Learning the HARD way...
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boston / Ft Myers Area
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Re: Moisture in decks
The areas that sound bad, are due to delamination. Delamination is probably due to the core rotting. In my experience, this is common with '80s vintage Pearsons. I believe that it is, at least partially, due to the way that Pearson Yachts sealed the stanchion bases to the deck; rubber gaskets.
If you love this particular Pearson 31, then make an offer figuring that it will need a core repair in the next 5-10 years. A professionally done core repair on the P-31 may cost in the neighborhood of $10K (YMMV).
If not this boat, look at other Pearson 31s. I believe that you will find that this is a common issue with mid to late '80s Pearson yachts - particularly on the port side.
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USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105/106/118 Certified Instructor - Also certified in Recreational Marine Electrical Systems