Spider cracks in gel coat - top of transom in front of outboard


New member
Hey everyone,
I recently received some help regarding temp sensor identification. Big help. Well regarding this same boat (2005 Nitro) I found one other thing that is a little unusual, maybe. I don't know what the area is called but its on top of the transom usually in a bowl shape/contour. The wires connecting are usually coming through this area and through the port leading into the battery/gas tank compartment. Well in the center of that area just in front of the outboard and somewhat centered are these spider cracks in the gel coat. When I first saw them, I immediately thought of flex in the transom, but I pulled up on the skeg from a titled/trimmed half way position on the board and pushed down. Transom seemed solid. No flex. I wondered if there might have been some type of impact but he wasn't aware...it was this way when he bought it 3 years ago. He initially thought the same thing. But he did say that the BassPro cover doesn't cover that area and assumed it might be from exposure. Do any of you have any thoughts from the pictures? Thanks a bunch!


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New member
Thanks Bill! I really appreciate it. I was afraid of that and hard to explain otherwise. I don't know that I've seen it in that area before. The width of the cracks were almost centered exactly in the splash well with the outboard and mounting. Makes me wonder if the owner had an impact or backed into something. Not sure.

Thanks again,



New member
Would these cracks prevent you from purchasing the boat? I understand these things happen in gelcoat and FG boats. But is this something you'd consider a deal breaker? I've seen varying opinions which dont help with being feeling positive. However, it seems that way with every used boat...there is always something that is a question mark.


New member
IMO, that's an excessive amount of stress cracks in a pretty critical area. I would keep looking. Good luck whatever you decide.


Active member
Stress and freeze cracks are fairly common in the splash well area on most boats. It's from normal flex under load. Most boats by '05 are built mostly from composites rather than wood. In the case of wood in older boats, water will seep in and then freeze -causing more gel cracking and rotting of the wood. I'd call tech services at Nitro and speak with a tech rep. they can tell you more about construction of your boats transom area. Also, you can call the glass/gelcoat dept at Genisis (winchester, TN). They will know about that boat and advise. Check the engine mounting bolts. If they tighten up without crushing into the transom. And, As long as the motor mounting is solid, You should good to go. Unlike the newer Nitro's, Older one's were built rather cheaply. The new one's are game changers