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Old 04-09-2016, 10:25 PM   #1
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Moisture Readings Near Bow Pulpit

Hi,

We recently conducted the first phase of a survey on the hard of a 2005 Mainship 430 aft cabin trawler.

The surveyor found very high moisture readings on the bow pulpit in front of, and on the sides of the windless.

At the base of the anchor locker (which is integral to the bow pulpit) is a Sampson post. The Sampson post is solid to the anchor locker and deck., but the deck round it, out approx. 15” around also shows very high moisture readings. The surveyor also used a mallet, of which the sounds, indicated differences in the material.

There are no visual signs of any of this and based on what I saw over the course of the survey, I see no reason not to trust the surveyor’s results. There were no other high moisture readings on the boat.

I spoke with two yards that would contract this repair out and do not have a good idea of the cost of repair. One yard stated that this not unusual on a boat of this age and to keep an eye on it (don't worry about it for now), while another yard indicated this is not normal and should be repaired to strengthen the components and to prevent the moisture from leaching down the deck.

The questions are:

Is this normal for a 10 year old boat of this design and age?

Does anyone have any idea what a repair would cost – a broad range would be helpful?

Any thoughts, opinions or past experiences?

Thanks,

JimL
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:38 AM   #2
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"The surveyor found very high moisture readings on the bow pulpit in front of, and on the sides of the windless."

Visually how does the deck look ,any cracked gel coat?

Look from under also.

My guess would be the PO let the windlass take the daily anchoring loads and softened the deck.

Simple ,inexpensive repair if you can get below to increase laminate thickness .
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:06 AM   #3
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No gel coat cracks, no visual clues of anything wrong.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:44 AM   #4
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I would remove the windlass and check underneath. Probably moisture getting in through the bolts or around the Samson post. Easy enough to enlarge the holes, fill with epoxy and redrill. Bed the bolts with butyl tape.
I had a problem around the post on my Albin. So I removed the black deck caulking around the base. Routed out the gap in the deck and filled it with kitty hair and epoxy. No leak in five years.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:44 AM   #5
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JimL

A common path for moisture ingression in that area is water wicking around the bolt holes and the hole made for the windlass and rode. The gel coat can look fine and water still migrate inward.

Some builders get around this by having a solid FRP section in that area. Others with a cored foredeck will properly drill and fill the holes with epoxy and re-drill. Last but not uncommon are the builders that drill, caulk and set the windlass.

A proper fix is not cheap or easy unless one is a very capable DIYer like Mike66. But, it is an area you negotiate from maybe. Remembering too, the vessel you are considering was built during Mainship/Luhrs financial problem era.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:33 AM   #6
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I missed the opening sentences of your post. If you are purchasing, try to get a yard estimate at max $$ from someone with lots of experience. Then negotiate the price down if the rest of the boat is worthwhile. If all goes well, you can then be like me ( I'll try to fix anything before I pay someone ) and save some money, or you'll have saved enough to pay an expert. There is lots of help here if you DIY., and depending on your interests it can kinda be fun and educational. After all, the boat won't sink from a moist bow pulpit.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:40 AM   #7
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The area you are describing is balsa cored and as previously mentioned a common weak point. Sealing the bolt holes will not stop balsa decaying if it is truly high in moisture which it probably is. If you want your windlass securely mounted and and to prevent further moisture intrusion there is only one answer .... re-core properly. If it is a 15" area as stated it would cost close to 2.5k in my neck of the woods to get a virtually undetectable repair. As Mike said .... it won't sink the boat.
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Old 04-10-2016, 01:33 PM   #8
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Moisture Readings Near Bow Pulpit

I recently used a product called Git Rot on the hulls of a crappy Hobie 16 I have. It's just epoxy in a kit that you inject into rotted wood (or foam core in the Hobie's case) and it supposedly permeates and hardens the rot. Seemed to work ok on the Hobie.

Would something like that work in this deck issue the OP has?

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...ct.do?pid=2093
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Old 04-10-2016, 01:36 PM   #9
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I recently used a product called Git Rot on the hulls of a crappy Hobie 16 I have. It's just epoxy in a kit that you inject into rotted wood (or foam core in the Hobie's case) and it supposedly permeates and hardens the rot.

Would something like that work in this deck issue the OP has?

Jamestown Distributors
useless in this application, it will not stick to wet or decayed balsa compost. You just end up with a free floating lump of epoxy.
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Old 04-10-2016, 03:10 PM   #10
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useless in this application, it will not stick to wet or decayed balsa compost. You just end up with a free floating lump of epoxy.
Correcto. I agree with others: get an estimate from a yard with a good reputation and negotiate that into the price. Do not leave it to the current owner to do it.
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Old 04-10-2016, 05:22 PM   #11
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Correcto. I agree with others: get an estimate from a yard with a good reputation and negotiate that into the price. Do not leave it to the current owner to do it.
If the current owner insists on repairing then you insist on your surveyor supervising the repair.
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Old 04-10-2016, 05:23 PM   #12
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You need to remove the wet core and replace it. That is the only sure way to fix it properly. You can try to drill holes and inject thin epoxy, but wet balsa will not accept the epoxy. You have to get it dry first, which is almost impossible without removing the top or bottom layer of glass. I had the same problem with my Trojan bow where Trojan screwed down the anchor chocks. It cost about 2k to have it repaired. Now it is solid and the repair is undetectable. In the future if you are drilling any holes in the deck, you must remove the coring around the holes and fill it with thickened epoxy. Then properly seal the holes. It would not stop me from buying the boat, just negotiate a lower price.
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Old 04-10-2016, 05:50 PM   #13
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While it is likely to be moisture, without using a moisture meter or opening up the deck everyone is guesing. It could also be the deck delaminated from the core . this can be repaired with epoxy without removing the top laminate. By injecting epoxy through small holes with pressure. Either way this would not be a deal breaker. If the coring is balsa that's good as balsa turns to mush and not migrate rapidly. Plywood core is a whole different problem as rot travels beyond the moisture and needs to be delt with. All the hammer tells you is you have a delamination.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:47 PM   #14
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While it is likely to be moisture, without using a moisture meter or opening up the deck everyone is guesing. It could also be the deck delaminated from the core . this can be repaired with epoxy without removing the top laminate. By injecting epoxy through small holes with pressure. Either way this would not be a deal breaker. If the coring is balsa that's good as balsa turns to mush and not migrate rapidly. Plywood core is a whole different problem as rot travels beyond the moisture and needs to be delt with. All the hammer tells you is you have a delamination.
OP stated high moisture levels were measured, so not really guessing assuming he is stating fact.
Once bacteria or anerobic bacteria starts eating the balsa it will definetly spread, not quite as quickly as plywood but I have seen two year old boats with balsa decks that had turned to compost over many square feet.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:58 AM   #15
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"Remembering too, the vessel you are considering was built during Mainship/Luhrs financial problem era."

Many boat builders went thru hard times over the decades.

A good broker should have a list of Mfg. and various years to avoid.

To earn his money.
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