Vinyl LEttering for boats.... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-17-2009 Thread Starter
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Vinyl LEttering for boats....

is it any different than normal vinyl? can i just get this stuff from my local sign person or is boat vinyl of a tougher caliber?
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-17-2009
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i just went to the local sing guy, its been holding up fine. the best part is it was 10 bucks for enough to do it twice
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-17-2009
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Regular sign guy vinyl is just fine.

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post #4 of 19 Old 07-17-2009
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The sign shop here does quite a few boat names. I'd say that's the way to go.


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post #5 of 19 Old 07-17-2009
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Absolutely use your local sign guy. My wife designed multi-color graphics for Paloma's stern, we emailed it a local sign shop them and they produced everything withing a couple of days - great job - and that was 10 years ago - everything still looks like new.

s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-17-2009
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Vinyl isn't all the same. Exterior Grade vinyl may be sold with a 3-5-7 year warranty against cracking fading and peeling, and "interior" grade vinyl won't hold up in the UV exposure. The glue is not as tenacious, and the color is often just not as hevily pigmented.

A friend of mine used some interior vinyl because it saved him $20, and by the end of the season it was all bleached out.

3M makes a top quality vinyl, along with a couple of other big names in the business. If your local shop says "This is just as good" ask them to give you a written guarantee that they'll come out and redo the job for you if it doesn't hold up. They won't.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-17-2009
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Agree on the local sign guy. More than likely, they have experience in boat lettering. Meaning, they should know what works best. I would not go with the interior stuff. As with most things not made for the environment, I would bet it won't stand up as well.

I priced some online services, which ended up being more expensive, and harder to get what I wanted.

The sign guy in Rockland, ME (PDQ Signs) worked with me until it was right. Printed off long mockups so I could bring it home to the boat and tape it up to see if it would work. THAT was nice!

Then, when all was set, he made the lettering and graphics (even threw in a couple extra), gave me the soapy solution (his secret blend) and a squeegee/scraper. All for quite a bit less than I found online.

He didn't mention different kinds of vinyl, but he had done a lot of boats...so I felt confident in his stuff.

So far so good...holding up great.

It's not whether you're paranoid...it's whether you're paranoid enough.

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post #8 of 19 Old 07-17-2009
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remove lettering & strips

Related question, please.
What is the correct product to remove the vinyl lettering and strips glue. Is the gel coat vulnerable to any particular solvents?
Thanks, Dave
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-17-2009
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I had the best luck with a heat gun and razors. I have a heated razor knife which is nice, but probably not necessary. Heat gun and regular razors should do it.

But...BE CAREFUL. If you use razor blades, snip the corners off as they easily dig into gelcoat. But, the heatgun really helped and the lettering came right off.

I used Acetone to get the glue.

If the lettering has been there a while (years), you'll probably see slightly raised lettering still on the gelcoat (different wear and fading). I carefully wet sanded and polished the area which did the trick.

It's not whether you're paranoid...it's whether you're paranoid enough.

s/v Cloudman
1988 Sabre 30
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-17-2009
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If you have to remove vinyl lettering, I'd recommend using the "plastic razor blades" that are now available.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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