There are a lot of reasons why you might have decided to customize your boat. One of the most common is if you have just bought the boat and want to introduce your own sense of style to it. Another reason for boat customization is simply to make your boat unique from other boats that may be docked around it. Whatever your reasons may be, there are a lot of ways to customize your boat. For instance, you can add flags, banners, or different colored canvas to make it unique. But one of the best ways is to simply apply vinyl boat graphics to your boat hull.
Of course, like anything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to apply boat graphics. If it isn’t done properly, the graphics could easily become worn faster than they should or fall off entirely. So, here’s how to make sure that customizing your boat by applying graphics to your boat hull will work out well for you.
Use a Type of Vinyl Graphics Designed for Boats
If you think that any vinyl graphic will do when customizing your boat, be careful. There are specific types of vinyl boat graphics that are designed to withstand sun and water better than standard decals that are used in buildings and other environments. You can order vinyl graphics designed for boats from various companies online or near where your boat is docked.
Gather the Necessary Materials for Applying Your Vinyl Graphic
You can’t just peel and stick a vinyl boat graphic like you might stick a small decal on a wall or door. Boat decals tend to be large, a bit unwieldy and require a specific application process. Here are some tools you’ll need to get the job done:
- Spray Bottle
- Tape Measure
- Masking Tape
- Grease Pencil
- Isopropyl Alcohol
You will also need a special tool called a seal-it-pen. That can be used to secure the vinyl boat graphic to the boat hull further once you have hung it up.
Cutting and Taping the Vinyl Decal to the Boat Hull
In order to hang the vinyl boat decal up properly for successful boat customization, you may have to cut it first. For example, you may want to hang individual letters up. If you’re just hanging one piece, the process will be easier because you won’t have to cut anything. Once ready, you’ll need to measure to find the center of where you want to hang your boat decal. Then tape the top of it in place.
Removing the Backing and Transfer Paper and Smoothing Out the Boat Decal
Vinyl boat graphics have three layers, the backing, the decal itself, and the transfer paper that protects it until it is sold and used. Once you have your decal centered and taped at the top, peel the backing away from it, smoothing it out from the middle toward the edges with the flat edge of a knife, your squeegee, or any other flat object. Once it is secured to your boat hull, you can remove the transfer paper. Then all that’s left is to go over the edges with the seal-it-pen, which contains a clear glue. That will help to hold the decal in place until it cures.
Of course, you can simply hire a company to apply your vinyl boat graphic and customize your boat for you, but as you can see it’s a fairly easy process. So, if you’d rather save money while customizing your boat, you can easily do it yourself. Either way, a properly affixed vinyl decal should stand up to the wind, water, and bad weather much better than paint would.