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Old 06-30-2014, 01:44 PM   #1
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Wet hull in Marine Trader 40?

We are looking at a Marine Trader 40 (Sundeck?), a mid 80s model, and the surveyor in a "pre-survey" survey (a quick look at the hull & decks only) showed elevated moisture in the topsides (hull above the waterline) and transom. His tests with a tapping with a hammer sounded dull also, and not a nice ring as sounded on the bottom (below the waterline).

He also reported "very high" moisture readings around thru-hulls near but above the waterline.

I can understand high readings around the thru-hulls- maybe a wet plywood backing plate, or moisture seeping into the glass layers around a poorly bedded thru-hull.

Aren't Marine Trader hulls SOLID fiberglass? How can water get into the hull (if that's what this is), and/or why the dull sound when tapped?

Of course, there's some wetness in the decks, but a wet hull doesn't sound good, if that's what this is. Unfortunately, I don't have any meter readings at this point- sorry!

Anybody have any idea what might be going on in this hull? Could this be an issue to worry about? Are these hulls solid?

Thanks!

Cap'n Bob
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:50 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:12 PM   #3
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Raised or elevated moisture levels don't always equate to a wet hull. Proceed with caution.
On the other hand it could be a disaster looking for a new owner.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:42 PM   #4
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Raised or elevated moisture levels don't always equate to a wet hull. Proceed with caution.
On the other hand it could be a disaster looking for a new owner.
Bill
I agree, Billy, with your thoughts re: moisture readings not 100% reliable. It's the "thunk" he says he gets when he raps certain areas of the topisdes with a hammer. I saw in this forum where some folks found sawdust between layers, or voids (layers not thoroughly wetted out with resin), etc. in the hull.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:06 PM   #5
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I had to do a major rebuild on my hull...some areas were delaminated 1/2 inch in with lot's of water between the laminates.

In many areas, once the edge was peeled up large sections would just strip off by hand.

Surveyor said bottom was OK....he took the second to the last pic....thought most of the blisters were just paint (it was in bad shape and the actual blisters weren't that bad...he just missed the sever hydrolysis.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:16 PM   #6
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Holy Cow!!! That must have been one pricey rebuild! Sorry to hear that!

So that answers my question, I think. You had delamination in your hull, did any of these areas of the hull show elevated moisture during the survey? Did he sound the hull with a hammer, and if he did, what did he hear?
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:14 PM   #7
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I agree, Billy, with your thoughts re: moisture readings not 100% reliable. It's the "thunk" he says he gets when he raps certain areas of the topsides with a hammer. I saw in this forum where some folks found sawdust between layers, or voids (layers not thoroughly wetted out with resin), etc. in the hull.
Okay here you mention topsides are you talking about the deck? If so the decks of these boats have had issues with improper bedding of the teak. If the teak has been remove like many this age have, usually that's a sign the previous owner took care of this known issue. Now if you are talking about the hull sides they shouldn't show signs of elevated moisture or you may have a bigger problem?
It's not clear to me if your talking about the hull or the topsides which I call decks?
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:21 PM   #8
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Greetings,
Mr. III. Topsides is a reference to hull above water line. So, hull is NOT decking.
topside - Wiktionary
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:27 PM   #9
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Funny that we got into the semantics thing- the surveyor, the broker and I had a discussion about the meaning of "topsides".

"Topsides" is the hull above the waterline, but-
"topside" (no "s") refers to the area above the weather deck.

So If you were in a freighter's engine room, and said to the chief, "I'm going topside", it means you were going on deck (or higher).
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:33 PM   #10
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Holy Cow!!! That must have been one pricey rebuild! Sorry to hear that!

So that answers my question, I think. You had delamination in your hull, did any of these areas of the hull show elevated moisture during the survey? Did he sound the hull with a hammer, and if he did, what did he hear?
The surveyor thought the bad condition of the paint and gel was the issue. I wasn't going to pay for destructive testing as I wanted the boat and knew I would be doing a barrier coat job...just not major sections of delam.

Including the Interprotect I think it was only about a $1000 for the materials...I did it myself...grinder to final bottom coat.

