Originally Posted by sailingdog
Easy-Off oven cleaner will take most lettering off without damaging the gelcoat beneath. However, if the boat is painted it might damage the paint... so YMMV.
Be careful if you go the heat gun route, since the heat gun can be hot enough to damage the laminate if you're not careful.
I didn't want to incur the expense of a heat gun and went with a hair dryer --worked like a charm to get the letters off. I did mine in two parts -- name, then hailing port. Fior the name, I rubbed the hairdryer-heated adhesive off with my fingers and ended up with nasty blisters (not certain if they were from the friction or the heat, but ouch). For the hailing port, I used Goo Gone and it worked like a charm. I ordered my boat lettering from BoatUS.com -- highly recommended. I tried EZ-Off on one section and was a bit nervous with how caustic that stuff is. Hair-dryer route was a piece of cake - really.