Where ever you are in the world visit this site for info about headlining. They do a little booklet FOC if you order something from them that has useful tips and their range of products helps to understand the project requirements better. Because I live in France I only ordered their 'face off' disks for my angle grinder because I could not source them here. The Vinyl and glue I got locally...

There have been several emails asking about the headlining replacement I am doing in Eloise and the following, is the email I have replied with. Please if anyone else has better info or experience with this horrid job,  then email me and I will post it here.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but re-doing the head lining is perhaps the worst job I have ever done in a boat. After bringing Eloise south down the French Canals, in last years long hot summer, the 'foam' gave up the ghost during the winter and left me no choice.

I have replaced/am replacing the head lining in the Saloon and the two aft cabins. The forward part of the saloon beyond the bulkhead is fine and I have not touched it. The starboard fwd cabin is also OK and I have left that. The heads needed a new strip (it was the first bit I did and was an 'interesting' experience) down the side opposite the basin but the rest is going to be OK... a small amount of droop but I think it will survive... wait and see.

It is a really messy business and I suggest you remove everything from the interior before you start. You have to take off all the wood trim around the edges including the window frames and the long strips covering the two joins in the saloon. Pull down the old lining and stowed them safely to use as patterns to cut out the new shapes.  Then with a paint scraper get off the old foam - not that difficult. The bad part is that the original glue is stuck all over the grp and the only satisfactory way of getting that off is with pads from Hawke House on the internet. I found the angle grinder pads were best but they are expensive and do not last that long. Having angle grinded the old glue off the boat is covered in an inch of dust and so are you. I was wearing a protection suit, mask and protective glasses and still 'itched' like mad for days after...

Here in France the price of a vinyl headlining with a cloth backing, rather than foam backing, was half the price and looked like it would stay up better.  This is a hard choice when the entire job is so expensive (1000ish) with even the cloth backed vinyl. It looks fine, but of course the 'foam' backing of the original vinyl, covers up the indentations and bolt heads of the grp construction better.... Slightly regret going for the cheaper option but not so that I would cry over it. The cost difference and the ease of working with the cloth backed vinyl probably makes up for it. One tip is that it is important to 'fill' the gaps you find that have already been filled with bits of vinyl under the original head lining.  Clearly the original fitters went round - particularly some of the edges - laying in bits of extra vinyl to smooth out the surface. If you go the cloth vinyl route then you also need to lay a preparatory strip down the bolt heads which hold the grab rails. I did not do this and the job would have looked better if I had. Still OK but could be better.

I have now angle ground all - the new vinyl is now up in the saloon and the wood trim replaced and ready for varnishing (getting the screws out is a pain) The edges of the wood trim are pre-varnished but I have left the faces till the new filler over the screw heads is set and sanded down. I will start gluing the new vinyl next week and should have the job finished in 2 or 3 afternoons. Just got to re-fix the cable runs etc before I start glueing... It is a truly horrid job, but the boat is looking better for it and hopefully it will never 'droop' again..

Hawke House do a little booklet which is very useful with good tips. Try to get them to send you one and perhaps a sample of a 'glue take off pad' for an angle grinder so you can try to source similar if you are not in the UK.


Wish you luck with it.


Oh Dear, I hesitate to post this Michael as it's too late for you, but in case it helps other owners there is a very much easier way to do the headlining job and end up with a very much better job than Prout's original.
The whole roof area is foam cored which allows screws to be used to screw panels to the roof. What you need is some 1/16th ply, and foam backed vinyl. Cut the ply into shapes that will go through the door (rather important that!) and offer them up to the roof either side of the centreline. Cut them out to fit the shape of the roof. You can cover the majority of the roof that way just leaving small strips between them on the awkward shaped bits which it is very easy to stick to the roof in the conventional way using a high temperature tolerant contact adhesive. These strips obviously need to overlap the panels which, when the job is finished will hold them in position. Without the weight of large areas they will stay there anyway. The areas around the windows are not large either and are rarely a problem so also a candidate for direct application. All other areas, including vertical and horizontal panels in the quarter cabins can very easily be covered with flat panels though.


Take these panels off the boat to a nice flat area somewhere having marked, this side up ( yes I did manage to cover the wrong side of one panel but was lucky to be able to reverse it and use port side for starboard! ) Cut the foam backed vinyl about 1 inch bigger than these panels. Trowel and / or brush on a good thickness of PVA glue to the board and lower the foam to the panel. Use a foam decorators roller to firm it down. Do not attempt to turn over edges yet. Allow 24 hours to set. Then turn over and fold over edges stapling down with STAINLESS STEEL staples doing corners first to form a nice radius ( plywood radiused first of course ) These panels can be screwed through up to the roof, and the screw heads covered with upholstery buttons covered in the same material. The advantage is that they can always be removed for access to wiring (lights etc) they will never droop or sag, and they look superb as they cover all imperfections in the moulding. Also there is no need to spend days removing all the old glue! 

All materials (including ready made buttons, stainless staples etc) can be bought from Hawke House Marine in Newgate Lane Fareham, Hants or any other local supplier specialising in materials. The photo above gives some indication of Peregrines linings done this way which any visitor to her always remarks upon. Anyone not quite sure of details don't hesitate to e-mail me direct at boatmike@ntlworld.com        


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