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Old 03-05-2014, 16:02   #1
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Removing cabin liner?

I dont like the idea of not having access to inspect and maintain hardware and things hidden behind the fiberglass cabin liner of many boats in my price range. And i know most if not all boats use them for some structural aspect of the boat, so removing it is not a good idea.

But is there a way to remove the liner and add bulkheads, beams, or some other structural components to replace or even improve the integrity of the boat while allowing access to anything and everything i deem necessary?

Thanks in advance for any advice or insight.

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Old 03-05-2014, 17:20   #2
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Re: Removing cabin liner?

Anything is possible. But, if you do your due diligence before buying, I'm sure there are a few boats out there whose liners need not be removed.

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Old 03-05-2014, 17:32   #3
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Re: Removing cabin liner?

If you are a naval architect or yacht designer by trade, sure, take out the liner. But first you might analize the static and dynamic forces working on your boat and size framing to handle those forces. Then consider the best way to the fit framing where the hull liner was. On the other hand, you could leave the liner in place and run new wiring, say, behind a piece of trim molding. Just sayin'.
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Old 03-05-2014, 18:19   #4
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I can understand the concern, but there are a great many liner boats afloat, and few problems would require cutting holes in the liner. If you take a close look around, you will see that builders place strategic gaps in the liner for access to thru hulls, outfalls and transponders. Catalinas have easy access wire raceways behind and above the settees, I assume other builders do something similar. My Catalina 350 even has a water system manifold in the bilge, so there are no hidden hose junctions. If you have to replace sanitation hoses at some point, you can snake the old ones out behind the liner trailing a messenger line to pull the new ones in.

The use of hull liner construction has come a long way, and has made great boats affordable for many sailors. Removing the liner would destroy the engineered hull strength and stability, and since the hull was designed for that support, back-engineering hull dynamics, reinforcing the hull to withstand timber forces, etc. would be an enormous effort and very expensive. You'd probably lose years of sailing and spend more than you would if you found an older design without liner construction.

Or, you might consider doing what many of us have done, buy the prettiest and most seaworthy boat you can afford, and take the chance you may have to drill a hole in the liner some day to reach a hidden bolt or fitting. I've had two liner boats over the last 14 years, had many wonderful days of sailing and more than a few hard days sailing, and haven't had a liner-in-the way problem yet.
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