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Hi All,

The PO or the one befor him painted the name of the stern of the boat. It's all faded and we want to change the font and location. We have considered ordering stencils. Short of making full size templates, I'm guessing at what it will look like. Has anyone found a site that shows you a stern (scale), so that you could see what it looks like?

Dave
 

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Photoshop? Take a picture of the stern, erase the name that is there now, and then add in the name you're contemplating.
Also - consider vinyl lettering instead of paint. Much easier to apply and most graphics shops can produce custom fonts and colors for your application.
 

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We've been very pleased with the vinyl lettering we got twelve years ago. Good thing we lined it up properly; that would be a long time to have it be off kilter. Looks like it should last another five, anyway.
 

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+1 on vinyl lettering. It's a no brainer.
Ditto... this is even one of those things where the price has dropped in the last 20 years...
 

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Vynal lettering from a sign shop is quick, while you wait, probably cheaper than the paint and brush, and you can select from a zillion fonts, add graphics, select colour, even metallic etc.

Best of all you dont need a marine business so its cheap, low cost, affordable etc etc

Oh, and you whack 'em on yourself.
 

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OK - so we're all agreed vinyl lettering is the way to go - but back to Dave E's original questions, does anyone have any other suggestions for how to preview the look of the new name ion the transom? Photoshop works for me for this kind of thing, although it's a bit limited in the range of graphic fonts.
 

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Import a photo into Word, or Publisher, or Pages.. whatever.. and edit the photo with those programs' wide range of fonts and styles using 'Word Art' or a transparent text box.

Whoever makes your decals can probably match what you use fairly closely. And as Mark indicated, no need to go to a 'marine' provider.. seems there are graphics and signs shops everywhere these days.
 
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OK - so we're all agreed vinyl lettering is the way to go - but back to Dave E's original questions, does anyone have any other suggestions for how to preview the look of the new name ion the transom? Photoshop works for me for this kind of thing, although it's a bit limited in the range of graphic fonts.

On L'il Dink I found the font on MS Word and then used Irfanview. Its free and easier to use than photoshop, which I have too.

But then I went to the sign shop and asked them what font would be best to show "speed". That sort of creative thing can be good to ask a graphics person, its their expertise.

Same for a boat name, work out what it is about your boat and name that you want as its theme and ask the sign shop.

Currently mine is just boring font, but my boat name Sea Life theres a cool font that looks like rolling waves but its not in the forum fonts.
 

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When I did Tangerine, I just did it in Paint on my computer, nothing flashy and it uses any fonts you have loaded.
I had a particular font in mind when I visited the signmaker. He talked me out of it and into a different one, I'm glad he did. So, don't get too stuck on it, go talk to someone who does it day-in day-out, and even let them put it on for you. Oh and don't skimp on the vinyl, cheap stuff is cheap for a reason, get something (probably 3M) with good UV resistance etc. If you're going to do it, and have everyone looking at it, might as well get it done right.
 

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Unless it's a really complex or large decal, no need to pay someone to put it on. I once put on my boat name and hailing port while the boat was in the water and I was in the cockpit hanging over the transom so I was basically upside down putting on a fairly large name.
 

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bigdog-
You can buy transparency sheets for inkjets and laser printers. So, buy a pack. Print out some logos an inch or two wide. Cut the sheet up into separate logos.

Now go to the boat, hold the logo up at arm's length while you are 30(?) feet away from the boat. Squint a bit, you'll see how it would look painted on the boat.

Or take a digital pic of your stern, open that in any free photo-editing software, and add the logo as another layer on the image. Resize as needed.

Which way is simpler? Depends on your skills.

If you do go with vinyl lettering, don't cheap out. 3M and Gerber make exterior grade vinyl with 5-7 year warranties. No-name stuff bleaches out, shrinks, cracks, in 3 years.

Of course if you plan to federally document the vessel, your font choices and sizes are more limited by the rules.
 

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This is the lettering on my boat - at least 12 years old vinyl letters from a local sign shop and still in great shape. Put on by the PO a couple of years before I bought her.

 

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In FLL I'm not surprised that a vinyl shop would be familiar with boats. Or, with the way that UV kills everything.
 

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I used BoatUS for my vinyl lettering also. Four years now and holding up well. One thing I like about the site is that you can see what your lettering will look like as you play with fonts, colors, effects, etc. Also gives you the length as you change the lettering size. Very helpful.
 

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Dave,
When I did the original logo for Dragon Wing, which we used on our Catalina, I found a picture of a C25 from the side. I then used the height of the winch, which I knew, as a reference for approximately how high my different lettering was. So, for example, if I wanted to see how 4" lettering looked, it was about the height of the winch (if I recall correctly). If I wanted 5" lettering, it was one and a quarter times the height of the winch, etc. I then drew lines on the picture (in Microsoft Word, but you could use Paint, or do it by hand) that were that distance apart, then fit the font size to match the distance between the lines. That gave me a good sense for how big the letters would be.

As the others have suggested, I used Boat U.S. twice now, and have found them to be excellent. They have almost every font, including some really obscure ones (like the one we used on Dragon Wing). They can also take third-party artwork, assuming you have the copyright rights to the artwork.
 

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Great thread. Need to redo my boat name also. How involved is it removing the old painted name?
 

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Great thread. Need to redo my boat name also. How involved is it removing the old painted name?
Gentle wetsanding should take it off reasonably quickly. Did I mention gentle?

With a nice sanding block, and using plenty of slightly soapy water start at 800, see if that makes a dent in the paint of the existing graphics. If not, step down to 400. Once the old paint is off, you'll have to buff up the gelcoat by running up through the wetsanding grits through about 1600 or 2000, then use rubbing compound and maybe a glaze. Your transom will be like new and ready for fresh graphics if you take your time.
 
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