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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I am new to the forum and am in need of some advice. I am new to boats, at least when it comes to the structure and such. I had a survey done of a Endeavour 32, 1975, and what happened is beyond perplexing, at least to me. the hull is in great shape, the interior, engine and rigging are in great shape, but when the deck was moisture metered, it got funny. First, it was tapped with the plastic hammer all over, at the mast, and on the fore deck, the survey heard something, i could hear a slight change in timber of the rap, but I took it for the fact the hull was not supported in the middle and that it was just a structural change in sound, and it was a very slight change. the best way to describe it is the sharp rap went to a deeper rap, no thudness to it, just a deeper percussion. well, out comes the moisture meter, sovereign, it reads 18-25 in about a 3 foot radius section around the mast. while doing this, his meter broke, it stopped reading except for an occasional blip that would be off scale. The marina had a spare one he borrowed, a skipper model this time, and it read the same 18-25% until the battery died. we then swapped the battery form the sovereign to the skipper and it now read 12-15%. the surveyor told me the battery was going on this one too, that's why it was reading low. he then,by taps alone said there were major issues int he foredeck as well. the owner was flabbergasted. He had unstepped the mast, the only hardware anywhere near the high moisture reading, it was good at the handholds, and had rebedded it with 5200. there was no hardware withing 2 feet of the place the surveyor showed me on the foredeck. the decks are solid, i weigh in t 250 and i had no flexing at all of the deck, there was not a single soft spot, and also, the owner drilled a hole to look at the wood itself near the mast. The wood was dry as a bone to my hand and it also looked like new wood. I have looked up online tonight, read up in "surveying fiberglass sailboats" about deck delamination and core rot and everything i have found contradicts each other. some people say if its not delaminated and its sealed, its golden, others say if it reads at above 20%, buyer beware, and don't touch it with a ten foot pole. however, I have heard no mention of a drilled hole test or how to evaluate what you see.

my theory, and i am suspicious of myself because i like the boat, IS that his first meter had a wiggly connection that finally came undone and added some resistance before it finally did and caused higher readings, the low battery caused the high readings on the second meter and the good battery that i was told was "going" was the only thing giving good readings, and the percussions where caused by structural aspects of the boat. Any advice is welcomed, and thank you in advance.

Regards,
Jordan Hackney
 

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A low battery generally causes the readings to be lower than actual. However a reading of 18-25 is not something I would be concerned about. I would suggest since you are new to this that you find another competent surveyor and have the deck checked again. If he/she is only checking the deck and not necessarily writing a report the cost should be minimal.
In my experience I can not feel any moisture from a drill test until the reading is up around 80 %

Good Luck
Gary
 

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It doesn't sound like your surveyor was very competent. Coming to a survey without a properly working moisture meter, if that is a tool he normally uses strikes me as a bit incompetent... not carrying an extra battery for the meter is just stupid on his part. I would be leery of relying on his survey or advice.

I'd also recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine a lot about the boat, and help you decide whether a survey is warranted or not—saving the cost of a survey on boats that are not worth considering further.
 

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Let me get the picture.

You paid to have a boat surveyed and the surveyor reports the deck is wet. Although you profess no experience or expertise, you are trying to convince yourself to ignore the surveyor's finding.

Although its easy to find fault with aspects of the surveyor's process, you would be nuts to proceed with this boat, a wet deck presents a repair risk whose cost can equal or exceed the purchase price of a boat like this, to resolve a condition whose fix won't increase the value of the boat. Even if this boat were free, you would be wise to think twice more about spending a penny on it.
 

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SF—

You're assuming the surveyor was competent... yet, he shows up to the survey with a broken moisture meter and doesn't even carry a spare battery for it.
Let me get the picture.

You paid to have a boat surveyed and the surveyor reports the deck is wet. Although you profess no experience or expertise, you are trying to convince yourself to ignore the surveyor's finding.

Although its easy to find fault with aspects of the surveyor's process, you would be nuts to proceed with this boat, a wet deck presents a repair risk whose cost can equal or exceed the purchase price of a boat like this, to resolve a condition whose fix won't increase the value of the boat. Even if this boat were free, you would be wise to think twice more about spending a penny on it.
 

