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Surf tabs pulling out of transom 2017 XT21

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  • Surf tabs pulling out of transom 2017 XT21

    I am wondering if anyone else is encountering this? I have a 2017 XT21 and we were out surfing in 70 feet of water when all of a sudden the boat quit producing a surf wave. I turned the boat off thinking it was a computer glitch and restarted, trying to get the boat to produce a surf wave. It did not which prompted me to shut it off again. When I turned it off this time I realized both bilge pumps were running which prompted me to open the engine compartment up...where I was greeted with a ton of standing water. It took two trips to the dealer to diagnose properly but it turned out my starboard side surf tab had partially pulled off of the transom pulling the lag screws through the fiberglass. The dealer fixed this by through drilling the transom and installing bolts and nuts with silicon to seal.
    I put the boat back in the water yesterday only to discover that after an hour and a half we had 5-10 gallons of water in the bilge again. Bilge pumps didn't run this time (surprising) but when we opened the center plug after we pulled it out of the water at least 10 gallons of water ran out. None came out of the rear drain plug.
    So, I looked at the port side surf tab and noticed that the outside screw is beginning to pull loose from the transom on that side. In addition, the starboard surf tab (original problem) is bent at the flange where it would mate to the transom (likely from a screw pulling all the way out allowing the tab to loosen but still being held on the transom at one screw).
    So, I'm curious...has anyone experienced having a surf tab pull the lag screws out of the transom? The only way this is possible is if the original holes for the surf tab retaining screws were drilled to large or if the boat hit something. We did not hit anything and there is NO impact damage. This suddenly occurred while surfing in 70 feet of water. The nature of how these are "coming loose" is suggestive of structural weakness or insufficient fastener grip strength. Just trying to get a feel to see if I'm the only one with this problem or if others have seen it? Boat will have been down a whole month as of next week...in the hottest month on record since we've had it. Frustrating.

  • #2
    That is frustrating. Ask dealer what product they used to seal up. Was it 3M 4200 or 5200? What about someone getting off the water and on the swim platform and using it as a step ? Or backing up? Already damaged before you bought? Might be best to reglass it depending on the size of the whole compared to the mounting hardware.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      lag screws???

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      • #4
        To the question of is this a common problem. Not going to claim to be the authority on this, but I've never seen it personally or ever heard of it happening before.
        -----------------------------------
        Mastercraft ProStar 2019 5.7L - Current
        Mastercraft X25 2014 6.2L - Current
        Nautique 200 OB 2012 5.7L - Current

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        • #5
          Originally posted by snork View Post
          lag screws???
          Maybe its the wrong terminology but it is a very course thread screw. Works when the holes are drilled properly because the threads end up sealing into the fiberglass. However, they also rely on the fiberglass to hold them in place because there are no bolts on the back side of them.

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          • #6
            Thinking about this a little more, there may be a very good reason the tabs aren't through bolted. Since these tabs protrude well below the hull, there is going to be cases where they do strike some object in the water. If that were to happen, seems like it would certainly be better for the screws to pull out rather than rip a non-trivial chunk out of the back of the hull. Which is likely what would happen if the tabs are through bolted. Bilge pumps can likely keep the boat from sinking with just exposed screw holes. I don't think there any chance of preventing the boat from sinking if a through bolted tab gets ripped off.
            -----------------------------------
            Mastercraft ProStar 2019 5.7L - Current
            Mastercraft X25 2014 6.2L - Current
            Nautique 200 OB 2012 5.7L - Current

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jpwhit View Post
              Thinking about this a little more, there may be a very good reason the tabs aren't through bolted. Since these tabs protrude well below the hull, there is going to be cases where they do strike some object in the water. If that were to happen, seems like it would certainly be better for the screws to pull out rather than rip a non-trivial chunk out of the back of the hull. Which is likely what would happen if the tabs are through bolted. Bilge pumps can likely keep the boat from sinking with just exposed screw holes. I don't think there any chance of preventing the boat from sinking if a through bolted tab gets ripped off.

