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new robalo owner with a custom paint job

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hello everyone , i just purchased a robalo 2120 i think its 1996 (reg. here to get the years wrong sometimes around here ).

i bought it this way , i kinda like the paint job even though my family call it the sponge bob boat , i think to keep it this way for a few years.

it was powered by 2x150hp 2s Yamaha , am planning for a single 200-250 2stroke something .

Am a first time boat owner ,but i own a couple of pwc so i know a thing or two but  ,but the plumbing on this thing got me confused .

i need to replace the rear plug , i searched the forums & it seems that i need to cut the transom to access the plug ? is that right.

i dont need the rear fish box , am trying to seal the boat as much as possible what should i do ?

i cant find the pilge pump or any other pump , the box on the port side contain a fuel filter and water separator ,& the box at starboard side contain the battery .

the rail bracket is missing on the other side  , where i can buy it online from ? 

on the transom there is 2 tow rings , one is bolted all the way on the starboard side , on the port side it flimsy and not bolted all the way ?
































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Welcome to the forum!  That is definitely a "different" paint job.  The weird thing is, the more I look at it the more I like it.  I can especially see liking it if my boys were much younger!

Motor...go with either a 225 or 250.  Single moor will push that boat just fine and end up weighing less than 2 back there.

The in-floor fish box, do you plan on glassing the hatch in place so it is water tight?  I have a 2160 and when I added 2 fisboxes across the transom, I will kept the in-floor box.  The foam around that box is a fantastic insulation for throwing ice in there.  Plus, so much easier after fishing to reach down and pull the drain plug, hit it with the hose and be done instead of lugging a cooler around.  Make sure the thru hull drain at the bottom is properly sealed both inside the fish box and outside between the thru hull and hull.  If you want to close it off, we can come up with some suggestions.

Transom drain (garboard drain).  Is the old one split or leaking?  If not, I would suggest leaving it alone for now.  Good change once you start taking it off the brass tube that extends through the transom will need replacing, too.  With limited access to the bilge area, this could be aggravating.

Bilge access...that black access port 6th picture; does it get you access to the area below the splash well?  Is  there a bilge pump that you can hear running or any sign of a discharge hose?  I think the discharge hose would have exited through the starboard side of the hull.

Handrail fittings....see if this link has what you need:


What is the overall condition of the transom?  When the motors were on it and trimmed up, could you pull down on the lower unit and see any movement in the transom?  Are there any cracks in the corners of the wet well, indicating transom movement?  The first thing I see on the back of that transom u bolt is no backing plate.  There should be some kind of stainless or aluminum plate to spread the load over a wider area instead of relying on 2 small washers.  Also appears to be a brown stain around that one bolt hole indicating water seepage from the wood core (unless we are lucky and that is the result of a rusted flat washer).  If it is soft, to get through the summer I would get 2 backing plates and install one outside of the transom and one on the backside.  Eventually the transom will need to be fixed / replaced to correct the problem.



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Dear 2-N,

Glad to be part of this community , living half away around the world from you guys made it harder for me to find a proper American boat . So this boat is a keeper for me.

the paint job even looks better in person ,everything is painted over a blue metallic base with flakes so it looks even better with some sunshine.

thank you for handrail fitting . i couldn't find it locally .


if by the fishbox you mean the section number 9 , its a great idea to convert it to a cooler ,its above 45 c during the summer ,so if its not gonna cause any leaking issues i can use a rubber plug  from each side .

but i want to know where the water on deck drain to?

As for the drain plug on the transom ,the fitting is there but the plug is missing ,there is no splitting on the fitting itself , but discoloration in the area below it .

i can sand it down and take pictures .


regarding the bilge , the area you mentioned is filled by foam ,and from the color of it ,it looks like it was filled a very very long time ago. i dont even understand why there is an access . there is also no discharge hose or opening . the only current "holes " are fuel filler ,fuel vent ,fish box drain and transom drain.

there is no wiring as well, and it seems that they kept the external wiring to minimum , so other than (battery /engine loom /anchor light/fuel sender ), everything else was contained in the helm. even nav. lights was installed on the helm(coast guard rules are more relaxed over here ).

the boat didn't have any engines at the time of sale , the previous owner sold it because he couldn't afford the engines .

the transom sounds solid if you knock on it ,without any cracks .

i dont mind drilling some inspection holes or try to remove the foam if you can advise me.

Thanks in advance.  












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after anther inspection i found two drains in the transom , but still cant figure the drain system. 

and i dug some of the foam with long screw driver , its fully filled with foam .

its wet inside , but the boat has been out of water for at least a year and it was raining the past few days  .








