How to easily apply vinyl Boat Lettering & Graphics

The basic process

Easy Steps for Professional application of boat names

Contents of this page (click on titles to specific areas)

Which method of application should I use Wet or Dry hinge for boat names

Surface preparation & Marking out of boat names

Wet method for applying boat names

Dry Hinge method for appling boat names

A Hull with Chines

Applying Boat Stripes

Removing Bubbles from vinyl lettering

Removing Old boat names

Print version

To make it as easy as possible for you, our Boat Names kits come in one piece and are sandwiched between a paper layer of transfer tape and a waxed backing.

Remove your boat name from its shipping tube. Let it flatten out in a warm room for 24 hours where pets and children can't find it.

Applying you new name is simple if you follow these instructions exactly. There are two different methods of appyling your names depending on surface type, Name size, and weather conditions. Choose the best method for your circumstances and read all the way through before starting.

The DO Nots

  • DO NOT attempt if the surface or air temperature is colder than 5 degrees Celsius. (40 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • DO NOT apply to hot surfaces or dark surfaces in direct sunlight.
  • DO NOT attempt on a windy day.
  • DO NOT get backing paper wet.

....When to use Water Method

Recommended for shinny surfaces, such as new fibre glass, old fibre glass that has not had too much sun damage and still has a bit of a gloss to it. Dull surfaces trap a very fine layer of water that takes a long time to dry and makes the process more difficult. It is a good idea to use this method if you have a light breeze or a large name, Large names also require a person at each end. Boats with Chines that you have to go over (these look like planks and are mainly found on aluminium boats) But only use this method when they are painted. Do not use the water method on unpainted aluminium even if you have to go over chines. Please see the special section near the bottom if you have a Hull with CHINES

When to use Dry Hinge Method

This method is used for unpainted aluminium or very dull surfaces that will trap a fine layer of water.

....Surface Preparation Both methods

All surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned before applying your vinyl graphics. Remove any dried matter such as tape or glue carefully with a single edge razor blade. (See Removing Old Vinyl or Painted Names at the bottom of this page)

Freshly painted surfaces should be dry for at least 72 hours prior to application of the vinyl graphics. Clean the area with window cleaner. Fibreglass & plastics or recently polished surfaces (within the last 3 months ), saturate a clean cloth with methylated spirits or prepsol and wipe the surface clean. If using prepsol, follow immediately (as you are going along) with a clean dry cloth.

.............Marking Out Both methods

.........

If you're lettering the sides of the vessel, pick a piece of hardware common to both port and starboard as a reference point BEFORE you begin. You'll really want to double check position of both sides before adhering either! Sometimes one side of the boat surprises you with a drain or a mystery window.

To get the name straight, start with a piece of tape on one corner. Slap it up there where you think it should go. For hulls with Chines (these look like planks) sit the base line of your lettering just above a Chine, this will reduce the number of chines you have to cross. You can always move it if you don't like the position. Bring the other side into position and tack it down with another piece of tape. Use a tape measure to be sure it is level. If you have a straight edge on the paper backing to measure to, great! If not, measure from the edges of similar letters. Remember that some letters (like o's and s's) normally sink below the line of text. Once you have positioned it correctly make sure you have everyone's approval.

....Water Method..........

You will Need: Your printed instructions (supplied in your kit) Plastic squeegee (supplied in your kit) A small cutting knife or razor blade, A Spray bottle filled with a mixture of dish soap and water. (The mixture ratio is; 3 drops of soap to 1 cup of water), , 2 clean dry rags, and a Tape measure.

And for large names, another person. (Large names are ones you can't comfortably reach each end of yourself)

Start by following "Surface preparation" and "Marking out" sections above.

Apply lines for repositioning

Draw with a pencil across the edge of the paper and onto the boat on several sides, this means you can reposition it exactly. Then remove the name from the boat and place upside down on a clean surface out of the wind so that you can remove the backing and spray the sticky side of the lettering.

Spray

Spray the surface of the boat as well with the soapy water, this allows you to lift and re-place the name if necessary. It dose not reduce the final adhesion of your name. Reposition the name to the pencil marks.

Squeegee

Once the graphic is back in position and lying perfectly flat on the surface, Start from the centre work outward, use firm strokes with the squeegee to force the water out from beneath the individual letters or elements contained in your name. After most of the water is squeegeed out, let it sit for 30 minutes (have a coffee)

Remove the transfer tape

Now it is time to remove the transfer tape from the graphic and reveal the final product. To remove the transfer tape without difficulty, spray with water and soap mixture and wait 2 minutes for the transfer tape paper to become slightly soggy. Gently remove the transfer tape flat against the surface & at a 45-degree angle to the vertical bars of the lettering. Be careful not to pull the graphic up with the transfer tape. If it dose start to lift off simply place back down squeegee again and leave a little longer.

