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Rinker 350 transom and bottom cracks / discoloring

I took some pictures of boat i am looking to buy, the bottom back by the transom has some cracks and discoloring  and up on the stringers it looks like a crack in the fiberglass on both stringers, don't know if this is seroius or a cosmetic issue. Having survey done in a few days but would like to get feedback first, any comments would be appreciated

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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,648 mod
    edited October 2022
    I wonder if the cracks could be freeze damage from water getting into the fiberglass.  That's a question for a pro surveyor.  Make sure they do a tap survey and moisture measurements.  

    And obviously, there has been standing water in the bilge, so check for leaking transoms.
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    earl1z19earl1z19 Member Posts: 340 ✭✭✭
    I agree with  Larea. That could be a sign of water logged stringers and transom. Once those freeze they expand and crack the gelcoat and fiberglass but your survey should tell you what the situation is.
    I had an 07 246 that had some cracking in the gelcoat on the inside of the transom, turned out to be just a **** application of the gelcoat.  Let us know how they diagnose it.
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    YYZRCYYZRC Member Posts: 5,023 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2022
    In a lot of the bilge areas including the transom it’s just gelcoat sprayed on the plywood (no fiberglass). The cracks happen to all 330/340/350/360 of that era. This was one of the cost cutting flaws on these boats. You need to have a surveyor check moisture levels in the transom and stringers.

    @Squatch68 had a great write up on this issue; his was severe where water was leaking in and he had to replace the transom:
    https://rinkerboats.vanillacommunities.com/discussion/13165/2008-280ec-rotten-transom/p1

    Most are not so severe and just cosmetic.  Did you do the sea trail yet?
    Post edited by YYZRC on
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
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    mattiemattie Member Posts: 1,266 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2022
    @earl1z19
    @Mylo

    We had the skim coat of gelcoat crack up like that & shale off on both our 246 & 276.
    Wasn't a problem.

    That said Mylo - survey is the key. Don't sign any deals till completed.

    246BR, 276BR, H310BR current
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    MyloMylo Member Posts: 44
    Thank you guys very much for your comments, i am having surveyed next Monday and will make sure Surveyor is aware of this. Will let you know what he says. Also found a crack in the top of the transom like picture, starbord side crack is bigger, port is smaller.  Is this another problem? or typical on these boats?

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    SpyderwebSpyderweb Member Posts: 903 ✭✭✭
    Those transom cracks seems pretty common on these boats.  My 330 has it.  I laid down a layer of mat and west system epoxy and cracks have not changed.  This also seals them so water from hollow swim platform can’t flow down and penetrate crack and cause further problems.
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    MyloMylo Member Posts: 44
    O.K. Great, Thanks for info
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    Liberty44140Liberty44140 Member Posts: 4,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Agree with the comments here. The cracks in the bilge could be water….. but also very likely they are the outer layer of gel coat cracking. Common and I’ve seen it on boats with no coring to rot, just the outer layer cracking. Same on the crack along the entire top of the transom. Very common on Rinker’s. My 342 had it. I caulked it to keep from water intrusion but was all good. Factory told me it was a common seam spot in the layup. 
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

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    MyloMylo Member Posts: 44
    YYZRC, you mentioned about Gelcoat just being sprayed over plywood, so is the bottom of the bildge plywood that could rot? It looks like i can see a little bit of wood under the gelcoat that is cracked in an spot.  also did take it for a sea trial yesterday when i went out bilge was pretty dry and when i returned about 30 minutes later their was some water in the bilge not much but more than when i left, when the boat is sitting i do not see or hear any leaks. 

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    YYZRCYYZRC Member Posts: 5,023 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The hull is solid fiberglass so no issues there. It’s just the transom that is sprayed gel no fiberglass mat. 

    Make sure you check the steering pins. Most likely that is the source of the leak but could also be a loose connection on the water heater loop, a failing water pump or failing circ pump. Are the engines closed cooled?
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
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    MyloMylo Member Posts: 44
    Engines are not closed cooled, Is that a common thing for steering pins to leak? if so are those expensive to repair ? This boat has very low hours on it, 
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    YYZRCYYZRC Member Posts: 5,023 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The steering pins are common to the era yes. They used a non-stainless pin which rusts and causes the seal to fail. There are two ways to fix the leaky steering pins - pull engines and drives and remove the transom assembly or drill the transom assembly and to replace the pin without removing the engines. The drilling method is common and apparently works well but it’s a bit of a hack job in my opinion. 

    @LaRea posted a great thread on replacing transom assemblies in his 370. 
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
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    MyloMylo Member Posts: 44
    Would this be why bilge had water in it after i took for a ride, and do you how much approx. it would cost for the drilling method. As mentioned the boat has very low hours on it do these rust from age or use?
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    YYZRCYYZRC Member Posts: 5,023 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Here’s some info on the drilling method:

    https://www.jrmarine.com/instructions.htm

    They rust due to age, my boat is low hours and fresh water and failed after 10 years or so. 
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
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    MyloMylo Member Posts: 44
    Thank You very much for info,  did you have yours repaired this way? do you happen to know about how much this would cost to have done, parts & labor? in US dollars
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    Dutch320Dutch320 Member Posts: 83 ✭✭
    I had the steering pins done a few years ago when I purchased my boat, did the bellows also while it was apart. Here’s the invoice for a baseline price. This was for the drilling out method. 
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    MyloMylo Member Posts: 44
    Thanks Dutch  That gives me a good idea
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    GrahamuGrahamu Member Posts: 874 ✭✭✭
    This is what corroded steering pins look like. Drives were 14 years old in fresh water.


