Re: old Maramu - considering painted bulkheads in toilet compartments

jjjk12s <jjjk12s@...>


I have recently redone all the vinyl in my Maramu. After lots of research I decided new vinyl is the best off all finishing options including in the heads.

The heads are one of the easier areas to do. The wood under the vinyl is very good quality but uneven in places where the bulkheads are laminated in. The amount of fairing needed to make it smooth would be a problem as would be removing all traces of glue to prepare the surface. A small amount of wiring also runs under the vinyl and would be hard to hide if the surface was painted. You could cover with hard panels (there is stuff here called Lamnipanel, which is like very thick formica) but it would take plenty of skill to make it accurately. But if you can do it it would be a good surface for keeping clean. The one area to fair and paint is the hull area below the shelves by the seacocks.

I looked at old posts and did plenty of research and eventually came up with my own system using felt backed vinyl which I have been very pleased with. First I tried to follow Joel's post from a while ago but I couldn't locate the special glue he describes (I'm in Queensland), the old vinyl was too tatty to reglue, and where the old vinyl had previously been reglued without the foam backing it showed up the uneveness in the surface beneath.

I decided to definately not replace old foam-backed vinyl with new foam backed vinyl. When I bought Popeye there was a roll of new foam backed vinyl that a previous owner had bought. The foam on this was falling away from the vinyl and the stuff had not yet been put up!

I noted that since 1997 Amel have used a felt backed vinyl. I tried to source some of this but could not. However, I decided to use felt of some sort to make a backing for the vinyl to give the same look and smoothness as the original. I experimented with cotton, wool and polyester felts and hull lining and different glues on swatches. The best was polar fleece (polyester) material and a combination of water-soluble contact adhesive and 3M automotive trim spray contact adhesive. I looked at fire resistance and the polyester seems best and it is possible to get fire retardant. The fleece I used was much better than polyester hull liner from the chandlers. The material used has to hold the glue well and also be soft enough to compress by fittings and not have a "memory".

The best system I found was this (applies to doing the heads.)

VERY IMPORTANT - Beware of dust and use proper safety/health precautions as described in Joel's post.

1. I removed all wood trim and the toilet, sinks and fascia for the shelves. The wood trim that is nailed on can be removed carefully and the nails replaced with small coutersunk screws later.
2. The vinyl should come off easily with disintegrated foam behind. I used a good vacuum cleaner and vacuumed as I peeled back the vinyl to minimize any loose dust. I used the vacuum with a faily stiff upholstery brush fitting to get nearly all the foam residue off (mostly disintegrated). I vacuumed the back of the vinyl and kept as templates.
3. I used a wire brush and scraper to get the last of any loose foam off and as much old glue as possible and vacuumed. Beware of using a wire brush on a ginder or a face-off wheel as dust will go everywhere. I used this a bit where old vinyl repairs had left contact adhesive on the surface. At this stage the boat looks worth zero dollars!
4. When the surface was clean enough I wiped down with solvent and when ready I used the templates to oversize cut out the fleece material (white). One panel at a time I used a brush to liberally apply water-soluble contact adhesive to the surface (I used Selleys Advanced which is heat resistant and like normal contact adhesive when dry but has a longer work time). The important thing about this stage is that the fleece is porous so the glue can be applied to one surface only and the fleece moved around to get smooth before the glue bites. Also if spray glue was used at this stage it may not be strong enough to deal with any residual glue or dust on the surface.
5. I then trimmed the edges of the fleece material and left the glue to thoroughly dry.
6. Next I used the 3M automotive trim spray cans to glue the vinyl to the fleece. This is tricky and help is handy. If the vinyl sticks to itself it is ruined. I cut the vinyl over sized then sprayed a bit at a time and worked out to the edges. The small panels are ok the big ones are tricky. The floor pan was unscrewed and vinyl tucked behind with a tucking tool - finished later with a bead of off-whaite sealant.
7. I then trimmed the edges carefully with a craft knife and replaced the wood trim. The whole job will take between a few days to a week for one head compartment and cause a certain level of stress.

Whilst I was doing the above I repainted the floors with two pack poly(one green and one orange but now off-white). The sinks and shelf fascia was resprayed professionally with 2 pack poly - looks like new. You would also probably want to replace the lining/carpet on the shelves. The vinyl I used was very hard to choose and is a key to the success of the project. It is commercial grade,cream coloured (like the latest Amels ;), and has a light grain texture almost identical to the original (I think Naugasoft is too soft and too smooth).

The whole job was time consuming and gluing neatly is tricky at first but after a bit of practice not bad if you are handy. The climate here is tropical and lately very hot. So far the vinyl shows no sign of moving. The hardest bit is gluing vinyl to vinyl as you need special glue (you don't need to do this in the heads.) I have tried to keep this as brief as possible but it's a big job. After doing a whole boat you would not want to do it again in a rush!

John, Popeye, Maramu #91

--- In amelyachtowners@..., "Dave_Benjamin" <dave_benjamin@...> wrote:

Like so many older Amel sailboats, the vinyl headliners are failing in several places. In the toilet compartments we are considering just painting the bulkheads.

Before we remove the vinyl, I thought it would be good to ask if anyone has painted as opposed to replacing the vinyl. If so, was there a lot of work involved in getting the surface smooth enough for paint?

As part of this project we are going to repaint the fiberglass floor pans in the toilet compartments. Our boat, formerly owned by Henri Amel himself, is a bit different than others we've seen in that the floor pan in the forward toilet compartment is orange and the aft one is green. The yard also used different color carpet on the shelves. We don't know if Henri suggested they just use remnants or if that was the desired appearance.

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