SailNet Community banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
No, the meter will read up to 10% on a dry deck from the moisture in the air, and moisture that should be in the Balsa or marine ply.

I use my meter to detect changes in the moisture readings as I slide the meter over the deck and hull. I wipe the deck with a cotton cloth as I slide the meter along to remove dirt, or any surface moisture (even on a dry day). When the meter reads over 20% that is a good indication of excessive moisture in a cored deck or hull.

- Ed
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
A nit...

1. The meter measures the radio frequency electrical conductivity of the material it is in contact with (and below the surface to a variable depth). The meter does not directly measure water.
According to the manufacturer, pinless meters (ie CT-33) actually measure the capacitance, that is the ability of the material to store an electrical charge. In effect the back of the meter has an electric plate, which acts as one plate of a capacitor. The water, which is conductive, acts as the other plate, and the fiberglass, which does not, is a dielectric between the two plates. This is why moisture (dew) on the surface of the fiberglass dry will give spurious (high) readings.

Primarily what I look for is large variations around chainplates, deck mounted Genoa track (often a culprit), and other penetrations.
Right on!! The theory of how they work is less important than where and how you test, and interpret the results.

I bring a deck / hull diagram with me, and make sure that my meter is calibrated immediately before I use it (it can vary from day to day with humidity) and try to establish a baseline on the particular boat that I am checking. The baseline reading is at a point that I feel confident has not been compromised by moisture. I then at moisture prone areas, and only look for large variations in the readings. I have found that most decks that I have checked have a baseline, on the CT-33 meter, between 5 and 10. When I see the needle pass 25% I note that area as being "moist" on my diagram. I then search around the deck and continue to note the 25% moisture cline on my diagram as I scan around.

HTH!

Ed
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
JStorm and Ed are correct about the meters and how to use them to spot wet areas.
Thanks for the confirmation!:)

For inspecting boats, and just trying to identify wet deck cores, I'm thinking this $35 meter from Woodcraft might do the trick.
Unfortunately, this meter won't work - at least for checking moisture in the core of a fiberglass hull or deck. If you watch the video, you'll see that the moisture probe requires pulling the black cover off the pins, and then inserting the pins into the surface of the object that you wish to test. (This is a resistance type meter.) Before you stick pins through the fiberglass and into the core of any part of the boat, you better check with the owner..:D

It would also be a good idea to check around any stains in plywood or wood trim to get an idea if there are any leaking hatches.
Evidence of moisture here usually dosen't require a meter. You can either see tracks of stain, or (in several boats that I've seen) the wood has begun to decay.:eek:

- Ed
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
How do you come up with a reasonable offer, not offensive to seller?
Here is my rule of thumb. 'Dog may do otherwise:

I look at the boat. I take copious notes, then sleep on it. The next day I come up with 3 numbers: Initial offer, Target price, Walk away price. If my Initial offer is within 80% of the asking price, I make an offer. If not, I proceed to the next boat. If the seller counters, and it is above my Walk away price, then I proceed to the next boat. If the counter is less than my Walk away, then we continue to negotiate.

I believe that most sellers actually believe that their boats are all in Bristol condition, and are asking TOP dollar for their boats. Unfortunately, most of these sellers are mistaken. A boat that is truly in Bristol condition is worth a substantial premium over a typical boat. One that has been neglected, however, is worth substantially less than a typical boat, and quite possibly, less than $0.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
I've been mulling adding this one to the list for some time. All of the keel horror stories that have popped up of late have made me decide to add the following to the list.

If you are looking at an older (10+years) boat with a bolt on keel, I strongly suggest that you add language to support the following to the offer to purchase. IF the deal should get to the point of a survey, that as part of the survey that you remove and re-torque at least three of the keel bolts.

Here is why;

When I went to look at my current boat, with the intent of purchasing, here is what the bilge looked like


and here are the keel bolts;

Note the manual pump in the above picture... There was a "little" water in the bilge, and this pump was right here when I looked at the boat on its mooring.



Not too bad - or so I thought...

I eventually made an offer on this boat, and when it went to survey here is what the keel looked like;
Pre powerwash;


Post powerwash;


Something struck me as odd about the keel, and the way that it sat in relation to the hull... After much insistence to the surveyor, and the broker, and the owner, and the yard manager, the surveyor checked it out...

Sure enough, the keel was loose, and the bottom would move about ¼" from side to side. Not a lot, but enough to kill the deal.

The owner faced with this prospect wisely decided to repair the problem and go from there. He had the keel dropped, and here is what we saw;








Four of the seven bolts were TOAST:eek:
The only way that this would have been caught, if I didn't make such a fuss, would be to remove, and re-torque several of the keel bolts.

The owner paid over $9500 to have this situation addressed by the yard. Better on his dime than mine, or yours!
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
Plan to spend an hour, looking at every boat on the first pass. Do not make an offer on the spot, unless you know that it is the perfect boat and perfect deal for you. (IMHO there is no such thing, but what do I know...)

After you have seen a couple of comparable boats, re-visit the one that you really like, and spend another hour, or two.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
Glad to read that you enjoy the thread. However as an FYI - SD hasn't been here for well over a year.

Also, after the sh!t that some here gave him when Maine Sail told us that SD's boat, named after his deceased wife, went up in flames last year, I seriously doubt that he'll ever be back.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
How did they determine that the keel was loose.
He pushed it from the starboard side toward port while the boat was in the slings. The keel moved, while the boat didn't.:eek:
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top