Ten years ago, I replaced the plywood transom in my
16' aluminum fishing boat. It had gone bad due to the
motor mount screw pads crushing the wood from
over-tightening, and from shock loads involved in hanging
a motor off the back of a boat and traveling down
the road at 70 mph. I wanted the transom to hold up
better than the original, so I protected the screw pad
area with 1/16" thick conveyor belting that was glued in
place with epoxy. I thought that if the idea worked I
would share it in Epoxyworks. As you can see from the
photo, the transom has held up well. The transom has
not been touched in all that time:not even a fresh coat
By gluing the conveyor belt over the area, I felt the
screw pads were less likely to crush and abrade the
wood. The rubber-based belting would also provide a
tough cushy surface for the screw pads to conform to so
the screws would not work themselves loose. Lastly, I
did not want water to get into the wood in this area. I
felt that even if the wood gets crushed a bit it under the
belting, it would not deteriorate because the belting
would act as a membrane keeping the water out. After
ten years, I can say it worked extremely well and I feel
confident recommending the technique. I don't know
how large a motor you could use with this method.
However, my boat is equipped with a 25 hp long shaft
motor, so the screw pads holding the motor to the transom
are under considerable load while the boat is under
power and while trailering down the road. Yet no identifiable
damage can be found to date.
To use this method reliably, you will need to follow
some simple guidelines. Locate conveyor belting that
epoxy adheres well to. Most belts are made with a fabric
core, and epoxy adheres nicely if the rubber is
abraded until some of the fabric cord is exposed.
Make the conveyor belt pad large enough. I recommend
extending the size of the pad to be at least one
diameter of the screw pad wider in all directions from
the edges of the screw pads. This means that if the
screw pad from the motor is 1-1/4" in diameter the conveyor
belt pad should be at least 3-3/4" wide and tall to
give the rubber pad room to stretch under load. That
way the belting stays attached under load to keep water
out even if the wood beneath the screw pad is somewhat
Epoxyworks 24 / Fall 2006
Copyright © 2002, Gougeon Brothers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Modified on 10/28/02.
Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, is expressly forbidden without the consent of the publisher. EPOXYWORKS, Gougeon Brothers, WEST SYSTEM, Episize, Scarffer and Microlight as used throughout this publication, are trademarks of Gougeon Brothers, Inc., Bay City, Michigan, USA.