Moisture meter - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-18-2019 Thread Starter
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Moisture meter

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2llhwg4nv...jyG3uCCVa?dl=0


I put a moisture meter on the deck of this boat and got some varied readings.

I'm aware that the meter doesn't measure moister but an electical effect that might be correlated to moisture.

I also know that metal will make the meter go high.

As a potential buyer, not a surveyor I'm not inclined to tap the deck with a hammer.

I know that if the meter pegs to right the deck is really wet.
I know that if the meter registers low it is probably dry.

What I don't know is how much of a problem are the intermediate readings.

What do you think?

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-19-2019
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Re: Moisture meter

Tap the deck with a nylon mallet and compare the sound to the values of the meter.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-19-2019
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Re: Moisture meter

The meter is on non-skid. Tough to measure. Did you try it on large, clear non-skid areas with no deck penetrations? If so, did you also get variable readings? Salt and dirt also effects readings - were these areas cleaned and dried first?

I don't know why you would hesitate to tap an area - it is non-destructive and the owner shouldn't mind. You don't whale on it with a hammer. Some gentle tapping with the end of a screwdriver handle will tell a lot. The reason surveyors use a phenolic hammer (besides being a more comfortable tool) is that with experience, the hammer gives a physical feedback that adds value in addition to the sound.

Mark
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-19-2019
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Re: Moisture meter

Sharon and I use brass hammers and have never marked a boat. I was never satisfied with the feel of a phenolic hammer. A very gentle tap is all that is required. As Colemj says, the feel (bounceback) is every bit as important as the sound.

We use Lee valley plane hammers with a hardwood tip on one end. We sometimes use the wood tip end on very good paint jobs. We replaced the original wood tip with lignum vitae.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-19-2019
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Tough to top real experience...and having that sense
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-19-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Moisture meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The meter is on non-skid. Tough to measure. Did you try it on large, clear non-skid areas with no deck penetrations? If so, did you also get variable readings? Salt and dirt also effects readings - were these areas cleaned and dried first?

Mark
Yes it read dry in other non-skid locations.

It was clean.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-20-2019
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Re: Moisture meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2llhwg4nv...jyG3uCCVa?dl=0


I put a moisture meter on the deck of this boat and got some varied readings.

I'm aware that the meter doesn't measure moister but an electical effect that might be correlated to moisture.

I also know that metal will make the meter go high.

As a potential buyer, not a surveyor I'm not inclined to tap the deck with a hammer.

I know that if the meter pegs to right the deck is really wet.
I know that if the meter registers low it is probably dry.

What I don't know is how much of a problem are the intermediate readings.

What do you think?
I concur it is very impolite to strike someone else's boat with any object. If the owner has signed a purchase and sale agreement that allows you to inspect the boat to this level, that's another story. It is pretty hard to find a 30+ year old boat that doesn't show higher readings somewhere. Most marine sealants start failing in about 10 years. Unless the owner has removed all deck fittings and resin potted the mounting holes, higher readings are inevitable. Higher readings alone, though undesirable, don't necessarily mean recore unless accompanied by rot and delamination. Very high readings, generally mean something more than just replacing the bedding compound will be required.
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