Anyone ever use a moisture meter to check for damaged strigers, etc?

MackE.Rel

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I have been looking at a few older boats and I am a little concerned about rotten wood inside the strigers. This is not a job I want to take on . I talked to a surveyor about it and he uses a meter to check the hull and strigers. Anyone have any good advise , maybe a better way to check ?
 

guitarman

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I have been looking at a few older boats and I am a little concerned about rotten wood inside the strigers. This is not a job I want to take on . I talked to a surveyor about it and he uses a meter to check the hull and strigers. Anyone have any good advise , maybe a better way to check ?
In our Industry when we go into dry out a home that has been water damaged we use three types of moisture meters, first we use a Thermal Imaging Camara to get a scope of the affected area say for example one wall the studs and seal plates are wet and another wall they are not the camara will show you the different temperatures showing the colder area in blue, then you can take a non penetrating meter and check the areas that are cooler therefore indicating they may be wet. other materials can set off the non penetrating meters like metal. so in things like seal plates or wood material we have a whats called a hammer probe that we can sink small pins in to the wood and it gives a very accurate reading. before i certify that a house is dry i use this tool every few feet in the wood material and in some cases other materials that can be repaired easily to determine if its dry. 16% in soft woods like fir or pine are consider very wet, in hard woods like a hard wood floor say oak you don't refinish until there at 7 to 9%. To determine what is dry in your area test a piece of wood say in an area of the boat that you know is not affect say on the helm if it reads say 12% then all of the wood should be around 12% hard wood the number is say 8% so if a stringer reads 17% with a penetrating meter its wet for sure. They can be dryed if there not rotten. i will save that for another post.
 
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wiggy

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Who needs a meter? Replacing stringers and transoms is fun!
wiggy-albums-seaway-project-picture506-dry-fit-stringers.jpg


I've read that you can have rotten stringers and still have hull integrity as long as the glass work is solid. But most of the time they're rotten because someone chopped a bunch of notches and holes in the glass. There's not a lot of strength in the foam of my new stringers but when added with the fiberglass, they're tough.

I've used meters a few times and it seems like you get what you pay for (like most stuff) The ones that really seem to work require you to drill into the stringer or transom to get past the glass. A lot of people don't wont holes drilled into their boats. Which leaves you back at square one.
 
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guitarman

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It is true the hammer probe meters are the most accurate. the pins on my hammer probe are about twice the size of a sewing needle so there not very evasive if you can find a spot out of the way not visible then put 5200 or something back in the pin hole. if you find a boat that you really want you might try asking like Sevice Master or Serve Pro to bring out a Thermal Imaging Camara and some restoration quality moisture meters [you can find them under fire and water damage in the phone book] and they could tell you alot. they may charge you 150 to 250 dollars but it would be worth it to know. Just and idea.
 
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