Next Click Here


....Dry Hinge Method...........

You Will Need: Your printed instructions (supplied in your kit) Plastic squeegee (supplied in your kit) A small cutting knife or razor blade, 2 clean dry rags, 1 roll of masking tape preferably 50mm wide, and a Tape measure.

And for large names, another person. (Large names are ones you can't comfortably reach each end of yourself)

Start by following "Surface preparation" and "Marking out" sections above.

Make a Hinge

Apply 50mm masking tape to the top of the name. Half on the transfer tape and half on the boat (as shown). This strip will be used as a hinge that will insure the graphic does not move during the squeegee process.

Special Hint for large or long graphics.

If the lettering is too large or long to handle in one piece, after the hinge is in place, cut between each letter or a manageable section and lay them down independently.

Remove the Backing

Hold the bottom edge of the hinged graphic away from the intended surface and carefully remove the backing to reveal the sticky back of the vinyl. (You can flip it upside down as in the photo above if you like)

CAUTION!

Do not let the exposed graphic touch the intended surface. The back of the graphic is very tacky and will tightly adhere to the surface. If the placement is not correct, removing the graphic for re-placement will be very difficult or impossible without causing damage to the vinyl.

Squeegee

While still holding the hinged graphic away from the intended surface. Using the squeegee and starting from the top, begin to put the graphic to the intended surface. Note: Work from top to bottom. Do not let the entire graphic fall onto the intended surface. If lines or creases develop, Try lifting it just enough and replacing it. If that fails just squeegee lightly over the damaged area and try peeling up the damaged area and pushing it back down smooth after you have removed the transfer tape.

Remove the transfer tape

To remove the transfer tape without difficulty, apply some water to the front of it and wait 2 minutes for the transfer tape paper to become slightly soggy. Gently remove the transfer tape flat against the surface & at a 45-degree angle to the vertical bars of the lettering. Be careful not to pull the graphic up with the transfer tape.

Next Click Here


....A Hull with Chines..........

(these look like planks, as illustrated below)

When painted, use Water when unpainted, use Dry method
But for BOTH follow the squeegee pattern below

Remember work from top to bottom, with chines it is necessary to finish applying the vinyl completely to the first chine before moving down to the next flat surface. To do this, keep the unattached vinyl tight & away from the surface (wind dose not help this) You need to push it onto the surface at your pace, without it jumping across the valley.

Again make sure as this will save a lot of time latter. If applying wet it is best to wait 5 minutes after finishing each valley for the water dry out & let the vinyl stick properly. Be sure to keep the rest of the lettering away from the surface or it will stick there too. Run your finger along the valley from the centre out 5 times, then twice with the rounded corner of the squeegee until the vinyl is snugly fitted into the valley before proceeding down, be patient. Be careful when you squeegee down on the next valley that it doesn't pull away from the valley, if this happens you have slightly to much soap in the water. (Empty half the soapy water out & replace with fresh water) To fix this carefully lift the lettering back to the valley, spray with the less soapy water & apply again. If it doesn't allow you to go back without stretching the vinyl you will have to fix it after you have finished the whole job and removed the transfer tape. See Fixing Valley jumps on chines below. But for now leave the transfer tape on for at least 30 mins. Go have a coffee

Remove the transfer tape

To remove the transfer tape without difficulty, apply some water to the front of it and wait 2 minutes for the transfer tape paper to become slightly soggy. Gently remove the transfer tape flat against the surface & at a 45-degree angle to the vertical bars of the lettering. Be careful not to pull the name up with the transfer tape. You may need to follow along behind with the squeegee holding down the exposed vinyl to relieve the stress on it and stop it stretching.

Fixing Valley jumps on chines

To fix these warm up a little bit not to much with a hair dryer and push the vinyl into the valley. You may need to pop some bubbles to let air or water out first. If they are server and your chines are quite deep you can cut the vinyl under the chine and it won't be seen from side on.

....Removing Bubbles Both methods

................

Finally, With hard pressure squeegee out any remaining water bubbles using a little soapy water to help the squeegee slip. If bubbles are still visible, simply pop them with a needle at one end & press with the back of your fingernail gently. Don't worry about small bubbles they should disappear in a week or two.

Congratulations!

Again, Thank you for your purchase and feel free to contact us with any questions about applying to unusual surfaces or future needs you may have.

Boat Names Australia cannot be responsible for damage that might be done to the lettering while in use. This also applies to problems caused by failure to follow installation instructions properly. In this instance we are happy to replace the affected area at cost price. If you need assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

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