Maintenance

Cedar Ceiling

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"I’ve taken out the cabin liner on my 1984 Beneteau 35 and have wire-brushed the glass surface underneath and painted it with EZPoxy. I now want to line the side walls with cedar paneling. How would you prep the painted glass surface, and what adhesive do you recommend?"

-- Charlie Wetherill , Bayfield, Wisconsin

Don Casey replies : Many lockers that contain clothes or linens are lined with aromatic cedar, and I would recommend that wood for this application. Think about using thin cedar slats or battens. You can screw them into 1-inch-by-1/2-inch–thick oak ribs that have been glued and then glassed onto the hull’s interior; oak ribs hold a screw well. To prepare the hull surface for the ribs and the fiberglass tape that goes over them, first use a 36-grit sanding disk to remove the paint from the hull where the ribs will be located. Plan to space the ribs every 18 inches. Finish by crosshatching the hull surface with a grinder to give the glue something to grip.

You should seriously consider putting foam insulation between the ribs and the paneling and hull. The insulation will make the cabin space more comfortable, and, because your sailing area is quite far north, you might want to make the ribs 3/4-inch thick and put in thicker insulation. In general, a rib this thick can be pushed flat against the hull if its curvature isn’t extreme. If you can’t bend the ribs flush against the hull, cutting a series of kerfs—these are small partial cuts made on the rib’s underside—will help it bend more easily.

Space the ribs evenly, locating the first and last ribs close to the ends of the area you want to cover with cedar. Glue the ribs to the hull with quick-set epoxy. Do one side at a time, and hold the ribs in place with braces wedged against the opposite side of the hull. Once a rib is glued in place, cover it with two or three layers of fiberglass tape, being sure to laminate the tape to the hull surface with a margin of several inches on each side of the rib. If you do install insulation between the ribs, you shouldn’t have to glue it in place.

Finally, round all the interior corners of the cedar slats and then screw them to the oak ribs. A weighted string will help align the screw holes. Leave a little space between each slat. Not only is this more attractive, it also removes any chance that the battens might creak against each other.

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