Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: -

QI have a GRP boat that has a type of felt ma­te­rial glued to the in­side roof. What is the best way to re­move this? It doesn’t want to come off us­ing a scraper. I am con­cerned about us­ing sol­vents in an en­closed space and I don’t want to dam­age the fi­bre­glass.

SUPERIAN, via the CB web­site

ATONY REPLIES: The un­der­side of most GRP roofs is far from smooth, with glass strands stand­ing proud of the sur­face. Most glued-in fab­ric head­lin­ings have some form of soft or foam back­ing to dis­guise the bumps. At our boat­yard we used to sim­ply pull them down and then use sharp scrap­ers or chis­els to re­move the re­main­ing foam and any lumps of glue that would show through the new head­lin­ing. Be­cause of the ex­posed glass strands I would avoid sanding. I agree sol­vents are not a good idea with­out an air-fed mask. top. Un­less the whole boat is to be stripped back to a bare hull, each area will have to be cut out and new floor ar­eas cut to fit and put back down.

It will prob­a­bly re­quire ex­tra work to sup­port the edges and any bulk­heads/fur­ni­ture not di­rectly above a floor bearer. If the floor is in a poor state, the tim­ber bear­ers un­der­neath might also need re­new­ing once ac­cess is gained. This could turn out to be very ex­pen­sive, pos­si­bly sev­eral thou­sand pounds.

If the prob­lem is lo­calised to ar­eas that get wet (gal­ley sink or shower) I would just cut out the rot­ten sec­tion, glue sup­port bat­tens and cut new ply to fit the hole.

Talk to lo­cal yards, but bear in mind that you will be pay­ing Thames prices; tak­ing the boat to the Braun­ston area or fur­ther north could save money.

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