              Yep, I think you may be 100% correct. After seeing how they should be assembled the courser "lag style" screw is a better option as this would also help to eliminate leaks since the threads seal the hole. I'd be curious to know how much pressure is exerted against those tabs but I know that one lag screw into wood can easily hold up a couple hundred pounds if fastened properly. There has to be at least 7 through those tabs and transom area.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by aarvig View Post
                I am wondering if anyone else is encountering this? I have a 2017 XT21 and we were out surfing in 70 feet of water when all of a sudden the boat quit producing a surf wave. I turned the boat off thinking it was a computer glitch and restarted, trying to get the boat to produce a surf wave. It did not which prompted me to shut it off again. When I turned it off this time I realized both bilge pumps were running which prompted me to open the engine compartment up...where I was greeted with a ton of standing water. It took two trips to the dealer to diagnose properly but it turned out my starboard side surf tab had partially pulled off of the transom pulling the lag screws through the fiberglass. The dealer fixed this by through drilling the transom and installing bolts and nuts with silicon to seal.
                I put the boat back in the water yesterday only to discover that after an hour and a half we had 5-10 gallons of water in the bilge again. Bilge pumps didn't run this time (surprising) but when we opened the center plug after we pulled it out of the water at least 10 gallons of water ran out. None came out of the rear drain plug.
                So, I looked at the port side surf tab and noticed that the outside screw is beginning to pull loose from the transom on that side. In addition, the starboard surf tab (original problem) is bent at the flange where it would mate to the transom (likely from a screw pulling all the way out allowing the tab to loosen but still being held on the transom at one screw).
                So, I'm curious...has anyone experienced having a surf tab pull the lag screws out of the transom? The only way this is possible is if the original holes for the surf tab retaining screws were drilled to large or if the boat hit something. We did not hit anything and there is NO impact damage. This suddenly occurred while surfing in 70 feet of water. The nature of how these are "coming loose" is suggestive of structural weakness or insufficient fastener grip strength. Just trying to get a feel to see if I'm the only one with this problem or if others have seen it? Boat will have been down a whole month as of next week...in the hottest month on record since we've had it. Frustrating.

                Yes I have an XT23 2017 and it did the same thing. Screws came loose and wave stunk. Took it in and they originally said I hit something to bend the tabs. Not likely. They covered it, I got all new tabs and remounted. I think mine had been this way for awhile, it is much better now.

                I am confused why they didn't at least check the other side to see if it was loose?????
                2017 XT23

                2021 Lone Star Master Bash - June 11-13 - Lake Travis, TX
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                • #9
                  I"m not sure what you experienced, but when this happened on the center tab on my x-star, i feel like it was at least partially driven by the hinge point itself. I could not get the actuator hinge at the transom to even move w/out loosening the bolt. To me that means every time it was going up/down, is that the transom was receiving the force of that pull.

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                  • #10
                    Be glad you are under warranty...

                    https://teamtalk.mastercraft.com/showthread.php?t=67620

                    I have been through this issue and had it fixed by MC under warranty

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                    • #11
                      I would be surprised if they could put nuts on the back of the bolts. The holes are so low that they should go into the bottom of the hull of the boat. I had asked about that when mine ripped out, but was shown it was not possible. If memory serves me right, they replaced the tabs with different tabs and which required large screws. They also used a specific sealant/glue. But I don't recall what the name/number of that was.

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                      • #12
                        Click image for larger version

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                        My neighbor's 2018 XT22 from earlier this summer

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                        • #13
                          I know everyone says MC quality is amazing, but tabs and other items should be through bolted, not screwed. When I raced offshore boats everything was through bolted. Low quality companies use screws and screws pull out. This is one of my major criticisms for MC.

                          For the prices they charge, start through bolting tabs and other critical items.

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                          • #14
                            Same thing happened to my 2018 NXT22. Happened to me the first week I had it while on a trip to lake Cumberland… 2/3 actuator screws were completely stripped out. the dealer did warranty it and used bolts.

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