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Old 03-21-2011
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Sabre 38 core moisture

Hi All,

Just had a 1989 Sabre 38 mkll surveyed which has a fully cored hull and deck.
Surveyor has indicated all moisture readings around hull are 11% and should be considered dry...Except in a couple of places around thru'hulls below the waterline where moisture redings are 18%. Vessel has been on hard since October.
Another couple of similar areas are found on the coachroof around organiser and on the fordeck in a line running between the two forward cleats.
Again, no delamination just localised elevated moisture readings.
The surveyor is indicating that this is normal for a vessel of this age and nothing to be alarmed at and the hull issues can be cured by removing thru hull fittings and scraping core back, filling with epoxy then replacing fittings.
All was good but now am getting nervous of cored hulls. I know Sabre are a quality builder, the reason I chose in the first place, but would appreciate any views in particular from anyone who has had similar issues.
Thanks, Andrew.
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Old 03-21-2011
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I have a 26 yr-old balsa cored deck and that made me nervous, I have seen many boats with deck soft spots, until we drilled 2 inch cores and found it sound during the renovation of the teak.

I would never buy a cored hull...just too much potential for problems...The following article details them.

Cored Hull Bottoms

Good luck Phil
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Old 03-21-2011
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I'd be inclined to trust the surveyor's opinion on this, he's the expert you hired who actually examined the boat. I personally wouldn't be scared off by what you've described as pretty minor moisture issues.
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Old 03-22-2011
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If a cored hull is properly constructed and the core is removed in the areas of through hulls and replaced with thickened epoxy there should not be a problem. The big issue with cored decks is the dozens of ways water can get in, especially after years needing the hardware rebedded and it not being done.

The hull will be solid glass in the keel area and the shaft log and rudder areas. The total number of ways for water to enter, except after a collision, are about 7 through hulls. It they are pulled, core removed around them, and replaced with thickened epoxy there should be no issues.
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Old 03-22-2011
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I totally agree with the surveyor. The problems are minor and can be repaired easily. 11% is really a good reading. 18% is high but not too much. Being around the thru hulls indicates water ingress around the thru hulls. Removing and repairing these areas with epoxy will overcome this problem.
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Old 03-24-2011
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Thanks guys,

I have just spoke with the surveyor and he has said that the problems are so minor that they are not worth worrying about. The outer laminate is thicker than most single skin glass vessels.He also stated that it was built far better than many European boats and that if all cored construction was carried out to this standard there would never be any bad rep with cored hulls! Decision made.

Thanks again, Andrew.
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Old 03-24-2011
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Keep in mind that the moisture readings are not always reliable. Especially below the water line. You could check the condition of the core by drilling the inner layer glass and core. But then, if the hull sounding was OK, you are probably good to go. Make sure you follow the previous recommendations and reseal the thru-hulls.

Congrats on your new boat.
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