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Old 01-04-2004
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Location: East Falmouth, MA
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Crackling deck on an ericson-27

I am looking at a 1976 Ericson 27 that''s for sale. It has the best looking deck I expect to ever see in a used boat. There are no cracks at all.

There is one major concern though. When standing on the foredeck and shifting weight from one foot to another I can hear a crackling sound. This problem also is on the side decks about as far back as the chainplates. This must be separation of the fiberglass skin from the core. When tapping the deck with a screw driver handle I can hear a hollow sound more often than not. The sound changes right at the bow, forward of the rode hawse. The sound there is also hollow but the sound is one I associate more with a wet core (only my best guess). None of the deck surfaces are soft. I''ve been on boats where the core is wet & the deck moves like a trampoline - that is not the case here. The deck is solid. The creaking deck problem is more extensive on the starboard side than port side. There is a hatch directly over the v-berth area on the foredeck, but the hatch appears to be well bedded.

So here is my take on what I''ve seen - There is delamination to various degrees on the foredeck & sidedecks. I am guessing that the core in these areas is dry. If there is a wet core problem, it is limited to the very nose of the boat. If my assumptions are correct, is this boat a potential headache? I don''t mind ordinary maintenance, but I do not want to be cutting decks & dealing with a delamination problem that requires repair.

My next step is to check the deck out with a moisture meter. If that works out OK, I''d get the boat surveyed.

I''d appreciate hearing any of your thoughts.
Thanks for your help. Marc
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