“Peter Kronich is the best surveyor on the Great Lakes.”

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I was told this, in fact, by more than one person. Yes, it is true that he will absolutely refuse to board any boat in the presence of women, children, or animals. And, yes, he would also prefer that you also are nowhere nearby during the course of the survey. But this almost endearing eccentricity is a small price to pay, given his vast experience. So they said.

Therefore, this being my first purchase of a keel boat, and an old one at that, I put myself in his hands and vacated the area. The survey came back with no mention of deck/cabin-top moisture intrusion. The deck was “sounded” (i.e. tapped-on) and said to be “…solidly bonded and is structurally sound and stiff.” Being a paranoid type I repeatedly asked Peter, “Is the deck dry?” He gave what I now recognize to be evasive answers but at the time it just left me puzzled.

After the purchase I walked the deck and found two soft spots that sagged under body weight. Sounding these two areas gave a hollow “thud” and a moisture meter showed “off-the-scale” wet readings in these two spots. Also noticed was that the port side deck is raised in a dome shape and yes, rings hollow and reads “very wet”. (In fact, this last fault seems endemic to the model: two other owners of S&S-30s in Europe report the same issue. Shroud tension has caused one side-deck to lift and separate from the two structural sub-deck knees on that side.)

But somehow Peter The-best-surveyor-on-the-Great-Lakes Kronich missed all of this.

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