Benefits of Moisture Meters for Boat & Hull Surveys

boat surveying

Moisture inspections as part of boat maintenance

Why regular boat moisture inspections are important

Moisture can seep into the hull and deck of a boat through various means such as leaks or prolonged exposure to water. Over time, moisture ingress can lead to serious issues such as osmosis and degradation of the GRP, this can be especially critical when the GRP hull has a core of hygroscopic materials such as balsa wood. 

Regularly inspecting a boat for excess moisture in hulls and decks is very beneficial for maintaining the structural integrity and overall health of the vessel. 

Benefits of using a non-destructive moisture meter for boat surveys

One of the primary benefits of using a non-destructive moisture meter, such as the Tramex Skipper 5 Moisture Meter, is that it allows boat owners, operators, and marine professionals to detect and monitor moisture conditions without causing any damage to the boat's surface material. 

Another major benefit of the Skipper 5 is that it works with the Tramex Meters App where the non-destructive test readings can be made into moisture maps which can identify and visualise potential problem areas. Traditional methods of moisture detection may involve drilling holes or removing materials, which can compromise the integrity of the vessel.

Early detection can prevent damage

Elevated moisture levels in the GRP can lead to osmotic blistering which in turn can degrade the GRP’s integrity. It can be challenging to detect visually so by using a non-destructive moisture meter, hidden elevated moisture conditions can be identified before they become significant and more costly issues.

Early detection allows for timely intervention and prevents further damage, saving both time and money.

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Improves boat resale value

A documented history of regular moisture inspections and maintenance can significantly increase a vessel's resale value.

Prospective buyers will appreciate the attention given to preventing moisture-related problems, and can give them confidence in the boat's overall condition.

Pre-purchase boat moisture survey

When purchasing a boat it is equally advisable to conduct a moisture inspection to check if the vessel has any undisclosed moisture related issues.

The survey result can have a considerable impact on the boat’s value.

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Perform a moisture test before painting a boat

Moisture trapped beneath a layer of paint can lead to paint bubbling, peeling, or blistering, compromising the appearance and protective properties of the coating.

It can affect the longevity of the paint, leading to regular repainting and increasing maintenance costs.

Skipper 5 moisture reading on boat hull

Ensuring the hull is dry enough to be painted helps the paint adhere correctly and form a durable protective layer. As such, inspecting a boat for moisture before painting hulls and decks is a crucial step in the preparation process.

The non-destructive Skipper 5 moisture meter,  can be used to carry out a quick moisture scan and ensure favourable conditions for successful and long lasting paintwork.

Moisture testing to prevent osmosis on fiberglass boats

Osmosis is a common problem that affects boats, especially those constructed with GRP hulls. It occurs when water molecules permeate through the gel coat and react with the underlying laminate, leading to blistering, delamination, and possible structural damage.

The Skipper 5 moisture meter in shallow depth mode, can monitor the moisture levels within the fiberglass layers, enabling early identification of osmosis before it becomes a severe problem. By regularly testing the affected areas, you can catch osmosis at its initial stages and take preventive measures. 

Moisture mapping boat with Tramex Meters App

By integrating the Skipper 5 with the Tramex Meters App, moisture data can be recorded and stored for future reference. This historical data becomes invaluable for tracking the progression of osmosis, identifying patterns, and implementing long-term preventive maintenance strategies to minimize the risk of recurrence.

Why the Tramex Skipper 5 is the best moisture meter for boats

Tramex Skipper 5 moisture meter

  • Non-Destructive Testing: The Skipper 5 utilizes non-invasive testing methods, allowing you to assess moisture levels without damaging the boat's surfaces. This makes it an ideal tool for both routine inspections and comprehensive surveys.

  • Wide Measurement Range: With a wood moisture measurement range from 5% to 30% and a reference scale for GRP, the Skipper 5 caters to a wide variety of boat types and materials, such as fiberglass, wood, or composite vessel

  • Dual Depth Penetration

    • The Skipper 5 offers a depth of penetration of up to 30mm, ensuring that you can assess moisture levels beyond surface-level readings. This enables you to identify moisture problems in the deeper layers of the boat's structure. 

    • The shallow depth reads 10mm into the surface layer and allows for accurate shallow readings and comparison with deeper depth readings.

  • Tramex Meters App Integration: The Tramex Meters App works with the Skipper 5 enabling you to view, record and save moisture readings in real-time. This can prove beneficial when taking measurements whilst the display is out of view. Readings can be visualised into moisture maps displaying color coded readings. Data can be structured into reports and easily shared with boatyards or maintenance teams.

  • Optional extension handle: The extension handle allows for measuring in out of reach places without the need of a ladder or can reduce the need for crouching when taking reading on low locations on the hull.

How to Use the Skipper 5 for your Boat Inspection - A Video Guide