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Old 18-04-2006, 14:43   #16
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I've lived with sprayfoam for 30 years , no problem.
Cheap latex paint makes it far more fire resistant.
My book tells you how to build a 36 foot hull in two days.
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Old 20-04-2006, 12:55   #17
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I think the "toxic dust" bit is an overreaction, simply breathing in any insoluble DUST in large quantities for several days can choke your lungs. This is the same as coal miners' "black lung" disease, the chemical toxicity is not the problem, the particles are.

Foam rubbers are made one of two ways: Either very expensively, with pressurized inert gas ("nitrogen blown" neoprene, etc.) or conventionally, with chemicals added like a pancake batter and then "cooked" to make them rise. Cheap foam rubbers either turn to powder, or to gum, as the chemicals age and they break down. Good foam rubbers can go 30 years with no decay--and the only way you can tell what you are buying, is to bet on a brand name if you can find one. Other plastics like closed cell "ensolite" just don't decay this way, so they may be a better choice for overhead padding. (Used in camping groundpads, etc.)

Velcro on the overhead is a bad idea, only because the adhesive-backed velcro becomes gummy in the heat in the summer and it will release. There is a special "industrial" version sold by 3M (not a Velcro brand) but I've also seen that release from perfectly prepared car windshields after six months in Florida sun.

I've come to respect the labor old timers put into installing slats against overheads instead of upholstering them.
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Old 20-04-2006, 13:42   #18
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I replaced my old headlining (which was the old foam and vinyl) after the age and heat turned the foam brittle and it all started to fall down. I looked at several methods,

the most professional being to use material fastened to square panels, and the panels then being screwed to the deckhead. However, the head clearance in the saloon was insufficient for my long back to go this route.

straight replacement of the vinyl/foam - rejected due to cost and because the new foam in UK is fire retardent (yes I know thats a good idea, but it makes the foam more brittle) hence a projected life of much less than 10 years.

Fit of a carpet - but felt backed rather than foam. I eventually went this route for several reasons, cost, the ability to use a professional carpet fitting team (that cost a couple of extra bottles on top of their normal fee). I also procured some very high temperature contact glue used by car manufacturers for tropical climes - this was so strong that it started to attack the glue between the felt and the carpet!

I reckon the final result was pretty good -

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Old 23-03-2012, 09:03   #19
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Re: Head liner replacement help

I'm interested in the response about replacing a headliner using corrugated sign material with vinyl glued to it. I'm looking at a Cal 35 that needs a new headliner. In addition, it could very well be sagging due to toxic foam degeneration! What appears to be cosmetic could become a priority if I am able to purchase this boat. Any comments or advice appreciated. I know this is an old thread, hope someone is still reading it.
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Old 23-03-2012, 09:09   #20
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Re: Head liner replacement help

Corrugated sign material (PVC?) is going to have all those corrugated channels in it, which may collect condensation and breed mold. Or give insects a nice nesting place, like ants and roaches.

I wouldn't do it. Use something solid, like closed-cell foam padding, available in rolls.
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Old 23-03-2012, 11:00   #21
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Re: Head liner replacement help

Thanks,
you make a good point. Where do you find the foam?
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Old 23-03-2012, 11:13   #22
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Re: Head liner replacement help

Marty-
yellow pages, web, yoga mats, camping groundpads, "ethafoam" or "polyfoam" there are a number of varieties. Shipping often costs as much as cheap foam does, and anything "chemically foamed" as opposed to "gas blown" is more likely to break down ten years from now. Wood slats start to look better all the time, huh?
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Old 23-03-2012, 11:22   #23
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Re: Head liner replacement help

The corrugated sign panel thing sounds like a possibility to me. Lightweight, non rotting... Sure bugs could get into the corrugations, but heck, they can live behind the panels and in a million other crevices all they want anyway.
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Old 23-03-2012, 20:46   #24
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I used 4by8 shower enclosure panels I bought at Lowes. Back side showing. Flexible, easy to clean semi gloss. Trimmed with teak. Looks great easy to install. I used battens to screw to, cut panels to size then covered seam with teak strips. I can take down any section to access under deck to mount new winches etc.
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Old 24-03-2012, 06:37   #25
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Re: Head liner replacement help

Tell me more. How did you attach the battens? Good epoxy? The material is flexible enough to go around curves? Got any pictures?
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Old 24-03-2012, 10:25   #26
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Re: Head liner replacement help

The battens I've attached in the past were made of plywood cut into strips, then sawed multiple times part way through accross the length to make them super flexible and to hold the glue well. You could use anything from Bondo to a tube of urethane glue. I would opt for one part urethane purchased in a caulking tube size or gallon container even better for spreading on. It loves water and cures better if sprayed with a little mister! Also it expands a little instead of shrinking when curing. Amazing stuff. Be careful to wipe the lid....it's so good sometimes it glues the lid in place....
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Old 24-03-2012, 10:31   #27
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Re: Head liner replacement help

Thanks for the instructions. This looks like a great solution.
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Old 24-03-2012, 12:20   #28
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I used construction glue,screws and 2 by 1/2 inch strips. Panels will not do a 90 but still are flexible. Check them out at any home center.
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Old 24-03-2012, 13:02   #29
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Re: Head liner replacement help

We just replaced our foam backed vinyl overhead panels because the heat & age deteriorated the foam - and the vinyl broke lose and sagged.

We cut all new 3/16" plywood panels and used Contact cement to glue the new vinyl onto the wood. We used 9-inch paint rollers to smooth the fabric and make sure there were no bubbles. We made the vinyl 4" bigger so were able to glue and wrap it around the plywood. We then stapled the wrapped part in place to keep things tight until the glue totally dried (72 hours). We then removed the staples and painted the exposed wood on the back side with anti-mildew paint & 2 coats of enamyl paint to water proof the wood.

We used SS phillips head screws with a washer to fasten them in place to the existing teak battens. The original plan was to install other teak battens to hide the "gap", but we only had a minimual gap so didn't do it.
---------------------
Just as a note, LATEX paint is NOT fireproof!!! I have great pictures from my Fire/Arson Investigator days of Latex paint burning off of walls and ceilings in huge sheets at an incredible rate during some of our training exercises.

Any overhead that is fabric/vinyl mounted on plywood will quickly become involved in a boat fire. I use to call it "burn up/fall down". Usually a galley fire would ignite the overhead, the fire would spread across the entire overhead area, and burning parts of the overhead would start falling down and igniting the upholestry below. All of this in less than 2-minutes.

Lesson to be learn: Have a big fire extinguisher (5 to 10-lb capacity) and use it immediately! Fire damage is much harder to fix than cleaning up dry chemical. The easiest way of cleaning up dry chemical is with a vacuum cleaner or beating it off - NEVER use a wet rag or water - it turns into an incredibly icky mess.
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Old 24-03-2012, 20:12   #30
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Re: Head liner replacement help

If you use contact cement, or any other volatile glue, ventilate the heck out of the boat. In the late 80s a fellow that sailed through Antigua and put on an hilarious show for Antigua sailing week was later putting a new headliner in his catamaran. The fumes hit an open flame or spark and caused an explosion that burned him over 90% of his body. He died a few days later. Dont become a statistic, ventilate ventilate ventilate. _____Grant.
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