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Old 23-07-2019, 14:22   #1
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Foam wall lining

I've recently purchased a small sailboat (my first!) and I'm doing some cosmetic upgrades inside. There's this layer of foam covered in fabric lining most of the inside. I'd like to rip it out and just paint instead but my SO thinks the foam may have some insulation benefit and that we should replace it with something similar. How much benefit am I really getting from this thin foam layer?
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Old 23-07-2019, 14:47   #2
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Re: Foam wall lining

Very little, it is open cell and deteriorates rapidly. I've had a couple boats with it and a few cars with it as the headliner. It was always a disaster after a short time.



I have used thin cork under fabric that was vastly superior or you could just paint the cork.


Just my opinion of course.
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Old 23-07-2019, 15:21   #3
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Re: Foam wall lining

It's doing very little good as insulation, but I wouldn't expect to find an easy to paint surface behind it, either. If they knew it would be covered, it probably has rough fiberglass behind it, and the glue that they use for these things is usually surprisingly hard to clean off, considering how crummy it is at attaching the things it was SUPPOSED to hold.

If that turns out to be the case, covering it again with something may be the fastest and easiest solution if you don't want to either sand or apply a smoother layer of gelcoat or thickened resin.
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Old 23-07-2019, 15:50   #4
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Re: Foam wall lining

Had this stuff on first boat. Complete mess..... falling apart and full of mold. Wife when rogue and took it all off...... there are solvants for that! Big respirator, fans, ventilation, sander, scraper, vacuum and she got it done. Painted nicely....... much improved!

Good luck
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Old 23-07-2019, 20:17   #5
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Re: Foam wall lining

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGN View Post
Very little, it is open cell and deteriorates rapidly. I've had a couple boats with it and a few cars with it as the headliner. It was always a disaster after a short time.



I have used thin cork under fabric that was vastly superior or you could just paint the cork.


Just my opinion of course.
Is there a special marine grade cork covering for this? I wouldn't mind the look of cork, very modern pub. Do you remember the apx cost? Was it in a roll or panels?
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Old 23-07-2019, 20:19   #6
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Re: Foam wall lining

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreadPirateRob View Post

If that turns out to be the case, covering it again with something may be the fastest and easiest solution if you don't want to either sand or apply a smoother layer of gelcoat or thickened resin.
I'm sanding now. Do I have to worry about sanding into the fiberglass? If so, what do I look for?
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Old 23-07-2019, 21:14   #7
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Re: Foam wall lining

One benefit of those foam liners is that they do cut down interior noise very well. But that’s hardly a benefit on a sail boat. I have a big roll of the stuff left over from my bud fit out but figured it was no particular benefit on my boat.
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Old 24-07-2019, 09:27   #8
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Re: Foam wall lining

Quote:
Originally Posted by DateW.Dionysus View Post
Is there a special marine grade cork covering for this? I wouldn't mind the look of cork, very modern pub. Do you remember the apx cost? Was it in a roll or panels?

I apologize, I am in an area where internet access is sparse on the water.


I know of no "Marine" rated cork. Cork seems to be the original marine insulation though, the stuff is amazing.



Cork comes in several forms, from about 1/4" down it can be had in rolls. I find the tiles to be easier to work with. It can be difficult to get a sheet aligned with the compound curvatures of the hull, and not have bubbles or wrinkles. I used 1' tiles on the present boat and it was pretty easy to fit to the hull but I am sure the curves on your boat are more of a problem. I remember struggling a bit with my 20' boat, 20 some years ago. I did seriously consider painting the cork this time around but went with a plastic beadboard for the scrub ability.


Use the 3M spray contact adhesive, it is a bit more expensive but the stuff is strong and reliable. It can be difficult to match edges when hanging the cork so use wax paper or plastic sheet to keep from having misalignment 'cuz once it is stuck down it is STUCK!


A multi tool with the scraper blade makes short work of the old contact cement. Small gouges and scrapes in the fiberglass are irrelevant but can be filled with some automobile body putty if you want, that is what the factories use. It would be hard to make a big gouge in the glass with a sander don't sweat it.


Just clean the hull down before gluing with acetone or the like so no oils remain, take your time fitting the cork to the boat and it will come out great.


Let us know how it comes out and some pictures would be nice
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