Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alameda, San Francisco Bay
Thanked 60 Times in 59 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Mary, one vital step that people are glossing over is sanding/compounding your transom (or wherever the old letting was) before you apply your new name. No matter how meticulously maintained, the gelcote under the old lettering will be much, much fresher than the surrounding areas. So what you will get is a “ghost” of the original name appearing under your new lettering. My advice to you is to compound and polish the heck out of the area before applying the new lettering (See Maine Sail’s instructions on polishing). On a twenty year old boat you may even have to wet sand with 400 grit before polishing. My personal preference would be to use the heat gun (less chance of gouging the gelcote), then using an electrical buffer for the compounding /polishing. You do need to be careful operating electrical tools around the waterline, but, if you have a somewhat steady dock that you can back the boat up close to, you should be alright. Hauling will allow you to do a more thorough job and if you haul over a weekend, you will be able to polish the rest of the hull so it will match the sparkling “new” transom. After you’re done, remember to have a renaming ceremony. The most critical components as I recall is champagne and inviting all your friends and new dock neighbors to the party! Congratulations on your new boat – may you always have fair breezes and following seas.