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Old 04-27-2013, 12:33 PM   #21
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Unlike many who fall in the "run, forest, run" camp I don't think what you're describing would make me run from that boat.

When I bought Beachcomber there were two areas of the boat that showed elevated moisture content. The first, on the port side above the shear line, was caused by what appeared to be the boat hitting a piling while docking. There was an 8" long area of the plastic that holds the rub rail that had been chipped and a piece on the underside was missing. This was near the stern and allowed moisture to get into the coring, likely from waves. The area with the high moisture was about 10" tall by 8' long and extended from the break in the plastic toward the stern.

The surveyor, knowing I was bringing the boat to a desert climate, said not to worry about the elevated moisture there. He suggested I repair the plastic area that was broken, then let the dry climate wick the moisture out through the gelcoat.

The second area was the swim platform. The PO had mounted a dinghy crane on the swim platform and failed to properly seal the holes in the platform. The entire platform was wet, wet, wet. We removed the crane, cut out the entire swim platform area and made a new swim platform to fit in there.

The first repair only cost a few bucks. The second one cost a couple thou but we ended up with a much larger swim platform. Here's a shot looking down at the stern after the old swim platform had been cut away. The red stripe near the stbd side of the swim platform is the channel where the new platform was fitted into.

Here's the boat yard crew working on sanding the platform prior to applying the first coats of paint.

Here's the crew mounting the platform onto the stern.

This isn't the best shot in the world, but it shows what it looks like....
The two boats look very similar.

The fiberglass guy is taking core samples Monday to determine if this is a fixable situation. According to him if the water has been present for years then his repair wont work.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:03 PM   #22
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Good luck with your surveyor's assessment.

If the job turns out to be a much larger one than anticipated it might be time to go back to the seller with the information. He's going to have to get it fixed before he sells the boat so maybe it's time for him to seriously rethink the selling price...if you're still interested in it.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:16 PM   #23
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Good luck with your surveyor's assessment.

If the job turns out to be a much larger one than anticipated it might be time to go back to the seller with the information. He's going to have to get it fixed before he sells the boat so maybe it's time for him to seriously rethink the selling price...if you're still interested in it.
Drastic reductions have already been made. Now it's time whether I want it or not.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:43 AM   #24
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The surveyor, knowing I was bringing the boat to a desert climate, said not to worry about the elevated moisture there. He suggested I repair the plastic area that was broken,C


The surveyor has it exactially backwards , go to a dry climate a few months THEN fix the sealing method.

"then let the dry climate wick the moisture out through the gelcoat."

While some moisture will travel theu GRP , it is a very very slow process , takes years!

Many repair folks do not believe balsa just being wet is very harmful to the hull strength , rotten is a different matter .
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:21 AM   #25
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The surveyor has it exactially backwards ...

"then let the dry climate wick the moisture out through the gelcoat."
Good catch FF. typical toy boat surveyor. I wonder if the guy believes that there is some kind of hydro diode built into hull material that permits moisture to move in one direction only?
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:25 AM   #26
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Good catch FF. typical toy boat surveyor. I wonder if the guy believes that there is some kind of hydro diode built into hull material that permits moisture to move in one direction only?
The moisture has to be removed or it will continue to rot the balsa and move through the hull causing even more damage.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:58 AM   #27
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The moisture has to be removed or it will continue to rot the balsa and move through the hull causing even more damage.
Correct. The existing moisture must be removed and source of ingress must be sealed.

