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Old 10-04-2012, 15:31   #1
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Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

Hi all,

So, what are the opinions and pros and cons of having your boat name painted on the boat vs having a vinyl decal of the lettering applied.

I guess more specifically, I am curious about durability, how long they last or don't and impact on ease of maintainance, like washing, waxing, etc.

So, is your boat name painted on or an applied vinyl decal? Or something else?
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Old 10-04-2012, 15:50   #2
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

vinyl decal

I bet a vinyl decal outlasts a painted name by quite a lot.

guess it depends if you what it to be more likely that when you sell the boat the new owner keeps the same name.
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Old 10-04-2012, 15:58   #3
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

With vinyl you'll also be able to change the hailing port if you ever relocate permanently but keep the boat.
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Old 10-04-2012, 16:16   #4
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

I had the name on my last 2 boats hand painted, I like that look. My current boat still has vinyl from the PO. When I have the money I will remove the vinyl and have the name painted on.
Vinyl is a good bit cheaper to do, hence the need to save my money.
You have to be careful when cleaning, waxing and compounding both.
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Old 10-04-2012, 16:24   #5
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

A vinyl stencil is cheaper, easier, more durable, and more flexible, unless you are an (or have access to a cheap) artist.
You can also download the exact font/artwork/graphics, for reproduction on cards, letterheads, etc.
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Old 10-04-2012, 16:38   #6
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

Just helped a friend antifoul his boat - beautiful blue hull with gold vinyl names. The vinyl may be past use by date, but all the small scratches over time started picking up minute amounts of blue as we waxed (we tried to stay off). I think waxing/maintenance on paint would be easier than vinyl.

Also had a vinyl stripe just above waterline - the green slime just loved the ridge this formed above paint. Probably not an issue for boat name, but just a thought.
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Old 10-04-2012, 16:46   #7
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

My opinion for what it's worth is the vinyl looks far better than hand painted.
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Old 10-04-2012, 16:48   #8
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

I like the vinyl because it is cheaper, you can do it yourself, you have a wide choice in styles and colors, and you get exactly what you want. In my experience, boat sign artists don't always do exactly what you wanted, like not getting the letter sizes quite big enough to be legal sometimes. I'm sure a good sign artist could do a superb job, but it would be more costly. And, as some have pointed out, when you want to change something, it is a lot easier if it is vinyl letters.

OT, but I was once out of the water next to a boat named Pizzaz which was having the boat name put on the red hull by a sign painter using gold leaf, only he ran out of the gold part way through and couldn't finish the job for a week. So, for a week I was next to a bright red boat named "Pizza."
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Old 10-04-2012, 17:14   #9
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

Vinyl for me. You can design it yourself on the computer, always have a file of your work, repaints are a breeze, heat gun off, paint, new one on, and of course all the above post's mentioned reasons.
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Old 10-04-2012, 17:25   #10
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

Modern vinyls are incredibly hard wearing. The graphics on my boat are six years old and showing no sign of fading or peeling.

There are available now technologies for graphics beyond cut vinyl. I have also a little 'hello kitty' sailor that was printed and uv overlaid and it hasn't faded a bit either.

Talk to a good sign shop. You can get them to produce the graphics or print/cut your files and apply them yourself.
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Old 10-04-2012, 17:27   #11
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

I would pick vinyl over paint in a heartbeat! It is easier to apply, outlasts paint in many (not all) conditions, and is much much cheaper. Also, you can easily remove the vinyl if you end up not liking the font or color; the same would be not so much fun with paint.

The only instance I would choose paint over vinyl is if you have a very large area where applying vinyl would be otherwise impractical. I've never had to face that circumstance and I'm not anticipating doing so anytime in the near future...so vinyl is clearly my pick!
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Old 10-04-2012, 17:34   #12
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Vinyl for me. You can design it yourself on the computer, always have a file of your work, repaints are a breeze, heat gun off, paint, new one on, and of course all the above post's mentioned reasons.

You can do a lot with vinyl these days and it sure is the practical choice. However I beg to differ on it looking better than painted, at least in all cases. I've done some pretty mean lettering myself in the past, but I know a few old-school hand lettering artists around here who still utilize the lost art of the freehand sword brush to do amazing lettering. They also do gold leaf and scrolling and all sorts of other beautiful things which are high maintenance and totally not practical. Personally I love this stuff, boats should be art to me. Of course there are many types of art. If you are interested in that sort of thing look for local lettering artists who specialize in big rigs and hot rods, that sort of thing. There are some amazing artists out there. I think it's sort of the like the difference between how some don't mind putting a ton of work into varnish to keep the boat beautiful and some think it's madness.
In Seattle Nancy Anderson at SureRite Signs hand letters yachts, trucks, and jets. I've worked around her for many years and her work is superb, 24 kt. gold leaf lettering and all. Best of the best. All freehand lettering. No affiliation, just an awed admirer.
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Old 10-04-2012, 17:41   #13
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

The vinyl on my powerboat is 7 years old and looks like new. I'm really pleased.

On my sailboat I have a wooden board with the name carved in it. The carved letters are painted gold. I repaint it every 3-4 years.

No experience with painted name on fiberglass. I would imagine they type of paint used would be important.
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Old 10-04-2012, 17:41   #14
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

If you want to save money, I have seen quite good results with the sort of vinyl stencils made for the sides of transport trucks, i.e. "not marine".

I can't recall it was particularly expensive in the first place. Careful application under the right conditions (not mid-afternoon on a sunny day) is key to a good result.
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Old 10-04-2012, 17:44   #15
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Re: Boat Name - Painted vs Decal

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All freehand lettering. No affiliation, just an awed admirer.
You're lucky to know someone who still does that sort of work.

The fellow who painted the name on my previous boat insisted that no one be aboard for the two days it took him to paint, and he couldn't work in inclement weather, including a strong breeze. When the work was completed, he'd give the owner a 15 minute lecture on how to care for the painting--you couldn't wax it or you'd take the paint off--and how we'd know when it was time to have the paint touched up.

Some folks would end up having to get their designs repainted every five years.

Vinyl lasts longer, costs less initially, is easier to maintain, and doesn't require multiple days to apply. Hard to argue with that on aesthetic grounds.
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