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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-01-2007
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Butt-ugly fabric covering

Soooo, in spite of everything I said about my two year boat search, I went and did almost the opposite of what I said I was going to do - I bought a Columbia 26K.

Anyway, she has this, this, this.... hideous dingy looks like it might have been tan once fabric on the salon and V-berth hull interiors. These surfaces are curved, so I don't think I can just get some nice colored sunbrella fabric and replace it, or it'll wrinkle up.

How have you folks handled the ugly-fabric-glued-to-hull problem (other than not buying the boat)? I didn't see anything about it in Casey's books. Am I just looking in the wrong place?

Cheers....
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Old 04-01-2007
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Most fabrics are glued to the interior surface. IMHO, this is not an ideal situation.

What I helped install on my friend's boat, and I plan to eventually do on my boat is to install furring strips and then glue the interior fabric to thin sheets of plywood (1/8") and attach it to the furring strips. Another person I know did something similar but used a laminate, similar to formica, for the interior surfaces of the boat. You could also use a thin wood veneer to do it as well.

It will take more work than just contact cementing the material to the cabin...but it will look better in the long run. Unfortunately, if the surface is a compound curve—curves in both x and y axes.. then you're pretty much limited to the contact cement route.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-01-2007
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I have a fuzzy cloth as a headliner which is also on the side walls. I am planing on replacing the headliner with carpet which would also add a little insulation in the cabin. For the side walls I have some samples of cork tiles which is used in bathrooms & kitchens. It is lite and is availible in over 20 colors. You could also use luan plywood which in many cases is mahogany. It bends to a point fairly well, takes a finish pretty good and is under $20.00 for a 4 x 8 sheet.
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Old 04-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Most fabrics are glued to the interior surface. IMHO, this is not an ideal situation.

What I helped install on my friend's boat, and I plan to eventually do on my boat is to install furring strips and then glue the interior fabric to thin sheets of plywood (1/8") and attach it to the furring strips. Another person I know did something similar but used a laminate, similar to formica, for the interior surfaces of the boat. You could also use a thin wood veneer to do it as well.

It will take more work than just contact cementing the material to the cabin...but it will look better in the long run. Unfortunately, if the surface is a compound curve—curves in both x and y axes.. then you're pretty much limited to the contact cement route.
Well, yes, I think I do have compound curves. I'll know for sure on Saturday when I go take another look at it.

There are really two halves to the problem. The first half is, how the blazes do I peel that stuff off the hull? The second half is, what do I put back on there? I was thinking about doing the geometry to find the flat-surface dimensions and angles at the point where the fabrid disappears under the trim, then

- cut four pieces of laminate to create a flat surface
- back the laminate with some closed-cell foam
- surface the laminate with cloth, attached in back with velcro
- wedge the laminate in the space, and hold it in with velcro or just the wood trim

Really just looking for ideas here.

I really like your suggestion of the furring strips. Casey (I think) suggested that for replacing overheads. One of the advantages there is that if your fabric becomes soiled, or you just get bored with it, you can inexpensively make a new piece and replace it in an hour or so.

Thanks! (As always)

Side note - is there a "members roster" or home port list for folks on SailNet? It would be fun to meet up with locals! Maybe I should sponsor a SailNet cookout at Tidewater or something....
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Old 04-01-2007
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Well, I'm not in the Tidewater area, but I plan on going from where I am down to visit the Portsmouth/Norfolk/Suffolk/Hampton Roads area later this year, so keep me posted. My in-laws are live down there...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-02-2007
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After you rip the fabric off, you can probably get most of the adhesive off with acetone, or you can try LePage contact cement cleaner.

To replace it - if you have a lot of patience and want a really rich look, you can use wood veneer available at Home Depot, Loew's, etc. Any hardwood will work - not necessary to try to hunt down teak.

The best adhesive for it is contact cement, and you need to go fairly slowly making sure that you get a 100% bond. Use a roller to ensure adhesion. If you do end up the odd bubble, get a glue syringe and inject a minute amount of glue amount of glue into the center of the bubble (through the veneer). Press down hard and hold it until it sets. If any of it oozes out through the hole, you can try wiping it off immediately, or waiting until it dries and then picking it off with an X-acto knife (I find this much neater).

Don't pre-finish the veneer - put it up raw and then give it a couple of coats of satin finish urethane.

To get the look of a "finely finished Yacht" use horizontal strips about 2 to 3 inches wide. Make a set of paper patterns first. You'll find that the thinner strips will follow the lines of the hull fairly easily. If you have any really definite curves, then you can wet the veneer (after the contact cement has been applied, but before you adhere it to the hull) with a sponge and give it a few minutes to soak - but note that it is going to shrink slightly when it dries, so allow for that when you lay it up.

Or....

You could just clean off the hull liner - fill in any dings and scratches and paint it - cheaper, easier and more time on the water.
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Old 04-02-2007
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Oh ... definitely "dogs playing poker" on fabric to go on the bulkhead, that would so totally rock, and a giant "last supper" with Jesus on another wall from end to end. Glue up a black velvet Elvis, and hang some fuzzy dice somewhere. A lava lamp, few strings of Christmas lights, beads hanging down in front of the main hatch, satin sheets, some orange/brown carpet, and a Playboy sticker beside the Coast Guard registration numbers. "If the boat is rocking, don't bother knocking" sign on the hatch, replace all the light bulbs with purple or red.

And a disco ball anchor light hung from a halyard.

Maybe do the outside painting in some vintage "Patridge Family Bus", though the colored squares kind of get on my nerves a little, probably better to go with some Scooby Doo "Mystery Machine" instead. Gotta pimp it out, change those boring portholes with some bubble windows, carpet the cockpit with some putt-putt golf course felt so people can putt for the cockpit drains, waterproof neon light bars shining down from the keel, trick out the dinghy with dual 20hp motors.

Burgers on the barbie, "I dream of Jeanie" re-runs on the LCD monitor, six pack of bottled R.C. Cola, boat would be banging. Bling, baby!

Somebody dare me.


Last edited by wind_magic; 04-02-2007 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 04-02-2007
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i double dog dare you wind_magic...
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New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-02-2007
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You go down below? why? I'm from the 'the companionway is a place to throw your sail bag down into' school.

Another thing to think about is... not putting money into your first boat for a few years till you get the feel of what you want in a boat. Imagine pumping money and time into something, sailing it (when you aren't refitting it) for a couple of years, then deciding you need X, or Y or Z instead. Just make it safe and sailable, then go sailing.

(your milage may vary, this opinion does not represent the sailnet community or it's sponsors, you are not me.)

Last edited by tenuki; 04-02-2007 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 04-02-2007
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Tenuki-

If he's going to overnight in this thing... he probably wants the make the interior at least acceptable to himself. If he can't stand it...what's the chance that women he might know and want to take out sailing would stand it... ZIP...ZERO...NADA.... so he's fixing it.
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New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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