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Old 16-04-2014, 21:21   #1
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Painting Verses Vinyl Wrapping

Hi, I have a blue 46' standard GRP hull production yacht that is 13 years old. It is now suffering from "chalking" which I am told is to do with the suns UV causing a reaction with the gel coat. The boat is currently in the Caribbean and does seem to be getting worse. In the past I have used a cutting compound and then plenty of boat polish, but still the white patches come back after a month or so. I think the time has come to either paint the boat or as friend of mine has had done recently,Vinyl wrap it. Does anyone have any experience of this? I would be interested to know if this is a serious alternative to painting and particularly if it is as robust and will stand up in the marine environment. The two companies that do it in the UK both claim that it is good for 7-10 years and easy to repair if damaged. They claim wrapping is about half the price compared to painting. As my plan is to head north to US sometime I would be interested to have any recommendations.
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Old 16-04-2014, 22:05   #2
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Re: Painting verses vinyl wrapping

I have never had a professional vinyl wrap done on my boat, but I have placed plenty of vinyl on my hull.

I think if the boat is going to spend it's life in a marina without a lot of offshore sailing in heavy seas, it could last several years and look good.

But if the boat is going offshore and is going to do heavy weather sailing, I am not sure the vinyl would do as well as paint. Repetitive hits in significant seas could be a challenge to the vinyl. I have at seas strip vinyl off my boat on the waterline very quickly on some occasions, and on other occasions it lasted a couple of years sailing offshore.

If it was going to be used as a floating billboard in sheltered waters, vinyl is probably a good way to go. But offshore, I don't think I would do it.
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Old 16-04-2014, 22:20   #3
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Re: Painting verses vinyl wrapping

I imagine it would hold up fine in any conditions. Just look at the many thousands of boats that come out of the factory with a vinyl stripe at or near the waterline. They hold up just fine. The challenge is finding a company who will wrap your hull for a price that is palatable. It is probably around the same cost as a professional paint job.
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Old 16-04-2014, 22:20   #4
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Re: Painting verses vinyl wrapping

It's becoming pretty common to wrap offshore sport fishing boats, especially tournament fish boats. They get some pretty elaborate designs and seem to hold up to high speed runs and pounding pretty well.

Try it and let us know how it works.
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Old 17-04-2014, 04:21   #5
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Re: Painting verses vinyl wrapping

Last year a guy in our yard had it done. The whole job was done in less than one day. It look decent but not anything like well polished gelcoat and it was not even close to the quality of awlgrip.
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Old 17-04-2014, 05:01   #6
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Re: Painting verses vinyl wrapping

Vinyl wrapping will take over at some stage, as the price comes down.
The graphics will propel us away from boring white.

See the photo below and note the boat is doing the Clipper Round the World race. Which I think goes out into open water for quite a fair way

You could drop them an email and ask how did the vinyl wraps go.


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Old 17-04-2014, 05:26   #7
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Re: Painting verses vinyl wrapping

Had plenty of vinyl stripes over the years and they all get little dock scrapes or dings and nicks from dropping objects (e.g. Boat hooks etc.). The 3M stripes (I think the gold standard) start to fade and degrade from UV within 5 years and look like crap after that if you get close.

I recently painted due to chalking gelcoat because of the same issues with aging, and am happy I did. Starting second season and just one scratch to touch up. I chose Awlcraft for its repairability (vs. Awlgrip which my painter preferred). Stuff happens.
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Old 17-04-2014, 05:32   #8
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Re: Painting verses vinyl wrapping

I've wrapped aircraft, and from 20 ft away it looks gorgeous, no way can you get that good a graphics from even a professional painter, but from 3 ft. away, it looks like crap, you see seams and the vinyl has a sort of texture to it.
If you want fancy graphics vinyl is the way to go, if you want a normal looking boat, paint is the answer, or continue polishing and waxing.
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Old 17-04-2014, 06:39   #9
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Re: Painting Verses Vinyl Wrapping

You won't get this (as shown in the top two images) with Vinyl. This is after the Awlcraft:





Original aging gelcoat:



BTW -- I don't think polymer coatings are the answer either. Here is what happened to my poly-glo after the second year of use (I had followed directions meticulously and done a second coating after first year).... Recoating would not have fixed this -- it all had to be stripped off and that was so much work I decided to go back to compounding, and eventually -- paint was the answer.

