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Old 25-11-2010, 19:37   #16
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i have the classic garden ketch with name boards fore and aft. teak....
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Old 25-11-2010, 23:13   #17
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Just ordered vinal letters. Haven't applied them yet, as it's about 28 right now and we just got a bout of snow.
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Old 25-11-2010, 23:14   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrate View Post
Just ordered vinal letters. Haven't applied them yet, as it's about 28 right now and we just got a bout of snow.
do they actually stick to anything in temps below 50?? yipes. i would definitely wait until the ice melts...
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Old 26-11-2010, 06:08   #19
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Gold leaf in hand carved lettering in teak.
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Old 26-11-2010, 08:21   #20
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Did you have trouble removing the old lettering? And did it require waxing / compounding the hull so any shadowing of the old lettering did not show?

Thanks
Jeff
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Old 26-11-2010, 09:31   #21
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A tip for you. Instead of looking for specialist marine lettering suppliers, goto the people who do graphics and liveries for shop windows and vehicles. You'll get exactly the same result and materials, just cheaper! I've found that anything that has the word 'marine' added to it tends to go up in price.....
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Old 26-11-2010, 09:39   #22
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masonjj--acetone takes off the sticky latex residue. then apply. make sure it looks the way you want it to look.
marine places add 400 percent--i got vinyl letters in one piece for a boat i bought years ago -- 135 in a regular graphics store-- 6 letter name. a marine labelled store with graphics done for skpr richie rich and his crew wanted around 500 dollars for same 6 letters...yipes. so many places --so many prices-- shop well!!
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Old 26-11-2010, 10:25   #23
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About three years ago we had the name and hailing port repainted using a freehand skilled painter. It cost a total of 350 dollars for removing the old painted name and hailing port and painting the new ones on. It's a canoe stern and required painting on both sides plus the fiberglass hull is groved. The prior name was also hand painted and lasted for over 20 years and I suspect this one will do as well so that 350 dollars doesn't look as bad as you might suspect.
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Old 26-11-2010, 10:30   #24
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I order custom vinyl lettering (outdoor rated vinyl) from a company here called FastSigns and apply them myself. This way has the lowest cost that I have found.
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Old 26-11-2010, 10:37   #25
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I made a plack out of 1/4" plywood painted it a similar color to the hull and painted a contrasting color 1/4" border around the periniter. Then in the same contrasting color,I very carefully painted the name on the field of the plack. Boy does it ever look good. (I did the same thing with my registratiom numbers)
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Old 26-11-2010, 11:54   #26
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Boat Vinyl Tips

This is my first post to this forum but I may be able to be of assistance with the boat lettering issue since I have some professional experience vinyl graphics.

As another poster stated, any sign shop that cuts vinyl (and that's most of them) can cut lettering for boats. There is no special trick to this.

While there are no "marine grade" vinyls per se, it is important that a top quality (high performance) vinyl be chosen. There are a number of vinyl manufacturers out there and some are better than others. I would recommend one of the top end 3M products like Control Tac 180 or similar. You can't go wrong with these and they will give the best performance in a marine environment. Opinions will differ. This is an argument you will have to have with the vinyl shop.

Application can be tricky depending largely on the size and complexity of the graphics as well a the number of colors used.

If you perform the application yourself always make sure that the surface is prepared properly. Generally speaking, this means getting it as clean and as smooth as possible. There should be no "chalky" oxidation and it is a good idea to remove any wax or other surface treatments as these can compromise adhesion.

After the surface is clean wipe it down with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol just prior to vinyl application. This is critical for good adhesion. Isopropyl is usually sold at a 70% to 80% concentration with water and this is slows evaporation enough that it can be worked with.

Here are some items that you will need to perform a vinyl application:

Plastic Squeegee - the "straight edge" mentioned in an earlier post. These are readily available from vinyl shops and are cheap. They are simple devices but have the right size, flexibility and hardness for the job. They are the vinyl applicator's "paint brush" and you really need one.

Exacto Knife - A must have. With a new blade. Comes in most handy when repairing mistakes or popping bubbles but of course these things never happen.

Masking Tape - Also a must have. To hold vinyl in place after positioning. Masking tape can act as a second or third pair of hands and it makes the job much less frustrating. Use lots of it if the wind is blowing. It'll keep your graphics out of the dirt (or the water).

Measuring Tape - For centering and leveling.

Wax Pencil - (Stabilo or similar) For marking, obviously. Suggest blue for light colored surfaces. Wipes off with alcohol.

Scissors - Can come in handy but can be done without.

Isopropyl Alcohol - Standard rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.

Roll of Paper Towels - or disposable shop rags.

I can expand on this if anyone wants me to. I also know the best methods for removing old vinyl which can be more time consuming than application.

-plowshare
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Old 26-11-2010, 14:04   #27
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Plowshare: Great post, very helpful. Any tips to remove old vinyl would be greatly appreciated by myself and I'm sure by anyone else who searches this in the future.