Yes a PIA...3 years later and no blisters or paint failure...still rings sharp when tapped so I hope I'm good for another 30 years.
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:30 PM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. III. Topsides is a reference to hull above water line. So, hull is NOT decking.
topside - Wiktionary
Thanks for the clarification I hope the poster has a clear understanding as well.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:23 PM   #12
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The surveyor thought the bad condition of the paint and gel was the issue. I wasn't going to pay for destructive testing as I wanted the boat and knew I would be doing a barrier coat job...just not major sections of delam.

Including the Interprotect I think it was only about a $1000 for the materials...I did it myself...grinder to final bottom coat.

Yes a PIA...3 years later and no blisters or paint failure...still rings sharp when tapped so I hope I'm good for another 30 years.
After tearing off the loose FBG, what did you do? Fair it and then barrier-coat? Or did you use cloth, epoxy, fair it all then barrier coat?

I'm trying to decide whether to let this boat go or leave it on my list. I thought that this would be a very expensive repair with new layers of FBG cloth, resin, etc.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:33 PM   #13
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After tearing off the loose FBG, what did you do? Fair it and then barrier-coat? Or did you use cloth, epoxy, fair it all then barrier coat?

I'm trying to decide whether to let this boat go or leave it on my list. I thought that this would be a very expensive repair with new layers of FBG cloth, resin, etc.

The 6x6 area that was 1/2 in deep I layered 3 layers of heavy roving with layers of 6 oz cloth between....used epoxy...probably should have just used vinylester.

I did cover the entire bottom with 6oz cloth and epoxy to help thicken the barrier coat...then the required amount of Interprotect 2000.

I faired a lot of spots but not the entire bottom...I figured on a 6-7 knot boat, as long as it wasn't as bad as the surface of the moon...but still not perfect..I didn't care.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:56 PM   #14
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I had to do a major rebuild on my hull...some areas were delaminated 1/2 inch in with lot's of water between the laminates.

In many areas, once the edge was peeled up large sections would just strip off by hand.

Surveyor said bottom was OK....he took the second to the last pic....thought most of the blisters were just paint (it was in bad shape and the actual blisters weren't that bad...he just missed the sever hydrolysis.

psneeld,

I don't know how your surveyor thought most of those blisters were in the paint. It's quite obvious that you had a much worse problem than cosmetic blisters. You can actually see the de-lamination in that picture.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:35 AM   #15
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Psneeld, Good God ! no wonder you hate surveyors. He must have been blind and deaf.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:58 AM   #16
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psneeld,

I don't know how your surveyor thought most of those blisters were in the paint. It's quite obvious that you had a much worse problem than cosmetic blisters. You can actually see the de-lamination in that picture.
Actually not...because after an hour or so with the boat out of the water, most of those "bubbles" and I say bubbles not blisters did disapper.

I was not at the survey but wish I had been.

It may not have changed anything....knowing that a sever blister job wasn't any truly big deal...I just wasn't expecting the deep delamination in areas.

That's why I usually post...then get blasted by some who have read a few articles and are instant internet experts...even though they have NEVER done a barrier coat job or even peeked blow the gel coat. Dealing with them is laughable as they say blisters are usually no big deal....they usually have no clue how much more the problem can be and how the average boater or surveyor may or may not know the extent.

Where my major hydrolysis issue was...I was unable to really tell how bad the area was by tapping..you have to understand that the "delamination" wasn't truly delamination as much as the resin throughout the area was in such a state it formed a solid matrix, but was so weak you were able to destroy it very easily by various means.

This is where in my mind the real debate comes from. Those that believe hydrolysis is a fairy tail and no big deal read their boating articles and read these forums and hear of all those that had some blisters and either fixed them or ignored them with no further problems. Hey ....GREAT.... I had 2 boats in the past with a few blisters that I fixed and no big deal. So I was sorta in that camp too till I bough this boat.

When I started to see how big of a problem I had, I started reading, and telephoning as many sources of information I could. I didn't stay in the boating community....I read and researched a lot of info from the composite storage tank and underground piping industry as they seemed to share "composite hydrolysis" and other issues more intelligently with scientific research than a bunch of "I don't think it will be a problem"...or "my brother in laws boat had blisters and it hasn't sunk yet"...

