How to go about inspecting a deck for water intrusion damage?
a. Saturation can be determined by a number of methods; a good source for information is Henry Mustin’s book, which if I remember correctly is called “Surveying Fiberglass Boats” or something like that. In this case the first sign was that the deck surface had raised slightly around the cracks in the deck. There were no obvious spots of delamination and soundings of the deck were ok. however when moisture readings were taken it was apparent that water was entering the deck cracks and then, because the deck is slightly curved, the water was moving outboard and the deck was highly saturated at the outboard edges, primarily amidships at the point of maximum beam; this was confirmed by drilling 6 holes from the interior into the wood core in these areas and inspecting the core. Obviously the repair would have been horrendously expensive. All the cracks in the deck were located either above bulkheads or radiating out from the compression post. The opinion of the surveyor was that because the deck has so little form strength (it is a very large flat surface) the deck flexes slightly and that there is insufficient support, causing it to crack around those portions which are supported and cannot flex, IE, the bulkheads and compression post. It was clear from the beginning that these cracks were not simply gelcoat cracks and if the owner had dealt with them immediately, the core would not have been breached and the repair would have been much less costly. Of course that would not deal with the root cause of the cracking, a deck which is not sufficiently supported, but could have been a repair which lasted another 25 years. I hope this information is useful to you and other Corbin owners. Let me know if you have any other questions as I have gathered quite a lot of knowledge about this particular issue. Nick C.