Re: whats the best way to clean a fouled bootstripe?
My original strip was painted on. I suggest you note where the scum line you have now is located and move it up 6" above that. Use a heat gun or a razor blade scraper to remove old line. Tape off, with painter tape, the top edge of the new water line location to protect your boot and sand with 220 grit paper everything from the tape you just installed down to the old paint, until there is no gloss and feather the old bottom paint a good 6" down from the top edge to make smooth. Clean sanding dust off with tack cloth or paint thinner. Surface must be dry and dust free. You will now be installing the new stripe. You can remove the tape you installed for sanding, edge of the tape will be torn up some from sanding. Be carful not to over sand the tape and scratch the boot jell coat or you can leave it on and uses as a guide for installing the new. Either way, if you remove the sanding tape you will still see the dull sanded surface. Now you have two methods to apply the new line. One way is dry and the other is using soapy water. I did mine dry. I just laid the tape on starting at one end and working to the other end. Make sure you have enough tape to do one hole side without having to have a seam. My boat is double ended and I have a sharp curve strip in the stern, that is why I did dry, so I could stretch the vinyl to get it to curve. Now be careful when handling the tape as to not over stretch it and distort it, use a light touch and don't stretch it at all. I use one finger in the middle of the tape to apply with light pressure st just lay it on. This way you can remove it, kind of back up if it is not located just were you want it. You will go back over the tape with a hard plastic, like a credit card to smooth it out and get it to stick. Once applied run your fingers down the middle of the tape adding more pressure and then working your fingers to the outside edges. then take credit card or those hotel cards would work fine and use it as a squeegee to stick the vinyl and work air bubbles out. If you have an air bubble you can't get out, use a pin to ***** the spot then squeegee the air out. Dry is the hard method.
Now the soapy water method...if you have a simple, fairly straight water line. This method works for all vinyl signs, numbers, decals, etc... If in doubt ask at any sign company. Use a small amount of dish soap in water. Well wet the area the vinyl will be applied with the soapy water. You may want someone working ahead of you wetting surface while you apply the tape to the soapy surface. You can now slide the tape around to get it lined up, as long as the soapy water is still wet. You will have lots of time to work it. Would be best done out of the sun. Now squeegee the line and the water and air out . It will dry in a few hours. Let dry for at least 24 hrs before doing any bottom paint.
At the bow where the Port and Starboard water lines meet, (my boat at the stern as well), you will have a seam. To make a perfect matching seam let the first line you apply run long, around the corner so to speak. then install the other side line and let it overlap the first line, and around the corner. now take a small straight edge, or free hand it, it does not matter. Cut with a razor blade through both lines, now peal back the tape and remove the excess from both lines.
For the bottom paint...
Use painters tape on the new water line to protect the new line from paint. After you apply the painters tape rub the bottom edge of the painters tape with the plastic card or I like using the round edge of a socket, and press that edge down hard. This will give you the best seal and keep paint from bleeding behind the tape and on the new line. You may want to use a barrier coat to prime first then bottom paint...done.
Painter tape must never be in the sun or left on for more then 24 hrs. All tapes become permanent over time. The Vinyl tape will take time to become permanent. before you use pressure to bond the tape, using a light touch the tape can be can be lifted and moved.
Good luck. Ask if I was not clear on any part of this.
1968 Bristol 32 Keel/CB Hull 26
Narragansett Bay RI USA
Last edited by Delta-T; 10-25-2013 at 08:31 PM.