The bottom line was that several yards that really specialize in bottom work seemed to agree that the only way to tell if your hull has a problem and how bad it is, is to take core samples from around the hull. Or like me, in the process of doing a barrier coat and certain symptoms like a very porous or loose gel coat is noticed...further grinding/peeling or sampling needs to be done. If more is noticed...then you keep going till you hit solid dry laminate. That's what did and while 80 percent of my bottom was just bad cosmetic blisters....the other 20 percent had serious blisters and major areas of hydrolysis.

What would have happened had I just painted and kept going? I don't know...maybe another 30 years of care free boating....but I wasn't going to just "wonder" what was going on every year below a pretty bottom paint job.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:14 AM   #17
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Psneeld, Good God ! no wonder you hate surveyors. He must have been blind and deaf.
I don't hate surveyors...actually most of them are pretty good and fun boating guys with a boatload of knowledge.

I just don't like the one's that constantly shove their opinion into the "broken" system of surveyor/insurance alliance...the same way I dislike USCG Auxillarists that act like real Coasties and throw their opinions around like they are "experts" because of the uniform....and not real experience.

Anyone can, including many here on TF have incredible amounts of knowledge...but we all know there is just way too much in boating to know everything. Plus surveyors are held back because they usually can't dismantle or destructively test...a real challenge like in my case where without major paint scraping and further picking, peeling, grinding, coring..no one could ever tell what was going on.

Hate'm?? Nahh...just wish insurance companies would make the new boat owner a bigger part of getting insurance than "fix this before you take your next breath"...because in 3-5 years...that boat owner will probably have a lit more to do with a claim than whatever the surveyor wrote up long ago.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:15 AM   #18
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What would have happened had I just painted and kept going? I don't know...maybe another 30 years of care free boating....but I wasn't going to just "wonder" what was going on every year below a pretty bottom paint job.
Sorry you had to deal with that. But hey, after you did your bottom job, you can sleep better. That alone makes it well worth the effort you put into it. No reason to lose sleep, stress, wonder over an object. Having the skills to do you're own bottom job 'right' is key. It's not for the feint of heart, or the average DIY guy. The satisfaction of saving $20,000+ by doing the job yourself, must have been great when finally splashed.

On the other hand, my father purchased a boat (Monterey Jack) that is in show room condition. Beautiful inside and out with every gadget and upgrade you can imagine. It's the nicest 34' CHB you could ever imagine. It's been repainted with the 3 step baked on process, the bottom has been done, the windows have been replaced, teak deck gone, stainless steel fuel tanks, Hurricane heater, Westerbeke Genset, it even has an automatic fire extinguisher in the engine room. The previous owner spent over $100,000 (not including purchase price) on this boat that he had for less than 8 years. My Dad got it for well under $100K. My Taiwan Trawler is in excellent condition and beautiful inside. The exterior could use a paint job but looks better than average for a TT. The prior owner spent $25K+ dollars in upgrades and purchased the boat for much higher than what I got it for. He "gave it away for a song", as someone that knew him stated.

My point in all of this, these Taiwan Trawlers are purchased for pleasure boating. I choose to not "chase expensive perceived problems" on a boat that is commonly purchased for less than $50K. My wife and I will enjoy this boat for years and years, then when done with it, we'll donate it (as Marin so eloquently states). I choose not to put more money into a Taiwan Trawler than what it is worth. Now, don't get me wrong, it will be safe for my family and be something we are proud to be on.... but I am not going to do what the previous owner of Monterey Jack did. To each his own.

BTW, my first experience boating was in your area of California. My parents had their boat moored at Dana Point. It really drew me to the lifestyle at a young age. I was in Southern California for only 3 years, but I had some of the best times of my life down there.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:56 AM   #19
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True...as a liveaboard...I had a timeline, a budget and a few "I don't want's" on a list that for many would be highly desired boats.

That left little working room to wiggle about.

I figured if I could build a boat...rebuilding one can only be worse in certain ways...but as long as it provided living space along the way and for a reasonable price...I took the chance.

Other than a million man hours of labor which I sort of have...and get to cruise 4 months of the year...and live 5 slips down from my job....it's OK.

Waking up to the long list of projects is a killer...but every happy hours usually allows me to sit back, see the progress and enjoys yet another great sunset and the knowledge that in 5 months I'll be underway to Florida again.
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