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Old 10-12-2010, 18:02   #1
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Foam-Backed Headliner

There are a few spots in my boat where the foam backed upholstery is looking pretty bad.

I was thinking of just removing it and painting. But, another idea crossed my mind. Does that foam backing actually provide a little bit of insulation, although probably minimal, to help keep the cabin a little cooler?

So I guess the question(s) are is there a type of paint that is recommended for interior fiberglass?

Or if that headliner material does actually keep the boat a little cooler, what should I replace it with, and/or can it simply be dried out cleaned, re-glued? Where can I get the material, blah, blah, blah, etc., etc.?
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Old 10-12-2010, 18:29   #2
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[QUOTE=grunzster;575727]There are a few spots in my boat where the foam backed upholstery is looking pretty bad.

QUOTE]

Sailrite Sells - Sunbrella Fabrics, Sailcloth, Canvas Fabric and Sail Hardware, Ultrafeed Sewing Machines, Gill Foul Weather Gear and More! is a good source for all things fabric. They have the foam backed. They are good people and would give you advice on cleaning and glueing.

Regarding painting, the key question is esthetically how it is under the foam liner? Sometimes its pretty rought under there and would be a lot of work to smooth and clean up to look decent exposed and painted.
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Old 10-12-2010, 18:40   #3
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Very good point!

But here's the new standard to which I'm working to.



Besides, it's a Gemini, not a Lagoon. How finished does any of the boat look. Also, the worst spot is conveniently in the pantry/garage/dive shop, so a somewhat unfinished look will be appropriate.
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Old 10-12-2010, 18:46   #4
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BTW - Small world! I sat in your seminar at Annapolis last year, on cruising budgets. Then foolishly drove back to NJ to spend the winter aboard.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:32   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grunzster View Post
BTW - Small world! I sat in your seminar at Annapolis last year, on cruising budgets. Then foolishly drove back to NJ to spend the winter aboard.
This is Evans, not Beth. . . . but winter in NJ . . . I guess good training for high latitude cruising

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, the worst spot is conveniently in the pantry/garage/dive shop, so a somewhat unfinished look will be appropriate.
We think a-like. One of our aft cabins we call the garage, and it's also a 'somewhat unfinished look'. If anyone asked me about it, I say its a safety feature - lighter (in weight) than it would be finished, which will allow the boat to sail off a lee shore better. That usually stops the conversation . . . how can you agrue against safety
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:51   #6
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The foam backed vinyl is open cell foam, which will turn to powder in the heat of the tropics, letting the vinyl sag. Its a real mess to remove the remains, and the contact cement to glue it back is toxic in the quantities you are going to use.

The second time we had to replace it we ended up using closed cell foam and gluing the vinyl to that, but it doesn't hide the bumps as well as the open cell.
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Old 11-12-2010, 14:11   #7
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I replaced the headliner in our boat with a foam backing. The overhead of the boat is cool to the touch. Whether it makes a difference, I couldn't tell you. But it does look a damn sight better. Turned out really good once I got the hang of it.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:57   #8
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This is Evans, not Beth. . . . but winter in NJ . . . I guess good training for high latitude cruising
No thanks! I'm done with the North. I finally escaped, no reason to go back.

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We think a-like. One of our aft cabins we call the garage, and it's also a 'somewhat unfinished look'.
I think most of us have one of those cabins. As a newbie, it took me over a year of shuffling gear around to finally accept that the Gemini is really just a 2 cabin boat, if you're a live aboard.

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The foam backed vinyl is open cell foam, which will turn to powder in the heat of the tropics, letting the vinyl sag. Its a real mess to remove the remains
GREAT! So this stuff is just going to get worse the further South I get? Some of it already is powdery. There's a vote for just removing it.

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The second time we had to replace it we ended up using closed cell foam and gluing the vinyl to that, but it doesn't hide the bumps as well as the open cell.
No one makes vinyl or other headliner material backed with closed cell? Why didn't you just skip the foam?
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:17   #9
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the foam backed stuff is used to cover a multiple of sins, rather than simply for the look. so wouldn't surprise me if removal reveals a finish that is not quite ready for paint. plus the glue / foam remnants are a real PITA to remove.

FWIW doing a similar excecise in recent years, where possible am omitting the foam or going for paint - but takes a lot or work to get even a half way decent finish, that sliver of foam really does work well........
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:58   #10
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Or you could be really lazy... rip of the vinyl, clean/fill/smooth as best as possible and spray ceiling with your favourite colour 'Flock'...
An awning will keep the cabin cooler than any foam.. it does nothing
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Old 15-12-2010, 06:24   #11
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I agree with all of the comments about foam backed vinyl and about the 'finish', or lack thereof on the glass when the vinyl is removed. While it is much more time consuming, you can replace the vinyl with embossed frp panels - 4 x 8 sheets are available at Home Depot for under $50.00. You will need to make cardboard templates, but the material is very easy to cut and you can sand the edges for a tight fit with coarse grade sandpaper.

The panels can be screwed into the overhead using coverd plastic cap washers. The advantage is that you will have access to all deck hardware and adding wiring is a snap. The only truly difficult part will be dealing with compound curves on the sides of the coachouse. I epoxy in wood screw strips to allow joints to be butted, attach to the hull sides with a compound that is made for the product (although one could use epoxy) and then screw on teak trim pieces (although molded plastic is available). Tape the seams and caulk with white silicone.

Easy? Perhaps not. But it is a low-maintenance, permanent fix and the panels look very much like factory molded headliners.

Brad
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Old 15-12-2010, 07:08   #12
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I hate that foam backed crap,as others have said its used because its a cheap quick and dirty solution,it always fails. What i have done in a number of boats is tear it off and replace it with a polyolefin (sp) automobile carpet,it is cheap, not very thick, moldable with careful use of a heat gun,waterproof and nice to lay against if its on the hull by a berth. I have used it in a light grey on 3 boats and have some rolls in a light tan in my attic for my Lindenberg. You glue it to the hull just like the original, the stuff i use i buy from the local big box lumberyard (Menards) i dont know if Home Depot or Lowes carry it. I looks like the same stuff that Corsair used on the F boats although the most recent stuff i bought is a little thinner and was on sale for $16 for a 6' x 8' mat which is nice to handle. The grey stuff i bought by the yard in the carpet section, it was called Lamborgini grey. Oh,it hides a multitude of sins very well.
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Old 15-12-2010, 07:40   #13
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What happens to the carpet after it is soaked in salt water??
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Old 15-12-2010, 08:01   #14
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I dont know,im on the great lakes but the stuff is fairly thin and 100% waterproof so quite frankly you could hose it down if you needed to wash out salt, it will dry out totally which is not the case with the foam backed vinyl when the foam gets damp from sea air. The carpet on the floor of cars gets all kind of crap trampled on it ,especially in the winter and dries out fine. There are lots of Farriers out there plying salt water areas, it would be nice to hear how it works out for them.
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Old 15-12-2010, 10:13   #15
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clockwork orange - That almost exactly the stuff I was looking at on Sailrite. Hides the sins as someone said, but without that crappy foam. I like the price on the auto carpet much better than what I saw on Sailrite's site. And I'd imagine it's pretty much the same stuff, just marked up because it's labeled for marine use.
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