Join Date: Mar 2006
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 11
I used a local sign company to create the custom graphic I wanted for my boat. It was on the expensive side, but about the same as the Boat US service if I'd done a two color graphic with them and they couldn't do the custom part I wanted, only the letters.
I used Boat US for my previous boat and was happy with the product.
I will offer this, if you're using vinyl graphics. There are two ways to apply them, wet or dry. I used the wet technique on my previous boat and had good results. However after doing the dry technique on my current boat, I feel like its the way to go, since it allows you to fully position the graphic before removing the coating to allow the graphic to stick.
To use the dry method you tape the graphic in place with the protective sheet in place, between the hull and your letters. Tape the ends and the middle. Adjust as needed, using your tape measure to get the name positioned where you want it, and use some more tape to place a guide along the edge of your paper backing. When its taped, you can step back and get an idea how it looks from a distance. When you are satisfied, detach one end to the middle, and remove the backing paper up to your center attachment. The lay the backing paper back in place using your guide tape. Squeegee from the midpoint to the end, then repeat for the other end of the graphic. I applied the large 3.5'-4' long graphic on the sides of my boat this way and the actual application only took about 3 minutes a side, after the prep work. The wet technique requires about the same amount of prep work but the application takes a lot longer and requires a lot more care while you slip the graphic in place and squeegee out the liquid. For me the dry method was a lot easier and less stressful.
The Boat US site had good directions for whichever technique you choose. Their video of them doing a TowBoat US lettering using the dry method is what convinced me to try it.
s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36