GRP HEADLINING REMOVAL
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.