Ever wonder what's behind the head liner? I had a problem with a stripped fastener in the mast step that needed tending to. The screw would just spin, so I assumed the threaded aluminum backing plate was stripped out at assembly.

The head liner would have to come down to make the repair. It's the end of the season and I had time to experiment. I found a clam knife to be thin enough to separate the track ribs, but not so sharp as to cut the head liner. It also was stiff enough to twist the track apart. After inserting the knife into the track, and twisting it to open the gap slightly, use a little pressure on the fabric next to opening, a little fabric can be pulled from between the track ribs. Continue this same technique along the track until it is loose enough to be grasped and gently pulled out. Once you get enough fabric to grab a hold of, you do not need the knife anymore. Just gently pull in out of the track.

For more on reinstalling the head liner click here.

Now that I had the headliner down, I could see what needed to be done to fix the spinning screw.

I could see the ends of the mast hold down screws just pertruding from a fiberglassed over piece of plywood. There were many aluminum chips in the headliner leading me to beleive there was an aluminum plate sandwiched in that construction somewhere. Solution, get a longer screw with a nut and washer. Since I can see the ends of the other screws, I get a screw 1" longer than the one that came out. I screw the fastener down until it is tight. How can this be? I head down into the cabin an I still don't see the end of the screw. The threads in the plate were never stripped out, the builder used a short screw and never bothered to replace it when it didn't grab. So the headliner never had to come down after all. It makes you wonder who is working on building these boats.

Well I pulled the screw to clean the hole, put so polysulfide chalk to seal the screw and put it back together.

But while I was in there, I took a few more pictures of whats behind the head liner.

Looking straight up at the aluminum backing plate for the mast block and tackle arrangement.

Looking forward.

Looking to port.

This is where the wires transition from the seating area to the summer kitchen compartment.

Next post will be reinstalling the fabric.