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  #1  
Old 09-25-2007
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Interior Cabin Walls

Unfortunately my boat came from the 70's and the walls are lined with carpet - they aren't even shaggy so they won't attract a young Jane Fonda into my boat!

What I'd like to do is go with tongue and groove horizontal planking and then paint them a nice piano white.

Has anyone had any experience with doing this? My concerns are moisture and plank buckling and what type of wood to use.

thanks
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Old 09-25-2007
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The ceilings (by the way, what you refer to as "walls" are properly called ceilings in a boat, don't ask me why, and what you might ordinarily think of as the ceiling is referred to as the "overhead") of our boat are stripped with teak battens. But there is a gap between each strip, for ventilation purposes I presume. I'm not sure you'd want to do tight tongue and groove, unless your boat is very well insulated. It seems like you'd want the air to circulate a bit along the hull to help prevent condensation, avoid mildew, etc.

I'll be interested to hear other replies. I would like to do something similar to the overhead in our boat.
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If you can afford the weight, then putting in furring strips and mounting thin boards for the ceilings or overhead is a good idea. Just make sure that you can remove them fairly easily, in case of a holing. You will definitely want to have a small airgap behind them, to ensure that you get good air circulation, and allow any condensation to drip down into the bilge. Unless your boat has a cored hull, the tongue and groove might be a bit too restrictive in terms of letting air get back there.
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I've done this on several boats, it's not too bad a project and the results are very satisfying.

You definitely want to allow for ventilation, and epoxying vertical furring strips is one way to go. You will likely have to kerf cut wood strips so that they will conform to the hull curvature unless you use foam for that purpose (it can be glassed over to provide a surface for a screw to grab)

In my current boat (single skin hull) I put wooden furring strips as described, about 3/4 inch thick, then glued 1/4 inch foam insulation to the hull to discourage condensation. The remaining 1/2 inch gap provides air circulation. I then used two inch battens to plank the area, leaving a small 1/8 or so gap.

I would not use tongue and groove because I think you need the circulation all around. The toughest part is getting it to lay cleanly as you adapt to the compound curves - some twist will be required and some pieces simply won't want to go in easily. Another tricky bit is deciding what line your planking should follow - this is mostly an aesthetic decision - do you want to follow the shear line, or the top of the berth, or find some middle ground? There will be tapering required at the ends of each section.

But by all means give it a go - looks WAY better than carpet or any other such liner.
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Old 09-25-2007
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You won't have much success trying to put the wood directly on to the hull unless you use very thin strips of veneer. It will work loose pretty quicky and is liable to rot underneath the paint as JohnHPollard mentioned.

Furring and ceiling is a very big job - it will take you weeks to do it if you aren't working, and months if you are. If you don't do a good job of it, your boat will be worth much less than when you started.

Don't mean to sound discouraging here - it's not that hard to do - but the reason that you usually find it on the high-end boats is that it's such a labour-intensive process.

Have you thought about looking for a synthetic leather/vinyl/fabric that you like and using that ?? It's much faster and easier to do a nice job with.

Get a large roll of brown paper and make accurate patterns, then cut out your liner and use contact cement to adhere it.
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You can get 3/8 x 2 or 3 teak tongue and groove pre finished flooring. The brand I used was Bellawood. It cost me $4.00 a sq. foot.
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Old 09-25-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullandBy View Post
Unfortunately my boat came from the 70's and the walls are lined with carpet - they aren't even shaggy so they won't attract a young Jane Fonda into my boat!

What I'd like to do is go with tongue and groove horizontal planking and then paint them a nice piano white.

Has anyone had any experience with doing this? My concerns are moisture and plank buckling and what type of wood to use.

thanks
What others have said re the difficulty is quite correct. I'd intended doing the same thing on one of my previous boats but in the end the amount of work required dissuaded me. I ended up battening the hull and using sheets of ply that I painted. The end result was quite satisfactory and in reality had I gone with the tongue and groove timber most of it would have ended up hidden behind bookshelves and suchlike. You can buy fake tongue and grooved board but it not the v-groove type which to my mind is the nicest.

What you could do is get a couple of lengths of t & g and play around with it to see if it is likely to work. Thickness of the material may be the hardest part.
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Old 09-26-2007
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FullandBy ...

Have 38' empty steel hull and this winter am faced with same project ... a local company produces wood trim for home construction, baseboards, etc. ... they'll mill to specified width and thickness if desired and splice to any reasonable length ... a softwood certainly, but light, easily bent, and reasonably priced ... I plan on painting anyway so exotics or synthetics are just a waste of funds for frugal Bob, and painting is just soooo much easier than varnishing ...

leave space between and behind for air circulation ...

good luck
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Old 09-26-2007
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BTW, there is an article on doing just what you're talking about in the current issue of Good Old Boat.
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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 09-26-2007
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Walls not overhead

I think you are missing what FullandBy said: Interior Cabin Walls

I don't know why JohnRPollard saidby the way, what you refer to as "walls" are properly called ceilings in a boat, don't ask me why, and what you might ordinarily think of as the ceiling is referred to as the "overhead")

FullandBy said nothing about overhead or ceilings. My guess is when he said walls he meant the sides of the hull being walls. Funny how things get mis-understood so easily.
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