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harbin2 08-31-2013 09:35 AM

Moisture in decks
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Im strongly considering purchasing a 1988 Pearson 31-2. The boat is in great shape with one exception it has numerous high moisture readings around the lifeline stanchions and the teak toe rail. I know it can be repaired at some cost but Im not sure what that would be and whether it is worth pursuing.

First, the deck has some cracking of the gelcoat non skid in 5 or 6 areas at the side decks. These were there when the PO purchased the boat in 2000. In 2001, he removed and rebedded the teak toe rails and all the stanchions. He feels the decks are solid. I walked all around the side deck and feel no softness.

I had a surveyor check it out. He found 4 or 5 areas that sounded bad. With a moisture meter, he read consistent 6s and 7s (on a scale of 1 to 10) around most of the perimeter (from the hull to deck joint inword about 8 to 10 inches). Around stanchions and the bow pulpit attachments, he found several 8s and a couple 9s). His feeling was that the entire perimeter of the deck needed to be repaired. He also felt there was some delamination between the surface layer and the underlayment - where the cracking exists.

I used the same meter on my 1981 Islander and all readings were below 3 so I believe the meter is working fine.

Im considering lowering my offer and doing the work myself. Any advice from others who have had this problem? I have done a little reading that it may not be the horror story the surveyor made it out to be.

The attached photo shows an example of the crazing/cracking just inside the teak toe rail.

Thanks in advance.

DrB 08-31-2013 09:48 AM

Re: Moisture in decks
That's going to be an expensive and time consuming repair. Pearson 31-2s are pretty common. Unless this boat is phenomenally priced as is, I'd look elsewhere.

abrahamx 08-31-2013 09:52 AM

Re: Moisture in decks
All things equal I'd take the Islander, but all things are not equal here. Thats just me though.

eherlihy 08-31-2013 10:12 AM

Re: Moisture in decks
The areas that sound bad, are due to delamination. Delamination is probably due to the core rotting. In my experience, this is common with '80s vintage Pearsons. I believe that it is, at least partially, due to the way that Pearson Yachts sealed the stanchion bases to the deck; rubber gaskets.

If you love this particular Pearson 31, then make an offer figuring that it will need a core repair in the next 5-10 years. A professionally done core repair on the P-31 may cost in the neighborhood of $10K (YMMV).

If not this boat, look at other Pearson 31s. I believe that you will find that this is a common issue with mid to late '80s Pearson yachts - particularly on the port side.

eherlihy 08-31-2013 10:29 AM

Other reason for delaminatiion is freeze thaw cycle... still serious.

Alex W 08-31-2013 10:54 AM

Re: Moisture in decks
The rubber gaskets were used in addition to sealant. I'm not sure that they make things any worse. I've rebedded the stanchions recently on my 28-2 and believe that they'd never been done before. I found that all of the holes were counterbored/beveled (which makes the sealant much more effective) and no signs of moisture anywhere.

Why do you think that the port side is normally worse?

I wonder if the PO properly bedded the teak toe rails when redoing them? That is on my project list for September.

eherlihy 08-31-2013 11:03 AM

I don't know why port was worse in my observations. I only know that with several of the boats that I looked at this was the case.

abrahamx 08-31-2013 11:35 AM

Re: Moisture in decks
Same with starboard side chainplates on a T30

Yorksailor 08-31-2013 02:33 PM

Re: Moisture in decks
With thousands of boat for sale why buy one with a big problem...

You will not know the true extent of the problem until you have taken the whole thing apart...What if everything is twice as bad as you think!

SloopJonB 08-31-2013 05:27 PM

Re: Moisture in decks

Originally Posted by Yorksailor (Post 1082285)
With thousands of boat for sale why buy one with a big problem...

You will not know the true extent of the problem until you have taken the whole thing apart...What if everything is twice as bad as you think!

It's a boat - make that three times.

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