Headliner Replacement - Vinyl Beadboard?

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Veteran Member
Nov 11, 2014
Vessel Name
Vessel Make
Grand Banks 46 Classic
We need to replace the stretched fabric head liner in our GB 46 saloon. Vinyl beadboard with teak batten strips has been recommended. We've done a lot of searching and reading on material options and do like the white with teak look but are unsure of the actual headliner material. We have some concern about the glossy look and wonder if going from fabric to solid vinyl will increase sound transmission.

Has anyone used vinyl beadboard as a headliner or have thoughts on our sound absorption concerns?

We replaced the headliner in 2 previous boats with a foam backed woven fabric. I believe it was made by Redrum. I bought it from Defender. It held up very well, cleaned easily when you got something on it. We used 3M heavy duty spray contact cement to stick it to the plywood panels. We have vinyl headliner in our current boat. It has a texture to it. The nice thing is that you can really scrub the vinyl since the PO aparently never cleaned it. Don’t notice any difference in sound, but our twin diesels are pretty loud in the salon so I might not be able to tell any difference.
We went with nickel gap shiplap in primed pine - you can buy it at home depot for about 50 cents per linear foot (4.5" thickness). We were afraid to go with MDF because of moisture and we couldn't find a decent price on quality vinyl stuff, so unfortunately I can't comment on dealing with the shininess.

There was no noticeable difference in noise reflection as compared to our fabric headliner. The shiplap looks really sharp - it hasn't even been painted yet. We insulated behind it with reflectix and 1-inch foamular. All of this stuff is available at the local HD.


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Vinyl bead board will look very DIY.
I would definitely agree with Westiculo, if you strip out any part of the boat insulate it.
For engine insulation we used 'Quietlife' and now our engine just sounds like a mouse chewing tissue paper :rofl:.
Mr. AGB. Rather than replace why not re-stretch the existing headliner? You're going to have to remove the teak strips anyway and it's not that big a deal to remove staples. Depending on what direction the stretch is, you may get away with removing only one edge and maybe an end. Just a thought...

I needed to replace the battens that our vinyl was stapled to in a forward cabin cabin due to delamination of the plywood batten strips.
I removed the screwed on teak strips, pulled out all the staples on 3 sides, let the vinyl sit on a counter while still attached on that 4th side, removed and replaced the battens, re-stapled the vinyl back up and re-screwed on the teak strips.
Large Rip


A large rip was put in the headliner and unfortunately its 1 piece about 11' x 14'. Original thought was to replace with same but not a lot of options as it was stitched into one large piece. Would also be nice to have a system that allowed access to area above when needed for running wires etc.

My boat has upholstery vinyl , light texture, wrapped over and stapled to light plywood in 2 ft sections. OUrs is NOT glossy. Secured into place with teak battens. The battens themselves are screwed to the overhead using finishing washers under oval head screws.
I think it looks good although your opinion may vary. A heck of a lot better than my previous two boats overheads anyway.
The vinyl can be cleaned in place or removed and the panels can be removed for wiring chores or other work which I've done from time to time.

Buy a yard of whatever you consider and secure it into place with some tape so you guage how you like it in place.
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C - did you put a layer of foam between the vinyl and the ply?

I'm in the replacement planning mode myself. I needed to remove the original headliner to accommodate (seemed like 100,000 staples) a radar install and vowed the next headliner would be removable panels.

Just as a discussion point, my yard owner pointed me to an 80s old school what I call a picnic boat in the harbor. Can't come up with builder name - not a hinckly but an obvious high end build. Looked it up at the time and mucho $$$$. All bronze fittings and bright work with a hardtop the extends from the helm to the stern. The "headliner" is white coated Masonite panels with teak battens and brass finishing washers & screws.

Looked at it and asked yard owner how old the install was - all original except for one panel he recently replaced a year or so before. Looked great and mostly indistinguishable from original. The Masonite is under cover but otherwise exposed to the elements.

I don't think I'll go that route, but I'm really surprised at the durability of the stuff in a high heat/humidity environment. I've been saying Masonite, but MDF is probably the correct term.
Actually Masonite is a brand name covering quite a few different products one of which I know as hardboard.
Good stuff is so full of glue that water absorption is not a problem unless immersed fully.

Yes, there is thin foam between the vinyl and the backing. Not enough to be obviously puffy but enough so there is some compression and holds the vinyl snug. I did not do it but have had some of it down for various reasons over the years we have had the boat. After 40 years it needs little except periodic cleaning. Maybe new stuff side by side would show it up but so far it's holding up just fine.
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