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Old 18-08-2015, 13:41   #1
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Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Good morning! I have a quick question for you all. I am restoring the interior of our 36" Islander. There isn't much water damage, except where there are ports and where the chain-plates come in. The veneer was old looking, and I wanted to get an idea of whats going on where the light of day hasn't touched in a few years. The boat was on the hard for 2 years before we bought it, so that may be a good thing or a bad thing. But I digress.
My question is, should I be using fiberglass on the interior before installing the insulation? First thought in my mind is that it would be nothing but good, but I am not sure and want to understand pros and cons. I will be insulating with two layers of Reflectix and separated by polyethylene foam. Just not sure what this would do for condensation between the hull and the first layer of Reflectix.
Any help would be awesome! Im just in over my head when it comes to scouring the internet for information since there is SO MUCH of it.
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Old 18-08-2015, 14:01   #2
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Not sure I understand your situation. By veneer you mean the wood bulkheads and cabinets?
Are you talking about fiberglassing the interior of the hull? isn't the hull already fiberglass?
Do you live where there is extreme weather or something?
Is Reflectix that silver sided bubble wrap?
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Old 18-08-2015, 14:23   #3
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Let me try to clarify. The veneer is question is just laminated wood sheets that the PO stapled up in the interior. He did so to the "ceiling" and to the "wall" (for lack of better word) around the port windows and in the v-birth. The Bulkheads and the cabinets are not in questions here. Essentially, I am trying to install insulation on surfaces at shoulder level up for now. The marina I am currently at does not allow DIY, so everything thing is being done by hand and under the radar.

The hull is in fact fiberglassed, however considering that it is a 1974 boat, I figured, why not another layer? Also, the area where the mast comes through, I would like to strengthen if possible. And so by re-fiberglassing the "ceiling", I would take care of that since I am installing the insulation.

Reflectix is indeed that foil sided bubble wrap. I live in Annapolis, MD and just having moved aboard, I am trying to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The foam is to create some sort of space between the two layers.
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Old 18-08-2015, 15:41   #4
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Quote:
Originally Posted by msh_sailers View Post
Let me try to clarify. The veneer is question is just laminated wood sheets that the PO stapled up in the interior. He did so to the "ceiling" and to the "wall" (for lack of better word) around the port windows and in the v-birth. The Bulkheads and the cabinets are not in questions here. Essentially, I am trying to install insulation on surfaces at shoulder level up for now. The marina I am currently at does not allow DIY, so everything thing is being done by hand and under the radar.

The hull is in fact fiberglassed, however considering that it is a 1974 boat, I figured, why not another layer? Also, the area where the mast comes through, I would like to strengthen if possible. And so by re-fiberglassing the "ceiling", I would take care of that since I am installing the insulation.

Reflectix is indeed that foil sided bubble wrap. I live in Annapolis, MD and just having moved aboard, I am trying to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The foam is to create some sort of space between the two layers.
Hi.

I believe I understand your questions above.

However, I think to get the BEST answers from this forum, it would help others here IF you posted several photos of the areas of the boat that you are describing and show the current condition etc.

Photos help any discussion like this.

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From what you wrote, it appears you are preparing to live aboard in cold weather.

I understand what Reflectix is and would use that myself, because it is convenient, inexpensive, reflective of radiant heat with relatively high R value for the thickness of it, and available. I have bought huge rolls of it at Lowes very cheaply. .

If I understand your descriptions above, I would NOT try to add another layer of fiberglass on top of the insulation below the deck (where the headliner would be). I would use another material that can be easily removed by you or the next owner. I would select a material that is easy to clean (so to wipe any mildew off with a soft cloth and appropriate solution) and easy to replace. What material? White vinyl comes to mind. I would pick WHITE in order to reflect light from any light sources. I don't like "dark cave" boats.

I would precut reflectix and clear large bubble wrap to size for the hatches and portlights (all windows) to insulate them for future cold weather, but would NOT install them until needed. I would ONLY install them in a fashion that is easy to remove. I would install the CLEAR Bubblewrap directly below the hatch (or on the portlights) and only use the reflectix when I wanted to block sunlight (to make a cabin dark). Some owners use just cling film instead of bubble wrap on the portlights.
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Old 19-08-2015, 09:24   #5
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

There's a lot of good info on the islander 36 organization site. See for example

Headliner Replacements

That forum is a very useful place to get ideas and advice specific to the islander 36.
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Old 19-08-2015, 09:31   #6
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

greetings msh,

I have resurrected several boats and am about to take on another.

