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Old 31-01-2008, 15:43   #1
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cabin headliner

I have a 1979 Islander Bahama 30. The old plastic head liner is in poor condition and there are a number or leaks from deck fittings toe rails etc. Mold is an issue. I am considering replacing the whole thing. I have three questions.

1) What options are there for heat insulation? I sail all year and the heat loss in winter is dramatic. Can I just glue half inch insulating foam directly to the fiberglass cabin roof or should I leave a gap for air circulation? Any other suggestions?

2) I have seen lots of pictures of sail boat cabins lined with what looks like wooden planking about 1 1/2 inches wide possibly screwed to battens attached to the cabin roof. Is there a molded plywood board or does one mill ones own 1 1/2"x1/4" planks? White cedar? Light Oak? Mahogany? Would it be a good idea to leave a small gap between each plank?

3) It seems to me that some way of keeping air circulating behind the cabin liner and draining condensation to the bilges would be a really good idea?

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed staring at my sagging cabin liner with the West Coast rain pouring down outside and would be really pleased to hear from anyone who has experience with this sort of renovation. Even good guesses! Ideas? Intuitions?

New member: Gabriola Island BC Canada

Chris
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Old 31-01-2008, 16:21   #2
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Quote:
Can I just glue half inch insulating foam directly to the fiberglass cabin roof or should I leave a gap for air circulation?
You really weant to be able to remove the headliner so you can fix deck problems or detach / add hardware over time. Removing a glued fom would just be too much fun.

If you take down all the old headliner you will then fix all the deck problems and remove all the leaks (you hope). If you fail to fix them all providing drainage isn't the answer. You really want them all 100% fixed. Items may require rebedding from the top and inspection to see if there is any core damage (assuming the deck is cored).

I've seen several apporaches and some look better and others don't. last Boat had small sections with teak battens. The battens were screwed up in place to hold panels of board then the screw holes bunged and the whole wood varnished with many coats. The panels were not 100% tight but only held in place suspended. Looked great. Current boat looks similar but they cut 1 inch holes through the boards and use white platic plugs to access the bolts. A little more practical to work on deck hardware without ripping down the head liner.

It sounds like it all needs to come down and then you can fix all the problems, wait a bit to be sure then try one plan. Make templates for cutting as fitting each piece is going to be different for each panel. The battens hide all the seams if you want a real natuical looking head liner.
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Old 31-01-2008, 17:06   #3
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My custom-finished 30-ft Golden Gate sloop was nicely done by the original owner. 3/8-inch or so battens were epoxied to the fiberglass overhead athwart ships, 1/4-inch thick x 1-1/2-inch wide light oak battens are screwed fore and aft to the athwart ships battens. Where there is a joint (as the cabin is fairly long, another finishing batten is screwed athwart ships over the joint. Hex-head brass screws are used and I think look fine. 1-inch diameter holes were cut through each fore and aft batted every 4-feet or so for ventilation. The air gap between the overhead and fore and aft battens seems excellent. I plan to use the same technique this summer on my 23-ft Westerly as its foam-backed vinyl headliner has seen its day. Hope that helps.
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Old 31-01-2008, 20:38   #4
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I experimented putting a piece of foam insulation between two of my beams and left it there over last winter. I have closed loop vented diesel heat which keeps the inside of the boat dry (my project is in a parking lot, not on water). I had mold when I pulled the insulation down. Now I'm thinking about a wood headliner with a 1 1/2 inch vent on each side between the beams. I'd like to add some loose insulation, any thoughts on this? Maybe the air space would provide enough insulating value. My cabin top is wood and I have done a pretty thorough job epoxy coating it.
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Old 31-01-2008, 21:04   #5
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Aloha Chris,
I haven't done this yet but I am going to use bead board from Home Depot for the overhead. I have beams to screw it to so the process is a bit different than yours. I would think you could epoxy 3/4" strips athwart on your cabin overhead then screw the bead board directly to it. Between your fiberglass overhead and the bead board you could put some type of insulation. Although toxic if on fire I am going to use styrofoam for insulation. I don't intend to be on fire so will take the chance. The bead board I'm talking about is 1/4" thick pine about about 8" wide and 5' long. You could finish it in white glossy paint or clear poly.
Just a thought.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Aloha Chris,
I haven't done this yet but I am going to use bead board from Home Depot for the overhead. I have beams to screw it to so the process is a bit different than yours. I would think you could epoxy 3/4" strips athwart on your cabin overhead then screw the bead board directly to it. Between your fiberglass overhead and the bead board you could put some type of insulation. Although toxic if on fire I am going to use styrofoam for insulation. I don't intend to be on fire so will take the chance. The bead board I'm talking about is 1/4" thick pine about about 8" wide and 5' long. You could finish it in white glossy paint or clear poly.
Just a thought.
JohnL
I have also used this method. It was pine 1/4" thick, 4"s wide and 8ft. lengths. I used Smith&Co. penetrating epoxy to seal it up. The first boat I did it to is still looking as good as new and that was 18 years ago. I left mine natural. It gives the boat a really warm look as opposed to the impersonal plastic liner you see nowadays.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:33   #7
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On a previous boat, a Mariner 28, we replaced the foam-backed vinyl liner with textured fiberglass shower liner, and backed it with the pink closed-cell foam used to insulate wood floors.

