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Looking at buying a boat, concerned about deck moisture levels

Apr 12, 2021
8
Hunter 34 n/a
Hey guys,

I'm looking at buying a Hunter 34 which is in good condition aside from a small crack in the keel, however seems to have quite a bit of moisture in the deck.
According to the survey (which was done in 2016, mind you) everything is solid, but moisture readings are showing at least 40% on the majority of the deck, which is leaving me uneasy. That being said I have limited experience with this so am not entirely sure what would fall within the realm of normal.

Any advice?

1 Moisture Map Martin 501002 001.jpg
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,789
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Last edited:

JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,970
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
If you already feel uneasy then move on, plus this is 2016, is there any proof they addressed it or just said hey it is fine haven't had an issue....
 
Apr 12, 2021
8
Hunter 34 n/a
Thanks for the input guys! I've kind of been thinking along the same lines as Don, where I'm not sure how accurate those readings are, particularly because the survey rated the deck condition as "fair", and indicated "Deck is in reasonable condition with higher moisture elevations near deck mounted hdwe. Resealing deck penetrations will help to reduce moisture content." But yeah if the core is soaked I'm really not interested in redoing the whole deck lol

They indicated other things had been replaced, but didn't mention anything about the deck, which doesn't bode particularly well. I think I'll take a look at it this week, (I'm assuming I'd be looking for any 'soft'ness or give in the deck), and if I do decide to go any further I'll definitely be getting a survey done.
 

higgs

.
Aug 24, 2005
3,485
Nassau 34 Olcott, NY
Unless you are getting this boat real cheap, and DYI projects are your forte, I would walk. There are plenty of boats out there.
 

Ted

.
Jan 26, 2005
1,216
C&C 110 Bay Shore, Long Island, NY
I agree with Don's comment. The moisture readings will be influenced by where it is taken. Many boats have moulded fiberglass interiors and structural grid systems. The interior is attached to the hull with with blobs of whatever they use to fill the gap between the two surfaces. False high moisture readings will show up in these areas but they are not necessarily a problem area. Small amounts of water can be standing in the hollow areas within the structural fiberglass grid and can also give false high readings.
 
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Likes: sail sfbay
Jan 1, 2006
6,097
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Danger Will Rogers, Danger!
I don't know about moisture readings either but I don't like where it shows relatively high readings particularly on the starboard deck where the chainplates would be. But values in the 50% to 100% area for the cored deck compared with the the un-cored hull at 20%
is a red flag for me. Also the rudder is wet (Which most of them are) and show that same 80% -100% value. "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!"
 
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Likes: Whatfiero1
Oct 22, 2014
16,135
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
:plus: @Don S/V ILLusion !.

Is this boat in Ontario Canada? If my memory serves, you guys have real cold winters. That type of moisture would freeze and thaw breaking the seal between the FPR skin and the core material, while rotting the core material. Recovering a boat with that type of issue, is time consuming and expensive. You would really need to be in love with that specific boat to take on the project. It has all the elements of a project that would creep on and on the more you fixed the more you would discover.

If this is a task you desire, then at the least get some core samples to expose the level of water in the boat decks. I'd choose the areas that indicate 100% moisture on the meters.

Good luck.
 
Apr 12, 2021
8
Hunter 34 n/a
:plus: @Don S/V ILLusion !.

Is this boat in Ontario Canada? If my memory serves, you guys have real cold winters. That type of moisture would freeze and thaw breaking the seal between the FPR skin and the core material, while rotting the core material. Recovering a boat with that type of issue, is time consuming and expensive. You would really need to be in love with that specific boat to take on the project. It has all the elements of a project that would creep on and on the more you fixed the more you would discover.

If this is a task you desire, then at the least get some core samples to expose the level of water in the boat decks. I'd choose the areas that indicate 100% moisture on the meters.

Good luck.
Yeah it is. TBH due to the pandemic its getting hard to find a boat in the 30-40ft range for a decent price between Ontario and the Maritimes, which is why I was considering it, but I've decided this one would likely be too much work.

Thanks
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,135
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Further the challenge is finding a boat on your side of the border. A pain when there are boats south of the border.

Patience and persistence are the skills needed while hunting for that perfect boat.