To start with take a look at the sailrite website. They have a video of re insulating an islander sailboat.

For myself, I always use a layer of the silver bubble wrap inside cabinets, lockers and other not normally accessable places. I usually use gel contact cement for this. Ventilate, ventilate.

For everywhere else I use R Board from Lowes in 4 x 8 sheets. I use loctite powergrab heavy duty to hold this up. It can follow compound curves if you score it from the backside in a diamond pattern. The more the curve, the closer you score it. Then I cover it with 1/4 inch cloth backed foam and then marine naugahyde for easy cleaning.

When I am just covering a surface with naugahyde I use a couple of things. One is called plastic cardboard. You get it from sign companies. Its the stuff that you see at election time in peoples front yards. It holds adhesive well and conforms to curves somewhat and has a tiny airspace like cardboard to add a tiny amount of insulation. If you want the plush look you can cover it with the cloth backed foam before the naugahyde goes on.

I helped convert a 115' fishing boat to a private yacht a couple years ago and thats what we used.

Also I use a plywood called doorskin. Its the really thin stuff used to make hollow doors. I just hunt a door manuf. and get it there. Lowes and Home Depot don't have it.

On top of that consider installing solar powered roof vents to help get the moisture out.

The Islander I am on now was plagued by condensation in the v berth so bad I thought I had leaks. I have added 1" of insulation to the hull and overhead and did the above mentioned foam and naugahyde over it.

PM me someday and I will send pictures. but do check out the sailrite video. P.S. I dont work for them. I am just an old, retired boater tryin' real hard not to grow up.

Oldbuzzard
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Old 19-08-2015, 10:08   #7
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Boats our age tended to be over built with fiberglass. Islanders have been around the world so unless there is some kind of damage "if it isn't broke why fix it" there is probably other items to spend money on.
As far as insulation I'm not familiar with the application in boats but I do know in Sumer you will be hot and winter cold no mater where your at. A small heater for winter and portable ac for summer works for most


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Old 19-08-2015, 10:19   #8
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Do watch the video on replacing/installing a removable headliner on the Sailrite site. By installing furring strips to your cabin top and then attaching your new headliner using velcro, you'll have space between the strips for your insulation and also be able to have access under the coach roof for both wiring and deck hardware. Gluing your headliner in place, while requiring less time and effort, IMHO creates problems down the road.

In the Sailrite vid the furring strips are shown running athwart ships. For a more aesthetically pleasing installation, I'd recommend laying out your strips fore and aft, dividing the width into symmetrical sections. The space between the strips could accommodate the reflective bubble insulation. The panels themselves can be fabricated out of door skin with the underside (headliner side) first covered with thin foam backing and wrapped with naugahyde with can all be stapled to the upper edge of each panel to keep it taught and hold it in place. Industrial grade Velcro tacked and glued to the furring strips and stapled and glued to the headliner panels.

With regard to cabin sides, the insulation and foam backed naugahyde can be more permanently attached by gluing. Take all the interior port light trim rings off and make your cabin side pattern. Once you've cut and glued all the material to the cabin sides, the port trim pieces can be reinstalled, further securing your liner to the cabin sides.

Whatever you decide, good luck with your project.
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Old 19-08-2015, 10:58   #9
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Hi.

I believe I understand your questions above.

However, I think to get the BEST answers from this forum, it would help others here IF you posted several photos of the areas of the boat that you are describing and show the current condition etc.

Photos help any discussion like this.

_________________

From what you wrote, it appears you are preparing to live aboard in cold weather.

I understand what Reflectix is and would use that myself, because it is convenient, inexpensive, reflective of radiant heat with relatively high R value for the thickness of it, and available. I have bought huge rolls of it at Lowes very cheaply. .

If I understand your descriptions above, I would NOT try to add another layer of fiberglass on top of the insulation below the deck (where the headliner would be). I would use another material that can be easily removed by you or the next owner. I would select a material that is easy to clean (so to wipe any mildew off with a soft cloth and appropriate solution) and easy to replace. What material? White vinyl comes to mind. I would pick WHITE in order to reflect light from any light sources. I don't like "dark cave" boats.

