freewheelin

Removing Vinyl Lettering at Mooring

Recommended Posts

Not sure if fix-it is the right place for this, but thought I would give a shot. Just bought a new-to me boat, and we are debating changing the name. The name we don't love is plastered on the side of the boat with big vinyl decals that are starting to rub off. I am not sure how long they have been on there, but our thought was to peel them off and see how bad the sun staining has been (bright white gel coat). Then decide whether decals go back up on the side, or if we can move to the stern. The catch is that we are already in the water, and don't want to pay to pull the boat just for this.

I am thinking about giving it a shot hanging off the side of the boat. Using my cordless drill and a vinyl remover wheel, plus some 3M adhesive remover. Then scrubbing away as best as possible with a deck brush. Thoughts? Suggestion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen sign writers using heat gun carefully and a plastic scraper ... They were heating up a small area of the decal at a time then scraping it back then heating again etc . The new name went over the area of the old name because of the discolouration in the surrounding gel coat . 

the vinyl removal wheel will scuff the gel coat which will be whiter than the surrounding gel coat , then you will need to polish the scuffs out which will make a large whiter than white patch on the side of your boat . 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Cazzate said:

I've seen sign writers using heat gun carefully and a plastic scraper ... They were heating up a small area of the decal at a time then scraping it back then heating again etc . The new name went over the area of the old name because of the discolouration in the surrounding gel coat . 

the vinyl removal wheel will scuff the gel coat which will be whiter than the surrounding gel coat , then you will need to polish the scuffs out which will make a large whiter than white patch on the side of your boat . 

  

 

 

 

hmm good to know. Sounds like making a not that bad situation much worse. I don't have a power source on the mooring, so I don't know how a heat gun would work. I also don't have a heat gun, and would be worried hanging off the boat with one anyway. I am wondering if the solvent and scraper would work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah not easy to get the buggers off .... I recently watched owner of boat next to mine trying solvents on his lettering starting with turps and then moving onto ever stronger brews and finishing up with avgas ! . One of the solvents dissolved the gel coat and left white streaks . None worked so he used a linbide scraper which did scratch the gel coat minimally but the new name covered it .

hotwater might work ? Do you have a stove and a kettle on board ? , heat and scrape then gentle solvent to remove any residual adhesive 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hot water is a good idea. Irritating it does concern me. I am going to test whatever method on the stern hailing port, as that is much smaller and in a less noticeable area.

Currently, the letters on the side are large block letters in dark navy. Seven in total. It is such a larger area, that i hate to do a background decal. Instead we were thinking choose a new name about the same length, putting similiar sized letters in the same spot. The navy-white contrast may draw away from the white-brighter white contrast. Maybe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you get it to a dock and work a heat gun and plastic scraper...working on a can sucks ...working with electricity from a dinghy is even worse ...

If the boat is fast , just sail the paint off it !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can get to our dock, but only for when the tide is up. Not much time to do any real work. I can also pull the boat for 24 hours - but with everyone trying to launch I don't think I can get on the schedule for that until June/July. 

Alternatively, I may just wait until next winter on the hard. That brings up the question of racing under the new name, with the old one plastered on the side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My formula for sticker Remover, works on all types of graphics:

  

1 Gallon of Gasoline / 4 Litres Petrol

3 Gallons of Kerosene / 12 Litres of Parafin

 

 

 

 Mix well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spread liberally around affected areas. Let soak.

 

 

 

 Light match. Throw onto affected area. Graphics gone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, freewheelin said:

hmm good to know. Sounds like making a not that bad situation much worse. I don't have a power source on the mooring, so I don't know how a heat gun would work. I also don't have a heat gun, and would be worried hanging off the boat with one anyway. I am wondering if the solvent and scraper would work.

Do you like an excuse to buy new tools?

Milwaukee just released an M18 cordless heat gun.  It works great for this, when the alternative is to run  generator.  A bit slower than the corded model but great for wiring too.  

Alternatively some of the butane heat guns aren't bad, but are slow and more expensive to run.  WIll do in a pinch to start a letter on a hot day(then pull up and away slowly  to remove the letter)

 

Heat gun works great.  Solvent is useful only for removing the adhesive afterwards.  Though I don't normally like them for anything except thin pinstripes, the rubber decal remover wheels will do the job, a bit slowly but they'll get it done.  Chuck it in a cordless drill on a warm day and have at it. 

