View Full Version : Hase anyone ever tried this?

flying tomato
01-30-2011, 07:49 PM
Has anyone ever tried to put vinyl decal material on the sides of their boat instead of paint?
I have done a little research and discovered that you can buy the 24"x30' rolls of vinyl with the sticky backing cheap! I'm sure it would be kinda tricky putting it on, but not too hard.

I really want to give it a try. Pls give me some input.

Thanx, Flying Tomato

01-30-2011, 09:05 PM
Go here and read th next several pages;


01-31-2011, 02:40 AM
Go here and read th next several pages;


this is my thread. If you go to page 10 you can see I used vinyl cut by a plotter for masking the areas I want to paint or not to paint. It is the vinyl which is used for lettering and graphics on cars or trucks.

But if I understand you right you want to use it instead of painting.

it works perfect on surfaces above waterline, it does not work on surfaces which are permanent underwater! If you just leave your boat in the water for 1-2 days you can also use it underwater, no problem. I did it on some boats up to 30 ft with car vinyls without any issues.

be careful! I strongly recommend just to use it if your boat sides are original gelcoat. If they are painted already and you put vinyl on top, leave this for 1 or two years and then want to peel the vinyl off to change the graphics you will also peel the paint off!
I haven't found out the reason for this, with paint on metal cars and vinyls no issue at all, with painted fiberglass boats big problem... with original gel no problem. I am not a chemist, may be someone knows why...

I am not telling you this is going to happen, I am just giving you something to think about and do some tests before have big trouble afterwards.

There are boatwraps around in the internet, check their sites, they do cool stuff even with printed vinyls which are water resistant and they can give you guarantee.

Putting it on is no problem, you spray some water (with a bit soap in it) on the boat sides or on the sticky side of the vinyl, then you mount/pre-adjust the vinyl with a friends help- you can still adjust when the surfaces are wet. Now you take a squeegee (see pic) and start from the center to the outer sides to press the vinyl on and push the soap-water between vinyl and boatside out of this area.

Anothe advice: If you want to cut the vinyl with a blade or knife to get some interesting graphics- never do it when the vinyl is on the boat already!! You will cut through the paint or gel and you will have problems with osmosis in the worst case after a while. Cut it before and then put it on!

Hope this helps. If you still have questions go in.

flying tomato
01-31-2011, 08:36 AM
Well I have ordered some vinyl. I will post some pics of the results.
There is no paint on the sides of the boat, just gelcoat.

flying tomato