Cabin Wall Replacement @ Port Lights

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  • June 23, 2013 3:22 AM
    Message # 1325045
    Deleted user
    I can't remember if the correct terminology for the areas at the portlights is called "walls" but anyway sometime in the future I need to replace all of those plywood areas.
    King Starboard would be great to use (i think) but can it be glued into place?
    It also comes in other colors, my walls have ben painted white and I'm happy with that but replacing the walls will give me the option of returning back to brown.

    But then if I use white starboard and it stains from say a leaking portlight you have the issue of the product being unpaintable. Are stains easy to get out of starboard?
    Is starboard just a dumb idea?

    Last modified: June 23, 2013 3:31 AM | Deleted user
  • June 23, 2013 7:11 AM
    Reply # 1325116 on 1325045


    I had to replace some rotten plywood around the portholes as well. I went with PVC Foamboard and applied it with contact cement. The stuff is paintable according to my supplier, and comes in several thicknesses. I went with 3/8". 

  • June 23, 2013 10:21 AM
    Reply # 1325173 on 1325045


    I have replaced the interior cabin sides on 3 boats that I have owned due to leakage and rotting from failed portlight bedding.  You will find your current material is likely 1/8" plywood (Teak, Mahogany or painted).  It may be glued directly to the fiberglass cabinside.  More commonly behind this plywood, you will find vertical strips (spacers) of plywood glued to the cabin sides every few feet and around the portlight cutouts.  If your boat was built for/in cooler climates you might also find some insulation glued to the cabin sides between these vertical strips.

    If you are careful as you remove the cabin sides they can be reused as templates for your new cabinsides.  On past projects I have replaced cabinsides using 1/8" Teak plywood and on one project I used 1/16" plywood as a backing with white laminate glued to it. The possibilities for materials are as broad as your imagination.  I glue 1/8" closed cell foam to the cabin sides (between the spacers) to help with insulation. 

    Starboard is wonderful stuff for some things, but it is not easily glueable (even 3M 5200 does not stick well) and it is rather heavy and expensive. I like to use it for backing plates on thru hulls.  No, starboard does not stain.


    Last modified: June 23, 2013 10:24 AM | Kevin Donahue
  • June 23, 2013 1:34 PM
    Reply # 1325265 on 1325045
    Deleted user
    We have white oak planks that have held up very well. I have found a supplier that cuts the planks for me, to about 2" x 7' x 1/4" and its not terribly costly.

    Why have a leaky port window, I just re-set all my port wondows in less than a day and solved all my leaky windows for under $100. 

    Ceck out my write up  it describes how I did it and shows the white oak. 

    Good day.
    Last modified: June 23, 2013 1:39 PM | Deleted user
  • June 23, 2013 3:21 PM
    Reply # 1325298 on 1325045
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Micheal:  Great write up and photo's - I'd like to submit to Dick as an article - and also add to my Westsail FAQ forum --

    OK with you?


  • June 23, 2013 5:52 PM
    Reply # 1325363 on 1325045
    Deleted user
    Hi Carl , my vote is Mahogany ply. varnished. And teak trim(oiled) around it.  At night when the oil lamp light hits it, it looks good . Just my thoughts.
    Last modified: June 23, 2013 5:54 PM | Deleted user
  • June 24, 2013 7:51 AM
    Reply # 1325689 on 1325045
    Deleted user

    Sure no prolem on my end. :)  
  • June 24, 2013 3:32 PM
    Reply # 1326052 on 1325045
    Deleted user


    I'd stay away from Starboard for this application for a lot of reasons but mainly because its expensive.  If you're ok with white Home Depot/Lowes has a material that comes in 4x8 sheets and is just a white plastic of some kind.  You've probably seen it in every store or grocery or gas station bath room wall you've ever been in.  It doesn't stain, mildew wipes off, its resistant to just about everything and more importantly its cheap.  They also sell the glue for it.  I used it on the overhead on my boat and it looks the same now as when I put it up seven years ago.  And you can cut it with a razor or big shears.

  • June 30, 2013 4:00 AM
    Reply # 1330069 on 1325045

    I, too, would stay away from Starboard on that application. Glue will not stick reliably to it and due to its weight, this would would eventually be a problem for you. If you remove the port lights first (rather than trimming around them), then the port light frame would probably provide a sufficient mechanical bond longterm. I still, however, do not consider that to be your best option.

    Wood -- whether wainscot planking or quality mahogany veneer -- can provide a beautiful finish. But in my view, the cabin of our boats are so incredibly dark, that I personally wouldn't use anything dark. You will find that a white surface at that height will brighten your boat substantially and make it look much larger inside.

    Larry indicated: "If you're ok with white Home Depot/Lowes has a material that comes in 4x8 sheets and is just a white plastic of some kind. You've probably seen it in every store or grocery or gas station bath room wall you've ever been in."  This may or may not be the same product I used, but I can't be sure. His reference to cutting with razor [knife] or big sheers would suggest that he is referring to a "vinyl-like" product from Parkland Plastics. Almost all the stuff I've seen installed in public restrooms, however, are FRP panels (fiberglass reinforced plastic). Every restroom and shower in my marina is covered with it. While it does clean easily, it has a very course grain to it and a shiny surface, that I don't care for. If, however, Larry does refer to the Parkland product, I whole-heartedly agree!

    This product is somewhat difficult to locate, as some Lowes and/or Home Depot stores don't carry it, though most carry the FRP product. If they have both, the two products will be stored horizontally and most likely right next to one another. If so, you can immediately tell the difference, because the Parkland product can be rolled up... the FRP product cannot.

    Read the product directions closely. It is NOT supposed to be applied to non-porous surface, so you may need to sand the existing paneling. And I WOULD put it over the existing panelling, as it might show the surface imperfections of the underlying raw fiberglass (and the raw fiberglass is non-porous). You need to be careful what you use as an adhesive... use what they recommend.

    I personally used the Parkland product 6 years ago, and it's the ONLY thing I've done on the boat that still looks like it did the day I installed it. It's a little touchy regarding choice of adhesives, but I like the look. I've attached a photo, but I'm tired of resizing images so they will display properly on this site. So I'm also including a link to the original.

    Last modified: June 30, 2013 4:47 AM | Anonymous member
  • June 30, 2013 8:28 AM
    Reply # 1330141 on 1325045
    Deleted user
    Thanks guys,

    My original 3/8? plywood laminates have seperated so my walls are wavy, replacing all of it is in my future.

    Thanks for the link and picture.
    My factory finished boat is mostly in original shape but the walls at the portlights have been painted white and yes I agree having these areas white is the preferrable choice for me also.

    Could I replace with marine grade 3/8" plywood as I will be painting it white?
    Also, what's the difference betwern marine plywood and standard pressure treated plywood?

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