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give me your opinion on transom moisture

Old 08-06-2011, 05:54 PM
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Default give me your opinion on transom moisture

I just had a survey done on a 2006 contender I am in process of buying. The surveyor said there was moisture in the transom. Fairly uniform throughout. He said he could not tell how much moisture was there but it set the alarms off on the meter. The surveyor couldn't tell me that it was a dealbreaker but said if I went to sell it this would be an issue and be picked up by the next surveyor. It seemed odd to all of us as this boat is trailered and on a lift, never even bottom painted. Seller offers no concessions and its sale is as is. Not sure whether i should walk, do more testing, or buy it and try to drive the moisture out. Any qualified opinions?
Old 08-06-2011, 06:00 PM
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Why buy something/boat with a built in issue. Every time you look at that transom, it's gonna bug you. Or buy it and drill holes and see what comes/pores out. ;? After all you are not talking about a rare boat specimen here.
Old 08-06-2011, 06:03 PM
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There are to many cool boats on the market right now with the economy on the fence. Back out the number for a new transom and give a bid if you really want the boat. It is a buyers market, dont let anyone fool you.
Old 08-06-2011, 06:38 PM
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You cannot get the moisture out.
Even if you put it under vacuum and dried it, the problem becomes dry rot.

You hired the surveyor to uncover problems,
if you don't want to know about the problems, why waste money on a survey.?;?
Old 08-06-2011, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by wreckless View Post
I just had a survey done on a 2006 contender I am in process of buying. The surveyor said there was moisture in the transom. Fairly uniform throughout. He said he could not tell how much moisture was there but it set the alarms off on the meter. The surveyor couldn't tell me that it was a dealbreaker but said if I went to sell it this would be an issue and be picked up by the next surveyor. It seemed odd to all of us as this boat is trailered and on a lift, never even bottom painted. Seller offers no concessions and its sale is as is. Not sure whether i should walk, do more testing, or buy it and try to drive the moisture out. Any qualified opinions?
There are a lot more wet transoms out there than many people think. Those plug tubes rot out, people mount transducers in a hurry, many tabs are just screwed in and shift under strain, etc, etc. That being said, I am not really making a point, just sayin.

For this case, I think I would pass. Seems no one wants to work together on it......the surveyor has no knowledge/experience/advice to offer you other than an alarm (?) and the seller doesn't care to discount for the situation. He probably knows what he did to cause it. The seller will hold out for a buyer who doesn't hire a survey. Move on. You have other choices, better choices.
Old 08-06-2011, 07:07 PM
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I am a bit surprised to hear that Contender uses a material that would rot in the transom given that is one of the most problematic areas in the past as Local Motion exampled.
Old 08-07-2011, 03:09 AM
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get a new surveyor....

first rule of thumb.... many types of gelcoat hold miosture....many boats blast the meters off the scale...
second and most importantly, you look for uniformity in the moisture meters throughout the boat... 5% range is the norm.... if the transom is uniform to the rest of the boat... cored hull sides etc.... the transom is fine.....
Old 08-07-2011, 04:45 AM
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Thanks for the advice, guys. A couple things that were brought up that I can address. The surveyor spent a lot of time with the entire hull, hours. He used a hammer for sounding throughout and gave me an education on what to listen for coupled with the use of the meter. While there were a couple of places where the sound indicated the hull and the coring did bond and produce the same sound there was very little indication of moisture until we got to the transom. The moisture alarm went off and the high level was throughout the transom. The sound was also uniform on the transom. So to address nexxt's comment it was not like the rest of the boat. Contender cores their boats above the waterline but I never heard anything about what they do at the transom. I guessed that they use a laminated wood and not the balsa that the rest of the boat is done with. With three engines trim tabs and a fish door there are plenty of ways for the boat to absorb water there.
Old 08-07-2011, 06:35 AM
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Question: Did he (surveyor) wash the transom and take another set of readings after the first set indicated high moisture? I am guessing he used a GRP33.

Question: Are there secondary bond issues in the supporting grid? I.E: gel cracks where the stringers and knees intersect the interior transom?

Just curious.
Old 08-07-2011, 07:34 AM
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I don't believe the surveyor wiped the transom before checking but this boat has been out of the water for a month on a trailer or maybe longer. One would think that this boat which never sat in the water for extended time would have no moisture anywhere. According to the broker, seller, and pictures the boat was on a lift at the dock, trailer at other times and has only 200 hours.
Old 08-07-2011, 07:46 AM
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Good morning Wreckless, the reason I ask is that that meter will sometimes mislead you if you let it. The transom gets back flow and is subject to oils and flotsam that attach to the surface and especially to wax. In my experience when the hammer says good and the meter goes off scale it's time to wash the boat. Not wipe off, wash with soap and water. Again I have seen readings change dramatically once washed on somewhere near 1/2 the cases.
Not second guessing your surveyor, just providing some experience. If he is local and willing I might give it a scrub and have him check it again if hes in the neighborhood.

Never know, if you like the boat and the deal it's worth knowing for sure.
John
Old 08-07-2011, 07:51 AM
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Walk...BAITKILLER is a great resource, knows his chit!
Old 08-07-2011, 07:55 AM
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It sounds to me that your surveyor knows what he/she is doing. If the sound of the tapping on the transom was hollow and the meter measured high levels of moisture AND the boat has been out of the water for some time AND it didn't rain that day (and the transom wasn't wiped down), the transom is soaked. I would look for another boat and be glad I spent the money on a survey.

Last edited by lostsinker; 08-07-2011 at 12:06 PM.
Old 08-07-2011, 08:05 AM
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I have to agree with the rest, walk. Something sounds fishy. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. The question is " How much is it the risk worth?"
Old 08-07-2011, 08:25 AM
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First rule....Always trust your instrumentation.


check another boat transom for purposes of comparison. Of course that test is antodotial but might provide information for comparing. From there you can have the transom rechecked using another (calibrated and dated) devise. I would call Contender to see if they have any input.

When in doubt... do nothing.... move on.
Old 08-07-2011, 08:26 AM
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My question is, how can a 2006 transom become soaked so fast?
Old 08-07-2011, 08:32 AM
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"First rule....Always trust your instrumentation."

Trust but verify.




"My question is, how can a 2006 transom become soaked so fast?"
That is why I am so curious and persistent.
Old 08-07-2011, 08:47 AM
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You can also ask owner to remove a screw or two attaching trim tab, transducer, or speed sensor near bottom of transom, and see if water comes out. If there is any chance of water in that transom, I would run away.
Old 08-07-2011, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cedarholm View Post
My question is, how can a 2006 transom become soaked so fast?
Thats 5 yrs, you can destroy a boat in under 2 yrs even without any unsealed screws in the transom. Some hulls ( quite a lot actually) come from the factory ready to fail, T-top with screws into the deck, screws (not bolts) securing the cap to hull joint etc.

A good way to check the transom is get under the splashwell with a small sharp screwdriver and poke around, if its damaged the point will penetrate.

If its a composite transom I'd ignore the meter.

Try this, clamp a jumper cable from 12v to a transom hold down ring, put a meter on the other side and the neg clamp, take a reading across the transom.
You might be in for a surprise as 70% of all boats on the water are thought have wet tails.
Old 08-07-2011, 10:34 AM
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Good info, thanks. All of your opinions helped me to reach a conclusion. At the end of the day I just can't go forward when I have an issue that I cannot define in terms of cause, cost or certainty.

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