Project Headlining

Mark & Sue Owen
Sat 9 Jul 2016 06:54

When two large, black packages arrived for us we knew we could put this off no longer.  It was time to tackle the dreaded job of replacing Macushla’s headlining – foam backed vinyl which was failing after 15 years, including our years in the tropics.  Skipper had had to effect an ‘emergency’ repair on the worst panels by attacking them with the staple gun to prevent the degraded foam ‘powder’ from escaping. 


Having previously removed many of the panels to fit insulation material, Mark knew that they were held in place either by Velcro or by wooden teak beams screwed in place, for which we were very grateful.  Makes the job a lot easier, especially considering we had 38 panels to remove, clean, recover and replace.  Armed with two large rolls of foam backed vinyl, a box full of 3M adhesive aerosol cans, scrapers, sand paper, staple gun, roller and so on, we got underway.  Living on board whilst doing this job is far from ideal, but somehow we managed, taking ‘living in chaos’ to a completely new level.


So, for each panel we had to remove the staples holding the old vinyl in place, then scrape off the remaining foam, then scape and sand off the glue.  Messy, messy job.  Once the panel was clean we could pattern up the new vinyl, then spray adhesive on to both the vinyl and the panel, and finally staple round the edge.


Now that you’ve got me here…  and an example of what we face:




Saloon panels out and scraping off the hardened glue:




Pattern making and then sticking panels onto the vinyl:




Firing away with the staple gun and our chaotic interior…:




Attention to detail round light and switch sockets:




Being a contortionist in the galley and a glimpse of the end result:




At the time of ‘going to press’ we are more than 50% complete – all of the saloon, the galley and navigation station, the aft heads and the forward heads; yay! Time for a celebratory half way beer.


We managed to take the evening off on skipper’s birthday and went along to Glen Innes, a district in Auckland where there was a light festival in celebration of Matariki, the Maori New Year.  There are two meanings for Matariki.  Mata riki means “tiny eyes” and Mata ariki means “eyes of God”.  It’s believed that the brighter the Matariki stars appear at this time the more productive the coming harvest will be.  At this time The Milky Way (Mangaroa, Te Ika Roa) sits 360° from horizon to horizon.  After enjoying the lights it was time to get down to the serious business of a birthday curry at the Victoria Square Market.