Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oh, what shall we do with an UGLY Headliner?

Since the first moment I stepped aboard our boat 5 years ago, my biggest issue with our boat has been the headliner. Comprised of a sandy-hued plastic composite material similar to the trim that runs between the dashboard and the windshield of my Chevy cavalier, our headliner is an ever-deteriorating eyesore. During the decade in which our boat sat up on the hard, the wooden walls along the salon were removed with the intent of being re-finished. In their absence, the unsupported liner fell victim to fluctuations of temperature and the pull of gravity. In some places, it detached from the hull and hung limply; in others, it cracked and became discolored from sun exposure.  
Joel and I decided we had a couple options for fixing this issue.  We could attempt to reaffix the headliner to the hull to ward off future sagging and then patch the cracks, or we could rip the whole headliner out and start over.  Though I relished the thought of ripping out this particular eyesore after having it hang over me for half a decade, the contours of the surface that it covers are so domed and irregular underneath that we ultimately decided on option 1.  
Joel used epoxy and shower rods to put the headliner back up in some places.  Then, after trying various mixtures and combinations of epoxy, plastic welding (don't waste your time), and sealant, Joel managed to patch the headliner cracks And holes, mostly with 3M5200 caulk or epoxy.  Since then,  I have spent the better part of the last month of weekends priming with TotalBoat high build primer, sanding, painting with TotalBoat single part topside paint, and sanding, and painting again.  2 coats primer, 3 coats paint, sanding and wiping between each coat.  It's not finished yet, but it's almost there.  Take a look!
Like I said, while obviously incomplete, the liner is firmly attached and it's amazing to me just how well the paint/primer filled and covered any irregular areas that were patched up.  It may not look new, but it looks so much better and brighter than it used to.