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Old 07-26-2019, 02:04 PM   #1
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How bad is too bad when it comes to moisture?

I looked at a mid eighties taiwan trawler today. This mfg. is considered the higher end of the tubs. The boat has low hour high dollar motors from 13 years ago. My moisture meter read high moisture content in the deck coring where I could measure from beneath, and high moisture in every stringer and longitudinal I could get the meter on. The cabin top on the port side was also high. Condition everywhere else was a 4-6 out of ten. Boat is still on the hard from last year. It looks like it spent time in Florida and then Texas before that. The boat is currently in fresh water.
I have always wondered.....how much is too much moisture? I am walking from this boat at any price because there is no way I am willing to re-core the stringers and decks. The question is.....do they need to be re-cored? Has anyone ever seen a deck collapse or a stringer fail? I have read about it, but I have never seen it or have known of someone who did. I suppose the survey would suck and you would not get insurance, or at least get another buyer someday who wants a drier boat. I am not interested in salvaging the motors either, but they were REALLY nice. I know to expect window leaks and some moisture issues in these boats. Can anyone help me with a practical limit? Or am I asking a question that cannot be answered? Thank you for your thoughts. Bill
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:18 PM   #2
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Yes, you are asking a question that cannot be answered. How much experience do you have using moisture meter. Checked any boats with one and compared to results of a hammer test?


You didn't say if it had teak decks? I suspect that every teak deck of that age has moisture in the core beneath it.



I think a moisture meter is but one tool in the bag of tools that one can use to figure out the condition of a boat. A good surveyor with years of experience would be a better choice to answer this question.


If everything else is ok with the boat, maybe sign a contract, hire a surveyor but ask him to break his work down into two parts- core condition and everything else. Then start with the core and if it is a bust call off the survey and walk away from the deal.


But the moisture just might be normal for that age of boat.


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Old 07-26-2019, 02:33 PM   #3
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I hear you but........

My meter has never been that wrong. My results have always correlated with the surveyors results, at least in terms of high moisture content. The aft deck is teak covered, and has been in heated storage for 12 months. The stringers and cabin top are what they are. What will a surveyor report? A hammer test or a meter result? Probably both, but any future buyer is going to want to know about the presence of water and use it against you, regardless of a hammer test.
I wonder if I should sound the boat and use this a the deciding factor on whether to call for a survey? If I cannot live with a high reading, why even bother?
My entire concern here lies with spending good money after bad. If the foundation is not good, why would you build on it? I know moisture is the boogeyman of boat surveys. My question is...who is afraid of the boogeyman? I am guessing most buyers are. I want to get on with a real keeper for my future if I can. If I were younger I might say screw it, use like a rented a mule and give it away in five years, but I am trying to prepare for a future and hopefully a retirement someday. sorry for thinking out loud.
In a nutshell, I see no reason to contact a surveyor for a partial survey. I know it is wet and that is a bad foundation that I am not willing to fix. Thank you very much for your comments. They were good ones and I appreciate your advice. Bill
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:36 PM   #4
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Are you sure you are using the meter correctly? It does take some experience to interperate the reading or so they say. The decks would not be a major concern to me but the stringers would be if they are truly wet. If they are teak decks they probably are wet and I would just rip the teak off and recore the decks, fiberglass and paint the decks. The stringers could be a humongous job and that is one I would not undertake for any price, but others might.
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:58 PM   #5
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I am very comfortable with my Protometer. I always qualify it with known dry coring of similar construction either on the same boat or another near by. It has never been wrong and I have used it for close to twenty years. I would bet a tidy sum my observations are correct. I was surprised how wet the stringers were. If it were a Chris Commander I would not care, or several other overkill glass lay ups. I know nothing about Taiwan stringers and thus my question in part. Maybe someone here might say "coring is not needed in these stringers as it is used only for lay up and the glass is plenty thick enough to withstand the loss of coring provided the engine bed is fastened properly". I don't know, so I thought I would ask. What moisture is a walk away for many here. Sounds like you feel wet stringers reach that level. Thank you for your input. I sincerely appreciate your comments.
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Old 07-26-2019, 03:29 PM   #6
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Sounds like you have a handle on the meter, so if the stringers are wet for me I would walk away. The deck is a fairly simple job but just a lot of grunt work. Stringers on the other hand require major disassembly and is well beyond my desire to knock myself out. Good luck with your search.
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Old 07-26-2019, 04:51 PM   #7
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Has anyone ever seen a deck collapse or a stringer fail?
Not sure what you mean by "collapse" and "fail", but by my definitions, yes. As witnessed first hand at several big boatyards.
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:18 PM   #8
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Who is the manufacturer of the "tub" are you looking at and year?


That may be enough to begin to "speculate" in replying to your questions.


My "tub" had moisture throughout. In some places it mattered...some it just needed rebonding or teak removal and drying.


Asking general questions results in general answers.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:21 PM   #9
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I purposely left out the details to protect the seller. Taiwanese tub is a term I learned on this forum. If I did not like them I would not be trying to buy one. Bill
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:27 PM   #10
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No answers! lead to no answers.


