I‘ve been putting off the inevitable as long as possible. I’ve removed and sealed all the deck hardware and the boat is dry as a bone now. Jeni and I have toiled and obsessed (well, I’ve been doing the majority of the obsessing) over the choice of replacement headliner material for the last several weeks (months) now and decided to test out a sheet of Masonite from Lowe’s. Masonite is basically a 1/8″ thick sheet of laminated paper with a shiny white coating (gel coat?) applied to one side. Hey, they use it in domestic shower stalls so what’s the problem with using it on a boat? And, at $14 for a 4′ X 8′ sheet what could possibly go wrong?
Well I’ll tell ya’ what could go wrong…..
First off, I had to make paper patterns of the ceiling panels to cut the Masonite sheets, because of course, there are NO right angles inside this boat. Secondly, I decided to start at the aft end of the boat over the companionway which includes circular cutouts for the nav & galley light fixtures, the 2 dorade vents (port & starboard), and an additional mushroom vent over the galley. Third, my roll of construction paper for cutting patterns is 28 inches wide, and either side of the companionway is 30.5 inches wide (check out the video for more on that…..).
So, I made my paper patterns, got it all cut with my trusty Fein Multi-Master, pre-drilled the holes for the new stainless steel screws, and installed it overhed (at least the first 4 feet forward of the aft bulkhead, anyway). I’m pretty happy right now. It has that nice shiny finish, and it’s a damn near dead-on match for the original gel-coated plywood that Tayana used when the boat was built back in ’77. Sweet, I’ve done a good job and I’m going to bed now (I sleep in a bag back in the quarter berth when I’m down working on the boat for two to three days at a time).
At sometime around 4 a.m. the next morning I awoke to rain drops on the cabin top. Ah…. nothing better than the sound of rain pitter-pattering on the deck of a sailboat to lull you back to sleep. And, nothing better to wake you up from that blissful sleep than the drip, drip, drip of rainwater on your head!!!!! Seems as though despite my best efforts to seal up deck leaks, water has once again gotten one over on me. Rain leaking in from the aft starboard side of the companionway (where we found major rotten wood during the demo), and at a couple of the screws that fasten the hatch turtle to the deck. Drip, drip, drip….. Wet Masonite is not a good thing, so I took it all back down.
Ceiling panels are now sitting inside our storage unit to dry out, and hopefully they will still be useful as patterns for whatever else material we decide to use. Saturday I plan to go back down to the boat with a fist full of G-Flex epoxy to repair those leaks I discovered once and for all, until of course we drill more holes for new deck hardware…..