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  #1  
Old 03-09-2010
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striping tape?

While getting my boat ready for the water this spring I noticed that the stripe on the side of my boat was looking a little faded. Whats the best (possibly easiest) way to revitalize it. Can I just put some striping tape over the old stripe and call it good. Some of the reviews on the web sites mentioned that some of the tape doesnt stick the best. Would an automotive type tape work? Or should I just buy some marine paint and do it that way.

Has anyone used some tape that has worked well?
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Old 03-09-2010
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I dont think tape is a way to go. In addition to the risk of not staying on, most boat stripes are not a fixed width, they get wider as the hull turns in, so they look the same width from the side. Put on straight tape and it ends up looking like it shrinks fore and aft...

Use a paint like Interlux Brightsides yachtpaint.com - the website of International and Interlux paints
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Old 03-10-2010
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First are we talking about a boot stripe, or a cove stripe? If we're talking about a boot stripe, Sailingfool is right, a fixed width tape will need some modification fore and aft to look acceptable, and even then, it may not be too acceptable... I submit exhibit A:



I had to refurbish my bootstripe and had a tight time budget, so rather than masking and painting, I taped. Next time, I paint.

Usually, if it doesn't stick it's not the fault of the tape, but the fault of the prep. You have to make sure the surface is CLEAN. No wax, no dirt, no chalk. Then, when you lay it down, you have to burnish the tape as you go, to make sure it is fully adhered to the surface, with no air bubbles.
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I had a tape cove stripe on my vessel that was worn and peeling in places but stuck fast in others. Putting another taped cove stripe over it would have shown all the flaws through the new tape. It took me two seasons with a heat gun to remove all the old tape and it's adhesive. I then painted a new cove stripe.

The boot stripe was always painted on. Good surface prep is key in getting good adhesion.
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+1 bljones and sailingfool

Very timely advice.

Regards,
Brad
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The Castro-era (Tony, not Fidel ) CS boats used tape for the boot stripes. The area of the stem was left with the 'flip-up' as the tape wrapped the stem. Our boat also has a tape boot stripe, with the tape layered under the counter for width. A painted stripe can be taped to be consistent around the bow, and widened out to be visually the same width under the counter (not an easy task, though)

Floating debris between our finger float and the boat is beating up the tape a bit, but so far it's in a low visibility area. When the time comes we'll paint.

One minor advantage using tape, if you're on a short haul-out the travel lift will damage uncured paint whereas the tape may handle it better. OTOH it's usually possible to arrange some blocking so that the travel lift straps don't smear freshly painted stripes.
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In general, striping tape is a vinyl based general purpose material in that it is used for cars, boats, signs etc. Various manufacturers including 3M, I have some now from a company called Lilly. It comes in 150' rolls at about $75 US if I remember right. The hardest part of the job is removing the old tape, and it must be removed, I use a warm sunny day, heat gun, and new (fresh edged) disposable plastic putty knives. Start lifting the tape at a corner, you want it just warm enough to pull the tape off slow and gentle. Too fast or cold it snaps and you start over, too warm it melts or just comes apart. Then clean the remaining adhesive off with a solvent, denatured alcohol works.
You put the new tape on with a small squeigee (? you know what I mean) and a squirt bottle with slightly soapy water. The tape in first picture looks too light because it still has the backing tape on which you remove after it dries.
I've never had a problem with it coming off, and seems to last as long as paint in the sun.
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Looks great, Capttb!
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i was looking for a cove stripe versus a boot stripe. The stripe that is on there currently is part of the gel coat. If its a cove stripe is the general consensus tape is fine?

Thanks for all the great info.
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What's the best place to buy this stuff?
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