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If you don't mind, post where you are from (I already know, but I think others would be pleasantly surprised where some of our members are from!)

#9 - in floor fish box.  For a drain plug, this is what I use:


Measure the diameter of the hole in the drain; I think it is 1 inch.  I plug mine on the interior only and have very little water intrusion once the plug starts to get old and needs replacing.

If the transom drain is solid, don't worry about that discoloration below the opening...no need to scuff the paint un-necessarily unless the look is a concern.  Did you see if the threaded plug for the new drain will screw into the one already installed?  If the new plug will screw into the old fitting, that is great!  If it is smooth instead of threaded on the inside, check the hole diameter and get a drain plug like the link above.

That fiberglass splash wall is not a factory thing.  Are there any drains running through it so water on the cockpit floor can drain to the transom area?  Are any of the drains in the motor well (area between #9 and transom) open so water can drain?  The one picture you posted looks like it has been plugged with epoxy.  The ones up above the bottom of the wet well can be plugged off, but the ones in the lower corners have to be open.

The one plastic fitting in the motor well looks like an outlet for a bilge pump, but I have no idea what the hole is on the opposite side.  I suggest pouring some water down those holes and see if you can trace where they go to.  I wonder if they are somehow connected to a drain that is forward of the splash wall .

In that last picture, is that access port in the side of the in-floor fish box?  If so, is that the only access to the bilge area?  If you can remove enough foam all the way back to the transom to  make a bilge and install a bilge pump, that would be nice.  If nothing else, having an open area that water could flow through the drain plug in the transom helps some.  These older boats did not have a factory installed bilge access.   Once the deck was mated to the hull, all below deck voids were filled with foam.  The idea was if full of foam, it limited the amount of water that could fill the space and improve floatation if the boat swamped.

On the center consoles, I would have thought there would have been a tray or rigging tube that ran across the top of the fuel tank for the battery and control cables.  Look inside the center console and see if there is an opening for them.  And you are correct as wiring was kept to a minimum on these older boats since they did not come with a lo of accessories.

It may take us a few tries to figure out that drain system.  I would think whoever installed the splash wall had a good idea on dealing with unwanted water.




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hello 2-N,

Am from a nice island in the Arabian gulf called Bahrain , its actually a group of islands .very great for a recreational  boat owner or if you are into fishing , you can boat most if not all time of the year .

temps are 20-50 c ,winds/waves  little to none  . no lack of fish ,diving sites , pearls , etc.. . Fuel is cheap as well, but outboards are not .

we also have the world largest underwater dive park     divebahrain.com .

i am a new boater ,i don't know why i didn't start earlier, i started by purchasing a waverunner ,but found that i need something more family friendly with more range and can be used to refuel the skies .







As for the boat .

the splash wall don't look like a diy job.

the helm have an access for the rigging , it has been raining for the past few days so i couldn't poke around .

so roblao didn't have any oem bilge pumps?  , is it even necessary? , i don't mind the extra insurance for some headache  .

actually i would love to do any improvements on the boat .

once the rain stop , i will use some food dye and water to trace things and report back.




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See if you can find the hull id number of the starboard corner of the transom and post it.  Curious as to what year it really is.  I have a suspicion it may be a few years older.

The smaller Robalo's did not have a bilge area like most boats.  For whatever reason, they found that filling with foam, then installing a drain plug was good enough back then.  Remember, things were so much simpler 30 years ago!  A lot of these boats have been fine without the pumps, but some owners preferred to have a normal bilge with the bilge pump.

That splash wall is an add-on.  Whoever installed it did good and knew how to work fiberglass. That same model would normally have the boxes for the battery and fuel filters in the corners against the transom and  there would have been a teak splash wall that was hinged on the floor and could be raised or lowered.  

Nice pictures of your country.  Looking forward to seeing some pictures of the underwater dive park!

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your welcome to visit , am offering you a free tour and a fishing trip . you know my email whenever you want!

am not into diving but they submerged an Eco-friendly 747 just before this current "flu" ,there are also a lot of shipwrecks nearby.


there is a youtube channel  https://www.youtube.com/c/FishHD/videos , this guy posts good quality diving/fishing videos around here .




The HIN :SLK912120280

today i will start to poke around the boat




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With that hull id number, the foam filled bilge puzzle is now answered!  Hull manufacturer is Robalo, even though it has SLK (SlickCraft).  Robalo-AMF bought the Slickcraft business in 1969.  I don't think Robalo changed the first three letters of the hull id until 1982 when Cobia bought Robalo.  Boat model is 2120.  Now...here is the part that answers why there was no bilge.  Your boat was manufactured in 1980 (the last 2 numbers of the HIN).  All of their boats back then had foam filled bilges. 