I would precut reflectix and clear large bubble wrap to size for the hatches and portlights (all windows) to insulate them for future cold weather, but would NOT install them until needed. I would ONLY install them in a fashion that is easy to remove. I would install the CLEAR Bubblewrap directly below the hatch (or on the portlights) and only use the reflectix when I wanted to block sunlight (to make a cabin dark). Some owners use just cling film instead of bubble wrap on the portlights.
Thank you Steady Hand.

I will actually include pictures now. I didnt have them before with me. I was thinking of putting the fiberglass on under the insulation (so before putting anything up). You are right that it would be a pain and a waste for me to do it over. I just wasnt sure if I should lay on the fiberglass or not. It looks like it could use some epoxy for sure in alot of places. That is also an interesting suggestion on the clear bubble wrap in the portlights. before committing to sealing away the light with reflectix. Genius.

After closer inspection, I am not at all happy with how the wood is looking around the the mid hatch and the mast. Any ideas on what I should be looking to do? Currently, I believe that I have to remove the hatch and the wood frame it is attached to and build a new one and seal it up. However, I am concerned with the actual wood that is the cabin top, should I treat that with any rot apoxy? It looks like it needs something. I am just not sure what. With these pictures too, you may understand why I want to put some sort of fiberglass or epoxy over the whole I would want to add extra layers.

A question I did come across is what should I do with the
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Old 19-08-2015, 11:10   #10
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Other islander 36s have similar projects to what you are starting. I redid our headliner some years ago and the insulation was a huge positive factor in our comfort while cruising the sea of cortez. Check out the info at the islander 36 dot org site, maintenance/systems/head liners. (I posted the link earlier but it never appeared)

Good luck!
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Old 19-08-2015, 11:32   #11
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Buzzard,

was lurking on this discussion but wanted to day thanks! Great video on Sailrite too!

TW
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Old 19-08-2015, 11:45   #12
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

To MSH:

The photos help.

Rot in plywood is not uncommon on old boats, especially wherever there is and deck hardware mounted or penetrating the fiberglass top sides or deck or cabin top.

The islander site linked up above has good examples of various headliner replacements. From what I saw, I prefer the hard surface material that was white with wood trim.

There is another great do it yourself blog showing excellent examples of how to robed portlights, fix or replace rotten plywood core, how to seal around holes prior to installing hardware etc. I can't recall the name now, but as I recall, the CF member has a .....

Hmmmmm....drawing a memory blank now....

If I can find the link on my Mac, I will post it here in this post.
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Old 19-08-2015, 11:47   #13
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1oldbuzzard View Post
greetings msh,

I have resurrected several boats and am about to take on another.

To start with take a look at the sailrite website. They have a video of re insulating an islander sailboat.

For myself, I always use a layer of the silver bubble wrap inside cabinets, lockers and other not normally accessable places. I usually use gel contact cement for this. Ventilate, ventilate.

For everywhere else I use R Board from Lowes in 4 x 8 sheets. I use loctite powergrab heavy duty to hold this up. It can follow compound curves if you score it from the backside in a diamond pattern. The more the curve, the closer you score it. Then I cover it with 1/4 inch cloth backed foam and then marine naugahyde for easy cleaning.

When I am just covering a surface with naugahyde I use a couple of things. One is called plastic cardboard. You get it from sign companies. Its the stuff that you see at election time in peoples front yards. It holds adhesive well and conforms to curves somewhat and has a tiny airspace like cardboard to add a tiny amount of insulation. If you want the plush look you can cover it with the cloth backed foam before the naugahyde goes on.

I helped convert a 115' fishing boat to a private yacht a couple years ago and thats what we used.

Also I use a plywood called doorskin. Its the really thin stuff used to make hollow doors. I just hunt a door manuf. and get it there. Lowes and Home Depot don't have it.

On top of that consider installing solar powered roof vents to help get the moisture out.

The Islander I am on now was plagued by condensation in the v berth so bad I thought I had leaks. I have added 1" of insulation to the hull and overhead and did the above mentioned foam and naugahyde over it.

PM me someday and I will send pictures. but do check out the sailrite video. P.S. I dont work for them. I am just an old, retired boater tryin' real hard not to grow up.

