Headliners. Why?

fredrussell

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Just been doing my usual trawl through ebay boats for sale and, as usual, saw a fair few examples of headliners with more billowing than my badly trimmed mainsail in a force 6. I have a 35 year old Jaguar 23, with no headliner and the roof looks as pristine as the day it left the mould. Its foam cored, so not too much condensation as yet. If I want to install new hardware on the coachroof its a doddle to get the nut on the bolt, and any leaks or cracks are easy to spot before they get out of hand.

I realise that headlining allows you to have a good layer of insulation concealed beneath, but given that most UK boats are hauled out over the colder months how important a boon is that really?

New to all this, so I may well have overlooked something, but what are the other positive points of headliners? Are they still fitted to new boats?
 

Tranona

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Headliners were used because the deck moulding was open on the inside, therefore was just raw GRP which needs covering up. Foam back vynil was cheap and was often just stuck to the GRP - and of course the glue eventually fails and it all falls down. Better quality boats would have removable panels covered with vynil or other decorative finish, often melamine type. Rarely is any insulation added behind it.

not used now as most new boats are built with injection moulded decks or inner liners to give a far superior finish, although they may also have lined removable panels for access to wiring and maybe fittings. Many, though do not through bolt fittings but screw into aluminium plates in the mouldings.

Have a look inside new Mass production boats to see the improvement. Boats built in smaller numbers may still have fabricated headlinings, but will be nothing like some of the horrors of the past.
 

Mrnotming

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Laurent Giles Seamaster 23 used mouldings extensively incl headliners.Many look as good as new.
Similarly, Sadler yachts for example 32 had a grp headliner also.
There will be some more coming along, I'm sure not including Westerly Yachts afaik.
 

LadyInBed

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SiteSurfer

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I was considering putting headling in my boat (simply because it has none) - can I clarify that the main reason was that some of the boats of my era (70's) has single skinned cabins then? Mine is double skinned and smooth GRP inside throughout the inside.

Are there more insulative benefits to headlining - or was cosmetics mainly 'it'? (If I don't 'need' it because it was a cosmetic thing then that saves me another job)..
 

rob2

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I think a headlining softens the look of the cabin, moulded versions can leave a rather stark feel. Mine is mounted on ply boards and the internal wiring runs above it out of sight. If you're considering foam insulation it would be a good idea to ensure you use a flame retardent type, otherwise even a relatively minor fire would quickly become lethal. I've seen some boats with a metal sheet fitted above the cooker for exactly that reason.

Rob.
 

LadyInBed

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I was considering putting headling in my boat (simply because it has none) - can I clarify that the main reason was that some of the boats of my era (70's) has single skinned cabins then? Mine is double skinned and smooth GRP inside throughout the inside.

Are there more insulative benefits to headlining - or was cosmetics mainly 'it'? (If I don't 'need' it because it was a cosmetic thing then that saves me another job)..
If the surface looks ok and you don't get condensation dripping on your head, then DON'T DO IT.
 

doug748

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Just been doing my usual trawl through ebay boats for sale and, as usual, saw a fair few examples of headliners with more billowing than my badly trimmed mainsail in a force 6. I have a 35 year old Jaguar 23, with no headliner and the roof looks as pristine as the day it left the mould. Its foam cored, so not too much condensation as yet. If I want to install new hardware on the coachroof its a doddle to get the nut on the bolt, and any leaks or cracks are easy to spot before they get out of hand.

I realise that headlining allows you to have a good layer of insulation concealed beneath, but given that most UK boats are hauled out over the colder months how important a boon is that really?

New to all this, so I may well have overlooked something, but what are the other positive points of headliners? Are they still fitted to new boats?


Moulded headlinings are still fitted to new boats and can look pretty grim unless they are well done. Nicholsons fitted them in the sixties so it is not a novel idea. I agree the sticky back plastic is a nightmare.

The best bet are removable panels which, if done well, can look excellent and give you a chance to root behind them, if you want to add stuff or run electrics. I would never add insulation unless overwintering in Alaska - the air gap does quite a good job on its own.

For your boat it would only reduce headroom, add weight and cost money for limited advantage.
 

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I had a Carter 30 with inner mouldngs; as well as looking a bit stark, it was a disaster for a tinkerer like me as I couldn't check backing pads or add new kit without surgery to the grp.

On my A22 I placed thin sheets of ( fire resistant ) polystyrene between lining - which is varnished ply panels - and deckhead, a lesson learned after living aboard for a few weeks mid winter.

I also added silver foil, partly for insulation, partly as a ' might as well in case it helps ' radar signature enhancer.
 

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Yngmar

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Headliners provide extra insulation and a easy way of hiding cabling (for the light fixtures mounted on them) and whatever is bolted through from above - and provide padding for your noggin. In my opinion, they should be removable though. Mine's made of thin plywood panels clad with white faux leather, and the Oyster I've poked around on had a similar setup, but with varnished timber trim between the panels. Let's you fiddle with the cables behind and check for leaks when you need to (and clean up the mould). But if you're happy without (and having bolts stick through - ouch), save yourself the weight and hassle :)
 

johnalison

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My old Sadler 29 had a moulded lining. When lying in my bunk I used to puzzle over why it appeared to have a non-slip texture as I had little intention of walking on it with the boat inverted.
 

LadyInBed

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May I ask what glue you used?
It's a job still in the planning stage, but I reckon on using PVA. I will do a test piece to see how it fairs.
An alternative may be a latex glue, Screwfix have mapel latex plus.
'Roof' panels are on plywood sheets, attached with screws to battens.
'Wall' panels are soft backed and held in place by other fittings, windows and trims, I think I will also use glue (as above) to hold them to the walls.
 

25931

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Laurent Giles Seamaster 23 used mouldings extensively incl headliners.Many look as good as new.
Similarly, Sadler yachts for example 32 had a grp headliner also.
There will be some more coming along, I'm sure not including Westerly Yachts afaik.

As the owner of a Seamaster sailer 23 I wholeheartedly agree . I wonder if the genious ,Jack L. Giles, imposed this demand ?
Incidently if anyone is interested in a holiday home in the Algarve La Roca is for sale.
 
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