Do not get upset that it is 15 years older than you thought.  Those older hulls were over-built.  When Brunswick owned Robalo (1993 - 2000), the lamination was nowhere as thick / heavy than when Cobia or AMF owned Robalo.  Not only is that a classic, that boat will hold up to rougher water than you will.  Honestly, the only weak spot will be the transom if it gets water saturated.

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first of all , your really welcome to visit me anytime after the panda flu  .my offer doesn't expiry  .

Am not upset at all , am so retro i prefer a 49 bug or even 89 Caprice over a Tesla .

am kinda confused other than the dirt and leafs from the nearby tree . the boat aged better than i do .

i searched google and 80s hulls had " brown wood " gunwale, i only have fiberglass (like 8th picture of my first post ).

so do i need to improve something or just enjoy it as is ?

it already came with a new SS fuel tank/fill & vent hose installed,new bimini (not even installed) ,so i only need an engine and rigging right?

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I think the original teak cover boards were replaced when that splash wall was installed.  

Other than staying on top of looking for any cracks in the transom or floor that could allow water to seep into the core, get a motor on it and enjoy it!

Funny you bring up bugs....my first car was a '67 VW with a 1500 cc engine.  We figured we could buy bugs cheap, re-build the engines and do the body work and paint.  Made enough doing that to buy some fun toys when growing up.  They were fun to work on since there was nothing complicated.  Re-building a baja body bug back then and we had the engine out in 15 minutes!  

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i also owned a 73 1303s , those are memory makers ,other than the first VW ride sharing program (any key open & start them) ,slow & slower wiper speed .

they are great cars , i bought it as a sleeper project (ej20 swap) then just enjoy it as is .


As for the boat i ordered some stuff & looking for an engine .once its done i will post some pictures .


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So right on the wipers and keys.  We knew which ones in the school parking lot our keys fit and would randomly move them around before school got out.  I did many long range trips back then before I finally moved on to bigger cars.

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i had a family member who used his locker key to open and use my car , i didn't mind it , but it was still annoying.

i still have a new fuel level sensor for the bug , the vdo 73-10 so today its going in the tank.so robalo will have some bug parts .

i removed the floorboards ,number 5 which all the rigging go through . and the fuel tank .(am a new boater so my excuse the lack of my proper terminology ).

they are getting a fresh gel coat this weekend so it easier for me to spray the rest of the deck.

fuel tank is new am thinking to use one of those rubber floor mat with holes  or paint the whole thing in a bitumen based car undercoat .

the coffin box is soild ,but still poking around draining , just to make sure there is zero issues going forward ,the boat is a keeper so i dont mind some elbow grease.


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Posted (edited)

so i have done some working & cleaning today , if everything just was easy as it seems in youtube videos , raised the front the boat ,plugged the front storage and compressed air in the coffin box hole a tiny amount of water came out ,the boat seems in solid shape ,who ever done the splash well done a good job .other than the fish box hatch which is driving me crazy .the foam inside the black hatch (the 6th picture in my first post) is wet and it seems the water has no where to go .

i am sure the whole thing was done in the US before the boat was shipped to here.


with compressed air i figured the draining other than the one marked unknown ,some water (a cup) worth of water came out ,but air just goes inside and doesn't seem to go anywhere


am also thinking about sealing the fishbox , i searched the forum and it seems with age it will start to leak , i don't have access to the fancy stuff available in the us , so 2 part epoxy then chopped fiber and resin is ok ?


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If the fuel tank is in good shape, blast the heck out of it with a pressure washer then coat with coal tar epoxy.  That will keep water off the tank and stop any corrosion.

Everything you need to know about improving the drainage issue where you see standing water under that black inspection port:

The fishbox thru hull fitting causes the leaks and most of the time it is where the sealant around the fitting has dried out and cracked.  Dig out the old sealant on both the inside and outside of the hull, then re-seal.  Worse case, you may have to remove the thru hull fitting in order to get a good layer of sealant to bed the fitting into.

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thank you for answering my silly questions , its now crystal clear .i promise no more draining questions .

for a grease monkey its smooth sailing going forward .

i will start a new build thread to post updates .

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Don't be shy about asking questions, not matter how silly you may think it is.  Heck, it could end up saving you some un-necessary work.

Looking forward to seeing your progress!  

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