I am not sure mentioning a brand and year is going to start an issue.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:40 PM   #11
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It would take two seconds to figure out the exact boat. Sorry, I won’t do it. I would rather not get answers than run down someone’s boat. The question was generalized and I do not see why the answers could not be as well. I’m ok if this thread just ends here.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:12 PM   #12
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Well it sounds like you answered your own questions anyway. The only way to determine actual extent of moisture is to drill some small holes and see what drips out. Highly doubt the owner will let you do that. In lieu of that we rely on meters and tapping and then experience to make educated guesses. The solution is a crapshoot.
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by moparharn View Post
It would take two seconds to figure out the exact boat. Sorry, I won’t do it. I would rather not get answers than run down someone’s boat. The question was generalized and I do not see why the answers could not be as well. I’m ok if this thread just ends here.
So, wait, you're "asking for a friend" and playing all cagey about it. Right. And why is anybody supposed to play along here?
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:27 AM   #14
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The question is.....do they need to be re-cored? Has anyone ever seen a deck collapse or a stringer fail? Bill
Yes.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:36 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by moparharn View Post
It would take two seconds to figure out the exact boat. Sorry, I won’t do it. I would rather not get answers than run down someone’s boat. The question was generalized and I do not see why the answers could not be as well. I’m ok if this thread just ends here.

Not sure how...and you mentioned a LaBelle and Cheerman in your window repair thread...your choice.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:17 AM   #16
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What is the problem

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So, wait, you're "asking for a friend" and playing all cagey about it. Right. And why is anybody supposed to play along here?
“Acting all cagey” ????? What is with the mistrust here? What possible angle could I be working here? Is it wrong for me to protect someone from some internet beat down of his boat? I am trying to understand how you guys handle these issues. I thought I might get some opinions on the board. Maybe”only worry about moisture directly below the engines”. Or all Taiwanese trawlers of this vintage will be a little wet, the way they are built you do t need to worry about it” or “ they are just like any other boat, you must repair”. I thought there might be useful inside information, not a few mistrusting sensitive posts about my motives. Please tell me what you think I am “up to” here. “Asking for a friend” ?
Asking what ? I am surprised. I thought people would appreciate that I did not want to go public with my initial look. Would you want me to do that to you? Weird.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:24 AM   #17
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Yes.
Good picture. Thank you. That glass looks really thin. Hardly thicker than a few coats of heavy paint. Obviously much stronger, but in this case the wood was doing most of the work. I had a Tiara dealer tell me last year that in Tiaras it does not matter much how wet they get. He said he had never seen a Tiara stringer fail. I believed him. I did not buy the boat, but I was not as worried. Actually it was the factory rep and not the dealer.
Part of the reason for my post was to determine if I am being to critical or worried about moisture in a trawler as I have never owned one. I guess I am not. The same concerns apply. Thank you for trying to help me.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by moparharn View Post
Good picture. Thank you. That glass looks really thin. Hardly thicker than a few coats of heavy paint. Obviously much stronger, but in this case the wood was doing most of the work. I had a Tiara dealer tell me last year that in Tiaras it does not matter much how wet they get. He said he had never seen a Tiara stringer fail. I believed him. I did not buy the boat, but I was not as worried. Actually it was the factory rep and not the dealer.
Part of the reason for my post was to determine if I am being to critical or worried about moisture in a trawler as I have never owned one. I guess I am not. The same concerns apply. Thank you for trying to help me.
Saying what manufacturer...even if someone links it to a listing...big deal.


You might eventually protect some new boater from buying a dangerous POS....that the seller could care less about. That's what we do or don't know.


With a manufacturer, someone here may be able to help you....they may know EXACTLY your answer and that will help others in the future.


With generalizations...not so.


Some people here have a lot more knowledge and experience the net gives them credit for....and do care about owners trying to sell...but the truth is the truth and up to buyers/owners and surveyors all being on the same page.

But generally, some here call them like we see them. If it hurts someones feelings or chances of selling a boat.... well....welcome to the WWW. Life is tough in the new world order.


You want better answers but are unwilling to provide better intel....you get what you pay for.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:38 AM   #19
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For many panel stiffeners the core was simply used to shape the GRP that is doing the work.

Cardboard has been use , no problem.

Most TT that have a Teak paint job (overlay) have had long term deck problems from the screws that hold the teak leaking down into the GRP covered plywood deck.

For fewest hassles try to locate a boat that has the deck that never has the Teak overlay.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:46 AM   #20
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For many panel stiffeners the core was simply used to shape the GRP that is doing the work.

Cardboard has been use , no problem.

Most TT that have a Teak paint job (overlay) have had long term deck problems from the screws that hold the teal leaking down into the GRP covered plywood deck.

For fewest hassles try to locate a boat that has the deck that never has the Teak overlay.

FF...mostly agree.


My Albin had saturated flybridge and main decks from poor teak deck installs.


The flybridge core was a jigsaw puzzle of teak blocks in a poly resin slurry. Failed miserably.


But the main decks were teak ply that never rotted, so once the teak deck was removes and the core dried...the main decks are still solid.


Thus my curiosity what brand so someone with a similar model (even though that is no guarantee they were constructed the same) might help.


But once a question has been asked, and there are limiters that need to be resolved before answering, unless those limiters are answered....all ensuing opinions are guesses at best.
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