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Old 03-18-2019, 03:23 PM   #1
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Still Contemplating 2006 MS 34

Hi Guys: While awaiting the ice to melt in Georgian Bay so I can do phase 2 of the marine survey and sea trial, I'm still contemplating this purchase. Would any of you old salts be able to offer assurances or warnings to this relative novice?


The current owner has agreed to perform several minor repairs or replacements prior to launch on his own dime, for which I am grateful. However, I'm still bothered about the "slightly elevated relative moisture readings" reported by the expert surveyor.


Affected areas include the centre cored section and trailing edge section (port to starboard) of the swim platform (probably from the redundant davit base-plates still installed on the platform), an area of about 6" diameter in the port side of the transom above the swim platform, the 1st and 3rd steps up from cockpit to bridge (engine room hatch)(probably from loose hatch handle), the bridge area below all 3 helm chairs (probably from chair base-plates), area aft of the starboard bow cleat and pulpit, area on forward side deck (to port of centreline), lower 2-*3 inches of bulkhead between engine room and forward bilges (directly below the galley steps) and aft end of the outboard port stringer close to transom.


The survey concluded that "further investigation and ongoing monitoring is warranted, though the surveyor has no structural concerns at this time". Does this sound like it's going to be a a problem in the near or far future? Should I ignore his suggestions and let it pass as normal? Or should I insist that the current owner agree to adjust the purchase price to reflect the cost of doing a partial or complete repair and elimination of the issue? Obviously, the former would be far less expensive, but the latter could easily be $10's of thousands of dollars.



In nearly all respects, aside from most of the electronics being original, the vessel is in top condition. She's been a Great Lakes fresh water vessel with about 900 hours on twin Yanmar's and kept in heated storage every winter and under a canopy many summers. She's also nicely equipped with genny, rev AC, bow and stern thrusters and a huge Rolls-Surrette battery system with 3k inverter, to name a few.


I apologize for the long post, but I wanted to ensure you got the full story. Thanks much. R
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:31 PM   #2
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I'm not an old salt, but 'slightly elevated relative moisture readings,' sounds like something that could be said about most any boat that age, and the surveyor indicated that it wasn't something to worry about but to monitor. Do you know how many things there are on that boat that you need to keep an eye on? It's too many to count. Don't back out for this.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:38 PM   #3
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Our survey stated similar issues in a couple of areas. Surveyor indicated this was normal and to keep and eye on it but it was not a deal breaker.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RossWilson View Post
However, I'm still bothered about the "slightly elevated relative moisture readings" reported by the expert surveyor.
I agree with your concern, especially when it comes time for you to sell the boat. Every time I buy something with a big dollar attached, I think about reselling it in the future. I wouldn't pull the trigger on this boat as there are literally hundreds more available. All you have to do is increase your efforts to find another without these kinds of problems. You'll be glad you did!
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:36 PM   #5
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Our current boat had slightly elevated moisture levels in some areas of the decks. It had one area that was very elevated. We had them repair the very elevated level. The rest we left alone and have had no problems with them since. We have been tracking down any possible leaks and fixing whatever we find. So far we have removed 2 handrails that were useless anyway and 4 windows that had been leaking and we fiberlassed them closed. We added 3 ventilation hatches to replace the function of the leaky windows. I am currently repairing the repair that was done on the very wet part of the deck. What I am getting to in a roundabout way is I wouldnít be too worried about slightly elevated moisture because most all boats will have some if they are not new or nearly new. Just track down the water entry points and learn how to properly seal all penetrations.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:44 PM   #6
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Surveyor found several "elevated moisture readings" in my 2005 MS34T survey in 2015. He found moisture in the stringers which (by MS design and construction practices) is pretty unlikely. While the science behind that instrument may be sound, I'm not real sure about its application in a handheld.



Note that probs in the flybridge deck are relatively easy with access through the saloon overhead. The helm chairs may not have backing plates; my flybridge table did not - simply nuts embedded in the FRP of the deck. The stairs are really easy to visually inspect since you have direct access to both sides. Is there confirming evidence of moisture?



Buying a used boat is always something of a crapshoot. It won't be perfect, but I really like mine.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:38 AM   #7
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I think a lot of this is relative to how long you plan to own the boat, and how much you are prepared to lose between buying and selling. Start with, if you were buying the same boat without these issues or even a new boat, there's no guarantee or maybe even a likelyhood that you will have some when you go to sell it. If you are only going to keep it for a year or two, it probably makes sense from a resale standpoint to find the one without issues and hope they don't develop during your ownership. Plan to own the boat 10 years, then issues will arrive that you will have to deal with. I bought my last big boat first; recognize on going maintenance is a cost of ownership, and know that ongoing maintenance is far cheaper than the devaluation between buying and sell plus the brokers commission.

