Removing old vinyl boat names & graphics


The best way is to push a flat tool (not too sharp) against the corners of the letters to lift them. Then slowly peel the vinyl up, slowly and gently does it best, if you go too fast then either some glue will remain or the vinyl will break.

A good way to prevent breaking is to heat up the vinyl a little bit. Just facing the side of the boat your working on towards the sun will usually heat up the lettering or graphics enough. Other times you will have to use a Hair Dryer (Not a Heat Gun as they are so hot they can easily destroy the boat's surface). This heating will help the vinyl stretch instead of breaking.

If glue is left on the boat

then use a rag soaked in mineral turpentine to soften it. Apply to a few letters at a time, let it sit for a minute or two then you can scrape the bulk of the glue off with a fairly blunt instrument. Now you should only have a very thin layer of glue that can easily be rubbed off with the turps rag. This can be a bit messy & take a little time but is not difficult. If mineral turpentine is not working too well then you may use liqueur thinner, but test some on a safe area first, this is very strong and may damage the surface.

If there is a "gost" of the old boat name

  1. You can order your name a bit bigger, it doesn't usually matter if the new name won't cover the old one completely as the contrast distracts your eyes so much you won't even notice a slight discolouring of the background surface. However the sun and oxidation will slowly bring it back to original surface tone.
  2. You can buy bleaching agents from marine stores especially designed for fiber glass boats that work well, you will probably have a lot left over but it's always useful.

Removing old painted boat names


To remove old paint

  • Sand (the painted area only) with 400 grit paper in a circular motion to remove the bulk of the paint.

  • Then wet and dry the surface with 1200 grit paper.

  • Cut and polish using a non silicone based polish, then

  • Buff it and

  • Finally clean the surface well with metho or prepsol before applying your new name.
    If using prepsol, follow immediately (as you are going along) with a clean dry cloth.
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