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  #1  
Old 03-30-2007
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Little input from you all on a survey we had done.

All -

A buddy and I have gone into contract on a 1997 Beneteau Oceanis 351. The boat looks to be in good shape, however we had the survey done and this is what concerns me (and our financier).

Can anyone out there provide any input on whether or not anit-fouling paint could retain a layer of moisture between the paint and the hull?


From the survey:

A very detailed inspection revealed 10+ hairline stress cracks in random areas of the hull, port and starboard, at and immediately above the waterline (between boot stripe and top of paint line). These cracks extended in a mostly vertical direction. Since the undersides were covered with antifouling paint, we could not confirm how far these stress cracks extended. Based on the texture of the antifouling paint around a couple of the starboard cradle pads, we found it likely that there were similar stress cracks in the underlying gelcoat. We have experienced similar cracks in similar model year Beneteau boats. Percussion testing was negative for indicators for delamination, voids or blisters. Moisture readings gained from the undersides consistently registered in the upper end of the MOIST range to the lower end of the WET ranges. When we moved our meter to the unpainted surfaces immediately above the waterline, the readings dropped into the DRY range. This finding suggests that there is conductive material in the antifouling paint, which in-turn is causing false positive moisture readings. The only way to confirm the moisture content would be to remove the paint from random areas and then retest the surfaces.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeac2
All -

A buddy and I have gone into contract on a 1997 Beneteau Oceanis 351. The boat looks to be in good shape, however we had the survey done and this is what concerns me (and our financier).

Can anyone out there provide any input on whether or not anit-fouling paint could retain a layer of moisture between the paint and the hull?


From the survey:

A very detailed inspection revealed 10+ hairline stress cracks in random areas of the hull, port and starboard, at and immediately above the waterline (between boot stripe and top of paint line). These cracks extended in a mostly vertical direction. Since the undersides were covered with antifouling paint, we could not confirm how far these stress cracks extended. Based on the texture of the antifouling paint around a couple of the starboard cradle pads, we found it likely that there were similar stress cracks in the underlying gelcoat. We have experienced similar cracks in similar model year Beneteau boats. Percussion testing was negative for indicators for delamination, voids or blisters. Moisture readings gained from the undersides consistently registered in the upper end of the MOIST range to the lower end of the WET ranges. When we moved our meter to the unpainted surfaces immediately above the waterline, the readings dropped into the DRY range. This finding suggests that there is conductive material in the antifouling paint, which in-turn is causing false positive moisture readings. The only way to confirm the moisture content would be to remove the paint from random areas and then retest the surfaces.
Can't offer any expert advice, but it sure sounds like an unusual and potentially expensive problem on a fairly common boat.

If it were me, I'd move on and keep looking.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Jpeac2...

In mid 90's Beneteau recalled a lot of boats (in Europe) due to osmosis problems..

Mostly the 45 f5 etc. These were know here as the "osmosed" boats...many boats were resent to the factory, and Beneteau gave new boats to these owners.

Some have "re-appeared" here and there...after repairs....could it be that you are in the presence of one of those recalled boats??

Hope not
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Old 03-30-2007
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Sounds like a weak hull. The surveyor noted that he found some of these cracks in the areas where the cradle pads were. This could have been caused by the pads being too high when the boat was lowered on to the cradle, hence they would induce "oilcanning" in the hull, with resulting cracks. If this did indeed happen at some point, there is a possibility that the hull has been quite damaged. Fibreglass is not elastic at all. Once the intereior has torn or sheared, it is permanently weakened, even if the hull returns to its former shape.

Too many good boats out there to take a chance on a bad one ....

Have you considered a CS 36 ???
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Old 03-30-2007
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In answer to your specific question...YES...bottom paint can hold moisture and give false high readings. I had this issue on a boat i had some years ago and there was never any real problm.
On the other hand...lots of stress cracks in the hull would worry me more than the moisture readings. You might want to drop Cardiac Paul a PM and ask what he thinks about those as a surveyor.
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If the bottom paint is copper based you can't use a moisture meter on it.
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Old 03-30-2007
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The stress cracks are more worrying than the moisture readings IMHO. The stress cracks indicate that the hull isn't properly reinforced or is in some other way weaker than it should be. Whether this is due to poor layup of the hull laminate, improperly tabbed bulkheads or stringers, or something else... it isn't a good sign.

The moisture readings don't bother me quite as much, unless it is a cored hull. How long has the boat been out of the water. If it hasn't been out of the water for any significant period of time, the moisture readings are likely to be a bit off.
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A very detailed inspection revealed 10+ hairline stress cracks in random areas of the hull, port and starboard, at and immediately above the waterline (between boot stripe and top of paint line). These cracks extended in a mostly vertical direction.

not good by any stretch of the imagination, could be as said before, oilcanning, or as also said before, the "common" Bene problem of osmosis (more unlikely however, I'd go with the oilcanning, or some reeeeeaaaaalllyyyy hard use. )

Since the undersides were covered with antifouling paint, we could not confirm how far these stress cracks extended. Based on the texture of the antifouling paint around a couple of the starboard cradle pads, we found it likely that there were similar stress cracks in the underlying gelcoat.

VERY likely

We have experienced similar cracks in similar model year Beneteau boats.

yup some do, some don't the short answer to how serious it is... "it depends" I know, doesn't help much

Percussion testing was negative for indicators for delamination, voids or blisters.

not surprising, but the the number of cracks are in my opinion, a cause for concern. If you're really interested in this particular boat, investgate further. have a marine glass man come out and take a look.

Bottom paint will cause a meter to go goofy so you can't trust the meter readings ther unless its been on the hard for quite awhile, esp. with copper based paints.
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Old 03-31-2007
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We had high readings on moisture meters on the outside of our boat, where there was paint, and low/no readings when the meter was put against the inside, where there was no paint. The cracks would be the main issue IMHO. They could be a minor issue, and inconsequential -- but what a bargaining chip! I've heard stories where the seller lowered the agreed-on price by 10-15k upon the discovery of "blisters" that needed to be repaired. Turned out the blisters were in the anti-fouling PAINT, not the fiberglass... Take another look at those cracks, and see what they might be worth to you, both as a dollar value, insofar as the possible selling price, and as a risk factor, since they may get worse and eventually start to leak. What's the boat worth to YOU is the question you have to answer.
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Old 04-03-2007
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All -

Thank you so much for all the feedback. I feel a lot better about taking the time to buy the boat after hearing all of your experienced input.

I reached back out to the surveyor and he said the following in regards to the cracks and moisture:

"I don't see the moisture readings as being an issue. There is a good chance that the readings were affected by the antifouling paint. The stress cracks are not structural."

If these are not structural, are they still as big of a concern?

Thanks again for your feedback!
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