Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New York
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SPC, you obviously are a lawyer (same here). I wouldn't freak out about the moisture meter readings. I agree, they are more voodoo than science. They seem to be good for measuring relativity between two spots or two boats, but I'm not at all convinced that they offer anything useful in terms of absolute numbers (i.e., whether the core in fact is wet or damaged). I had a yard guy, whom I trust, tell me that my hull on my last boat was wet, which freaked me out. We took a couple of core samples, and they were bone BONE dry. Sawdust!
As others have said, you are highly unlikely to find a 25 year old boat that won't have some moisture in the deck core, and I'm not convinced that it would affect your resale value 5 years from now. Anyone seriously considering a 30 year old boat has to expect some deck moisture.
An option for you is to take a couple of core samples from the deck to see what you've got. You may ask the seller to pay and/or split the cost, but even if you have to pay for it on your own it shouldn't be that expensive if the sample can be taken from an inconspicuous spot, particularly if it can be done from the interior behind some cabinetry without penetrating the outer skin.
What kind of boat?
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