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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My boat has the original painted on lettering on the stern from 1969. A recent thread explained using Easy Off to remove the old paint. I'm going to try that this weekend. I'm going to purchase vinyl lettering online as a replacement but don't know what size is typical or standard. Any ideas? Also, is it a boating faux pas to omit the boat's home port? Frankly, Wilmington, CA fails to conjure up visions of exotic locales.

UPDATE: Finally got around to applying my new transom lettering. this is after using oven cleaner to get the old paint off:


And this is after scrubbing with a 220 grit sanding block. I can't believe how much chalking came off and how shiny it looks now!


And here's the new lettering. In hindsight, I should have gone larger, but since this was so easy, and relatively cheap, I'll probably go bigger next year. But, I think it turned out great, and my daughter, the original Avri Ellis, will be thrilled!


I want to thank all of you for your expert advice!
 

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I believe your state of registry has guide lines for the size of the name and home port. Check with your local licensing agency.
If it is a documented vessel the CG has very definite sizes, and location. Choosing a home port under federal guide lines is very fluid, but I don't know about each state.
 

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My boat has the original painted on lettering on the stern from 1969. A recent thread explained using Easy Off to remove the old paint. I'm going to try that this weekend. I'm going to purchase vinyl lettering online as a replacement but don't know what size is typical or standard. Any ideas? Also, is it a boating faux pas to omit the boat's home port? Frankly, Wilmington, CA fails to conjure up visions of exotic locales.
Pretty boat. You care enough to ask, try to do a mock up on paper. Too many boat names on pretty boats are hideously out of scale.

I draw on CAD. It's pretty easy to get a rough shape of your stern to scale with pencil, too. Then try fonts and sizes. I like one font for the name, one font for the hail. It's often a good visual idea to follow the curve-line of the stern above the name. Hailing port can be straight or even follow the bottom of the stern.

Send what looks good to your vinyl cutter. They should be able to copy your scale and font and won't charge much or anything more for your creativity.

Usually, your haling port is smaller and I like a plain font for that. Some omit their home port. You can choose one nearby, you like better. :)

I just use my town harbor, ROCKPORT, and skip the Maine- Me. It just looks better to my eye.

I've never been mistaken for ROCKPORT, MA.,... the lesser. :)
 

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Barquito
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For a small transom, I would make the letters about as big as you can. Follow the guidelines for registered boats, even though you are not required to do so. It just looks right. Take a photo of your transom, put it on a drawing program, and try out some lettering on top of that. If you haven't put large decals on, follow the directions closely. It is pretty easy to get it right, or very wrong.
 

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If your recreational vessel is federally documented the name and hailing port must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull. All markings must be at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. The "hailing port" must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated.

I hope you don't hail from MOOSELOOKMEGUNTIC, Maine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If your recreational vessel is federally documented the name and hailing port must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull. All markings must be at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. The "hailing port" must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated.

I hope you don't hail from MOOSELOOKMEGUNTIC, Maine.
Do you know where I can read this requirement online?
 

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Barquito
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Those letters look nice. Be sure you are comfortable with how legible they are from a distance. I have seen much fancier letters that are hard to read. Also, beware of how the letters look from different heights on a curved transom. I found that mine looked a little smiley from above versus from below (like when I was putting them on in the yard).




Here is a shot I took and photoshopped some letters on to see what it would look like before I ordered the lettering.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pretty boat. You care enough to ask, try to do a mock up on paper. Too many boat names on pretty boats are hideously out of scale.

I draw on CAD. It's pretty easy to get a rough shape of your stern to scale with pencil, too. Then try fonts and sizes. I like one font for the name, one font for the hail. It's often a good visual idea to follow the curve-line of the stern above the name. Hailing port can be straight or even follow the bottom of the stern.

Send what looks good to your vinyl cutter. They should be able to copy your scale and font and won't charge much or anything more for your creativity.

Usually, your haling port is smaller and I like a plain font for that. Some omit their home port. You can choose one nearby, you like better. :)

I just use my town harbor, ROCKPORT, and skip the Maine- Me. It just looks better to my eye.

I've never been mistaken for ROCKPORT, MA.,... the lesser. :)
Since it will take some days to order and receive, I will take your advice and take a picture of my transom and block out some different sizes and tape them on this weekend. Which means inflating my dinghy and paddling around the marina, which is always fun! Anyone know where I can find an outboard motor mount for a 70's era Avon?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Those letters look nice. Be sure you are comfortable with how legible they are from a distance. I have seen much fancier letters that are hard to read. Also, beware of how the letters look from different heights on a curved transom. I found that mine looked a little smiley from above versus from below (like when I was putting them on in the yard).




Here is a shot I took and photoshopped some letters on to see what it would look like before I ordered the lettering.

Great idea! Luckily, my boat has two names which I can separate around the back stay....
 

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To OP: For home port use Los Angeles, using block letters the same as your CF numbers. Name of boat is anything you want that looks appropriate and is readable. Acetone removes painted lettering, but GoofOff dries more slowly and may be easier to work with.
 

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If your vessel is state registered the port of hail is optional any size is good.
 

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While your in your dingy, motor around the marina and look at other samples to decide what you like. Personally, we like putting the boat name in sort of an arc that follows the curve of the transom, and making the port straight across in smaller lettering. Great idea overlaying lettering on a picture with photoshop or some other equivalent.
 

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A big decision will be the height of the letters. Taller will also mean a longer name. When I did this a few years ago, I played with different height letters to see which would fill out the transom nicely. Two long is an obvious problem. Too short just didn't look right. I liked the BoatUS site because it showed me what the name looked like in the font selected and gave me the overall length. I bought my lettering from them and was happy with the service.
 

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Since it will take some days to order and receive, I will take your advice and take a picture of my transom and block out some different sizes and tape them on this weekend. Which means inflating my dinghy and paddling around the marina, which is always fun! Anyone know where I can find an outboard motor mount for a 70's era Avon?
No need to order online and wait...just go to any of your local sign shops and they can do it for you often while you are standing there.

I've done both - online and local. Both work well but I do like supporting local businesses.
 

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If you have a few other sailing friends you can buy a vinyl cutter (I'm using a Silhouette Cameo) for a couple hundred dollars and split the cost. You can then make as many variations on logos as you want. It's also useful for registration numbers on the boat and dinghy.

I agree that blockish fonts that are easy to read should be used. I find it very difficult to read the scripted fonts from a distance.

I use 6" letters for the boat name and about 3" for the hailing port.

Expressions Vinyl sells outdoor-rated Oracal cut into 12" wide strips for the Silhouette Vinyl Cutters.
 
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