Wood is the oldest material for hull construction. Many timbers have been used, and selected for various properties of strength, durability and ease of working. Different indigenous species have been employed where vessels have been built in far flung parts of the world. Timber is also sawn in different ways from within the log for the grain to run to suit the particular application.
The internal hull structure is examined as extensively as possible. Panels and joinery are removed to gain as much access as is practical. The structural timbers are sounded with a pin hammer and, where suspect, are tested for softness with a spike. Moisture content is measured with a Sovereign Quantum Moisture Meter. This is the industry standard monitoring device and is a capacitance type tester which can read deep into the timber. Testing is also carried out with a Tramex Skipper Plus meter. This is also a capacitance type tester but is rather easier to use being a single handed unit. Both these meters have %age scales for hardwoods. The two devices can be used to double check readings and avoid spurious errors.
Externally the same intensive survey is carried out. Caulking seams are examined for drying and cracking, movement, displacement and squeeze. The vessels systems, engineering and equipment are fully examined and tested where possible. Below is a sample survey of a classic wooden yacht which will show the full scope and depth of the survey report.
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