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I looked at a 10 year old J boat yesterday and the surveyor found some moisture in the deck near the toe rail. The patch of moisture  he described was just in from the toe rail about 4” wide by about 6’ long up toward the foredeck. The surveyor said that “there wasn’t delamination and it shouldn’t require major surgery, but that the toe rail should be re-bedded” Re-bedding the toe rail doesn’t sound like that big of a deal to me, but I’m not clear on how  the moisture that’s already in there would be addressed. 


I’m trying to figure out if this is a big deal or a small deal. I’d appreciate any insight from J owners who may have experience with this type of thing. 

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What model J-Boat?  It seems odd that the moisture would creep up from the toe rail into the cored area of the deck.  Leaks from the unbedded toe rail would typically down into the boat as it does on my J-29.  If the core is wet, it's usually from deck hardware or the chainplate.  I don't think moisture meter readings can be trusted 100%.  It would be great if you could drill a 1/4" hole in the fiberglass and see the actual condition of the balsa.  Or remove the hardware closest to the wet spot.  

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On 4/16/2021 at 5:53 PM, ruckus25 said:

Are the toe rail fasteners in cored material? They are usually in the flange.

Just went through this fixing a 14" (fore / aft) x 8" wide 'wet spot' on my deck where the glass under a stanchion delaminated.  Cut out a big rectangle where the moisture meter showed high levels.  Turned out the readings were somewhat of a phantom.  The balsa in there was really dry, and not delaminated from the top and bottom glass.  

It provided an excuse to rebuild the flange at that spot all the way out to under the T-track, where it had been repaired not-quite-fully twice previously, based on the colors of the glass under the gel coat.  So that was fine.  But it could have been a lot simpler had I understood that the balsa terminates 6 inches in from the all-glass flange.  Big fix, took 6-8 boat visits of a couple hours duration each time over a couple weeks.  Probably could have been a couple half days at the boat if I wanted to fix it the way the two yards had fixed it (okay, not perfect)- grinding out a 6" circle of bad glass, lapping in new glass, paint over.  

Caveat: Not sure how that J/80 is built.  You'd want to look and see if the glass is solid and the stanchion mount firm, and where the balsa core stops, before drawing any conclusions.  And, you won't really know for certain until you open it up.  Ask the surveyor for his thoughts on it. 

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