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MKeller926 07-05-2009 06:14 PM

Replacing Headliner
I bought a Laguna Balboa 22 last fall with the vinyl headliner on its last leg. The inside of the boat had a moisture issue so the foam behind the vinyl was wet, the vinyl was covered in mildew, the staples that held the vinyl up were rusting, and the wood that the headliner was stapled to was rotting. I've since torn all of it out and have been trying to decide what to replace it with.

I don't mind all the hardware being visible especially since it makes removing the hardware a breeze and there really isn't much wiring to hide so I think I want to use something to finish the inside instead of another vinyl or cloth headliner.

One of the issues I'm dealing with are what looks like large globs of resin used to attach the wood pieces to the overhead to staple the old headliner in. Is there a good way to get those off or is it just going to be a lot of work?

Second of all, I was trying to figure out what I could use to finish the inside of the cabin without sanding the entire surface smooth. I noticed in one of the newer Catalinas at the boat show that they use some kind of texturing on the inside of the cabin instead of a headliner. Does anyone know what Catalina uses?

I was also considering applying a roll-on truck bed liner in a thin layer over the whole thing. It would give it a decent texture so that there wouldn't need to be a ton of prep work involved but I've never heard of bed liner being used in an application like this. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Finally I was trying to figure out something that I could use as a filler to smooth out the surface and then just paint the inside. Is there something like maybe bondo that could be used to smooth out the overhead and then paint it?

Right now my main criteria for picking something would be the ease of application and price, in that order. The boat is old and I don't expect it to look like a new yacht or anything. I just want it to look clean and somewhat finished even if it is "finished" in a utilitarian sense. I have some experience working on housing interiors but am unfamiliar with some of the products that may be available for marine/fiberglass applications.

Thanks for any input you might have.


astroebel 07-05-2009 07:44 PM

Stipple paint
If you know houshold finishes you probably have seen the stippled finish on some interior paints in a house.

I did this in my cat. You need to smooth the surface first and here it just depends how neat a finished surface you want. The more effort you put in the better te finish will be. You can use any epoxy fillers to smooth holes etc but you can also use normal car type body fillers. Once you have the smooth finish you want you paint the surface with a paint called "stipplex" not sure what it might be called in your country but most house paint suppliers will have something like it. It is a very thich water based pva paint which is applied with a sponge type roller which has large holes in it. This will give a stippled base coat, If it is too rough in places you can very lightly sand over till you are happy with the texture. After it is dry you can apply a final coat of acrylic interior/ exterior paint (ask for a good quality paint that can be wiped down if dirty). I used a produt called velvaglo which is advertised as being good for bathroom walls etc were you have a high moisture content or steam.

This is a relatively cheap way of doing it and gives a good finish, it just depends on your prep of the bottom surface.

Good luck

MKeller926 07-12-2009 12:51 AM

I'm trying to avoid doing a lot of prep work on the surface, but I understand that for some solutions, it is necessary. I'm not familiar with many fiberglass-related products such as epoxy filler. I'll have to look in to that.

I am curious as to what Catalina uses on the interior of their smaller boats. If there is a product out there designed for using on the interior of a cabin, then I think that would be my best option.


blt2ski 07-12-2009 01:16 AM

Headlining Replacement

That is a link to what I did to my 30' jeanneau with what sounds like the same style of liner.


tager 07-12-2009 02:37 AM

Paint it.
I would strip it down to bare fiberglass, and paint it with high gloss oil paint. If you really care a lot about the finish, then go with the truck bedliner. I had a boat like this, and thought about putting in a nice cedar headliner... that's a lot of work and money for a little boat though. Best to just paint it and be happy.

wtosterhout 07-12-2009 09:49 AM

Just a thought-
I worked as an RV technician for a while between construction jobs. If you have a dealership with a body shop near you I would stop by and speak with the manager and explaine the situation. They have a thousand different products i.e. trim, glue and stainless hardware. Better would be to drag it down and let them take a look. Information gained would be invaluable and free. The technicians get very board with the same ole same ole and I think that they would take quite an interest. Many of these guys also do work on the side i.e. paint, fiberglass and fine woodwork. Good luck! May the wind be with you!

MKeller926 07-12-2009 05:31 PM

blt2ski - Your headliner looks really nice. I'm not sure I have the patience though to make the vinyl look neat and covering all the seams, hiding the staples etc.

tager - I've given this some thought... I may end up using regular exterior paint and painting it in the meantime until I think of a better solution. Who knows, I may end up deciding not to do anything more to it...

wtosterhout - That's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure we have anything like that in small town Oklahoma... I'll have to check the phone book.

geraldartman 07-13-2009 12:33 PM

I vote for the bed liner. I just used it on a 14ft aluminum fishing boat bottom to help seal the leaks. Goes on easy. Sticks like glue. Moderately expensive. Very durable and flexible. Make sure you mask off everything including yourself.

blt2ski 07-13-2009 03:59 PM

"IF" you end up painting the interior, there is some paint made for the bottom of the hull, ie bilge area's, this might be a better option than exterior paint! You may not have the color options, but it might be a better paint to use, or use a hull paint vs what I am assuming to be typical house style exterior paint. If I am wrong on the type of exterior paint you are thinking of using, oh well! life goes on.

Or do a slight resurface of the hull with new gel coat to smooth it out, then paint with appropriate paint too.

Yes, the work I did to my boat took awhile. The rear took about 20-30 hrs, the head 15-20, main cabin headliner 15 or so, and the front V berth 20-30 too, but that was the first place I fixed, and learned the hard way on some of the things I had to deal with. A bunch of hours needless to say, but I do get a lot of compliments on it, so I am happy with my time spent etc. For your boat it may not be worth it, but for a larger boat in the mid 20 on up range, it could/would be depending upon the boat and model type etc.


marybryant 09-29-2014 08:45 AM

Re: Photo? Replacing Headliner

Am struggling with headliner issues and would love to see the photo of the results of your work. The link is now dead. Is the photo at another location?


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