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Old 08-09-2008, 00:26   #1
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Moisture and Delamination - Survey Report

Hi everyone,
I'm taking the plunge and we're looking at buying a Privilege 39 that we just inspected. We were really excited about this yacht, then we received a survey report that highlighted a few "Moisture" issues and one "delamination" issue.

I'm having lots of trouble getting honest opinions and comments on how much work and $$ this is likely to be, and if it is something that needs attention or if it is just something to live with and watch. I haven't progressed the deal yet, but I have to give them an answer soon, so if there is anyone there that can help me with comments on whether I should be scared off by this vessel or not, I'd appreciate your comments.

The survey comments summarised that: "In general, the vessel was found to be structurally sound and in good condition overall for her age, and less normal wear and tear" however the following observations worry me as I don't want to be spending lots of dollars to repair her if these observations are big ticket items:

A. Overall, a pattern of intercoat failure is noted on the bottom paint. Areas are generally small and at some places are centered at the area of internal bulkheads, which would indicate some flexing. This pattern would be expected to continue in the future making removing the bottom paint and re-coating a consideration.

B. Three areas of the starboard hull, outboard, have observable depressions (from bow / above waterline, 27” & 12”, 65” & 12”, 143” & 32”) approximately 7 inches in diameter and possibly 1/8 inch deep. The depression at 65” & 12” reads as very high in moisture, which the other two do not. Areas do not appear or sound to be delaminated and may be the result of some impact. (How did moisture get in? Must have been opened at some stage- rainwater from crack)

C. The sealed sections at both bows, approximately 18” to 24” aft, appear to be holding moisture / water. Readings at both the hull sides and decks are very high. An effort to inspect and if needed, drain these areas is advised. Periodic ventilation may be advisable.

D. One area of the starboard hull, outboard, 7” down from the rub rail and 30” from the transom, sounds as delaminated and shows as a void with thermography. The area is approximately 16 inches in diameter.

Any comments from people more experienced than me would be deeply appreciated.

Kind Regards
Steve
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:05   #2
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Unless you want to spend a week with a grinder removing what you know is moist, you will find more moisture that is undetected. I have done a couple of floors recently, the stringers that supposed to be wet, were rotten. Walk away, plenty more boats around. Buy with your head, not your heart.
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:29   #3
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Unless you can get boat for the "deal of the century" and are willing to do or manage an involved project, keep on looking.

I rejected over half a dozen cats in FL last spring of the mid-90's vintage because they were *all* delaminating in some way or another.

The work can be done... it's not impossible...

However if you are not doing it yourself (hundreds of hours), you
will find it to be a very costly thing to contract a yard for.

This is why I bought my boat... build quality over looks. Bought her from a logical standpoint. Could have bought any number of new and cool looking 90's vintage cats, but went with an old 80's model with solid fiberglass hulls.

Why?

Too many cats from the 90's were falling apart in my search process.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:22   #4
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Talk to the surveyor who did the inspection, if he knows what he's talking about he should be able to tell you more about what he found and how it can be fixed.
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Old 08-09-2008, 18:14   #5
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Thanks for all your replies guys. It is greatly appreciated - even if it isn't quite the answer I was hoping for. I think it's invaluable the advice to "buy with your head and not your heart."

I'll be honest and say that I know very little about fibreglass, delamination, moisture or repairs to it, so I guess I really don't have a grasp on the depth of the problem. I've always been told fibreglass can always be easily repaired.

I'm putting the surveyor in contact with the boat yard and between them I'm asking them to come up with a price and recommendation to repair the damage. Dependant on that I'll decide if I proceed or not. The consensus is that the delamination could possibly have been done by an impact or an incorrect lift. If this is the case and I get it repaired properly, then would I be likely to get delamination in other areas? I guess I'm wondering if this is likely to be a vessel that has delamination and moisture issues and as a consequence will continue to develop more issues, or is this likely to be a one off?

Thanks so much for all your comments.
It really helps
Steve
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:00   #6
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Steve,

The delamination isn't a difficult concept to understand, just a lot of labor to fix - especially if it is in an inconvenient location.

See... the "laminate" is (put simply) a layer of fiberglass, then a layer of balsa or foam, then another layer of fiberglass. Delamination is when those layers separate from each other. Sometimes this occurs with water trapped inside and sometimes not. Usually it is with water in between the layers though.

To fix this problem, you must make a very shallow (not deep) cut in the hull to cut away one of the layers of fiberglass to get at that core. You then must put in a new core and re-glass the part of the hull you just cut away. Now do this again for every spot you have that is delaminating. You see how it can get labor intensive, right?

Often the most cosmetically correct way of doing this is to do it from *inside* the hull in order to preserve the gel coat and finish on the exterior. You tear out cabinetry, etc... then do your cut from inside the boat to access the core. That way, you leave a hideous scar inside and it gets hidden anyway.

I post this so you can get a feel for what is involved in repairing delamination. Hope it helps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oz_Steve View Post
Thanks for all your replies guys. It is greatly appreciated - even if it isn't quite the answer I was hoping for. I think it's invaluable the advice to "buy with your head and not your heart."

I'll be honest and say that I know very little about fibreglass, delamination, moisture or repairs to it, so I guess I really don't have a grasp on the depth of the problem. I've always been told fibreglass can always be easily repaired.

I'm putting the surveyor in contact with the boat yard and between them I'm asking them to come up with a price and recommendation to repair the damage. Dependant on that I'll decide if I proceed or not. The consensus is that the delamination could possibly have been done by an impact or an incorrect lift. If this is the case and I get it repaired properly, then would I be likely to get delamination in other areas? I guess I'm wondering if this is likely to be a vessel that has delamination and moisture issues and as a consequence will continue to develop more issues, or is this likely to be a one off?

Thanks so much for all your comments.
It really helps
Steve
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:08   #7
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Sounds like she was ridden hard and put away wet.

Get a reputable boat yard to quote a repair with contingency and deduct that amount from the purchase price. Plan on other surprises though.......not the good kind either.
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