cracked headliner - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 12-21-2006
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cracked headliner

This is hard to explain with all the right terminology, so bear with me. I found a 1 inch vertical crack(all the way through) in the fiberglass above the bulkhead that forms the head. correction: its the fiberglass headliner. The glass comes down from the roof about an inch and recesses about a half inch, the wood comes up to meet it there. The crack is on the vertical facade where the wood trim comes up to meet it. Its on a corner. The nav station is on one side, the head door to the other. The trim was pushed out a little, so it looks like there was pressure from above. I pushed the trim back in and it was extremely tight, not sure if it should be that tight. Then I looked in the head. In the corner behind the crack, the caulking where the panels meet is separated. All I can think about is when we went for a test sail and had a very hard time getting the main up. Too much stress was put on the coach roof and it flexed down, cracking the fiberglass. I don't think it could have been from someone on top, it looks like it required more pressure. But I could be wrong about that. I would have noticed it if it had been there for a while, so I believe the previous owner when he says it wasn't there before. But, the surveyor didn't find it after the test sail. Him I don't trust! He missed a lot of other things too. Obviously, I don't want to sail it until I investigate further. The crack is directly between the secondary winch and the mast, under the deck organizers(I haven't taken the cover off yet to look at the deck). Any thoughts, good repair guys in the SF Bay area, repair manuals(already familiar with westsystem)? How concerned should I be about the integrity of the coach roof? Thanks.

Last edited by bestfriend; 12-21-2006 at 08:40 PM. Reason: correct terminology
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Old 12-21-2006
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EastBay...is the crack in the head liner fiberglass inside the boat or can you actually see the crack on the outside of the deck? No big deal to shore up and fix if the former...definitely you want a professional opinion. You also might want to go on the CS owners group and see if anyone else has had this problem and how it was handled. I frankly doubt that you did this during your test sail...but it might have been done if you had your standing rigging recently tightened up. Can you post a picture?
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Old 12-21-2006
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Thanks Cam, the right terminology! (knowing a little about a lot can be dangerous) Its the head liner. No rigging recently worked on. No pic yet either. I won't be back there until saturday. So, possibly its not a structural problem? I can handle that. I will get a professional opinion, and I contacted CSOA. Anybody in the area work with SF Boat works? They are the closest to me.

Last edited by bestfriend; 12-21-2006 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 12-21-2006
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A suggestion was made by a CSOA member that there may be flatspotting. That doesn't sound good. Wouldn't that have been seen during the survey? Also suggested easing off on the rigging to see if it helps.
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Old 12-22-2006
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eastbay-
Buy a Loos rigging tension gauge, they are not expensive (in boat terms) and found at any sailing supplier. Use that to check the tension on all the standing rigging, shrouds and stays. If you can't find specs for your boat, go with the suggestions for the diameter of the stays.
There's really no other way to be sure that the standing rig is tensioned correctly, it is that simple.

It does sound like either someone really over-tensioned the rig for a long time, or a gorilla fell on the deck. If the cracks are just on cosmetics (headliner, etc.) that's just cosmetics, but the question remains...whether the deck is really OK.

Surveyors should have "errors and omissions" or similar insurance. He might be liable for any necessary structural repairs if he missed something that blatant.
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Old 12-22-2006
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" All I can think about is when we went for a test sail and had a very hard time getting the main up. Too much stress was put on the coach roof and it flexed down, cracking the fiberglass. "

Was the surveyor with you when this happened?
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Old 12-22-2006
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If hauling on the mainsheet can crack the cabin roof...I'd say there's a structural failure in the deck. I don't think anyone is strong enough to do that on a boat that ain't broke in the first place.
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Old 12-22-2006
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Damn gorilla! I told him no jumping. I do have a tension gauge that the PO left. I will check that tomorrow. It was suggested on CSOA to check the flange under the support post to make sure water hasn't come through the mast and weakened things. While the ill-fitting nav table has happened to others, the headliner crack is a new event. Also, not many CS34s were made, so there is not as much history. I will try to put up a pic tomorrow. thanks all and merry christmas!
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Old 12-23-2006
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some good news, but still a mystery

Here is what I found this morning. I removed as many headliner vinyl panels as I could on the starboard side and did not see any problems with the deck or any hardware attached to it, granted I had a limited view. The upper flange on the deck post looked good, but looking at the bottom one requires moving the table and I did not have time. I noticed more caulking separated in the head at the headliner joints on the starboard bulkhead. I also noticed that the starboard side headliner above the settee is convex, And it is not saggy, there is pressure on it. The caulking(starboard side) around the hatch in the forepeak is also separated, although that may be due to several nights of freezing temps. We were on the boat running the heater, so there was probably a large temperature differential inside and out. Here is the really interesting part: the chart table now closes with ease! it scrapes a little, but before, it wouldn’t even close. Also, the head door closes much easier. It used to scrape, but now does not. I checked the tension on the stays. I got 1210lbs for the 1/4” back and upper shrouds, I did not have time to take off the jib to check the head but probably the same. The lower 1/4” shroud was 1060lbs on starboard and 710lbs on port. The 3/16” intermediates were both 440lbs. The smaller forestay on the cabin top is 1/4” at only 310lbs. I don’t know what the starting point is for this rig. If anyone knows there tensions, please send them to me. I have some photos of the cracks etc. if anyone wants to see.

Last edited by bestfriend; 01-07-2007 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 01-04-2007
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update

No solution yet. But my Pop made a good suggestion. Until I can get it fixed, drill a hole at the end of the crack where the glass is still connected. The round hole takes some of the pressure off and helps to keep the crack from expanding.
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