Tammy Norie’s headlining looked lovely when I bought her, but after a short time sailing it started to fall off. The glue and foam on the back of the vinyl started to give up, probably when it started getting a little damp. Well, she had been in storage for 25 years.

Last summer I stuck it up with tape and carried on sailing. Now I’ve stripped it all out and given her a coat of paint instead. Here’s a short video about how I did that. (Spoiler: use an oscillating multi-tool.)

And here she is with her new paint job in Hempel “light cream”, which happens to match her topsides and interior gelcoat almost perfectly. Very sunny!


This will certainly do for the summer.

In the longer term I intend to line her with closed cell foam and some sort of covering. My goal is to displace over 1m³ of water with foam, providing over 1t of buoyancy. That should make Tammy Norie unsinkable. I’ve calculated that 10mm of foam on all the surfaces I’ve just painted, plus the cushions, add up to about 1m³, and that’s not counting the locker interiors or any other voids, so it’s quite achievable. (Of course, to use the cushions for buoyancy I’d need to come up with a scheme for attaching them much more strongly to the boat, but I have some ideas.)

I was reminded of the importance of this scheme on launch day when three friends from CUYC dropped by to see Tammy Norie and told me they’d just seen a collision and very rapid sinking right nearby in the Solent.

Not for me, thanks. Tammy Norie will pass The Mingming Test.



Filed under headlining, Repairs and Modifications

5 responses to “Redecoration

  1. Pingback: Padding the pulpit | Tammy Norie

  2. Interesting idea, using your cushions for flotation. However, the bad news is that you will need to replace the existing foam with closed cell foam, otherwise they will just soak up the water like sponges. This is not only an expensive option, it’s not a particularly comfortable one, either, unless they do different grades of closed-cell foam in the UK than they do in NZ. It tends to be firm to a fault. No much different from sitting on Tilman’s ‘pure wood’!

    • Yes, I’m still not sure if closed cell foam cushions will work. It’s something I plan to try out when I get hold of some foam for lining. I’m quite hopeful because camping mattresses are commonly made of closed cell foam, and I find them comfortable. Foams like Plastazote come in various low density grades such as “LD15” that are softer . Lastly, 1m³ of foam will be quite expensive, but costs much the same wherever I put it. There are rigid expanding foams that I might be able to use more cheaply in voids, but I haven’t got that far with my thinking.

      I’ve been pondering how to do an actual Mingming test, minus the bit with the sledgehammer. I think the thing to do would be to find a bit of relatively clean fresh water about 2.5m deep (Tammy Norie is about 2m from keel to coachroof), hire a large volume pump, fill her up, and see if she sinks! I could do my planned capsize test at the same time. It’d make a fun video of nothing else.

      • Annie Hill

        I had the misfortune to spend seven years living on a boat with closed-cell foam cushions. I’m naturally well padded, but I have to say they were some of the most uncomfortable seats I’ve ever had to live with. Why this should be so, I don’t know: they were 2 inch cushions and, like you, I have slept happily and comfortably on 1/2 inch camping mattresses. Anyway, just thought I’d warn you.

        I think drowning your boat is perhaps a bit excessive. Besides, the test will only reassure you that your stripped-out boat won’t sink. It still won’t answer the question as to whether or not she will float in such a way that you can carry on sailing her, once all your gear’s on board. As well, there’s always the risk that you have a small hole into a void that then fills and is impossible to drain. It wouldn’t be sufficient to sink you in extremity, but might result in a few litres of water coming back out when you are underway and trying to keep the boat dry.

        I’m sure you’re perfectly capable ‘of doing the sums’: do the maths, trust the science and fit your foam, I’d suggest. Sadler Yachts used to build their boats with a double skin to make the unsinkable, as did Etap. You might be able to Google something about them to help back up your own conclusions.

        I hope, in spite of missing the Jester Challenge, you have a great summer sailing. Indeed, now that your little ship is up to scratch, I guess you’ll be sailing all the year round.

        All the best


        • Thanks very much for the warnings and advice. I’ll definitely do some experiments before I commit to closed cell cushions. As for drowning the boat, maybe I can find a way to do it and attempt a solo recovery. Extreme it may be, but it sounds like fun too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s