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wumhenry 04-26-2011 06:05 PM

Transom letters: paint vs vinyl
The owner of the boat I'm buying wants to remove the name-signboard currently affixed to its transom, which I agreed to. I'm trying to decide whether to spell the name with pre-cut vinyl letters or pay someone to paint it on instead. Is vinyl deemed inexcusably cheesy by any substantial faction of intelligent mariners? Does a painted-on name have any theft-deterrant effect? What other pros and cons are relevant?

tommays 04-26-2011 06:16 PM

The biggest issue is dealing with the color difference under the old name

What ever is good with you is good enough BUT i do prefer the work of a good sign painter if you can get one at a price you can live with

captflood 04-26-2011 06:37 PM

GREETINGS EARTHLINGS Haveing done a number of boats (all sailing vessels) the best way I found is to make yourself a stencil, of the design that is of your likeing. I have used cardboard cornflake packets to viscuine plastics. tape it into place use a china graph pencil as an out line and just do your best. Remember the 7 Ps rule . Planning Preperation pratice prevents piss poor performance . The only way is to enjoy dont let it be a worry.GO SAFE

zz4gta 04-26-2011 07:27 PM

vinyl. Honestly, you can't get the name for done for $50 or less and install it yourself under 20 minutes. When it wears off, just do it again. Way too easy.

paulk 04-26-2011 08:31 PM

Our vinyl lettering has lasted at least eight years, and looks good for another two or three at this rate. We got to pick from 2543 or so different fonts, and whatever size we liked that would fit. We opted for 10" letters so that the boats behind us would still be able to see who had beaten them. The hardest part was getting the name centered properly, because the letters (all caps, in our case) are different widths. There are plenty of sign painters in our area, but it would have cost three times what we paid. We could have done it ourselves, but would have spent five times as long.

genieskip 04-26-2011 08:50 PM

Unless you are an absolute stickler for tradition and use manila lines and canvas (real cotton canvas) sails, go with the vinyl. I don't think anyone really thinks vinyl lettering is cheesy, at least among my friends. All the hot shot racers have vinyl graphics and lettering. It is low cost, quick and easy. What's not to like?

fallard 04-26-2011 08:57 PM

We've done it both ways and have mixed hand lettering (boat name) with hailing port (vinyl). The vinyl holds up better against fiberglass cleaners and won't scrape off like paint.

We also had a boat with a painted, engraved signboard for 16 years. It was classy, but had to be repainted periodically.

Bottom line: vinyl is cheaper and doesn't look that bad and will hold up better than paint. If you want permanence, see if you can get someone to letter in Awlgrip.

Waltthesalt 04-26-2011 09:30 PM

two comments
The name you boat has means more than how it's lettered.
You won't own the boat forever. Think of the next owner. It's a lot easier to remove viynl

Siamese 04-26-2011 10:17 PM

VINYL! more time....VINYL!

dhays 04-26-2011 10:20 PM


Originally Posted by Waltthesalt (Post 724413)
two comments
The name you(r) boat has means more than how it's lettered.
You won't own the boat forever. Think of the next owner. It's a lot easier to remove viynl

I agree with Walt. My folks Cal-29 had been named "Apogee II". I'm sure it meant something to the person that named Apogee and Apogee II, but it didn't do anything for my folks. It was tough removing the painted on name and they ended up repainting the entire topsides of the boat.

Unless your boat really needs a painted, engraved signboard to look good, go with vinyl lettering. Simple, easy, inexpensive, and easy to replace or change.


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