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Old 19-02-2009, 14:27   #1
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Searunner Ceilings

Hey folks,

Ok - I've (mostly) taken possession of my Searunner 37, and I'm learning from the seller how to do the upkeep and maintenance - Tuesday we spent all day grinding out problems in the deck fiberglass, laying down epoxy and fiberglass patches, and waiting for it all to cure. Next Tuesday we do the next layer of fairing, then sand and paint. The previous owner used some kind of thick yellow epoxy paste to fix any deck problems, and I swear, he must have applied it with a spoon! Oh well, I'm encouraged by how quick and easy the work has been so far.

One big task coming up, however, is the cabin ceilings. Some previous owner went to great effort and expense to make custom canvas coverings, held in place with velcro. However, due to lack of maintenance, a few leaks in the ceiling have made the canvas saggy and discolored, the velcro falling off, and underneath there are mildew and mold patches on the bare plywood.

My current thinking is to tear out every last bit of the canvas, scrub all the mildew off with a mixture of bleach and water, and then paint the bare wood with an anti-mildew paint. Then I would like to install - I can't remember what they're called, brass or steel threaded bolt holes - into the crossbeams, and cover the whole ceiling with sheets of 1/4" panelling, using stainless screws and washers so that I can remove the panelling if I need to someday without damaging the wood.

My questions to you:

- is this reasonable? what kind of ceiling coverings do you have in your Searunner?

- is the anti-mildew paint safe in close quarters like a boat?

- the bolt holes - are these necessary? is it common to need access to the plywood ceiling? I ask because I wonder if the previous owner used canvas and velcro for a reason.

- any other suggestions?
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Old 19-02-2009, 16:44   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew23 View Post
- is this reasonable? what kind of ceiling coverings do you have in your Searunner?

- is the anti-mildew paint safe in close quarters like a boat?

- the bolt holes - are these necessary? is it common to need access to the plywood ceiling? I ask because I wonder if the previous owner used canvas and velcro for a reason.

The plan to tear out the headliner is good; replacing it of dubious value, mostly due to the additional weight incurred on a boat that needs to be kept light.

On the Searunners I've seen, pretty much all them have had either natural wood (well, epoxy over marine ply), painted a light color or a fabric headliner. The most common, by far, were the first two choices.

Hope that helps.
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Old 20-02-2009, 14:17   #3
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thanks Maren! I will definitely pull the canvas and paint, and then decide if I want to go with a lightweight synthetic panelling over top of that. I don't know why, but I really dislike fabric headliners.

On the weight front, I've discovered that all the floorboards were built from some kind of crazy space-age aircraft honeycomb material that the former owner apparently scavenged from the Boeing factory near Seattle! Strong and super-light, pretty nifty stuff.
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Old 27-02-2009, 11:56   #4
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Originally Posted by drew23 View Post
I don't know why, but I really dislike fabric headliners.
Perhaps it's related to an aversion to mildew, molds and fungi.

On the weight front, I've discovered that all the floorboards were built from some kind of crazy space-age aircraft honeycomb material that the former owner apparently scavenged from the Boeing factory near Seattle! Strong and super-light, pretty nifty stuff.[/quote]

You weren't reading what could you do with 200lbs were you? I'm going to do something similar ... skin it and cover the top with industrial cork.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:47   #5
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On my Searunner 40 I use 1/8" mahogany ply panels, sealed with epoxy. These are then covered on the visible side with Formica. Foam insulation sheets are inserted between the cabintop stringers and the panels are screwed from below into the stringers with stainless screws and finish washers. I originally used Velcro to secure the stringers and panels, but used too much, making it difficult to remove. Given that I occasionally open up the headliner to check for leaks or run a wire, the screws have proven to be the easiest solution for me. The Formica was chosen to allow for easy and aggressive cleaning, which has proven a good decision over thirty years of use. Cooking, burning candles or oil lamps, or simply brushing against the panels with dirty paws can lead to persistent stains which come out only with serious cleaning. The weight is not bad, and the appearance is quite nice. I also use 3/4" X 1/4" varnished teak strips to cover the lengthwise seams and make the overhead look pretty flashy. I can't send a photo at the moment, since everything is stripped out as I totally repaint the cabin interior.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:03   #6
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How about some pictures!
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:20   #7
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sweet, Roy M, that's *exactly* what I had in mind, right down to the foam insulation sheets! Actually, I forgot to mention in my first post - that's why the canvas is there in the first place, to hold the foam sheets in place. One of the previous owners cruised extensively in Alaska...
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:13   #8
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My PDQ has 3/16" luan panels covered with an off-white foam backed plastic material with a slight leather texture. These panels are attached to stringers with ss screws hidden under plastic snap on covers of the same color. They are bright, easy to clean, and have held up 15 years now.they are easy to remove for maintenance and can be curved to fit where needed. They would be among the first things to go if I were racing, but I'm not.
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Old 08-08-2009, 00:11   #9
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ive seen an article a few years ago, about using textured fiberglass panels for headliners in boats. they used home depo/lowes panels. these cost about $20 bucks a sheet for maybe 1/8" x 4' x 8' and had a nice paintable texture on the visible surface. very flexible. it was over by the pine wood on the bottom shelves where they had other types of thin 4x8 sheets. the article made it look very easy and the material doesnt rot
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:58   #10
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Searunner 37' ...realistically about a year away from getting to the interior, (total rebuild)

But I would like to hear any input on spraying on a heavily textured paint or spray FOAM type coating to cover up all those imperfections, (possibly) provide a small amount of insulation value, and leave things exposed for inspection's sake.

thanks!
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:43   #11
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purvisgs: BAD IDEA! With a plywood boat, and especially an overhead surface, you want to be able to monitor that space for mildew and potential dryrot. And removal of those coatings in the future (not if, but when) will be a nightmare for you or the subsequent owner. If the underside surface isn't pretty, cover it with something that isn't too difficult to pull later. Plywood tends to "check" (develop small cracks in the thin outer skin), even with epoxy. So, to keep control of this area that gets the day's heat and the nights cold, I epoxied the plywood inside and out, and make occasional fills to the checks every ten years of so. Sorry folks, no pics yet. I am just getting back to doing any significant work on the boat since last summer. The galley is starting to shape up nicely, but the aft cabin is a hellhole: Stripped wallcoverings which will be painted, new overhead panels and polyurethane foam sheets for the insulation, and vertical grade Formica (to reduce weight) on the visible side of the overheads.
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