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  #1  
Old 04-10-2012
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I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

Well, all the staples have about rusted out and the zipper pulls have turned to dust so it's time to think about replacing the vinyl overhead on my 1979 Islander 28. I'm a little tired of the 1970's RV look so I'd rather not just replace the vinyl fabric. Any thoughts out there? A couple of criteria come to mind. First, in the PNW, insulation is critical to keeping condensation at bay. Otherwise it rains both inside and outside simultaneously. How does insulation become part of the fix? Second, if it condenses between the fiberglass cabin top and the new liner, where does the water go? The old liner had some foam backing that kind of soaked it all up and dried out by late August in a dry summer if you were lucky. Third, the I-28 has some pretty extreme curves that the vinyl covers nicely but what about wood? How do you hand mold that into place?
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

I have some what of an answer to the condensation issue. I ask this of the guy who has done several restorations of my auto headliners, they too tend to sweat. He stated, if you use vinyl, does not breath, it has to be the perforated vinyl lik you see in the older cars. If you use cloth as the material for you headliner, it breaths and does not need the small holes. So, I'm guessing Islander put the foam under the vinyl, as you stated, to absorb moisture because the vinyl was not of the perforated type.

So, when I do my headliner, I will be using headliner cardboard, foam, then cloth. I will glue the foam to the headliner board then glue the cloth to the foam. I have posted some pictures of one of my car headliners, he also did my door panels the same way. Obviously, the headliner in the boat wont have the rods, but I plan to use 1 1/2 batons.
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I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement-headliner.jpg   I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement-backseat-side-panel.jpg   I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement-backseat.jpg  
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Old 03-16-2013
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Re: I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by gknott View Post
Well, all the staples have about rusted out and the zipper pulls have turned to dust so it's time to think about replacing the vinyl overhead on my 1979 Islander 28. I'm a little tired of the 1970's RV look so I'd rather not just replace the vinyl fabric. Any thoughts out there? A couple of criteria come to mind. First, in the PNW, insulation is critical to keeping condensation at bay. Otherwise it rains both inside and outside simultaneously. How does insulation become part of the fix? Second, if it condenses between the fiberglass cabin top and the new liner, where does the water go? The old liner had some foam backing that kind of soaked it all up and dried out by late August in a dry summer if you were lucky. Third, the I-28 has some pretty extreme curves that the vinyl covers nicely but what about wood? How do you hand mold that into place?
Did you solve this? I am making a plan for my I-28s similar issue.

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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

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Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
Did you solve this? I am making a plan for my I-28s similar issue.

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I have started part of my solution to this problem. I have attached several 3/4 inch thick plywood blocks in locations I want to space the FRP material away from the boat hull. I will use the plywood stand offs to also secure the mahogany batons running port to starboard. I plan to use mahogany plywood to cover the funky shaped areas above the galley and 1/4berth, making the headliner just straight. I will attach several plywood blocks to attach the mahogany plywood to. I think it can be done with two flat pieces to close off the area, then put small mahogany trim for a corner, and 1/4 round where it would meet the old plywood paneling.

I'm going to attach some trim where the headliner was stapled to hold the edges of the FRP. Where there is the funky plastic trim, I will just use mahogany trim instead. I may have to glue up some thin wood strips to attach the trim to. It will look great but take some effort, the material is very affordable.

You can get the FRP in several colors, smooth finish or Ice finish. Home Depot sells and stocks 4x8 pieces in white with the Ice finish. I plan to use the smooth finish, more of a mat finish, less reflective, just my preference.

Here is the stocked FRP at Home Depot.
4 ft. x 8 ft. White .090 FRP Wall Board-MFTF12IXA480009600 at The Home Depot

You can get the mahogny plywood and trim pieces at a lumber yard that supplies hardwood and cabinetry wood trimming.
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Old 03-20-2013
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Re: I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

An interesting approach 510. I considered much the same thing except for your ingenious treatment of the aft corners of the cabin trunk. I backed off this approach mostly because I could never figure out how to deal with condensation between the headliner and cabin. Up here in the soggy Northwest, I have seen it raining inside my boat even when I left a ceramic heater to try and keep things dry. Also my experience with FRP and similar materials in suspended horizontal applications has not been good. I once used the grooved and primed version on one of my exterior porch ceilings and the panels sagged between the 16" joists. I forgot that these materials absorb atmospheric water and are plastic in the sense that they will deform over time from their own weight if unsupported. These problems could be solved by painting the back sides of the panels, using closely spaced attachments, ventilation holes through the edge trim, and gluing 1/2" Styrofoam to the overhead cabin fiberglass. This still leaves the issue of access should a failure or change to the blocks and cleats through-bolted through the deck require access. However, I'm thinking I may be solving a problem which doesn't apply to you in your location.

Because I already own one of those handy-dandy Sailrite industrial sewing machines and can more or less put two seams together, I have opted to sew up a new headliner using the old as a pattern. I will use the above-mentioned Styrofoam, S.S. or Monel staples, mahogany trim to replace the trailer trash trim, and a breathable fabric. Of course my plans rarely survive contact with reality but I will try and keep you posted on the project if you will do the same for me. Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

I'm not sure we are talking about the same material. Did you check the link I posted?
The material I'm referring to is .09(3/32) inches thick, Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic, it's all synthetic, lite, high strength, and resist mold and mildew, used in restraints, airplanes, etc. It's similar to the opaque textured plastic used for the light fixtures areas on a lowered ceiling, or office lights, but is more ridged.

