+1 for stick on.
Only issue I've had was where a corner of one letter got badly abraded by a mis-mounted dinghy
on the stern rail during a storm. Paint would have been scratched to hell too, though. What's amazing is that the vinyl did NOT break free, peel up, or anything, even with all the water
flying around. It just shifted a few chips of it and dug rivets through the rest. That letter is still on, as firmly as the rest of them. That alone says a lot for the durability of vinyl if you ask me.
and trivial to replace a single
letter anyways - I just go to whatever local sign shop is around and ask for 3M dark navy
outdoor vinyl. Works like a charm and is as best as I can tell the same stuff they use for "Marine Lettering" and charge 3x as much for. I too make a PDF or EPS file and take it on a USB stick or email
to the local shop.
I've always used local sign shops for my vinyl and have yet to have a single
issue with adherence or durability that would not equally be shared by paint. The ease of application and maintenance
is also a huge win.