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  #1  
Old 06-18-2009
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Deck rot, or not?

Hello,
I am new to the forum and am in need of some advice. I am new to boats, at least when it comes to the structure and such. I had a survey done of a Endeavour 32, 1975, and what happened is beyond perplexing, at least to me. the hull is in great shape, the interior, engine and rigging are in great shape, but when the deck was moisture metered, it got funny. First, it was tapped with the plastic hammer all over, at the mast, and on the fore deck, the survey heard something, i could hear a slight change in timber of the rap, but I took it for the fact the hull was not supported in the middle and that it was just a structural change in sound, and it was a very slight change. the best way to describe it is the sharp rap went to a deeper rap, no thudness to it, just a deeper percussion. well, out comes the moisture meter, sovereign, it reads 18-25 in about a 3 foot radius section around the mast. while doing this, his meter broke, it stopped reading except for an occasional blip that would be off scale. The marina had a spare one he borrowed, a skipper model this time, and it read the same 18-25% until the battery died. we then swapped the battery form the sovereign to the skipper and it now read 12-15%. the surveyor told me the battery was going on this one too, that's why it was reading low. he then,by taps alone said there were major issues int he foredeck as well. the owner was flabbergasted. He had unstepped the mast, the only hardware anywhere near the high moisture reading, it was good at the handholds, and had rebedded it with 5200. there was no hardware withing 2 feet of the place the surveyor showed me on the foredeck. the decks are solid, i weigh in t 250 and i had no flexing at all of the deck, there was not a single soft spot, and also, the owner drilled a hole to look at the wood itself near the mast. The wood was dry as a bone to my hand and it also looked like new wood. I have looked up online tonight, read up in "surveying fiberglass sailboats" about deck delamination and core rot and everything i have found contradicts each other. some people say if its not delaminated and its sealed, its golden, others say if it reads at above 20%, buyer beware, and don't touch it with a ten foot pole. however, I have heard no mention of a drilled hole test or how to evaluate what you see.

my theory, and i am suspicious of myself because i like the boat, IS that his first meter had a wiggly connection that finally came undone and added some resistance before it finally did and caused higher readings, the low battery caused the high readings on the second meter and the good battery that i was told was "going" was the only thing giving good readings, and the percussions where caused by structural aspects of the boat. Any advice is welcomed, and thank you in advance.

Regards,
Jordan Hackney
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Old 06-18-2009
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I think your hypothesis is correct. If the wood came up dry you should be fine.
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Old 06-19-2009
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A low battery generally causes the readings to be lower than actual. However a reading of 18-25 is not something I would be concerned about. I would suggest since you are new to this that you find another competent surveyor and have the deck checked again. If he/she is only checking the deck and not necessarily writing a report the cost should be minimal.
In my experience I can not feel any moisture from a drill test until the reading is up around 80 %

Good Luck
Gary
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Old 06-19-2009
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It doesn't sound like your surveyor was very competent. Coming to a survey without a properly working moisture meter, if that is a tool he normally uses strikes me as a bit incompetent... not carrying an extra battery for the meter is just stupid on his part. I would be leery of relying on his survey or advice.

I'd also recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine a lot about the boat, and help you decide whether a survey is warranted or not—saving the cost of a survey on boats that are not worth considering further.
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Old 06-19-2009
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Let me get the picture.

You paid to have a boat surveyed and the surveyor reports the deck is wet. Although you profess no experience or expertise, you are trying to convince yourself to ignore the surveyor's finding.

Although its easy to find fault with aspects of the surveyor's process, you would be nuts to proceed with this boat, a wet deck presents a repair risk whose cost can equal or exceed the purchase price of a boat like this, to resolve a condition whose fix won't increase the value of the boat. Even if this boat were free, you would be wise to think twice more about spending a penny on it.
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From the sounds of what I read, the boat doesn't have wet core.
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SF—

You're assuming the surveyor was competent... yet, he shows up to the survey with a broken moisture meter and doesn't even carry a spare battery for it.
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Let me get the picture.

You paid to have a boat surveyed and the surveyor reports the deck is wet. Although you profess no experience or expertise, you are trying to convince yourself to ignore the surveyor's finding.

Although its easy to find fault with aspects of the surveyor's process, you would be nuts to proceed with this boat, a wet deck presents a repair risk whose cost can equal or exceed the purchase price of a boat like this, to resolve a condition whose fix won't increase the value of the boat. Even if this boat were free, you would be wise to think twice more about spending a penny on it.
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 06-19-2009
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We looked at MANY boats this spring and could not find any WITHOUT some level of WET deck in places that should NOT have been WET


Nothing seemed to have reached the terminal level BUT having seen boats recored it was enough to kill them


The whole thing left us pretty supprised as they were well kept boats with NO signs of interior water leaks or poor matiance
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Last edited by tommays; 06-19-2009 at 01:31 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
SF—

You're assuming the surveyor was competent... yet, he shows up to the survey with a broken moisture meter and doesn't even carry a spare battery for it.
I guess I would propose that the odds are very high that they surveyor is far more more likely to have reached a reasoned conclusion than the self-professed newbie buyer (no offense of any type intended...) or any of us armchair second-guessers (again, no offense of any type intended...) .

I mean Endevours are not exactly hard to find, nor too uniquer, and the problem under speculation could cost tens of thousands to repair (which will never happen...) so going with the surveyor here and moving on is a no-brainer IMHO.

Maybe the OP should do more homework on his surveyor for the next one...
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Last edited by sailingfool; 06-19-2009 at 12:56 PM.
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I'm not a surveyor, but I'd say a drilled hole that turns up dry chips would trump erratic readings from moisture meters.

Ken.
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