Also not sure if it's what you mean by a scraper, but the plastic razor blades are the ticket. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0FFSI3/ref=twister_B01N967B0N?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Flip when dull, if you're really cheap a bit of 320 grit sandpaper will sharpen them again too(only sharpen the bevel not the flat side)

My preference after decals off is Rapid remover, but also any of the high concentrate citrus ones will work, just a little slower(rapid remover is citrus+ a bit of naptha I think from how fast it dries). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sticker removal is one of those:

Try this, and if it doesn’t work try this and if that doesn’t work try this and if that doesn’t work try this and if that doesn’t work etc...

 

1. Try carefully peeling with fingernails 

2. Try that in the sun

3. Try warming it up somehow... 

heat lamps are great for this. Heat lamps work on cold days when hair dryers won’t heat the air 

4. A very sharp chisel used with a gentle touch, great patience, and a steady hand can strip off a decal quite rapidly but... I don’t see this one as a solution on a floating constantly or even suddenly moving boat. 

——-

glue removal :

put a tape drip / run stopper on so you do not run chemicals over your antifoulant!!!!!!! 

Using some 2” wide masking tape to hang a towel below the work area will also protect the bay

Goof Off is a really useful product 

last Thursday I took twelve year old 12” Sail cloth Bow numbers off a J-22 with some PB Blaster lubricant and a micro cloth towel with acetone on it.  It took me about five minutes a number. 

We destroyed two Towels

if that doesn’t work, try xylol

if that doesn’t work, try laquer thinner 

if that doesn’t work try the 3m adhesive remover 

the above mentioned chemicals all attack bottom paint and pollute the water.. don’t do either 

 

the chemicals will

not harm gelcoat but, regardless, it is a good idea to rinse away the chemicals Acetone willl clean off the residue 

after you put on the new name , be sure to wax the boat a few times, the super clean gelcoat is at risk for sun damage and staining 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NO! The problem is that the gelcoat has aged where the letters weren't applied and not under the letter. Compounding the hull will lessen the effect but probably won't eliminate all the color difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you're going to like the result more than waiting until the next time the boat is hauled, allowing you to do it properly. How long do you think the letters have been on there? Removing the ridges from the letters can involve a lot of wetsanding, and you might end up sanding through the gelcoat on the non-raised area, and needing to paint the transom. Happened to me, at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been removing my boat's old mame this week.

First, this s the scraper you want, it has a safe edge that won't scratch your gel coat:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N3MO9VV/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And you'll want some Rapid Remover, which is the best adhesive solvent I have found. I called with the company, and the guy who invented the stuff  spoke with me for at least 20 minutes. Bottom line, it's safe for gel coat:

https://www.amazon.com/Rapid-Remover-Adhesive-Graphics-Stripes/dp/B006RUJ2D8/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1526392965&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=rapid+remover&psc=1&smid=A1UMBRA5ZTBCX8

 

You don't want to do this at a mooring. I used an electric heat gun to remove the old name, hail port and pin striping. Then the Rapid Remover and that scraper made short work of cleaning up the adhesive. That left the ghost name. I tried a magic eraser, which is ever so slightly abrasive. No joy. I spent hours buffing with a cutting compound. That made a big improvement, but it can only do so much. It's going to have to be wet sanded, then polished.

Sadly, I'm out of time. The new name goes on tomorrow and launch is Thursday. So I'll do some more buffing today. The starboard side looked worse so it got the brunt of the buffer. Now the port side gets more. If I'm unhappy  with it I'll wet sand after I haul out in the fall. 

You can probably get your name off, put the new one on and then mask off where it needs to be sanded and do it when you haul out.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, we are convinced. We would rather do it right than do it now. And we would rather be sailing than to pull this summer to do it right. We do have a 24 hour pull for free, but I want to spend that time working on the bottom mid season.

