Yeah so I didn't like the sanding swirls that i could see on the transom. The epoxy finish was ok, but I wasn't impressed with my sanding before the stain. I plan not plan to paint the transom so something will need to be done. So I used a heavy grit sandpaper to rough up the finish. I found a nice piece of 1/4" oak ply, cut it to shape and glued it to the face of the transom. I then applied a coat of epoxy to seal it.
Unfortunately in the process my trusty 15 year old Dewalt palm sander crapped out. I checked the brushes and were fine so I'm guessing its the motor finally giving up. I'll take it apart later to check it out more thoroughly.