Fish against the fish...
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If you are interested in real guys using seacast -- go to the iboats.com restoration forum - there are guys there that have used it and can tell you exactly what the results were - some are not real big fans and some are.

It's not an easy job either way you look at it and you certainly don't want to choose an 'easy' fix. That never works. But it can be done and these guys are awesome at getting advice out.

Looks like you have some great options here... make sure to let us know what you decide to do. Maybe we'll see your thread on iboats!
 
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