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Old 17-04-2014, 08:12   #10
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Re: Painting Verses Vinyl Wrapping

First time poster? Makes me wonder. From SV Third Day-


Back on September 30, 2007 I made my first Bog post entitled "All Cleaned up...and Ready to go in 31 Days!" as we were getting ready to make our first trip to Mexico with the 2007 Baja Ha-ha rally. Since then I've posted a mind numbing 1081 Blog posts and you can view the complete
list of Blog Posts here if you have the stomach for it. As a kid that absolutely hated reading and writing, my Jr. High teachers would have never guessed that I could even read a 1000 page book, so the thought that I could have formed enough coherent sentences to fill a 1000 page book while living on a boat in Mexico would have brought them (and maybe even my parents) to laughter. Well, I'll admit maybe some of my sentences are only boarder-line coherent at best and my spelling, sentence structure, and use of punctuation may give the impression that I never did successfully graduate from Jr. High, but there has never been any doubt that what I write about is real. Real in a sense that I write about what I'm thinking and feeling regarding this Cruising Lifestyle, which might explain why food plays such a prominent role in my posts, after all, I'm Italian and food is after all life! Is everything you read out there on cruising blogs real?

I have no doubt that the vast majority of cruising blogs out there are indeed real and I've meet the crews in anchorages and exchanged emails with them all the time; however, about two weeks ago, I was solicited by a web marketing firm over the phone and what they were trying to sell me surprised and shocked me. So much so, that it's taken me a few weeks to actually process it and decide how to talk about it on my blog, and even if I should talk about it, but here I go, you know my decision. I've told a few other cruisers about it and they also had the look of shock and disbelief on their face. To cut right to the chase and spit it out, there are cruising blogs out there that you could be reading and following that are fake, along with product reviews on many of the sailing and cruising sites! There is no cruising family or couple; there is no boat, no real crew, no real landfalls, no real experiences, and no real adventure. The only real thing about the blog is the products they talk about as must have cruising gear and the links they provide to the company's products!

As a business owner, with my cell phone and email listed on our Cruise RO Water and Power website for sales and customer support, I get email and phone solicitations galore, 7 days a week. They are easy to spot within the first 5 seconds of the call and I usually start talking Spanish to them and they disappear or hit the spam button if it's an email. But for some reason this lady sounded different, like she was a long lost high school friend, so I kept listening as she described this "fabulous opportunity for me to increase sales". As she went on and on (phone salesmen know to not pause during their pitch for you to interrupt and boot them off) about what her company did and why I should buy her services. I was at first confused, which grew into disbelief, and then to anger at the outright dishonesty and fraud of what I was being told was the latest and greatest web marketing approach.

The basic advertising package would cost $1250 per month, which by the way is about the cost of a page magazine ad in a popular cruising magazine, as a FYI. I would then write 3 blog post reviews per month for the products I wanted to sell and then they would place the "gear reviews" on what she called their "network of promotional blogs". At this point, I was still a bit confused as to what exactly I was being sold and what a "promotional blog" was, so I asked how cruisers would let someone pose as them and post fake gear reviews on their blogs. Then as she explained, the whole ugly details came to light, as she told me how their advertising system worked. The marketing company set-up and maintained a series of cruising blogs on what she called the major sites: sailblogs, yatchblogs, blogspot and a few more common sites where cruisers host their blogs. They don't just do this for cruising gear and blogs, but she rattled off an impressive list of other types of blogs that targeted products from home entertainment systems to camping gear that they do what she called "active user product placements".

But wait, there's MORE I was told, I should consider their "Gold Package" where their staff would not just help me write fake product reviews for posting on the fake websites, but they would also provide me with a critical value added service. There are dozens of various sailing, cruiser, and boating related chat rooms on the internet. If I subscribed to their "Gold Package" for an additional $250/mo, they would use their web searching software to do a daily search of the top 30 cruising/sailing related chat rooms for the key words around our products and for any mention of our Company name. When found, they would then notify me via email with a link to the site and I could write a fake testimonial to send back to them for posting under one of their anonymous site member names that they maintain. These would cost me $25ea, but as she said, would results in lots of positive word of mouth feedback.

Are you getting pissed off yet? Well, I sure am, just rehashing the phone conversation.

As she sensed I wasn't ready to give a credit card to start the marketing campaign, I was told how this is standard operating practice on the internet today and that I shouldn't feel bad about using the latest in marketing technology to sell my products. After all, she said, the goal of a marketing campaign is to sell product and their approach was a proven winner, why wouldn't I want to participate in what everyone else was doing? I told her that we had already maxed out our advertising budget for the next few months and then she of course wanted to call me back in June to see if I wanted to start a campaign, she hung up and I sat there stunned.

