Outboard Pad or Transom Reinforcement?

After glassing the inside and outside of the stern transom on Sea Minor I noticed the plywood (6mm ocoume) stiffened up a good bit. However, there was a vertical crack right in the middle at the top, and that was not really repaired with the glass plies on either side. It just wasn’t robust, and I was certain that it would fracture again. To remedy this, I decided to add a panel of 1/2 inch plywood to the outside. This would completely fix the fracture, and would give me an option to add a small outboard, if I ever wanted to. This will not interfere with reinstallation of the rudder gudgeons, and the gudgeons won’t interfere with an outboard either.

Here I'm planning the clamp locations.  No bolts or screws - only thickened epoxy adhesive.

Here I’m planning the clamp locations. No bolts or screws – only thickened epoxy adhesive.

Plywood pad trimmed and edges chamfered so that it can be glassed over.  Glass fabric won't go over a right angle edge.

Plywood pad trimmed and edges chamfered so that it can be glassed over. Glass fabric won’t go over a right angle edge without leaving a void. I chamfered three sides with my angle grinder and flap disc in about 5 minutes.

Glued up and clamped.  Lots of squeeze out means I got enough epoxy on the piece.

Glued up and clamped. Lots of squeeze out means I got enough epoxy on the piece.

I scraped up the squeeze out and tried to reapply so as to create a gradual transition from the transom  to the pad.

I scraped up the squeeze out and tried to reapply so as to create a gradual transition from the transom to the pad. There is no sanitary, non-messy way to work with epoxy. I made a big mess doing this.

After it cured, I cleaned up the hard squeeze out with a sander, then mixed more epoxy. I painted the pad and surround with plain resin, then thickened the rest of the batch with fairing compound and applied it to the places where the transitions weren’t smooth. While that was all still wet and gooey, I applied two layers of glass fabric, then left it to cure.

Here's the pad glassed on and curing.

Here’s the pad glassed on and curing.

Just another view.

Just another view.

When all of that cured to a green state, I applied more straight resin to fill in the weave of the fabric.

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