Oldbuzzard
Thank you for this! Honestly was scared *******s starting this project. Not having done this before and it being my home, I dont want to do anything wrong. I was not aware of Sailrite untill you and a few other pointed me in that direction. So I will check it out now. You have given me so many ideas! Have to talk to my lady to see which look she would be interested in. Thank you again! Will keep you posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Compactorguy View Post
Boats our age tended to be over built with fiberglass. Islanders have been around the world so unless there is some kind of damage "if it isn't broke why fix it" there is probably other items to spend money on.
As far as insulation I'm not familiar with the application in boats but I do know in Sumer you will be hot and winter cold no mater where your at. A small heater for winter and portable ac for summer works for most

Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
So true on the over fiberglassing. My hear is that where the mast comes through the cabin top, the wood seems to be much darker, so if anything should or can I fiberglass to strengthen the area? Not sure if I will be applauded or laughed out of this thread, but I would like to do some water sailing">blue water sailing with this antique. So being the overthinker that I am, it makes my heart rush to imagin the mast shifting with wind and snapping the wood in the cabin top. Not sure if that is even possible, but my imagination runs wild at times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neophytecruiser View Post
Do watch the video on replacing/installing a removable headliner on the Sailrite site. By installing furring strips to your cabin top and then attaching your new headliner using velcro, you'll have space between the strips for your insulation and also be able to have access under the coach roof for both wiring and deck hardware. Gluing your headliner in place, while requiring less time and effort, IMHO creates problems down the road.

In the Sailrite vid the furring strips are shown running athwart ships. For a more aesthetically pleasing installation, I'd recommend laying out your strips fore and aft, dividing the width into symmetrical sections. The space between the strips could accommodate the reflective bubble insulation. The panels themselves can be fabricated out of door skin with the underside (headliner side) first covered with thin foam backing and wrapped with naugahyde with can all be stapled to the upper edge of each panel to keep it taught and hold it in place. Industrial grade Velcro tacked and glued to the furring strips and stapled and glued to the headliner panels.

With regard to cabin sides, the insulation and foam backed naugahyde can be more permanently attached by gluing. Take all the interior port light trim rings off and make your cabin side pattern. Once you've cut and glued all the material to the cabin sides, the port trim pieces can be reinstalled, further securing your liner to the cabin sides.

Whatever you decide, good luck with your project.
I love the idea of velcro strips and being able to remove for access. Would what you suggest be similar to this boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgmo View Post
Other islander 36s have similar projects to what you are starting. I redid our headliner some years ago and the insulation was a huge positive factor in our comfort while cruising the sea of cortez. Check out the info at the islander 36 dot org site, maintenance/systems/head liners. (I posted the link earlier but it never appeared)

Good luck!
Thank you! I saw the link and will need to take a look at it! I wasnt expecting so many replies, but this is great! Now I have a list of references and actual options that can be vouched for by other sailers. It always feels strange reading blog posts that date back quiet a bit since practices could be updated with the introduction of new materials to the market.

Building on what has been said, what kind of wood should I be using to create the "wood rails" that can be seen in this picture? Figured I would need a similar set up as it was before. However, I am not sure that the wood that the PO used was a good idea since pieces were all dark and discolored from water getting it.
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Old 19-08-2015, 11:50   #14
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
To MSH:

The photos help.

Rot in plywood is not uncommon on old boats, especially wherever there is and deck hardware mounted or penetrating the fiberglass top sides or deck or cabin top.

The islander site linked up above has good examples of various headliner replacements. From what I saw, I prefer the hard surface material that was white with wood trim.

There is another great do it yourself blog showing excellent examples of how to robed portlights, fix or replace rotten plywood core, how to seal around holes prior to installing hardware etc. I can't recall the name now, but as I recall, the CF member has a .....

Hmmmmm....drawing a memory blank now....

If I can find the link on my Mac, I will post it here in this post.
Much appreciated! Will look into this now! Love having an IT job with internet at your fingertips. :-)
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Old 19-08-2015, 11:56   #15
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Re: Proper practices for the interior of sailboats (Insulating)

I haven't found the link yet, but while looking came across another I want to suggest you visit. It is a long list of important boat projects related to another brand of boat, but the info is comprehensive. If you read those pages, I believe it will help you greatly.

"101" Series - Quick Links to "Popular" Topics includes "Electrical 101"
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