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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > removing hull numbers
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Thread: removing hull numbers Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-14-2013 07:04 AM
jeepjeff
Re: removing hull numbers

Don't forget about the WD40. I used it (sparingly) on my GoldWing bike numerous times to remove unwanted adhesives and stickers.
08-12-2013 03:00 PM
hellosailor
Re: removing hull numbers

Speaking of taking decals right off (decals, not vinyl) I've also seen automobile brake cleaner just zip all sorts of things off. Not sure how good it would be for gelcoat and pretty sure it would damage paint though.
08-12-2013 02:14 AM
northoceanbeach
Re: removing hull numbers

Careful that some of those solvents don't take off anything you don't want taken off. Good off must work. I accidentally touched it to a decal on my bike at it smeared the decal right off.
08-11-2013 02:10 PM
jfurlong
Re: removing hull numbers

Thanks all. I'll try the heat / solvent method. Just happen to have a new heat gun from a recent sole refinished. Good advice on the sign method.
08-11-2013 12:19 PM
sailak
Re: removing hull numbers

I changed the name on our boat earlier this year. Heat gun to soften the decal which peeled off fairly easily. Then "Professional Strength" Goof Off to soften the residual glue which scraped off with ease, little rub with a cloth soaked in Goof Off to tidy up. The old name decal had been on for probably 6-7 years.

Before pic:



After pic:

08-11-2013 12:06 PM
FinallySailing
Re: removing hull numbers

+1 on the eraser wheel. Got myself a cheap on (not 3M) to take away the boot stripe earlier this year. Worked an absolute treat. Make sure you wear a facemask and and overall. Lots of rubber dust everywhere.
08-11-2013 03:15 AM
northoceanbeach
Re: removing hull numbers

Definitely make them on a sign. Make that sign removable tok so in the future you do t have them numbers or the bleached paint where you removed them. My numbers are on a sign in my window. Now technically they are supposed to be permanently affixed, but I even called the coast guard and they said not to worry about it.
08-10-2013 07:12 PM
hellosailor
Re: removing hull numbers

jf, you can find "decal remover" at any auto parts store. Or use naphtha, which is the original solvent, or something higher end if you want to move faster. The companies that make the vinyl all say to use a heat gun, or the remover, or there's 3M's "eraser" wheel that you can buy in auto body shop supplies. That's a hard rubber grinding wheel you put in a drill, it will abrade the vinyl off without damaging the hull finish. I'd suggest the heat gun first, and patience. Chemicals on a vertical surface is always a mess.

If you go to a sign shop as Chuck suggests, make sure they are using exterior rated and guaranteed vinyl. The good stuff will have a 5-7 year guarantee on it. A white "plaque" with dark letters on it will hide all the old sins, because the old numbers WILL leave ghosts behind. The gelcoat has worn down around them, you'd need to refinish the hull to hide that.
08-10-2013 03:28 PM
chuck53
Re: removing hull numbers

If you are replacing them with new numbers, do yourself a favor...instead of buying individual numbers/letters and trying to line them up, go to your local sign company and have your numbers made on one sheet. It will look better, easier to apply and might cost $5 more than buying numbers at the hardware store.
08-10-2013 02:37 PM
blt2ski
Re: removing hull numbers

I found goof off with a reasonably fine "steel" wool equal worked really well after using a heat gun of some sort. I would also recommend one of the better plastic scrapers vs a steel scraper while removing the lettering with heat.

If it is not clear, find "steel" equals, not the real thing! That will generally speaking protect the hull best while still removing the material.

Marty
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