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We looked at MANY boats this spring and could not find any WITHOUT some level of WET deck in places that should NOT have been WET


Nothing seemed to have reached the terminal level BUT having seen boats recored it was enough to kill them


The whole thing left us pretty supprised as they were well kept boats with NO signs of interior water leaks or poor matiance
 

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SF—

You're assuming the surveyor was competent... yet, he shows up to the survey with a broken moisture meter and doesn't even carry a spare battery for it.
I guess I would propose that the odds are very high that they surveyor is far more more likely to have reached a reasoned conclusion than the self-professed newbie buyer (no offense of any type intended...) or any of us armchair second-guessers (again, no offense of any type intended...) .

I mean Endevours are not exactly hard to find, nor too uniquer, and the problem under speculation could cost tens of thousands to repair (which will never happen...) so going with the surveyor here and moving on is a no-brainer IMHO.

Maybe the OP should do more homework on his surveyor for the next one...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello,
I contacted the surveyor this morning, he did not know about the dry wood chips, and he was very surprised and wanted to see the boat again, especially since the hole is currently only taped over. I will let you all know what he says when he gets back to me with what he finds. Thank you all for the perspectives, it has been very helpful, makes feel a bit justified for questioning he surveyor in this situation.

Regards,
Jordan
 

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Some great advice and insight here:

Don Robertson's Marine Marketplace - The Use & Misuse of Moisture Meters

It's been said earlier ... if it was dry when you drilled it then it's dry.

If the surveyor is really concerned he could drill a few test holes just to the top of the core and use a probe to take additional readings. Repairing them is easy making them pretty ain't.
 

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I don't trust moisture meters much, but I also know that it is possible to get dry core about a 1/2 inch away from rotten core...

The owner's reaction doesn't carry any weight here - he's trying to sell the boat and may or may not be honestly surprised.

The surveyor doesn't sound too bright either. Is he accredited. I hope you didn't mslecet the surveyor based on cost - this is the worst possible way to save moiney.

Because you state that you are not particularly experienced my advvice to you would be to keep looking. There are too many good boats on the market right now to end up getting stuck with a dud. As a matter of fact, there is an excellent likelihood that the deals in December will be so iuncrediuble that you'll kick yourself for buying anything right now.

Good Luck ! :)
 

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Do it Over

I agree with Gary M's advice. Get another surveyor who would focus on that one issue for a small fee.

I just went through this with an excellent surveyor, found some moisture and through soundings, some rot beneath stanchion bases. Got a repair quote and negotiated the sell price down by a like amount.

It's worth the effort if you like the boat.
 

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Sounds like you are satisfied with survey of all but deck.

Get the deck resurveyed by second surveyor or same surveyor with working equipment and an understanding of your concerns.

The hammer did make a different sound indicating something and two seperate moisture meters indicated some level of moisture in similar areas.

Also get a quote on repairing the two affected areas so thatyou are forewarned prior to making an offer. You can lower offer by a matching amount and it will cost you nothing to fix a problem on a boat you want.

As to the pilot hole - yes I have also seen bone dry core two inches from very wet core. Also - 15-25 are varying levels of wetness which seems to indicate some areas with more saturation than others verifying the thought that it could be dry here and wet there.

Regardless - this should not be a deal breaker.

Good luck

Mike
Nut Case
J27 #150
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello, thank you all for your advice. I got another surveyor to come and look at the deck first for a fee, and finish the survey if the deck was good. He looked over the entire deck, and right near the mast, where the previous owner re-embedded the mast post with a significantly larger compression post and a metal plate next to the deck, he got 18% right near the mast and 15% across the rest of the deck. he was beaffled by the fact another surveyor called the entire deck wet. we finished tthe survey and i pick up the boat on the 11th. thank you all very much for the advice. My feeling is the previous surveyor was used to new boats, not good old boats. again,thank you for the help and advice.

Regards,
Jordan Hackney
 
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