Visualize the moisture advancing through the core the same way a drop of water spreads out on a piece of cloth. At a certain point behind the line of advance the moisture content is ideal for the growth of cellulose eating bacteria. If more moisture can enter, that line of advance continues to spread rapidly. If the source of moisture is sealed and no more can enter, the advance will slow but the moisture that entered will always be there, it just gets recycled by the growth, death, and birth of the bacteria in essentially a closed system. Until the finite amount of moisture in a sealed space is spread around a large enough volume of edible core that it becomes a virtual desert the rot process will continue. Munch munch.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:45 AM   #28
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As others have mentioned, repairing wet balsa core in modest amounts isn't a big deal if the area is easily accessible from the inside. Had 2 areas in my '73 Bruno & Stillman that needed to be repaired. The through transom exhaust pipe and a depth transducer hole were improperly sealed. Both areas were cut open from the inside. Wet balsa was removed till we came to dry clean core. The good core was sealed with West System. Then the coreless area was rebuilt with layers of epoxy and cloth. Finally the top layer was woven roven which over lapped onto the undisturbed adjoining areas. The removed core area was maybe a little over a 1' square. In each case, the fiberglass below the core was never disturbed. The added weight of making those areas solid as opposed to cored is insignificant.

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Old 04-28-2013, 09:59 AM   #29
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{The moisture has to be removed or it will continue to rot the balsa and move through the hull causing even more damage.}
Now, it's starting to sink in!.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:58 PM   #30
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Now, it's starting to sink in!.
The moisture or into my head???
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:58 PM   #31
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The moisture or into my head???
Oh, I meant the Moisture! ()
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:17 PM   #32
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Oh, I meant the Moisture! ()
If questions aren't asked, answers will not be had.

The interaction in this thread will help me make an informed decision when I get the answers to my questions.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:11 AM   #33
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By way of a clarification of what I said earlier about the surveyor's remarks, he tested the area along the aft port quarter with his moisture meter. It was calibrated to give readings in FRP of dry--0%-15% moisture content, moist--15% to 23% moisture content, and wet--23% to 30% moisture content.

The area along that port quarter tested at 15% moisture. Thus his comment about the situation likely taking care of itself.

And by way of his qualifications, he had been a surveyor for almost 40 years (if my memory serves me correctly) and as SAMS and NAMS accredited. I interviewed 3-4 surveyors by phone, looked at samples of their survey reports, and chose him based on what I found. I was very happy with the work he did for me.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:59 AM   #34
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"he had been a surveyor for almost 40 years"

That just means he has not bees sued enough to still charge for his opinion.

Finding what might be wrong , and having the inderstanding of how to repair it is a different skill set.

Seeing wiggle walls on a TT pilot house is easy , actually doing the repair????
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:28 AM   #35
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According to the fiberglass repair guy, he stated that he didn't get the same moisture readings as my surveyor but that's usually a variance in the meters themselves.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:21 PM   #36
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Talked to the fiberglass guy and he said there are two options to repair the boat.

1. Drill holes around the wet spot, inject the sealer to keep the moisture from moving any further.

2. Cut out the outside skin of the fiberglass until he hits dry areas. Replace core, refiberglass and paint hull because a match will be difficult to achieve.

Option #2 is the only acceptable one to me.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:06 PM   #37
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2. Cut out the outside skin of the fiberglass until he hits dry areas. Replace core, refiberglass and paint hull because a match will be difficult to achieve.

Option #2 is the only acceptable one to me.
Why would you want to butcher the external skin and repaint the hull just to access a small area of core around an engine room vent on a recreational boat that will probably live the rest of its life on the Columbia River?
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:38 PM   #38
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Keep in mind that Cruisers hulls are fully cored...even below the waterline. If this vessel is exhibiting issues above the waterline I would want to make absolute sure the surveyor really checked out everything below the waterline.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:56 PM   #39
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Keep in mind that Cruisers hulls are fully cored...even below the waterline. If this vessel is exhibiting issues above the waterline I would want to make absolute sure the surveyor really checked out everything below the waterline.
Everything else checked out fine. If the deal proceeds, a complete hull resealing is going to happen.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:33 PM   #40
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Everything else checked out fine. If the deal proceeds, a complete hull resealing is going to happen.
We are on our 2nd boat cored boat, above and below the water line. What is a "complete hull resealing"?
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