It was a big deal, making a decision to buy Salty Lady knowing we had a moisture issue in her foam core. But having looked at more than a few, I knew that most had the same issue. Moisture meters don’t lie.
Her bottom was throughly sounded and found to be solid with no soft spots.
I spoke with Kadey-Krogen, Osprey, various yard managers and staff. We came up with a plan prior to purchase.
The basics facts are Salty Lady has a closed cell foam core, it does not absorb moisture. This bottom, in many respectable people’s opinion, is superior to the solid fiberglass bottom. Not only does it create a insulated bottom which provides both thermal and sound insulation. It also provides a somewhat more flexible hull. According to Richard Bost on Dauntless, this double hull saved his boat after he cracked it when he struck a buoy. Salty Lady also had had her bottom repaired by Kadey-Krogen under warranty for what was purported to be an oil canning issue.
Soda blast the bottom
Drill a single small hole at the lowest point and see what happens
Install a small hose fitting into that hole and pressurize the hull with 1-2 psi and spray all suspect areas with soapy water
Repair as necessary
Allow the bare hull to dry over the winte
Paint and splash
What We Found November 2017
Our first surprise was that the gel coat did not exist on the bottom. When Kadey-Krogen did their work they apparently laid up new fiberglass and finished with a notched trowel and barrier coat
A few blisters in one area only.
Water did in fact pour out of the hull, not a tremendous amount. Perhaps a gallon.
It’s now April 2018
Pressure testing and soap spray exposed the two Air Conditioning discharge thru hull were not properly bedded and leaking
The bottom did in fact dry some over the winter, the few blisters were repaired, bottom was sanded and faired. Thru hulls were removed and rebedded.
An indicator bottom paint in teal was applied and two coats of ablative red paint applied
Now May 2018
In the end, I believe we took the smartest route.
Under consideration was the complete striping if the outside fiberglass, allowing the core to fully dry and then replacing it with new glass. With quotes of $40,000.00 and having a sound fiberglass hull empty of water will allow us to enjoy Salty Lady for many years to come.
Another consideration was the DriBoat method of drilling lots of holes into the boat and pumping warm air into to it The Dri Boat people were awesome the explained the entire process We choose not to go this route for similar reasons to the stripping Cost for this job came to $20,000.00 when the rental of equipment and cost to power them was taken into account
Had Salty Lady have had a balsa core below the waterline, we would have had to perform one of those two options But because Jim Krogen designed this boat with a foam core, we felt confident that she will safely and comfortably take not only our ownership but next owners as well.