Zeehag: I'll be sure to shop around for the lettering and thanks for the acetone tip!

The reason I'm asking is that I was going to be re-lettering and the yard said that I should be cleaning and compounding before new letters installed.

Any one know of a good place near Beaufort, NC for lettering?

Jeff
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Old 26-11-2010, 14:57   #28
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Wow yes, great first post and Welcome Aboard!

As for removing the old vinal, it always helps if it's warm. A domestic hairdrier is ideal but (VERY obviously), make sure it doesn't go in the water! When using any mains tools on the side of my boat (drill, sander, etc.) I always tie an extra line to the cord so even if I drop it, it can't go in the water. Once the vinal is nicely softened, it should peel off reasonably easy. A bit of thinners (solvent) will help loosen the glue on more subborn parts.
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Old 26-11-2010, 17:21   #29
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Removing Vinyl

Tools Needed:

1) Heat Gun or Propane Torch (the types you normally see)

2) Stiff Non-Abrasive Plastic Scraper of some type (vinyl shops have these - cheap)

3) Adhesive Remover - "Goof Off", "Rite Off" or any number of brand names. All pretty much the same. Available at hardware stores. Spray bottle.

4) Isopropyl Alcohol - in a spray bottle.

5) Paper Towels or wipes of some kind.

The key to removing old vinyl is to get it hot. The vinyl will soften and then can be scraped or peeled off depending on it's age and condition.

The safest method is to use a heat gun. The standard type that you would find in a hardware store (1600 watts or so).

Alternately, if electrical power is not available you can use a propane torch - again, the usual type. These have to be used very carefully since there is a fine line between softening the vinyl and scorching the surface.

Regardless of the method you choose, keep in mind that the trick to this whole thing is to get the old vinyl hot enough that it comes up easily. How hot is that? Well it's probably hotter than most people would expect. In general I would say that the surface needs to be heated to something around the boiling point of water (100 deg C) but in practice you should go by touch.

Using a heat gun work a small area at a time. In most cases this will mean working each letter individually. Heat the area in question evenly keeping the heat gun in motion at all times. Occasionally touch on or near the heated area to gauge the temperature. When it becomes uncomfortable to touch you are probably in the ballpark.

Use the plastic scraper to lift up an edge of the heated vinyl. Often you can grab the edge and peel it by hand very slowly. Older vinyl that has lost most of its plasticizers will be more brittle and the scraper may be required to remove the entire piece. You just have to do whatever works. Every vinyl application is different depending on how old its, how much UV exposure it has had and the nature of the surface it is applied to.

About Heat:

This is where experience comes in. You want to get the surface hot enough without damaging it. The goal is to raise the temperature of the substrate not just the vinyl. Yet you want to do this without damaging anything. So take your time with the your chosen source of heat. Don't get it too close, keep it moving and be patient. This is time well spent and will reduce subsequent wear and tear on your fingers considerably.

Do not use the adhesive remover during the heating and scraping phase. It does nothing at this point and will only make an unnecessary mess.

After the old vinyl is removed there is still more to be done. You will probably notice that some tiny patches of vinyl remain and that there is an adhesive residue on the surface. This is where adhesive remover comes in.

Spray the adhesive remover liberally over the area to be cleaned. Let it work for five minutes or so. Yes, it will tend to run so be prepared for that.

After a few minutes you will see that the old adhesive will soak up the remover and swell to become a soft clear gel. You can scrape most of this off with the plastic scraper.

When you have scraped off the bulk of the old adhesive you may want to re-apply the remover and let it work again.

At this point you can use paper towels or wipes to get the remainder of the adhesive off. Spray the area liberally with isopropyl alcohol first and then wipe. The alcohol really helps at this point since it will dissolve any remaining clumps of goo. Keep going over the surface with alcohol and clean towels until everything is clean.

MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE AN ADEQUATE TRASH RECEPTACLE HANDY FOR THE REMOVED VINYL, REMOVED ADHESIVE AND USED PAPER TOWELS. YOU'LL BE SORRY IF YOU DON'T.

That's about it.

NOTE: Old vinyl on automotive vehicles can sometimes leave a "ghost" image on painted surfaces due to various processes at work in the paint, adhesive and the vinyl itself. I know of no remedy for this short of a new paint job. I must confess to a limited knowledge of gelcoats and fiberglass but suspect that it can happen on boat hulls as well so be prepared. I do not presume to give any advice on the remedy.

I hope this is useful. Sorry it's so long.

-plowshare
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Old 26-11-2010, 18:34   #30
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Pretty much what I thought, just with the proper detail!

Yes, GRP, especially coloured hulls, is very suseptable to UV light damage and unless the lettering is relatively new, you will get a ghost image. A good going over with a cutting compound and then a polish will sometimes cure this but often, a repaint is the only way to hide it 100%.
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