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Thread: Headliner Zippers

  1. #1

    Headliner Zippers

    I'll never understand why yacht manufacturers use aluminum zipper slides on boats intended for salt water. However, a fellow in Ashland, Oregon sells an excellent repair kit with plastic slides. A small slit is cut at the end of the zipper, a new plastic slide fed onto it and the end of the zipper reclosed with a supplied S.S. clamp.

  2. #2
    Fellow Ericson Owner Geoff Johnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Mamaroneck, NY
    Camping stores sell repair kits with stainless replacement zippers.
    Geoff Johnson

    New Wave
    Ericson 32-3 (1985) Hull #638
    Rowayton, CT

  3. #3
    Principal Partner Tom Metzger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Clifton Park, NY
    Any fabric store sells replacement slides a lot cheaper than a "kit". They also sell kits. The ones I have used on Xanthus are the #5 coil zipper slides, about $1.50 for five, as I remember.

    Very good instructions are available at
    Tom Metzger
    E-34 Xanthus

  4. #4
    I agree with Tom's comments about buying your own zipper slides, although you may need to do some searching around fabric stores to find the right zipper slides for this (I'm pretty sure a #5 is correct). I wanted to share a couple of things I learned in finally fixing one on our boat earlier this year:

    There are two types of zippers which have different types of slides. You want slides for a "coil type" zipper if your headliner is like ours in our E33.

    Once I got the slide, it was a battle to get it started in the zipper. The teeth just didn't want to mesh until I tried something - I sprayed the teeth with silicone spray and the ziper practically jumped together on the first try!

    I bought some curved needles to sew the end shut once the zipper was in place.

    In all, it was an inexpensive but very aggravating job to replace this zipper slide but should be a whole lot easier if one of these quits again in the future.

  5. #5
    Contributing Member III
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Lake Champlain, VT

    Headline: Zippers Can Be Saved

    I second the fabric store tip. I think I spent all of 75 cents on a handful. The trick is a sharp blade and good glasses. My frustration with not being able to see was the biggest obstacle to getting this done. I still have more to go, but now I know it's possible.

  6. #6
    Principal Partner markvone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Bethesda, MD

    Zipper Pull Source

    See post #15 in this previous zipper pull repair thread for online source (0.16 per):

    Thread also includes repair tips.

    Mark & Ronnie Vinette
    E36RH #21 GLIDE
    Annapolis, MD

  7. #7
    Sustaining Partner
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    South Shore of Long Island NY
    Blog Entries

    sailrite often cheaper than ebay

    I am a fan of Sailrite...

    I pick many of sail repair sewing item from them... There are great sourse for new zipper parts as well.

    Pax et Bene
    Rick e29

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