Hints and Tips



Headlining Replacement - Arcadia

Aft Cabin


I thought of hiring the replacement of the 20 year old vinyl lining in my Arcadia. But with bids in the $8-10,000 US range, I began to look at and entertain options, like doing this myself. After talking to a couple that had done their boat, I started thinking about doing this myself. While the spouse was a bit shy of this project, I jumped in feet first. Trying to think ahead of time, what to replace with vinyl glued to the hull, and taking some areas and making the vinyl removable via plywood covered vinyl for later easy removal. I did this in areas where I would want to get thru hull or deck fittings for replacement or checking for water tightness at later dates.


Photo 1 (before)


This is looking to the back of the state room with the original covering off. To the right and by the window, I have started installing the new foam backing.


Photo 2 (below cockpit floor) before


Photo 3 (after installing vinyl covered plywood)


I covered vinyl over plywood by gluing the front, and combo stapling and gluing the back of the plywood. I had to add a second layer of vinyl before stapling, as my staples would show thru a single layer. The round ots, are where the boards are screwed to the wall and cockpit flooring. There is a brown cap that goes over the screws for a nice finish, same as stock, but darker brown.


Photo 4 (new light and cabin liner above engine)


The wall in the back ground is teak plywood originally installed with vinyl covering. I cleaned up the remaining glue, and varnished to match the teak around it. I also installed a vinyl edging to cover up the fiberglass that meets the teak. The area with the light, I made a plywood piece and covered it with vinyl, then installed a light to see in the engine compartment better. The base ceiling was curved, so I used some ¼” x 1” cedar lath to make it level so the plywood wood would have something to screw in to, along with not making holes you could see above it from the side.


Photo 5 (lath below deck and deck)

I glued some lath to this area, along with the hull in places to allow stapling of the vinyl to the hull. On the outside hull area, I installed two layers of ¼” foam, one layer in between the lath, the other over the lath. On the ceiling, I installed foam every where BUT under the area with the winch bolts. I left this area free of glued on foam, so if I needed to replace the winch or other hardware with thru deck bolts, I could access them easier. This rectangular vinyl is also only stapled on, not glued and stapled as is the rest of the vinyl.


Photo 6 and 7

Although not the same trim piece of vinyl, these show the difference in finish look with and without the “hide'm” used for trimming. This also hides the staples holding the vinyl to the wood backing behind. In this case the wall between the aft cabin and main.


Photo 8

The front off the cabinet with new foam, waiting for newly varnished front and doors, this also shows the fiberglass and teak wall before finished, ie photo 9,10 and finished cabinet.


Photo 9 and 10

Photo 11

Finished looking rear (finished looking back)


Final after new varnish on all the teak, along with new vinyl, and freshly cleaned cushions. In photo 10, you will see in the very back, I installed a teak varnished plywood on the back wall. This was vinyl covered, but a wood end wall seemed to fit better than vinyl, along with newer models have wood here also.


Photo 12


Photo staplers. The stapler on the right is a typical manual staple gun. Easy to use installing the vinyl itself, along with the vinyl over the plywood for the ceilings, but when it came to stapling inside the hide'm, good luck. I ended up purchasing a upholstery stapler on the left. This is air powered, so a small air compressor will be needed. The nice thing about this is if you look closely to the front of the unit, you will see that there is a nose at the bottom, vs the manual stapler being flat along the bottom. This allowed me to put the staple into the folding middle of the hide'm, such that most of my staples went where they were supposed to go, vs 3 of 4 with the manual, had to be removed before getting one correctly hidden in the hide'm.


While doing the remodel of the aft and front V berth, I removed all of the wood that I could, took them home and varnished them in my garage. Meanwhile, I was installing the lath, foam and vinyl in the boat. Final prep was reinstalling the wood for the cabinets, the shelf along the hull, and rear panel in the stateroom.


The wiring I held up with some plastic holders screwed into the wall or ceiling appropriately, instead of the tape used at the factory 20 yrs before.


For the glue, ie contact cement, I used 3M #77 multipurpose adhesive. There is also a 90 and 82 for vinyl. The 90 is very smelly, and the 82 did not work well. I found a ¼” staple that worked best, but something a bit smaller would have been nice for the plywood panels. The rest of the vinyl I used ½” staples where stapling into the lath or existing plywood walls.


Marty Bower - Arcadia - Amoretto - Edmonds, WA USA


Also see: Arcadia Heads Headlining Replacement