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Dear Client,

There is significant use of plywood, balsa wood, synthetic foams and other similar core materials, usually encapsulated in fiberglass, in the construction of fiberglass vessels. Water intrusion into these cores and resultant deterioration can and does occur, particularly in stringer/stiffener systems, transoms, decks/soles and sailboat rudders.

Evaluation of the vessel’s structure for osmosis, blisters, core deterioration, incipient or advanced decay and water intrusion is accomplished by percussion sounding (tapping the structure) and moisture meter scans. These procedures are critical components of the Survey and are widely accepted and considered the most reliable test other than destructive testing, to assess the condition of the structure.

Controlled tests have been conducted in the laboratory and the field on the reliability of moisture meters, which have shown the moisture meters are ineffective and not reliable in detecting or reading moisture content of wet frozen materials, including wood, fiberglass and foams.

Further more, percussion soundings of frozen material will give false detection of wet or deteriorated cores. i.e.; a frozen saturated deck with core deterioration will give the same feedback as dry intact core material.

Our experience has been that 72-96 consecutive hours of above freezing temperatures are necessary before conducting reliable structural inspections of vessels in cold storage out doors. Vessels in cold storage buildings take even longer and are prone to “sweat” as the weather warms in the spring, again negating the reliable use of the moisture meter. Accordingly, we strongly advise our clients against Survey of vessels in cold storage during periods of freezing temperatures. Please indicate how you wish us to proceed with your inspection:

Please schedule the inspection as soon as possible, whether the vessel has thawed or not. We have read and fully understand the information provided above and agree and consent to hold the Surveyor(s) harmless and free of any liability arising from their inspection, for injuries to any parties, repair costs, insurability or diminution of value arising from said survey. I understand the inspection will be visual only and that moisture content, saturation, incipient or advanced decay may be present but undetectable until the structure thaws.


Before submitting this form, please type your initials in the box to represent your digital signature of the information above:


Please schedule the inspection when conditions are appropriate.


Before submitting this form, please type your initials in the box to represent your digital signature of the information above:

Bache Marine Consulting
PO Box 756
• Sandusky, OH 44871-0756

Established 1994