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    SimcoeRinker400SimcoeRinker400 Member Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    I went all new transom plates.  Really don't want to show the bill.  :)   But to be honest piece of mine.  Also, I bought mine from Bam Marine in FL and it saved me like $7k instead of paying the crazy markup ones up here. I also got to clean and paint the engine room as neglect of  14 years of gross bilge stained the bilge and the moisture caused the black crap everywhere.  The shaft seal thing is a band-aid for the future of replacing the transom plate.   That was in 2020 when I got the boat and inherited these problems.  The boat has come a long from then. Remember some transom plates had the soft aluminum issue too so you can put the shaft and bushing in it but give it a few years and it will be loose again and leaking.
    2008 Rinker 400 EC 
    2015 Scarab 165G
    Laser Sailboat
    2002 Seadoo Explorer
    2023 Seadoo Spark Trixx x 2
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,609 mod
    @SimcoeRinker400 I went thru the same thing 2 years ago.  Only thing I'd do different is paint the bilge.  Yours looks great!  Looks like you added another battery or two as well.  Only opportunity we both missed is lowering that high bilge alarm.  Oh well, hope we never need it!

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    Liberty44140Liberty44140 Member Posts: 4,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That does look awesome!!!
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

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    SimcoeRinker400SimcoeRinker400 Member Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    Hey @Dream_Inn

    If there's that much water coming in your screwed either way :smile: 

    The boat came to me with the extra batteries( which were all replaced in 2020 also) only problem does not help with lean to Port so I have made a rule all extra beer, pop, and water be stored under the couch in the cabin on the starboard side.  I removed the board there for extra storage and the cool thing the bed still works with the storage under it.
    2008 Rinker 400 EC 
    2015 Scarab 165G
    Laser Sailboat
    2002 Seadoo Explorer
    2023 Seadoo Spark Trixx x 2
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    Dutch320Dutch320 Member Posts: 83 ✭✭
    So do the new transom assembly’s come with stainless steel steering pins now or would you install those in a new transom assembly before installing on the boat?
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    YYZRCYYZRC Member Posts: 5,023 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My understanding is that only the Seacore transom assemblies have stainless pins. Go figure. 
    2008 350 EC on Georgian Bay
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    SimcoeRinker400SimcoeRinker400 Member Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    Another spot of a leak in my boat was the Trim Tab screws were leaking into the bilge.  After fixing everything I still had a leak and it was coming from under the batteries.  So I grabbed my USB scope and looked into the hole under the batteries and two of the screws had a drip of water every minute or so.  So out came the boat and I resealed every screw on the back of the boat now only rain water gets in and that is another project I am working on..  As for stainless pins on the new transom plates, I never looked but they will be good for I hope 20 years  :)
    2008 Rinker 400 EC 
    2015 Scarab 165G
    Laser Sailboat
    2002 Seadoo Explorer
    2023 Seadoo Spark Trixx x 2
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,609 mod
    @SimcoeRinker400 I keep a bunch of spare parts under my couch.  It is great storage space there!  Not sure if you've taken advantage of the space under the cockpit sink, but that is really nice with an access door instead of that little pocket shelf. 
    I'd be curious how more time those two extra house batteries give you.  I thought about a 3rd one but just never did it.
    I also had a leak from one of the trim tab screws.  Nice thing about being on a lift, I just got on my raft and fixed it.  After years with this boat, I can finally say I fixed all the leaks as well.  Rain water comes in either the rear vents or the rub rail.  I've tackled both of those too finally.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    MarkBMarkB Member Posts: 3,970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    YYZRC said:
    In a lot of the bilge areas including the transom it’s just gelcoat sprayed on the plywood (no fiberglass). The cracks happen to all 330/340/350/360 of that era. This was one of the cost cutting flaws on these boats. You need to have a surveyor check moisture levels in the transom and stringers.

    @Squatch68 had a great write up on this issue; his was severe where water was leaking in and he had to replace the transom:
    https://rinkerboats.vanillacommunities.com/discussion/13165/2008-280ec-rotten-transom/p1

    Most are not so severe and just cosmetic.  Did you do the sea trail yet?
    This is what I understand. It simply is the wood flexing, gelcoat cracking ... then potential water penetration into the stringers. It doesn't mean it's a disaster. If the water hasn't penetrated that bad (can be tested by drilling into the wood, and testing a sample ... I believe, then back fill with epoxy).  If the stringers are okay, then I assume it's not too complicated to fill in those cracks ... like any gelcoat, but the issue will always be if they show up again (due to flexing) ... so then I wonder if there isn't a better solution, like the spray in rubber coating they do on the back of truck flat beds.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

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    Liberty44140Liberty44140 Member Posts: 4,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cracking could also just be the outer layer of gelcoat. Very possible that there is a layer or layers of glass, with gelcoat sprayed on top, and its just that outer layer showing spider like cracks with no real water issues. Yes, could always be water issues, just pointing out could easily be nothing and as said several times in this thread.... need surveyor to properly diagnose. 
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,648 mod
    I went all new transom plates....
    Nice bit of work there!  That's called "doing the right job, and doing the job right."  
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