Yeah I know, give me the award
for the 1000th post on headliners, but hear me out.
The current headliner
in my boat
is a rubbery material that is glued directly to the fiberglass
, it is original to the boat
(circa 1974!). In places it's falling down and has clearly been re-adhered a few times. Where it's not falling down, it's just ugly, so I'm looking to replace it with a more "proper" headliner
of material fastened to battens. The material to use is stumping me a little.
I have 5, soon to be 6 kids
, and while we don't live aboard
full time anymore, I know that anything and everything has the potential to be colored on with crayon, markers, even permanent markers (how do they find those???). I need something that will be easy to clean. I know I do not want beaded board, or that speckled FRP panel people use in bathrooms (who wants to feel like they're in a bathroom all the time?). Interesting options I've found seem to be from the signage industry.
Expanded PVC foam: This can sometimes be found at home depot in 1/2" variants, but I would need something 1/4" or less. It seemed perfect: rot-proof, easy to shape and lightweight. The problem is a I had a friend who finished their headliner in this do an "ink" test for me, and found it very hard to clean off. This makes sense considering the sign industry loves this material for it's ability to take ink. $80-120 per sheet (1/8 or 1/4 thickness)
: Also for the sign industry, this is an aluminum
sandwich as thin as 3mm. In the pictures I've seen of it, it looks pretty glossy, which would imply easy to clean but I certainly don't want a mirror image of the salon
when I look up. Also, what happens when someone dents it? ($80 per sheet)
1/4" teak plywood
: This is probably the most expensive option, as this probably runs 80 per sheet plus the covering. I don't trust myself to make the finish perfect, so you would need to add another 70 per sheet to affix formica to it. Fortunately, formica cleans very easily. ($150 per sheet)
1/4" BCX plywood
: Obviously the rot
resistance of teak
is better, but at least with exterior glue it won't ruin it the same day a leak shows up. I would still need to cover with something (100 per sheet for the ply + formica)
: I'm not too keen on the amount of weight 1/4" plywood would add to the boat. If there were a 1/8 or 5mm plywood option I'd probably pick it, but there is nothing exterior grade that I can find. Why can't I just velcro up some formica? But I'm not sure, it might just be a little *too* flimsy with no backing. Maybe just throw a single
layer of lightweight fiberglass
on the back? Cost is $70 per sheet.
I'm probably way overthinking, as usual, suffice to say that I'm sufficiently paralyzed by options! I've come to peace with the fact that I might just end up spending some money
on a panel simply to see how it will work