This fall I''ll have to change the new-to-me boat name. The current name is painted on. I''ll have to compound the boat anyway so I''m seeking advice on how to remove the old name and which route to go with the new one.
Assuming the name is painted on gelcoat, you will find that a liberal application of Eazy-Off oven cleaner will lift the paint from the surface. There will probably remain a shadow of the original name that will need to be removed with judicious polishing compound and a high speed power buffer and lambs wool bonnet. Method: ......... Take a large piece of saran wrap and seal it over the area with water proof tape and add a bit of water underneath to yield a high humidity; let sit for at least a week. The goal is to create high humidity that will penetrate and begin to lift the paint from t he surface - no paint other than bottom paint will adhere to gelcoat under extremely high humidity conditions. Wait a week then uncover, apply the Eazy-Off and recover it and the surface with saran wrap until the paint, etc. deeply wrinkles/loosens (be patient), then carefully use a single edged razor to scrape the remainder, followed by 600/1000 grit wet and dry sandpaper and a ***rubber sanding block***, then 1500 then 2000 grit, then power buff with compound. Sometimes you simply just have to live with the remaining shadow for a while - but once exposed it will eventually bleach itself back to ''normal'' with sun exposure.
I think vinyl is the way to go with the new name. I have had very good luck with it. There are a number of sources, including here on SailNet. I used a source on the internet in Michigan. If you are interested in their internet address let me know. I just have to find it.
Go to a local sign maker they charge considerably less and can turn out Boat names-graphics. All the letters are cut with computer aided tools and you get excellent results at less then 1/2 the Marine cost. They also have a large varitey of fonts to choose from. Vinyl will last for many trouble free years and if you scrape the letters it is easier to get replacements then to repaint.
Vinyl is a great alternative to painted lettering, especially if you want to add a bit of flair. I went to a sign place and via their computer we designed a "wave" that now stretches across my boat''s stern with little "splashes" here and there. We also designed the name to complement the design. The whole thing cost around $100, but it looks awesome, was easy to apply, no mess and fuss. Also, once the design was settled on, it only took 5 minutes to print out. Looks top notch.
High performanvce vinyl is what they called it at the sign shop here. It is great because you can always get it off again if you wish. It is also nice that you can apply it yourself.
Be careful to place the name where it will not be continually rubbed by fenders (esp. tires on piers). The rubber marks can come off your hull when alongside a pier but the name will be damaged if vinyl.
I also have come across a boat renaming ceremony if interested. Email me and I will send it.
Or you could go the really elaborate route and make an actual transomboard - it takes a bit of time and effort, but the end result is well worth it...
Get the template made at a sign shop, but as a negative (ie a full sheet with the letters cut out)
Stick it to a piece of teak or mahoghany
Use a router to engrave the name on the board
Sand/stain/paint the letters in gold or whatever/varnish several dozen times
Use bronze carriage bolts (and caulk) to attach to transom
It cost me about $20 for the stencil and $60 for the wood, and aboout 12 hours work carving and sanding...
From personal past experience, I can only suggest vinyl lettering if you name the vessel after your wife.
Aside from that advice, why make easier to change the name next time. After time any lettering will show up as a ghost from oxidation of the gelcoat.
Ahoy , all sound like good advise but you might try my method. Using an 8" grinder thoroughly remose all old lettering and surrounding gelcoat. 36 grit usally works well for this purpose. Then reapply a good thick coat of gelcoat covering the wet patch with wax paper and a plywood (marine grade only) block and some sort of clamps and tape to keep the gelcoat where you want it. After it dries sand to perfection and using the suitable color latex paint (You probably have gallons in your garage) and repaint the new name. This way you can get the name off next time you change your mind or wife either way. Merry Christmas Big Bed 56 Ho Ho Ho