The Stern Saver Retrofit: For Boats That Already Have Transom Mounted Transducers
The Stern Saver is a great product for new boat owners who are looking for an alternative to drilling holes in their transom below the waterline. It is equally useful for boat owners who already have transom mount transducers mounted directly to the hulls of their boats.
Before the Stern Saver was born, the most widely used method for installing a transducer involved determining the proper location, then drilling two or more holes in the transom, filling the holes with a marine grade silicone sealant, screwing the transducer bracket into those holes and hoping for the best.
Unfortunately, that method compromises the integrity of the hull and puts boat owners at great risk of damage to their boats. Silicone sealant can only do so much, for so long, even if it has been applied correctly. Regardless of what the silicone manufacturers say, silicone does not last long before it begins to separate from the hull material resulting in water exposure. If a transducer gets bumped, it can also put stress on the bracket and cause the screws to move a little and cause the sealant/hull bond to break. Silicone is also only as effective as how well it was applied. If only small amount makes it into the hole, a weak seal could result and water may be allowed in.
The Stern Saver is the perfect solution for boat owners who already have transducers mounted to their boats, but want to seal up those existing holes and start fresh. Then they can swap transducers in the future and not worry about the hole pattern of the brackets not lining up, and eliminating the need to fill and drill new holes. This is very important because many boat owners change sonar units before they change boats, and extra holes will accumulate resulting in what we call “Swiss cheese transom.”
The Stern Saver kit makes it extremely simple to start over with a fresh mounting surface for transducers, speed sensors and bait tank pumps.
Here is how it’s done: First, unscrew all the existing transducer mounting screws and remove the bracket. At this point, there is something very important to look for, moisture. If any water comes out of the holes, stop what you are doing and consult with your local boat repair shop. You do not want to seal up a water-logged transom! If you have a water-logged transom, you may have transom rot as well. It is important to remedy that before you proceed. Once, you have determined that the transom is dry, then use a drill bit that is a slightly larger diameter (by 1/32-1/16”) than the existing holes and bore out the holes with a drill. This will remove the old sealant and expose fresh fiberglass for the resin to bond to. Using the epoxy syringe supplied with the Stern Saver kit, place the tip against the holes a squirt the epoxy into them. To ensure that enough epoxy gets deep into the holes, push it in using a toothpick or a paper clip until the hole appears full of epoxy and void of any air. Once the holes are filled, you can proceed with installing the Stern Saver that same way that you would in a new boat.
By installing the Stern Saver over the existing holes you will seal and conceal existing transducer mounting screw holes and never have to worry about them again, nor drill any more holes below the waterline.