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harbin2 10-05-2008 08:30 AM

Headliner Replacement
I just recently purchased a 1981 Islander 30, Bahama a month ago. The boat looks great. I thought a leaky starbord genoa track would a relatively easy fix given the placement of the headliner zippers. But it turns out the zippers are frozen solid so the headliner must come out. I read a 5/03 to 5/05 string of posts on this subject here on this forum and thought I'd post a new one vs. continuing one that ended 3 plus years ago. That is still some good advice but I'm looking for any updates and a answers to a couple specific questions.
1. Has anyone done this recently that would have any additional advice. I'd like to replace the zippers and re-use or replace the headliner - it looks nice as is.
2. How to remove the hundreds of rusted nails or staples holding the edges in place.
3. There is a plastic trim that covers the seams. How is this held in place? Can it be removed and re-used? Any source for a same or similar replacement?

Thanks in advance.


blt2ski 10-05-2008 11:52 AM

The owners of this site, IYCNW Home redid the interior on there 40' perterson designed islander 40. I also with some guience from Eileen redid my interior on my Jeanneau. you can see results etc here

Not sure if personally how good your headliner is, it may in the end, be easier to replace with new vs re use the old.

Finding the headliner is pretty easy, runs $10-30 US for a lin yard that is IIRC 54 or 60" wide< I used abour 40 or 60 yds for my 29'r. And a roll of 1/4" foam to back it on the hull etc. IIRC it was either 50' or yds, yds is ringing a bell more than feet.

It took me about 40-60 hrs for the work on the interior of my boat.


Skipaway 10-05-2008 01:45 PM

If it is only the zippers being frozen, you might some zipper lubricant. e.g. West Marine item # 127938 “Snap & Zipper Lubricant”. That version comes in a tube. There is also wax pencil type, but it is best for when everything is unzipped.

johnseattle 11-18-2009 01:39 AM

Headliner Replacement
The headliner on my 1978 Islander 28 is looking dirty and tired but because it's not damaged I'm cleaning it with Aerospace 303 vinyl cleaner and then planning to use a vinyl spray paint. Info at
As regards the edging strip to conceal the staples you can buy this at

Hope this helps.

Faster 11-18-2009 08:31 AM


Originally Posted by blt2ski (Post 379838)
... I also with some guidance from Eileen redid my interior on my Jeanneau. you can see results etc here...

Nice Job, Marty! Looks great!

blt2ski 11-19-2009 11:52 PM


You've posted int he last 4 days......did you do anything?!?!?!?!!

Thanks for compliments faster!


harbin2 12-13-2009 12:44 PM

Thanks for your responses. First, my headline is in almost perfect shape. It looks great with a few minor exceptions (a little rust from the staples showing around the windows). I did get some zipper lubricant and was able to get every zipper freed. That is the good news. The bad news is that I do have some leaks that are dripping out of the zipper above the starboard settee shelf. I believe it is coming from the genoa track. The PO had applied caulk along the 1 1/4" T track that I had to dig out in order to be able to move the genoa sheet lead block along the track. I'm almost certain that this work has re-introduced that leak he was trying to stop. I plan to locate the leak next spring but the underside of the deck is wet after a rain and I am keeping the zipper open now and a pan underneath. I'm pretty certain that the fix will be to remove and rebed the track. In order to go this, I'll need to remove some of the headline (the zippers only give access to about half the track backing plates and nuts). I'd appreciate any other tips on tools or techniques. I'm going to Sailrite later this week and will look at the corner covers they hopefully still carry.
Thanks again.

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