On Beausoleil, the overhead liner is Awlgrip'd marine mahogany paneling, with a 1-3" air gap. One thing you could consider - rather than gluing foam insulation to the overhead is to glue it to the panel you use. That way if you need to later re-bed or install deck fittings, run new wiring, it just drops down with the overhead panel. Of course, this method requires you to use a panel rather than vinyl fabric.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:39   #8
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Aloha Celestial,
Didn't know you did it already. Great minds think alike!
JohnL
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Old 01-02-2008, 15:56   #9
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Textured white frp panels are available at Home Depot for about $48.00 (in Canada) for a 4x8 sheet. They look precisely the same as many molded headliners, are easy to cut (and sand the edges for precise fits). I am replacing the sagging vinyl headliner in my catamaran with the frp. The added advantage is that all panels are now removable for access to deck hardware.

On some compound-curved surfaces I have been required to epoxy in screw strips, but otherwise I have just used ss screws, cup washers and plastic covers and screwed directly into the inside laminate of the deck. Looks great and is a permanent fix.

Brad
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Old 01-02-2008, 16:47   #10
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The best material for headliner is expanded polyethylene sheet. Easy to cut, drill and it is water proof and durable.

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Old 07-03-2008, 22:14   #11
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Headliner Thanks

Belated thanks to all those of you who responded to my headliner
replacement questions. It is good to know that one is not alone when embarking on such a project! The information was really useful and has helped me decide on a course of action. The old vinyl headliner is GONE, mold and all! I have replaced all of the old leaky portlights and re caulked all of the deck fittings. (including the toe rail which nearly caused me to give up sailing altogether!) I plan to use 3/8"x1 1/2" yellow Cedar Battens and have attached transverse battens as advised. I am thinking that I will use 1/2" pink foam board (risking fire and asphyxiation) from Home depot and lightly tape it in place using double sided tape until the battens are in place. That way I can remove it easily if mold or deterioration takes place, or if I need to access a leaking deck fitting. One major revelation was a leaking chain plate that has completely rotted out a 1'x2' area of bulkhead. It was hanging on by a thread! So glad I found it even if it was a bit of a set back. (Any advice about removing chain plates without loosing the mast would be most appreciated!) Any how it is all a big learning experience and I have found myself feeling quite happy to be involved in it... even if it is getting in the way of a good Sail!

Best wishes and happy sailing season! Many thanks for the good advice.

Chris
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:56   #12
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Chris,

Wow sounds like you have been busy and on the road to doing things right. Once you start removing things to get at problems finding more isn't unusual. One problem can lead to another as you have found. Your headliner sounds like a project you spent some time thinking about. Being able to go back and revisit it maybe means you won't have to

Removing a chain plate its usually a messy operation. They don't always just remove with a few bolts and you are done and replacing all that rotted material with good is going to take a little bit of time. When you have the sails down the load on the rig is a great deal less than when under sail. The mast just isn't going to suddenly fall down with one stay gone. It already has a very weak connection to the stay now. If you would feel more secure while working on the chain plate you can use a halyard attached to the deck or tie off the loose end of the stay to the deck just to be safer if you get a good blow. If you mark the turn buckle with tape you can even adjust it back where it was when you are done and ready to reattach it.

We would all like to see some pictures. If you can post some digital images to your Cruisers Forum picture gallery you can link them here on this thread.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:07   #13
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I was wondering about including some sort of inflatable device for providing flotation if upside down.
Robert
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:03   #14
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I was wondering about including some sort of inflatable device for providing flotation if upside down.
When your boat weighs many tons the insulation in a head liner really won't displace much water at all.
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Old 24-03-2008, 16:50   #15
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Also have sagging vinyl headliner. What a hassle removing the old foam adhesive from the fiberglass. Seriously considering the FRP route to replace. Question, Do I need to remove all the foam insulation from the fiberglass inorder to replace with vinyl? Next question, if I decide on replacing the vinyl with the FRP do I really need to remove all the remaining foam insulation that's on the fiberglass? Will it be advantageous to leave it since it will offer some sort of insulation?
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