It doesn't surprise me that there are people out there willing to do unethical things for money, heck that has been around since man himself, but what got to me and I've been having a hard time accepting is just how easy it is to pull off lies and deceit with the anonymous powers of the internet. As more and more of us turn to the internet for information, do we know WHO is providing that information and presenting themselves as the unbiased authority on the subject? If I now have to research the person making an "unbiased" product review on a blog to make sure it isn't a bogus company plant, how harder is it for me, and all of us, to get good information? When we looked up a word in the Webster's Dictionary you could be pretty darn confident that the meaning you found was true without spin or slant. But try looking up a word on the internet today that could have any type of controversy around it and you won't just find a definition, but multiple sites all giving their own spin on the word. I'm not quite sure what the take home message is behind the realization that anything you read online needs to be approached with skepticism, other than that obvious point!

We have several "real" cruisers out there with our water makers that have at one point or another posted about our product on their blogs and I'm happy to say all of them have been positive. But on the flip side, is it that much of a stretch to think that someone willing to post a fake review (or call it what it is-a LIE) about their own product wouldn't be willing to make a negative review (Lie) about a competitor to gain an advantage? Once you have accepted "the Lie" as just a marketing tool that "everyone else" is doing, what stops not just the positive Lies about you, but the more affective negative Lies about the competition? And since one negative product review is said to wash away 10 positive reviews, isn't it going to be more affective to Lie about the competition than to Lie about your own product? The reason political campaigns run negative ads is for the simple reason, that they work.

So in a world where Lies seem to rule the day from Politics to Marketing, what is there to do? Well if I really had that answer maybe I'd be sitting on the Supreme Court today deciding if Obamacare is legal or illegal, rather than floating on a boat rocking gently at anchor in the Barra de Navidad lagoon, getting ready to host a "blender party" tonight at 6PM aboard THIRD DAY. But on second thought, maybe I'm closer to the answer than I think; which is why I'm here and not there. Could that be? Na-forget I said that, remember, I'm just a Cruising Bozo not even smart enough to jump on the fake cruising blog band wagon, so what do I know.
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Old 17-04-2014, 08:25   #11
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Re: Painting Verses Vinyl Wrapping

Sorry, had to do it.

Anyhell, I have some vinyl experience. These materials were first used in the sign industry going back at least thirty years. Combined with plotters the put a lot of talented artists out of business. I would have to say that considering wrapping could be half the cost of paint it has a lot going for it. 7-10 years sound reasonable.

No worries offshore, as with all things boating the problems happen when contact with land or other objects occurs. Because the vinyl is relatively soft compared to the boats hull any abrasion like dock-rash will result in tearing or scuffing of the surface, not a big deal to cut the damaged area out and put a patch down.

In fact, vinyl application requires neither a great deal of skill or experience and would be a project I would say within reach of anybody handy. The right tools for the job are a utility knife, plastic squeegee, and the key ingredient Vinyl Application Fluid. At the point, you're just paying for vinyl and your cost not including time is maybe a tenth of the cost of paint.

Word to the wise, you get what you pay for. Use only the best most expensive vinyl you can get. In the States 3M is recognized as the premiere product. They basically invented the stuff. Premium product will have the best colorfastness, which counts when you have to patch a gash 5 years down the road, but more importantly when it comes time to take the vinyl off the cheap stuff is a nightmare.

One other little thing is that the vinyl shrinks over time, so lets say you cut out for a port light and are using a contrasting color with the underlying gel coat, say red over white. As the vinyl shrinks away from the port it will slowly reveal the white gelcoat beneath. Best to overlay the vinyl an 1/8" over the portlight. If there is anything else I can think of I'll let you know.
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Old 17-04-2014, 09:13   #12
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Re: Painting Verses Vinyl Wrapping

With how bustling the food truck industry has become I would assume prices have come down. I priced out a food truck wrap about 6 months ago and it was $6500 for highest quality with very detailed graphics. Go take a close look at a wrapped food truck.
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Old 17-04-2014, 10:07   #13
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Re: Painting Verses Vinyl Wrapping

You might want to research Penetrol. There is mixed opinions about it I had good luck with it for chalking.
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Old 17-04-2014, 11:20   #14
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Re: Painting Verses Vinyl Wrapping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Sorry, had to do it.
Well, you didn't do it very well!

You could have made your point succinctly in one line.

But you expect us to wade through some reposted LONG essay.

So? Sorry for doing what? Boring us? or failing to make your statement that the OP may be trolling the forum for advertising dollars?



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Old 17-04-2014, 20:56   #15
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Re: Painting Verses Vinyl Wrapping

Hi Thanks everyone for excellent responses, will keep you posted.
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