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Old 11-10-2016, 04:43 PM   #1
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How Bad is this ?

I was reviewing the survey from a couple of years ago. It was my insurance survey but I asked for a purchase survey as I've owned the boat 16 years and wanted an objective opinion on my maintenance .
She passed really well with the exception of a stringer under my Starboard engine. It showed 20-22 on his moisture meter. The engine is mounted on steel beams so that's not an issue. But Is that very high for a 1987 vintage?
I have to have my Port engine rebuilt this winter and I thought this would be a good time to address this issue until I read the report and realized it was under the other engine. Go figure.
But that being said should I be concerned?
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:53 PM   #2
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My concern would be where is the moisture entering the stringer ?
And yes 20-22 is on the high side for me
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Old 11-10-2016, 05:51 PM   #3
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Don't know how your Viking is built so can't answer directly.
If the stringer core is wood then it is concerning.
If the stringer core is foam then NOt good, but of little consequence. Many boats used a foam simply as a shape and then fiberglass was laid up over it . The strength is in the fiberglass layup.

Hopefully someone can tell you if the core is wood or foam.

Viking???? ask them. YOu will need the specific model and the year. Maybe the hull number.

If it is wood then the entry point needs to be found and blocked/sealed properly. Then it should be possible to dry it out.
Even if foam I think I would attempt to find and seal the leak point.

And one thing I know from my own use of my meter is any metal near where you are examining can give high readings.
The surveyor should know that but just be sure the reading was legit.
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:50 PM   #4
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Don't know how your Viking is built so can't answer directly.
If the stringer core is wood then it is concerning.
If the stringer core is foam then NOt good, but of little consequence. Many boats used a foam simply as a shape and then fiberglass was laid up over it . The strength is in the fiberglass layup.

Hopefully someone can tell you if the core is wood or foam.

Viking???? ask them. YOu will need the specific model and the year. Maybe the hull number.

If it is wood then the entry point needs to be found and blocked/sealed properly. Then it should be possible to dry it out.
Even if foam I think I would attempt to find and seal the leak point.

And one thing I know from my own use of my meter is any metal near where you are examining can give high readings.
The surveyor should know that but just be sure the reading was legit.
I can contact Viking I actually am in touch with them quite regularly as I continue to buy parts.
I think that since the yard is going to be in there moving the Port engine and making a mess anyway I'd definitely follow your advice and try and find the source.
Of course we'd have them double check the readings as well.
If it's foam can they just inject epoxy to fill the void?

I really don't want to have to move the Starboard engine as well.
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:45 PM   #5
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The preferred way to deal with wet wood in stringers is to forcibly dry it by cutting discs out and then injecting dried, heated air. No , I've not done it. As long as the wood is only wet it may not be rotten. Once dried then inject epoxy.

If it's foam I suspect you need do nothing except stop any more moisture from entering. But I'm not an expert so ask Viking. From their site they do repairs so since they built the boat their advice should be sought first I think.
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:17 AM   #6
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Some builders use the wood inside the stringers to give them the correct shape. Where extra strength is required, as where the engine beds sit, the wood may also be structural. Other builders add enough FG so that when the wood rots, its usefulness as shaping material only has ended, but no damage results.

You need to find out which camp your builder was in.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:18 PM   #7
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20 - 22 on the meter is absolutely meaningless unless you are familiar with that particular meter and have other relative findings that have been confirmed. I have six meters and on a few that would be catastrophic and other others it would be of no concern at all.
Suggest you review Moisture Meter Mythology before you get too worried.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:28 PM   #8
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20 - 22 on the meter is absolutely meaningless unless you are familiar with that particular meter and have other relative findings that have been confirmed. I have six meters and on a few that would be catastrophic and other others it would be of no concern at all.
Suggest you review Moisture Meter Mythology before you get too worried.
Well that certainly was interesting reading. Article made perfect sense. Thanks.

Now I do know that the surveyor checked other areas and his reading for example of the bottom was 7. Which the report calls excellent for the boats age. The same stringer on the the Port side had the same 7as I recall. What that means, I am not sure.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:46 PM   #9
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There are a number of different methods of constructing stringers, Some are a thin sheaving of glass over plywood or hardwood and some are a heavy glass over foam and in some Chris Crafts even cardboard. If the glass is at least 1/2" thick then the core (foam, cardboard or anything else) was most likely used as a form and has no structural significance. If this is the case it makes no difference how saturated the core is.
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:42 PM   #10
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I got in touch with Viking today. Looks like the stringer is Glass encapsulated plywood layers.
So it sounds like we'll have to do some more exploring with the stringer this winter.
Thanks for the advice.
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:30 PM   #11
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Did they give you any advice about the role of the plywood meaning is the plywood structural or was it only a form? If only a form then can it be allowed to deteriorate?

It sounds like it is structural but if they didn't say I think I would ask specifically.

Boatpoker has an important point about meters that they can be fooled if the user does not understand their limitations.

Yes, pursue the "problem" to get a satisfactory answer one way or the other.
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Old 11-14-2016, 09:04 PM   #12
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It was suggested by Viking that I take the usual plug from the area. And check the wood . That to me confirms that the plywood must be structural. So I think I'm not going to give any information to my yard but simply ask them to check the stringers while the engine work is being done and see what they find.
It's not that I don't trust them because I do. I don't want to bias their findings by telling them that I think it is wet.
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:17 AM   #13
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Question for rhe experts: when does moisture in a non-structural stringer core become a freeze threat when the boat is on the hard (in freezing temps)?
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:28 AM   #14
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Not knowing the specifics, but having a fair amount of experience with "moisture meters", understand that these tools, one way or another only measure conductivity. The indicated value is only a relative index - not moisture content.

Hopefully, your surveyor made additional measurements at different but comparable locations elsewhere before making this pronouncement. Something as simple as an embedded screw or staple can generate "high" results.

The folks at New Gretna never cease to amaze me - always helpful - even if it's something they built 40 years ago.
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:32 PM   #15
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This company did a great job on my wet stringers

Dryboat.com
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:36 PM   #16
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This company did a great job on my wet stringers

Dryboat.com
What was the cost?
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:15 PM   #17
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This company did a great job on my wet stringers

Dryboat.com
Please tell us more. Process? Cost? Who does the work? Them or a local yard? The website is rather cryptic.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:58 PM   #18
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My stringers(all four) came in at less than half of the lowest tear out and replace estimate and only took weeks instead of months. They used very dry warm air into the core and monitored with moisture meter until all areas were(well) under 15%, then put in penetrating epoxy. They have a number of ways of handling intrusion, with the exception of replacing. They are mobile and can do the work anywhere power is available. They also have some videos/TV clips on Youtube
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