I’m very near to completing the purchase of a lift keel Hunter Sonata, and the surveyor has identified wicking.
“Gelcoat: In two areas where the surface was exposed it was found to retain its original gloss and to deformed by very low relief randomly oriented ridges. This is consistent with “wicking” where moisture enters along often poorly wetted glass fibres lying at or near the gelcoat surface. This causes swelling, leading to randomly oriented low relief ridges along the lines of the fibres.”
“The wicking does not significantly affect the structure of the vessel and no remedial action is considered to essential at this time although the moisture content is very likely to be significantly higher and the wicking more pronounced after the vessel has been in the water for some time. In the long term wicking can sometimes lead to the formation of fibre aligned blistering at which point treatment would be advisable.”
Relative moisture meter readings were taken and it was reported that “These indicate a low moisture content”, i.e. I read this a being that the hull is not dry but is not very wet either – the boat has been out of the water for several months now.
So has anybody had a similar issue?
The surveyor has also said of an epoxy layer under the antifouling that – it is a “very thin layer” and due to its lack of thickness “is unlikely that this coating will provide much defence against ingress of moisture”.
My thinking is that as as the hull moisture content is low, as there are no blisters and because the antifouling needs re-doing that I might take the opportunity to strip the antifouling abrade off the existing epoxy coating and abrade the gelcoat and then treat with some sort of multi-coat epoxy treatment like Gelshield. The intention being to seal off the gelcoat from moisture ingress. But do I need a totally dry hull first?
So has anyone done this – or has anyone decided to play the waiting game in circumstances like this?