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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-10-2008
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Question Possible Cabin Upgrade?

I've been doing a lot of cleaning of my boat in the past few weeks and I came up with an idea to improve my overall cabin esthetic... I have access to some very high quality mahogany veneer and my thought is to affix it to the salon ceiling. On this 38 year old boat, the ceiling is pretty grubby, and I've been wanting to warm up the interior anyway. I guess my question is; am I going to encounter a problem with condensation collecting between the hull & veneer? (lets assume I prep everything well). Anyone else have experience? I know a lot of the bigger yachts have tounge and groove healiners, so perhaps I could get some info from that front. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-10-2008
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I saw someones boat who used luan plywood ( mahogany ) cut into 2 inch wide strips. He eased over the edges and left a small space between each strip. Brass screws were used to fasten the strips to pieces of wood, which were epoxied to the hull. Everything was finished with a high gloss varnish. It looked awesome.

I posted this to another thread before. If I can borrow a table saw over the winter, I would love to do something like this to my boat. Also the gap created by the wood epoxied to the hull would allow you to insulate.
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Old 09-10-2008
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easier than veneer

Hey Seafire,

I have a little experience with veneer. I was a cabinet maker and did furniture restoration for about 20 years. (computer geek now) I also have restored a number of fiberglass sailboats over the years. If the ceiling is fiberglass you’re going to have problems with condensation and therefore contact cement adhesion. If the boat is lined with some kind of wood product or luan already, you might be able to veneer over it but Freesail's suggestion of strips of luan held in with epoxy and brass screws is by far the easiest, quickest way to make the ceiling warmer looking.

Run a few stringers (say 3/8 to ˝ thick) across the ceiling perpendicular to the way you wish the strips to run and epoxy them into place (about every 12 to 18 inches). Once they are firmly attached you can easily attach the strips with screws and a little epoxy / glue. Put as little dab of glue / epoxy where the stringers and the strips touch and screw them into place. (good idea to dry fit them first) The space between the strips and the ceiling (thickness of the stringers) will allow the strips to breath and keep most of the condensation off them. You can do most of the finishing work before mounting the strips. (easier on the neck) You can get 1/8” or Ľ” luan plywood to cut into strips. Both are relatively flexible, lightweight and inexpensive.

Hope this helped.

Dan Z.

Annapolis MD.
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Old 09-10-2008
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I used luan mahogany veneer on my bulkheads and table. Building centers sell this as flooring underlayment.

For the ceiling I used varnished 5/16" tongue and groove cedar strips about 4" wide. These are sold at the building supply center as wainscoting. I did not leave any spaces between the strips, and attached them with brass screws. The cedar keeps everything smelling fresh.

I ripped 1/2" treated plywood into pieces 1-1/2" wide for the backer "furring strips." I cut kerfs half way through them where necessary to allow them to bend to conform to the hull shape.

I've owned this boat for over 30 years but only tackled this project last fall. It's only been in for a year but so far so good. Here in Minnesota it has withstood temperatures ranging from 20 below 0 to 95 above.










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Old 09-11-2008
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Thanks for the input guys. I understand the concept of the stringers/screwed on strips. The only thing that concerns me in my particular case is that the Columbia has a very concave cabin top and I'm not sure I could get the stringers/finished surface to conform without perhaps steaming them. Also, when all is said and done, I'd be losing the better part of an inch of cabin height.

Is the purpose of allowing the space between the new wooden headliner and original ceiling to allow any moisture to evaporate?

My thought last night (before reading any relplies) was to roll on a thin layer of epoxy and apply the veneer like Formica (my grandfather was a cabinet maker )

I'll start looking into these other options as well
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Old 09-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafire327 View Post
Thanks for the input guys. I understand the concept of the stringers/screwed on strips. The only thing that concerns me in my particular case is that the Columbia has a very concave cabin top and I'm not sure I could get the stringers/finished surface to conform without perhaps steaming them. Also, when all is said and done, I'd be losing the better part of an inch of cabin height.
You could use 1/8" panels and 3/8" stringers, and that would only require losing 1/2". However, that 1/2" of space can have some very good benefits. If you line the back of the panels with heat reflective mylar and fill the space between the stringers with insulation, it can make the boat much warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. As for having a concave cabintop... you can cut kerfs into the stringers at various intervals to help it bend to match the cabin top curvature. Steaming really shouldn't be necessary.

Quote:
Is the purpose of allowing the space between the new wooden headliner and original ceiling to allow any moisture to evaporate?
THe space is to allow condensation to evaporate, rather than collect on the backsides of the panels.

Quote:
My thought last night (before reading any relplies) was to roll on a thin layer of epoxy and apply the veneer like Formica (my grandfather was a cabinet maker )

I'll start looking into these other options as well
I wouldn't do this, because I don't think it will look as good, and it has a much higher chance of dripping condensation all over the cabin. Less of an issue with a cored deck, but if the cabintop is solid fiberglass, it would probably become a problem.
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We had a Baba 30 that had wood-covered "everything". Looks great until you get a leak going that needs chasing down... and you will get a leak. I never knew if the wood was rotting, if chain-plates were corroding, etc. because everything was covered up. Anyways, the boat we have now has exposed white fiberglass on the interior with all of the fasteners exposed and the chain-plates are external to the hull. Got no leaks anywhere I am positive because I can see every square inch of the boat.

Anyways, think well before you start adding wood to cover fiberglass because it looks nice. You might be buying in to a whole lot of problems. Teak decks on a fiberglass boat are a prime example of one of the dumbest things that I can think of!!!

I thank you for you're time and patience in reading this public announcement...

Ha!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I wouldn't do this, because I don't think it will look as good, and it has a much higher chance of dripping condensation all over the cabin. Less of an issue with a cored deck, but if the cabintop is solid fiberglass, it would probably become a problem.

I guess it's a matter of taste Dog The Deck is not solid, and since there hasn't been a condensation problem thus far, or any evidence of one, I don't see why adding the wood would suddenly cause this. Perhaps I'm missing something. I think I'm going to pass on insulation as well. Boat will be on the hard in winter.

Sander, I wasn't planning on covering any chainplate points, but your point is well taken.
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Old 09-11-2008
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heinzir - She looks real pretty - the boat's nice, too!

All that talk of gluing gets me concerned about tracking down leaks and rebedding of deck hardware. Anything I put in I like to think about how I would remove to gain access when necessary.

I glued in stringers and then screwed vinyl tongue and groove strips to the stringers. I covered the screws with teak strips. I prefer the white to wood for ceiling as it lightens the interior, but that's a matter of taste.



Whatever you do, I assume you'll be living with for quite a while. Make sure you like it and think what it will be like as a "legacy".
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Joel,

Thanks for the pic. It looks great.

I've been thinking of doing the same thing, replacing some old vinyl "fabric" with the vinyl tongue and groove strips. Did you use the standard Home Depot stuff?

Sorry for the slight hijack.
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