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Old 03-19-2019, 07:24 AM   #8
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I have read elsewhere that vinylester in the layup can cause moisture instruments to misread levels.... or maybe it's that it causes some surveyors who aren't aware to misinterpret the meter results. Something like that...

OTOH, if that were the case here, maybe the surveyors report would have indicated more of that all over the hull...

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Old 03-19-2019, 11:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
I'm not an old salt, but 'slightly elevated relative moisture readings,' sounds like something that could be said about most any boat that age, and the surveyor indicated that it wasn't something to worry about but to monitor. Do you know how many things there are on that boat that you need to keep an eye on? It's too many to count. Don't back out for this.
Thanks Greg. I appreciate your reply and agree that there are always loads of things to monitor. Thanks again for the encouragement.
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:32 AM   #10
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Our survey stated similar issues in a couple of areas. Surveyor indicated this was normal and to keep and eye on it but it was not a deal breaker.
Good to know, LollyGag. Thanks.
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:42 AM   #11
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I agree with your concern, especially when it comes time for you to sell the boat. Every time I buy something with a big dollar attached, I think about reselling it in the future. I wouldn't pull the trigger on this boat as there are literally hundreds more available. All you have to do is increase your efforts to find another without these kinds of problems. You'll be glad you did!
Thanks, Codger. In as much as I appreciate your philosophy regarding potential re-sale, as a Canadian living under the cloud of the Trudeau/Trump trade war, and its insidious 10% tariff imposed on all things marine shipped from the USA to Canada, I don't have the luxury of seriously considering any vessel south of the 49th, at least without the cost be considerably higher. Plus it's an exclusively fresh-water vessel. I've always bought real estate with an eye to the disposition of that property in the future.


However, since I began my search in earnest last autumn, I've found very few vessels in eastern Canada (primarily Ontario and Quebec) I'd even consider. After selling my 1986 Monk 42, I set out to find a newer, smaller and better equipped boat that required a lot less effort. And I found it in this 2006 MS 34. It's the only one of its kind currently on the market within practical geographic reach. Thus, it has lost no value since the current owner bought it in 2016.


Thanks again.
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:59 PM   #12
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Our current boat had slightly elevated moisture levels in some areas of the decks. It had one area that was very elevated. We had them repair the very elevated level. The rest we left alone and have had no problems with them since. We have been tracking down any possible leaks and fixing whatever we find. So far we have removed 2 handrails that were useless anyway and 4 windows that had been leaking and we fiberlassed them closed. We added 3 ventilation hatches to replace the function of the leaky windows. I am currently repairing the repair that was done on the very wet part of the deck. What I am getting to in a roundabout way is I wouldnít be too worried about slightly elevated moisture because most all boats will have some if they are not new or nearly new. Just track down the water entry points and learn how to properly seal all penetrations.
Good advice, Dave. I think I understand the source of the seepage of 2 or 3 of the problem areas, and perhaps it's just a matter of spending time aboard before the mystery of the others is resolved. BTW - didn't you have a Monk 42 last year? Or am I confusing you with someone else?
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:09 PM   #13
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No, I never had a Monk. It seems like I am very confusing...
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:15 PM   #14
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Surveyor found several "elevated moisture readings" in my 2005 MS34T survey in 2015. He found moisture in the stringers which (by MS design and construction practices) is pretty unlikely. While the science behind that instrument may be sound, I'm not real sure about its application in a handheld.



Note that probs in the flybridge deck are relatively easy with access through the saloon overhead. The helm chairs may not have backing plates; my flybridge table did not - simply nuts embedded in the FRP of the deck. The stairs are really easy to visually inspect since you have direct access to both sides. Is there confirming evidence of moisture?



Buying a used boat is always something of a crapshoot. It won't be perfect, but I really like mine.
Thanks LongJohn. As you can see, the vessel I'm proposing to buy is not only a sister-ship to yours, but maybe a twin-sister. I recently learned that the moisture meter isn't actually measuring for moister presence, but more specifically, electrical conductivity. And of course, water conducts just as well as many metals. I've also learned that these meters are notoriously not dependable. It's the reading plus the hammer-sounding plus the experience/knowledge of the survey that can lead to a somewhat reliable professional opinion. But there's a lot of subjectivity involved.


