Murphness

Interior "Battens" (or whatever they're called)

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Hey Folks,

Looking for advice on sprucing up the interior of my fiberglass cave (Thunderbird). Currently it's painted white over heavy weave poly glass. I think a cruising boat is in the near future, but I'm hoping that I can spruce it up for a couple of reasons anyway.

1: I have a 2 year old I'm hoping to get out on the water this season. My wife is pretty chill, and generally doesn't mind that she has to use a bucket, and that the boat is full of beer cans, but it would be nice to be a bit more comfortable for everyone, and maybe look a bit more welcoming.

2: The boat is under weight anyway, so adding 100#'s of wood won't be the end of the world. Yea, it's not in the right spot, but it's a Thunderbird and I don't really give a shit. We've got a 15 boat fleet now and most are similarly outfitted (with somewhat of an interior) and mine is stripped.

I'm pretty handy and have all the tools needed. Really just looking for some ideas, I'm not married to "battens", so if there's some other product that will achieve a similar result (decent looking, more comfortable, won't take 200 hours), I'm all ears.

Some pics to help visualize what I'm starting with.

 

Cheers,

Murphness

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I always liked Carl Schumacher's "batten" treatment in his Express line - enough that it's exactly what I'm going to do for my recent purchase. I will have a bit more space that you, and don't have to have the battens on the hull itself, I will likely have some vertical furring strips that I then attach the battens to, to give a little visual depth. 

Unless I go bead/cove cedar and panel it completely.

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Def going to glass in some furring strips. Hoping to wire in some LED's or something and the space would make a good chase.

I'll check out the express' to see what they're doing.

Good luck with the Andrews!

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As a kid my family of 4 cruised on dad's T-Bird. I don't remember much which is probably for the best.

You might consider adding a few more layers of paint, some trim around the ports, and acorn bolts or covers for the hardware. This plus adding the needed cushions for overnighting may be enough to make it look and feel good without more wood or a headliner. For interior lighting check out all the cool led lanterns sold in camping  stores. We use them on our boat even though it also has wired lights, they last for many nights of use on AA batts.

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I have an Express with the batten interior and they do a nice job of dressing it up while keeping it simple.  I'm pretty sure that they are screwed directly into the cored hull though, and I'm not sure that would work so well on a boat with a thinner hull structure.  I guess glassing in furring strips would be one solution.

I agree with steele's "keep it simple" suggestion.  That's typical of what I see on smaller boats.

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+1 on the cushions.  Get some truly decent ones if you don't have them already.   Some wet-friendly throw pillows would be great too, and can also be used in the cockpit.  Most boats have nowhere to lounge comfortably, which is 90% of what we do aboard.

Get this part right, some well-done wood trim here and there, and you may not even want the battens.

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If you want to warm up the interior with some wood, the easiest way would be to get some 1/8" teak ply and cover the interior sides of the cabin top. Very quick & easy to do and not expensive.

Doing battens on the hull sides is a whole lot of fiddly work - like trying to line the inside of a football. Less of a problem on a T-Bird than a round bilge hull because it was designed for plywood construction but still a whole lot of work.

Heavier too.

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Corecell is light, cheap, insulates, and colorful

Do you mean just gluing foam to the sides?

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If you want to warm up the interior with some wood, the easiest way would be to get some 1/8" teak ply and cover the interior sides of the cabin top. Very quick & easy to do and not expensive.

Doing battens on the hull sides is a whole lot of fiddly work - like trying to line the inside of a football. Less of a problem on a T-Bird than a round bilge hull because it was designed for plywood construction but still a whole lot of work.

Heavier too.

I'm liking this suggestion. What to do with the joints? 1/4 round or something? Just checked and it's $90 for a 4x8 1/8 teak ply. That would probably cover the whole cabin top.

Other issue is how to secure it? More furring strips? Glue?

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As long as I am not really helping with your original question I though I would add more advice. Dad's old T Bird had a pop top that was great at the dock or anchor. It was supported brass rods and thumb screws. If you don't have one it is a nice addition.

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I'm liking this suggestion. What to do with the joints? 1/4 round or something? Just checked and it's $90 for a 4x8 1/8 teak ply. That would probably cover the whole cabin top.

Other issue is how to secure it? More furring strips? Glue?

!/4 round would do - make it a good size though, not 1/4" or other dinky stuff - look at some interiors on Yachtworld for ideas.

I'd just stick it down with Liquid Nails or other construction adhesive - it's decorative, not structural.

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!/4 round would do - make it a good size though, not 1/4" or other dinky stuff - look at some interiors on Yachtworld for ideas.

I'd just stick it down with Liquid Nails or other construction adhesive - it's decorative, not structural.

52,000,000 it is!

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https://www.pipelagging.com/class-o-armaflex-cont-sheet-self-adhesive-06mm-x-15m-x-1m-af-co-06mm-ea

 

This stuff in bulk roll, IIRC it's got microban in it(or at least some version they make does, I bought it from a foam supplier and they mentioned it did, used it in a van conversion, held up nicely so far).     Contact cement the hull liner to the foam ahead of time, then cut to fit.  Install in boat with the peel and stick.  Don't like it later, it's easier to remove the peel and stick off the hull vs cleaning up contact cement mess.  Will last a few years.  If actual warmth isn't the issue just body contact with surface/aesthetics, just do it with hull liner carpet to begin with.  Don't be the guy who has to remove and clean it later, that job is not fun.    Use a precharged "demo pack" contact cement can, not the aerosol can garbage.  Look like a small propane tank with an attached spray gun.  Keep both in your garage after, clean the tip of the gun only.  Do not shut valve on tank.  The gun will stay good with cement in it for years, but disconnect the tank and it dries solid in a day or two.  Then if you ever have to do another round or loan it to someone, they can buy a new tank and swap the gun on. 

Neither of these are the best way to do the job for a keep it for a lifetime boat.  Both are relatively fast and relatively affordable(why powerboat manufacturers do it.

Don't use that tinfoil coated bubble wrap. 

 

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As long as I am not really helping with your original question I though I would add more advice. Dad's old T Bird had a pop top that was great at the dock or anchor. It was supported brass rods and thumb screws. If you don't have one it is a nice addition.

Yea, I love the pop tops. My boat was purchased unfinished by some dolt who thought he'd do a great job and save some money. We all know how that goes...

He came up with some ridiculous slider that leaks like a sieve. It'd take quite a bit of work to change it, although maybe it'd be worth it for water ingress purposes alone...

 

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Sorry, meant Coroplast, not Corecell.  It's the corrugated plastic, comes in white, black, yellow etc., used for signs and whatnot.  Pretty comfortable to lean against, could attach with 3M foam strips.

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The battens on walls in boats are properly called "Ceiling". The stuff over your head is the overhead. It's a boat, nothin' is called what it supposed to be. 

Ceiling.jpg

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