Afraid of Moisture and Osmosis Blistering in your Yachts underwater Fiberglass?
Osmosis or Not? Moisture or Not?
You can rent with or without an operator our professional Sovereign Quantum Marine Moisture Meter.
Its not a Toy, its a Surveyors Tool!
With Sovereign Quantum Marine Moisture Meter and our good experience with osmosis blistering affected hulls we can help you to bring light into the dark - or just to help you to avoid sleepless nights and a loss of the value of your asset.
What is a moisture meterA moisture meter is a tool for gauging how much moisture has been absorbed by a GRP hull and the measured values can provide a very useful guide to the ‘chemical’ condition of GRP laminates.
With regular measurements, boat owners can chart the condition of their grp boats from one season to the next, thereby avoiding osmosis in a early stage. A moisture measuring is also a good investment when buying a second-hand boat to check the moisture in the grp laminate or cores like foam or balsa. As a yacht owner you can also increase the resale value of your asset with a Logbook from your regular measurements.
Moisture meters determine moisture content by applying a radio frequency signal between two electrodes, which are held against the laminate surface. (Note picture at the right)
As moisture content increases, electrical capacitance between the electrodes rises,
and is interpreted by the meter to give an approximate moisture value.
Sovereign Quantum Marine Moisture MeterMandora-Fix use the Sovereign Quantum Marine Moisture Meter which is one of the most advanced moisture meter on the market and which is specifically designed for the taking of moisture readings on GRP laminates. The UK company Sovereign Chemicals has a history with yacht surveyors and boatyard osmosis technicians.
How to meausureOnly a accurate moisture meter used in a adequate environment and the experience of the operator gives supporting values to recognise any foults of a grp hull or core.
Mandora-Fix use both modes of the Quantum Marine Moisture Meter, MOISTURE SHALLOW and MOISTURE DEEP. Using the DEEP/Shallow measure values, allows Mandora-Fix to compare moisture readings through profile the hull. Beside deep and shallow, Mandora-Fix measure also additional values like humidity, dew point, air and surface temperature compared to different dates. This means that the conditions at time of survey can be quantified which makes the measurement more scientific and will enable checking that condensation will not be occurring and affecting the readings.
It is not enough to just use a moisture meter, the readings can be interpreted incorrectly by an inexperienced operator. Indeed some boatyards use moisture meter readings fraudulently to secure very expensive osmosis treatments which were actually unnecessary.
Workflow for moisture measuring:
- Lifting out the boat from the water.
- Salt, marine fouling and slime will retain moisture, so the hull must be thoroughly pressure washed with plenty of fresh water, and allowed to become completely dry before any moisture meter readings are taken.
- The yachts bilges must be completely dry and well ventilated.
- Avoid moisture meter readings in damp, misty or humid conditions. For this we take the measurements (if necessary) in our workshop which has a regulated clima.
- Antifouling paints do not usually need to be removed before taking moisture readings. The only exceptions are electrically conductive coatings such Coppercoat, and those boats with very heavy accumulations of antifouling.
- The boat will be measured severel times on equal places for a accurate result.
In a result of high value readings of moisture additional diagnostics are recomended, like removal of different smal spots of coatings and a check of the laminate in the laboratoy to measure the content of styrene and propylene glycol.
We offer several options:
Single measurement:We measure about 25 to 50 Spots on your boat as well as some sound proofing tests.
This should be done after around 2 weeks after haulout.
This gives a good idea of the situation in the hull and is good for newer boats and very cheap.
Serial measuerment:We recommend to make the first measurements directly after haulout of the boat after it is touchdry.
After this several further measurements are done in a special timely distance. A bit more expensive, but gives you a much better view of the situations.
We highly recommend this at least every 2 years on boats older than 5 years and yearly on boats older then 10 years.
With the Report provided you get over the years a "history" of the hull situation. In case you sell your boat this is a very effective proof and increases the resale value of your asset.
You know what you do:You can rent the moisture meter for your own use.
Please do this only when you really know what you do with the meter.