How many years have you owned the MS 34T? Does the "T" stand for twin engines? If so, then the yacht broker marketing "my" 2006 is in error since it also has twin Yanmar 240's, but she refers to it as just a MS 34. Was yours built in 2005, or technically in 2004? I also was recently informed that brokerages refer to model year and not year of manufacturer when marketing boats. I checked the registration of "my" 34 and discovered its year of manufacture is 2005.


Has it been difficult to maintain the red hull gelcoat? How often have you had to compound, either the hull or the deck and bridge? Good to hear you're enjoying her. I know I'm growing more excited with every rise of outside temperature.
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:43 PM   #15
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Thanks Ted. One can never be sure about the future. However, it's my intention to keep this boat for probably 8-10 years. The current owner bought her in 2016, but decided on a change of lifestyle, thus the quick sale. And he paid $220k Cdn, the same price I've agreed to pay. And he invested in a few upgrades during his tenure.


The market here has been suffering from a short supply of good boats in general, but extremely short of trawlers. Thus trawler values have actually risen during the past 4-5 years. Our American friends continue to boat shop here with a stronger dollar, thereby exacerbating the problem of rising local prices. And keep in mind that our boats are used only 100 hours each season, in fresh water, and then stored for 6 months. So, once again, a high demand product.


I typically budget approximately 10% of the vesel's value each year for maintenance and assorted expenses. So, there's no surprise for me in this regard. And as a retired professional marketer, I have no problem selling myself. Actually, after several expressions of interest from other buyers, I privately sold my last boat to the first guy to inspect her, and with no brokerage involved.
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:12 PM   #16
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34T has nothing to do with engine configurations; 34T is shorthand for "34 Trawler" to distinguish this model from various 34 configurations Mainship built in the 70s and 80s.

Colored hulls on these boats weren't colored gelcoat but rather paint - typically Awlgrip or Awlcraft 2000.
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:21 PM   #17
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In MS 34T (after 2004), the "T" is the trawler designation - to differentiate it from the hardtop version. Mine has a single Yanmar 370 with a bow thruster.


I purchased mine from a broker near Joliette Il in 2015. It is described as a 2005 model but the HIN shows it was manufactured in 2004. Mine had a similar history to the one that you are considering; 10 years old but only April thru September in fresh water - the rest in a heated warehouse. 500 hours on the engine and genset when purchased.


I keep it in a covered slip, so UV impact is minimal. I'm afraid that the upper needs wax. I simply wash the red paint with a very mild pad 1-2 times per year. I'm using the boat more than I'm working on it now that I have most of the build issues straightened out. TPO did'nt pay much attention.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:04 AM   #18
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Coloured Hull

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34T has nothing to do with engine configurations; 34T is shorthand for "34 Trawler" to distinguish this model from various 34 configurations Mainship built in the 70s and 80s.

Colored hulls on these boats weren't colored gelcoat but rather paint - typically Awlgrip or Awlcraft 2000.

I'm a little confused. If the hulls are paint and not coloured gelcoat, why would the current yacht broker claim that the owner just had the hull compounded and waxed this winter? To my knowledge, one doesn't compound paint. Or am I wrong?


If paint, how's the fading typical of dark colours?
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:11 AM   #19
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Coloured Hull Maintenance

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Originally Posted by LongJohn View Post
In MS 34T (after 2004), the "T" is the trawler designation - to differentiate it from the hardtop version. Mine has a single Yanmar 370 with a bow thruster.


I purchased mine from a broker near Joliette Il in 2015. It is described as a 2005 model but the HIN shows it was manufactured in 2004. Mine had a similar history to the one that you are considering; 10 years old but only April thru September in fresh water - the rest in a heated warehouse. 500 hours on the engine and genset when purchased.


I keep it in a covered slip, so UV impact is minimal. I'm afraid that the upper needs wax. I simply wash the red paint with a very mild pad 1-2 times per year. I'm using the boat more than I'm working on it now that I have most of the build issues straightened out. TPO did'nt pay much attention.

Sounds like a really nice boat. So, are you saying that I needn't worry too much about the sun's effect on the red hull?



The yacht broker claimed that the owner had the hull compounded this last winter. And since what I assumed was gelcoat, is gleaming, I accepted what she said as the truth. If it is indeed paint, how is this possible?


What's "TPO"?
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:48 AM   #20
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Ross, TPO stands for the previous owner. Also awlgrip makes a special protectant that is applied similar to wax. Itís what I use but I have heard of people using an actually wax with no ill effects.
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