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Moisture Meters for Glass Fibre


Using Electronic Moisture Meters on GRP

Most people think of electronic moisture meters as a specialist tool used only by boatyards and yacht surveyors, but increasing numbers of private boat owners are finding them invaluable for examining their own boats. Contrary to popular belief, moisture meters are very easy to operate, and with regular use owners can chart the condition of their boats from one season to the next, thereby avoiding nasty surprises. A moisture meter is also a good investment when buying a second-hand boat, and can be used to check over potential vessels before engaging a surveyor.

However, moisture meters must be used in appropriate conditions if readings are to be reliable. All too often readings are excessively high because they're taken too quickly after lifting out, or because of bilge water or internal condensation. In this respect, private owners often have the advantage over surveyors, as they're able to take readings when it suits them, having first ensured that their boats are dry inside and out.

Newer boats (built since the early 1990's) will usually be laid up with isophthalic resins, and will often give reliable readings within an hour or so of lifting out. However, boats from the 1980's laid up with orthophthalic resins, and those with epoxy underwater treatments will often show 'high' readings for several weeks after lifting. This is quite normal, and should not necessarily be cause for concern.

If you would like to know more about using moisture meters, please download the Short Guide to the use of Moisture meters, which shows how you can quickly and easily check your own boat.

Tramex Skipper Plus

2003 Model Skipper Meter

The Tramex Skipper meter was first introduced in 1987, since which time thousands have been used by marine professionals and boat owners world-wide.

Designed and built in Dublin, the new Skipper Plus builds on this success with a number of useful features; including a large easy to read scale, an expanded measurement range, a dedicated GRP scale, and digital mapping to provide a clear, linear readout. The meter also has a useful 'hold' button, to avoid muddy knees when surveying bilge keeled boats, and when all's done, it will switch itself off automatically !

Like the Skipper meter, the Skipper Plus retains its wide electrode spacing, allowing a comprehensive assessment of laminate moisture content - even where the hull is 15 or 20 mm thick. This not only helps to avoid misleading readings, but also allows readings to be taken through dry paint coatings (including most antifoulings), thus avoiding the need to scrape paint off before testing, and minimising hull damage.

Of course the Skipper Plus has other uses too: It works well on timber, and can be used to trace leaks in wooden decks, as well as moisture in head-linings and rot hidden under paintwork and decking materials.

But most of all, the Skipper Plus is quick and easy to use, with single handed operation and no need for time wasting adjustments or setting up, and offers excellent value for money.

Click here to read what PBO's Andrew Simpson said about the new Skipper Plus! (PDF 99kb)


Product List Price Our Price
Tramex Skipper Plus Package: £325 + Shipping & VAT  £325.00 Inc VAT & UK postage (£272.08 + VAT)
Tramex Skipper Hire Package: £42.50 Inclusive for ten days (£36.67 + VAT)
Hire may be extended for £22.50 per ten days.
Calibration Block for the Skipper Plus    £47 + Shipping & VAT £48.50 Inc VAT and UK Postage (£40.42 + VAT)
or £42.50 (£35.42 + VAT) with a Skipper meter.
Link to eBay page (at higher price).

Sovereign Quantum Moisture Meter

Sovereign Quantum

The Sovereign is dead: Long live the Sovereign!

Sovereign Chemicals are well known in the damp proofing industry, and they first commissioned the design of an instrument suitable for use in buildings in the 1970's. With a personal interest in yachting, Sovereign introduced the first viable electronic moisture meter for GRP in the 1980's, which quickly established itself as an industry standard. The Mk II Sovereign was introduced in 1993, and was produced until early 2007, when we sold the very last of these venerable meters.

The Mk II Sovereign has now been replaced by the new Quantum meter, which offers a number of additional features, including deep and shallow readings, temperature, relative humidity and dew point measurement. The whole meter is housed in a sturdy Peli case, and is believed to be unsinkable when fastened closed although we haven't tried it!


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