Otherwise you spend money for nothing.
What to do before measurements:Clean the boat that it is free of salt and of seagrass in the underwater area. The surface must be touch dry.
The old antifouling should be not too rough, eventually the measurement spots hand sanded a little and then cleaned again.
If you see blisters, DONT open them yet.
Note that measurements can not be taken on coppercoated hulls without removing the coppercoat at the measurement sports.Please contact us for single or serial measurement offer or meter rental.
FAQ - Sovereign Quantum Marine Moisture MeterQ: The meter readings indicate possible problems. What now?
A: There are several possibilities for further testing, from semi destructive (scraping off a small area) to destructive testing (drill a small core sample for further laboratory analysis). Ask us for more details.
Q: The further tests indicate problems. What now?
A: There are good possibilities to remove the bad chemicals out of your hull and make your hull better than new.
Ask us for more details and see also the HotVac Section of this Website
Q: I have already Blisters. Does it make sense to make measuerements
A: If you have already blisters, the question is if these are Blisters resulting from osmosis or from other reasons.
If you see Blisters caused by Osmosis, its already a quite late state of the process and its time to do something against it immediately to stop the chemical process. Yes, definitively we recommend to make measurements to get more details and a plan for osmosis treatment.
Q: I have no money or time now to do something against this.
A: Forget the money, but get some time. Remove all the Antifouling immediately. Open all Blisters (and really all!, even the flat ones you hardly can see - you need a strong lamp to find them) After opening the Blisters and wash them out very carefully with an special acid solution (contact us to get it). Wash it at least 3 times with this and every time rinse it fully with clear water. Wash the boathull once a week the first 4 weeks, then at least monthly with clear water.
This slows down the breakdown process and you can continue to use your boat another season. this should give you time to find money for a proper treatment. DO NOT CLOSE the open blisters. the sea in the opened blisters will avoid to concentrate acid in the former blisters. But keep in mind that of course new blisters will form on other places until next haulout.
Some general hints about the wrongly so called GRP "Osmosis"
IMPORTANT: Please note that wrong or too late applicated osmosis protection chemicals can trap water into the hull.
This causes the hull to never blister but rot / delaminate inside completely without any outside visible symptoms!!!
Trapped water and even delamination can be found with measurements
IMPORTANT: A Waterprotection Coat outside makes the Fiberglass to absorb water (even condensation) from inside the hull.
Don´t do this. A GRP hull MUST be able to "breath" some water, as GRP is a hygroscopic material.
Not the water is the bad thing. It´s the chemical reaction of 2 chemicals of the GRP + water and there are a lot of possibilities to avoid osmosis blisters and delaminiation before they appear and even after they appeared.
IMPORTANT: NEVER do any protection coating or even treatment or repairs BEFORE you EXACTLY know what goes on.
If you want to learn more about this please feel free to contact us to give you more background informations
IMPORTANT: If the meter readings indicate possible problems YOU CAN NOT just put the boat into the nice strong hot cyprus sun and wait.
This makes the hull dry of course, but do definitively NOT solve osmosis as not the water in the FRP is the problem.
The SunToaster method DO NOT remove the destructive chemicals contained in the FRP and as soon as your "dry" boat is back in the water the "osmosis" process continues - most times even faster than before.
IMPORTANT: NEVER break existing blisters just to fill them with epoxy. The Blisters are only the visible result of the existing problem.
Breaking and filling the blisters is just a temporary cosmetic fix which you will pay hard for later on as mostly the problem becomes worse very quickly.
Unfortunately some people do this as a quickfix and sell the boat without mentioning the problem. Nowadays its easy to find out the point of time such cosmetic repairs was done and the new owner can take legal steps against the seller even after years. Selling a boat in such a condition without mentioning the problem in the sales contract is simply fraud. Since in the EU is a 6 month second hand warranty in law even on sales agreements from private to private, note that in a case such a serious problem was concealed does not release the seller from claims out of this after the 6 month warranty by law period.
Click here and learn more how to cure an osmosis affected hull.