I recently completed the replacement of the almost 40 year old headliner on my I36 "Islander". Based on previously posted experiences of replacing headliners, I tackled Islander's headliner this past winter. Here are the details of my experience as I thought they may be of value to other owners contemplating this project.
• Stripped out the old headliner and soft foam insulation.
• Pulled countless staples and sanded the resulting rough areas.
• Attached with screws and epoxy a 4" wide x 1/2" piece of plywood running down the centerline of the cabin top to attach a teak grab rail to. Additionally this strip served to determine a 90 degree angle for the strips running across the cabin.
• Attached two layers of 2" wide by 1/4" thick exterior grade (but not marine grade) plywood using West System's six10 epoxy and 1/2" stainless flathead screws. The screws held the strips in place while the epoxy cured. Two layers were used to easily conform the strips to the cabin top curves.
• Under the side decks where the aft lower shroud plates are I needed three layers to compensate for the added thickness.
• The Reflectix insulation was glued to the boat between the plywood strips with a commercial grade 3M spray adhesive.
• FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) panels were cut to fit the various sections and mounted to the plywood strips with 5/8" flathead SS screws.
• Instead of purchasing pre-made teak battens for the trim, I was able to locate enough recycled teak to be able to cut down and make my own battens (roughly 200' of 1/4" x 1 1/4") but this resulted in several different tones being added to the cabin. The trim wis finished with a semigloss water-based varnish before mounting.
• The whole project took a lot longer than I had expected and was about twice as expensive (about $950.00 total).
• There are more staples than you can imagine and they leave a very rough surface that if not covered will need serious refinishing.
• I used epoxy rather than 3M 5300 as I find the 5300 to be very messy and has a long curing time. The six10 epoxy, while expensive, was much easier to use and dried faster.
• Buy the SS screws in bulk as you will use a lot of them.
• Plan on making quite a few pieces of irregularly shaped trip for places like the companion way, the mast and in the head.
• The added grab rail has definitely increased one's ability to move through the cabin in a more secure manner when heeling under sail.
Photos of the project are attached in a PDF format. Islander - Headliner Photos.pdf
Please be aware that I am more of a wood butcher than a woodsmith and I am sure that others could do a much better job of joinery than I.
Mike Reed, email@example.com
I am replacing my headliner with fiberglass panels instead of the Naugahyde that was originally there. I am concerned with insulation. I want to use something more that the thin foam that was there originally. Does anyone know about a good product? What about the vapor barrier? Should there be one? I don't want to cause condensation between the insulation and the cabin top. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Lorraine Hillman, firstname.lastname@example.org
We couldn't decide whether to use panels, vinyl, insulation or what . . . so we had the entire cabin top faired and finished, then painted it all an off white. Sure provides easy access to topside hardware fasteners, etc. Brightened the interior and looks more modern.
Two-Can is a '74 I36. In addition to having the cabin top faired and finished, we had the cabin sides done the same way. We had tried an RV type fabric on the upper cabin sides, on top of the ruined veneer, but opted to remove it and finish everything smooth. Just need wood mouldings where the top and sides meet to finish. Our cabin top through bolts all have acorn nuts and SS fairing washers.
OK! Attached are jpegs of interior (cabin-top & sides), as well as the exterior, which has been 'modernized' by removing eyebrow moldings (big leak source) and teak rails (to be replaced yet). Cost was $2,500. Note the cabin-top to side moldings have not been done yet. We plan to finish carpet for the sole, so that and cushions should dampen sound somewhat. Hope this is helpful, we love it like this.
From Dan Knox: "This is just what I wanted Bill. Excellent shots. I am glad you like it, that's the important thing. It will definitely reduce the maintenance and $2500 is a lot cheaper than getting a new headliner. And look how easy it is to get to all the deck hardware. That's just great. But removing the eyebrow? I love that eyebrow!"
OK! Attached are jpegs of interior (cabin-top & sides), sending in batches. Cost was $2,500 and it took three weeks.
Last two, including our I36 w/o eyebrows. Also has been totally LP'd.
Bill & Ann Mottinger on the Two-Can, email@example.com
Head ceiling understructure
Main salon half & half
Freedom Won # 1
Freedom Won # 2
Freedom Won # 3
----- Original Message ----- From: MDusanic@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Friday, January 18, 2002 1:13 PM Subject: Headliner Replacement
It's beginning to look like the headliners on my '80 I-36 are about to go. The original liner was held in place with plastic molding strips that had staples imbedded inside (so nothing shows) and the staples are rotting out in places. In other places the zippers are disintegrating.Some Day
Has anyone had experience in replacing the headliner?
Did anyone use a shop that might still have patterns?
Did anyone try using strips of teak as replacements for the original plastic molding?
I think Mark Plastics either has to can direct you to a headliner replacement. I had gotten one (in 1987-88) from the old Go Industries, which became Mark Plastics.
The stripping is actually easy to put on, but get some Monel staples from a shipyard or order through West Marine. They take much, much longer to rust (they aren't supposed to, but after 20 years mine have rusted a bit.)
Be sure to get the insulation foam to put between the headliner and the cabin top - it's only about 1/8 or 3/16, but important. I was told to staple the center seam to the overhead first, then stretch each section fore and aft to the next seam and staple it, then snug down the port and starboard sides between each section. Repeat until you're in.
One big caution - you will have to remove (at least on my boat) the hand rail below the cabin ports, and the wire covers. You will have to find and dig out the wood plugs where the screws are. Because these were screwed up into the fiberglass, they will be tricky to re-install. DO NOT try to put in longer screws, and if you drill new holes (which I eventually did) be VERY careful not to drill up through the deck. The cabin top is relatively thin at that point, and I've got probably six spots where the drill and/or screw end came up through the deck.
I know Tenacious had a yard to their work - and I think it wound up costing a lot more than they planned.
As for the zippers - forget about replacing them. The part that zips corroded away long ago on my boat, so I simply took needle and thread and did a basting stitch along the zipper track to close it up. Doesn't take long and no one notices the difference. Of Course, if you replace the headliner, you can start over, and I guess the new zippers should be plastic and last longer.
Hope that helps. Keep us posted, and send along some pictures and details for the web site!
From: ed weber [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2002 10:52 AM
ANOTHER QUESTION, IF YOU DON'T MIND?
i WOULD LIKE TO REPLACE SECTIONS OF MY HEADLINER. IT IS A PERFORATED (1/16
TH INCH HOLES SPACED 1/4 INCH APART) WHITE LINER WITH 1/4 INCH THICK FOAM
PADDING. DO YOU KNOW OF ANY SOURCES?
THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP.
That is automotive headliner material. I just replaced some of it myself. Check
with your local auto upholstery shops. I had to call several before I found one
that would order it for me. If you can't find a local source, I have one in
707-745-0404 weekdays 9am-4pm
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