The Tramex Skipper 5 moisture metre is a modern, high performance unit that has both shallow and deep modes. Shallow readings record moisture within the laminate offering an insight into the presence of or potential of moisture related defects such as osmosis and wicking. Deep readings tend (depending on hull thickness) to record readings beyond the laminate or within the core of a cored laminate. This gives insight into the moisture content of the core, and ascertains where water may have pooled beyond the laminate. A classic example of the is the water that is trapped within the partial skeg on a Westerly Konsort sailing yacht.
Moisture readings vary depending on the age, condition and type of vessel being surveyed, as well as the meteorological conditions on the day of survey, especially if the weather is damp and dewy. Therefore, an intrinsic understanding of the metre as well as a thorough understanding of vessel construction materials is paramount for attaining reliable, objective results.
Hammers, bore scopes (snake cameras), scrapers, body weight, a sharp eye, and touch are all employed to further build an understanding of the fibreglass being tested. This is important as high moisture readings do not necessarily result in moisture related defects, and vessels over 35 years old especially will be expected to have a higher moisture content than younger vessels. Some vessels are very 'wet' when tested and yet are structurally sound with not so much as a blister in sight.