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Old 25-05-2022, 03:55   #1
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Material options for cabin trim strips.

Hi all,

The new boat had teak trims around the cabin top. Like every other bit of timber in the boat they were matchwood,

I am looking at materials that might be used to replace them. The main constraint is that they can’t be timber. Yes, I know, timber does look beautiful but I am not about to spend the next 20 years varnishing the darn things.

So far I’ve considered aluminium extrusion, rubber, or some kind of plastic, though which kind I don’t know.

The trims are aesthetic only, as far as I can tell, but they are an important aesthetic component and the boat looks horrible without them. I’d probably paint whatever I fit in a dark green to match the planned topside trim colour.

The old timber profile was about 25 mm high, probably a similar depth (it’s hard to tell, they were so eaten away.

I may be able to mould them from fibreglass if nothing better comes to mind.

Any other ideas?

I’ve attached a photo of a boat like this one with reasonably sound timber trim strips to show what I am talking about.

P.s. I tried a paint strip version, but it just doesn’t look right .Click image for larger version

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Old 25-05-2022, 04:09   #2
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

Hi Matt,
I hear you on not wanting to varnish. I am down to less than 10 small wooden pieces on the outside of my boat.

-is cellular PVC /vinyl trim available in your neck of the woods?
-can you tell if it was all pre-formed or was it possibly attached then routed into shape?
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Old 25-05-2022, 04:09   #3
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

A problem faced by many. With the curves I think you can’t use fake wood. Perhaps a rubbery plastic but I suspect it won’t look good or hold up.

The painted accent would do it, what’s wrong with that at 10 meters?
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Old 25-05-2022, 04:26   #4
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

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Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
A problem faced by many. With the curves I think you can’t use fake wood. Perhaps a rubbery plastic but I suspect it won’t look good or hold up.

The painted accent would do it, what’s wrong with that at 10 meters?


I thought the painted stripe would pass the ten meter test too. But it looked weird and seemed to accentuate the odd bald look of the cabin.
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Old 25-05-2022, 04:28   #5
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

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Originally Posted by Spot View Post
Hi Matt,
I hear you on not wanting to varnish. I am down to less than 10 small wooden pieces on the outside of my boat.

-is cellular PVC /vinyl trim available in your neck of the woods?
-can you tell if it was all pre-formed or was it possibly attached then routed into shape?


I’ll look up the cellular pvc, not something I’d heard of before.

The timber was the usual collection of straight bits and curved sections. Hard to tell how they were originally formed, they were so badly weathered they looked like they had been sand blasted.
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Old 25-05-2022, 04:37   #6
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Material options for cabin trim strips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spot View Post
Hi Matt,
I hear you on not wanting to varnish. I am down to less than 10 small wooden pieces on the outside of my boat.

-is cellular PVC /vinyl trim available in your neck of the woods?
-can you tell if it was all pre-formed or was it possibly attached then routed into shape?


Just found some great options using cellular pvc, thank you. I’d have to route them down to the right shape, if that’s possible. Do you know if they can be routed?
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Old 25-05-2022, 04:48   #7
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Just found some great options using cellular pvc, thank you. I’d have to route them down to the right shape, if that’s possible. Do you know if they can be routed?

I do not know personally. I see them at the lumber yard and wonder...last time I repaired a window's trim at home I had a choice of either wood or PVC for the same brick molding.

If you could reach a stockist or manufacturer you might get a more informed answer. I can ask at work too, we have a couple guys who work side jobs in the building trades.
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Old 25-05-2022, 04:55   #8
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Material options for cabin trim strips.

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Originally Posted by Spot View Post
I do not know personally. I see them at the lumber yard and wonder...last time I repaired a window's trim at home I had a choice of either wood or PVC for the same brick molding.

If you could reach a stockist or manufacturer you might get a more informed answer. I can ask at work too, we have a couple guys who work side jobs in the building trades.


I am phoning them first thing in the morning. Very exciting lead, thank you.

Edit: these guys…

https://www.allplas.com.au/formwork-profiles/
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Old 25-05-2022, 05:08   #9
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

If they're aesthetic only, how would it look if you just painted a stripe onto the cabin top where the trim was?
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Old 25-05-2022, 05:12   #10
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

Cellular PVC can be cut, milled, shaped, and routed like wood, with normal woodworking tools. Because of the process used to make cellular PVC, milled edges are smooth. It is natural white throughout, and while it never needs painting, it’s easy to custom finish.

“Keys to Successful Moulding or Milling of Cellular PVC” ~ Versatex
https://versatex.com/PDF/C-4_Moulding_n_Millwork.pdf
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Old 25-05-2022, 05:28   #11
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
If they're aesthetic only, how would it look if you just painted a stripe onto the cabin top where the trim was?
Tried it. Should have worked. Looked weird.

Boats hey?
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Old 25-05-2022, 05:29   #12
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Cellular PVC can be cut, milled, shaped, and routed like wood, with normal woodworking tools. Because of the process used to make cellular PVC, milled edges are smooth. It is natural white throughout, and while it never needs painting, it’s easy to custom finish.

“Keys to Successful Moulding or Milling of Cellular PVC” ~ Versatex
https://versatex.com/PDF/C-4_Moulding_n_Millwork.pdf
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Old 25-05-2022, 05:39   #13
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

Only issue is that cellular PVC is very soft ( think balsa ). Anything rubbing against it leaves a scratch or a depression if heavy. I fear it will look beat-up pretty quick in this application.
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Old 25-05-2022, 05:51   #14
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

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Only issue is that cellular PVC is very soft ( think balsa ). Anything rubbing against it leaves a scratch or a depression if heavy. I fear it will look beat-up pretty quick in this application.

Oh, not so good. Perhaps I should get a single piece and have a play around first.
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Old 25-05-2022, 05:52   #15
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Re: Material options for cabin trim strips.

I’m thinking about composite decking…. It is VERY strong, reasonably flexible, can be cut with woodworking tools and is UV stable.
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