I have a friend who did his headliner in a Colombia with the material I'm referring too, and it looks great.

Did you use MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)? MDF would absorb water, be thicker, heavier, and deform over time if suspended overhead.

I would think you would have had the same condensation issue with the vinyl headliner since it does not breath either. The foam between the fiberglass and vinyl would soak up the water.

If you put a cloth headliner instead of vinyl, it would breath better, or use the vinyl headliner material with the small holes, like used in cars.

I would try insulating the fiberglass with Styrofoam, or spray on closed cell polyurethane foam, then installing whatever option you choose for the headliner.

I should be taking on this project this summer, and will post up my process and pictures, when I'm done.
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

I stand corrected on the material. You are also correct that the 1/4" open cell foam on the back of my existing vinyl would saturate every winter and take most of the summer to dry out. It never dripped but it sure rotted out the seams and metal zipper pulls. Thus my choice of breathable fabric. I'm intrigued by the idea of a spray-on insulation rather than glued-on chunks of styrofoam. Maybe with some practice I can get a fairly consistent thickness but foam-in-a-can and I are not good friends when it comes to fine work. Any product or application suggestions?
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

I have "ignored" the poor condition of the vinyl liners in my 1977 I-28. There are two useless zippers. Perhaps 3. The staples are all rusted. It is not fresh and clean..... I have pulled it down in the quarter birth and in the space between the stbd chain plate and the "chart table" Ha! Next it will probably need to be removed for access in the V birth. It is time to do something.

Access to fasteners is important. I want to install a winch and have concerns about the integrity of the joint between the sliding hatch's enclosure and the deck. I will be replacing the glazing too.

I do have quite a lot of experience with fg, wood and paint.

I don't have lots of money to spend but when I tackle a job like this, the finished product is the goal and the amount of time I know it will take is part of the real cost. The percentage of the total cost (my labor included) that the materials will cost out of pocket is how I try to plan my budget. If it is worth my time and I want it done right I will spend some money on the right materials.

I have a supply of lumber that is valuable but I don't want to leave it behind and I like working with nice wood. No cost!
I have all the tools. No cost!
I have plenty of 2 part epoxy paint and the fg materials to repair a leaking hatch enclosure. No cost!
I have the time and enjoy working on the boat. No cost!

I am building up to rationalizing spending some money for a sprayable 2-part marine foam kit. I have used them and they are a great way to insulate a hull.

I am considering finishing the ceiling with longitudinal strips of mahogany, painted white, spaced 1/4" apart, fastened to wood "stringers" running athwart ship.

The same ceilings in the V birth and the 1/4 birth, both the overhead and the sides.

Strip the interior, repair the hatch enclosure, epoxy stringers in place (West), mask them, block out fastener spaces somehow or plan to dig them out to make them accessible, and foam, cut the foam level with stringers and paint it, fasten pre painted mahogany strips to stringers.

2" wide strips? 1" thick stringers?

What do you think?

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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

Downeast, now you've got my attention! First, because unlike that lucky California dog 510, I'll bet Downeasters maintain a working relationship with condensation. Second, because anyone who regards their time working on a boat as beyond value (some would say "worthless") is a kindred soul, and third because it sounds like you know about something I need. What is "a sprayable 2-part marine foam kit"? Is it an improvement over foam-in-a-can or "foam-in your-hair" which is usually more accurate?

Your proposal for the cabin ceiling sounds beautiful although I hate painting mahogany because its so pretty. However, I understand the need for a brighter interior. What about tranverse varnished mahogany 1" trim strips every 3' or so to break up the strong longitudinal lines you would introduce? I saw a similar strip treatment for the 1/4 berth and vee-berth using varnished Western red cedar on the sides and top and it was gorgeous. Only two other questions which I think can be solved. What will you see between the 1/4" gaps and what about the strongly curved vinyl covered sections in the aft corners of the cabin trunk? Any thoughts on what to do about the vinyl covered partial bulkhead holding the port chainplates?
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: I-28 Vinyl Headliner Replacement

gknott, I would think the easiest method, and one I plan to use, is to attach 1/4 to 3/4 Styrofoam pieces cut out around all visible hardware. I know I'm lucky living were condensation is minimal compared to other areas, but any leads to mildew, and I don't want that. So, I to will take the precautions to insulate to combat the condensation issue.

I will then put up the FRP with mahogany batons running port to starboard, attached with screws to 3/4 plywood attached using polyurethane, using wood buttons to plug the screw holes in the batons.

For the odd shaped sections, above the Galley and 1/4 birth, use crown molding the size large enough to across the protruding portion to intersect to a piece of 1/4 mahogany plywood cut to to shape of the triangular section. If i can't find a crown molding piece, I will cut a of mahogany, ripped on a table saw at the necessary angles needed. Then put some 1/4 round and corner trim mahogany to cover the intersecting locations. I have photo below showing the approximate area in black. The picture is before I removed the headliner.


As I said before, I will post up my project once I have done the modifications.

Good Luck if you do yours first!
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