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Old 05-13-2017, 07:03 PM   #1
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City: Valdez, Alaska
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Infinity
Vessel Model: Universal Litton 36
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Ceiling insulation and paneling or no?

Greetings all! I'm in Valdez, Alaska. Bought a 36' Tri-cabin trawler in 2013 (basically a CHB) that had extensive reffiting done to it. All new paint outside top and bottom, pretty good shape over all.

But the main cabin roof had a couple soft spots and by the time I investigated it was too late. What I hoped to spot fix ended up being taking the roof off inside the flybridge like a sardine can, taking two layers of 3/4" ply out by the handful, and rebuilding the whole thing. Several leaks from above, but it also didn't seem to help that the previous owner installed 1" white beadboard foam on the ceiling inside, and covered it with white fiberglass paneling, the kind you might see in a shower room or something. So I think that foam and paneling helped hold moisture in, both from above and below. When I pulled the foam out, it was "glued" in place by a thin layer of fungus. gross..

So on to my question.. My new ceiling is two layers of fresh plywood laminated together with thickened epoxy (ACX, I couldn't get marine once I was into it, but exterior rated has the same glue as marine and the CDX I pulled out was original so..) with several layers of 10 oz e-glass above with Universal Composites two part epoxy (not poly/vinylester). In the cabin the A face of the ACX ply faces down, and that is it. I'd like to have a brighter surface and maybe insulation, but don't want to trap more moisture in there. (Side note, the laminated layers of ply could trap moisture in between them too if it can get in there) Should I paint it, insulate and panel it, panel it with something breathable, just leave it alone, or other??

Any advice, particularly for cooler climates, appreciated!

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Old 05-13-2017, 07:47 PM   #2
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My charter boat had the cabin replaced in 2003. The walls and ceiling are plywood. The inside and outside have bi-axial cloth and West system epoxy. All the window and door openings were cut over size and then the opening was wrapped with cloth and epoxy. In short, if you don't want the wood to absorb moisture, encapsulate it with fiberglass or epoxy and a layer of bi-axial cloth. How you finish the inside of the ceiling after that, doesn't matter, unless you start drilling holes into the plywood.


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Old 05-13-2017, 07:57 PM   #3
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If you want to paint your ceiling I would first glaze it with epoxy and FB, than sand it smooth, smooth any high spot, and paint with primer and paint.

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Old 05-14-2017, 07:08 AM   #4
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If you need the light . paint it.

While epoxy is a great glue , many folks will use ring nails to hold the ply together , and simply use roofing tar between layers.

Still lasts as long ,and is just as stiff, till the ply rots out under the GRP covering.

The simpler the construction , the simpler it is to see a leak, and get on it before the wood rots.

For most roof penetrations simple goop like Dolphinite or Butyl tape is easiest to remove /replace when the hatch, handrail , water deck iron begin to drip.
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Old 05-14-2017, 12:49 PM   #5
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City: Valdez, Alaska
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Vessel Name: M/V Infinity
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All good points, thanks. Encapsulation would be ideal, or I could have used that newer plastic based core material, but had limited options for materials when I did the job. It won't be practical to fiberglass the inside at this stage, but I may look at a couple coats of epoxy to seal the ceiling.

I'm planning for minimal penetrations on the top. Had to punch a hole for the drip stove flue, but otherwise railing mounts, freezer chocks, seat attachments, and the dingy cradle I'm going to epoxy down encapsulated blocks to the deck. I'd considered using G10 blocks but can't find anything affordable. If they have problems, they can be chipped and sanded off but would never cause a leak through into the ceiling..
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:39 PM   #6
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Mr. A. Since you are going to epoxy seal the inside, how about after coating, you epoxy, say, 2"X2" furring strips to the underside, jam 2" rigid Styrofoam panels in between and attach a light sheet of whatever to finish off and hold in the insulation. That way, your actual underside is not penetrated, just the strips....

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