It may be weird changing a name after a year of sailing, but oh well. We can throw a renaming party, give out some beet, and eventually no one will care or remember. There are a number of cosmetic projects I want to do when the boats on the hard, so this seems to fall in that category.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, freewheelin said:

Ok, we are convinced. We would rather do it right than do it now. And we would rather be sailing than to pull this summer to do it right. We do have a 24 hour pull for free, but I want to spend that time working on the bottom mid season.

It may be weird changing a name after a year of sailing, but oh well. We can throw a renaming party, give out some beet, and eventually no one will care or remember. There are a number of cosmetic projects I want to do when the boats on the hard, so this seems to fall in that category.

Just remove it and wet-sand on haul-out.  then put name on correctly.  My boat was named Dream Weaver when I bought it.  Even typing that I threw up a little in my mouth..  <_<Removed the graphics as soon as I got it hooked to the truck.  Put new ones on after a season or so.   Only thing is that if you do it this way, beware of other fleet members naming the boat for you..  Many a night has been had running around a big regatta with a role of duct tape and a few libations.  Once it is christened, you gotta keep the name...   ;) :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, freewheelin said:

Ok, we are convinced. We would rather do it right than do it now. And we would rather be sailing than to pull this summer to do it right. We do have a 24 hour pull for free, but I want to spend that time working on the bottom mid season.

It may be weird changing a name after a year of sailing, but oh well. We can throw a renaming party, give out some beet, and eventually no one will care or remember. There are a number of cosmetic projects I want to do when the boats on the hard, so this seems to fall in that category.

Gives you time to save up for the gold coin too.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is bs:

==============

"the vinyl removal wheel will scuff the gel coat which will be whiter than the surrounding gel coat , then you will need to polish the scuffs out which will make a large whiter than white patch on the side of your boat ." 

================

 

I've used the 3m stripe remover wheel on several boats and it does not scuff the gelcoat at all.  Use light touch and it comes right off.  Battery drill would work if you have a few batteries.

The hull underneath will not be as faded as the rest.  Compound the entire thing to get close to same color shade.

--Kevin  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, shaggy said:

Only thing is that if you do it this way, beware of other fleet members naming the boat for you..  Many a night has been had running around a big regatta with a role of duct tape and a few libations.  Once it is christened, you gotta keep the name...   ;) :ph34r:

We had a guy who bought a boat and didn't name it for two seasons, so we filled in the gap. It was green and, since it's not easy being green, we named the boat "Kermit." The guy hated that, so we relented and christened it "Sea Snot." That sure went over well...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, tiz said:

This is bs:

==============

"the vinyl removal wheel will scuff the gel coat which will be whiter than the surrounding gel coat , then you will need to polish the scuffs out which will make a large whiter than white patch on the side of your boat ." 

================

 

I've used the 3m stripe remover wheel on several boats and it does not scuff the gelcoat at all.  Use light touch and it comes right off.  Battery drill would work if you have a few batteries.

The hull underneath will not be as faded as the rest.  Compound the entire thing to get close to same color shade.

--Kevin  

Hmm, this is good to know. As a compromise, maybe I can just remove the old name plastered on the side for now. Then put on new graphics this winter. The way it stands, the boat is certainly getting known by its current name (which is italicized on the side in giant letters with an exclamation point :/)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jarcher said:

We had a guy who bought a boat and didn't name it for two seasons, so we filled in the gap. It was green and, since it's not easy being green, we named the boat "Kermit." The guy hated that, so we relented and christened it "Sea Snot." That sure went over well...

Kermit was good - I'd have kept it. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jarcher said:

We had a guy who bought a boat and didn't name it for two seasons, so we filled in the gap. It was green and, since it's not easy being green, we named the boat "Kermit." The guy hated that, so we relented and christened it "Sea Snot." That sure went over well...

lol Seas Snot sounds appropriate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd wait out the season then do it when the boat is back on land for the winter. You'll want a heat gun as it makes short work of the whole process. I've removed huuuuge ugly decals from the side of a 1984 J/29 using a whole bottle of goo-be-gone, a box of razor blades, and a rag. Wish I had used a heat gun. If your boat is of the same vintage mine was, the vinyl letters may be removed, but the gel-coat outline will never ever go away. My brother removed all the decals from his boat and it was just fine, but its a 2009 and has only seen the light of day for two seasons. If the decals have been there for a ling time, the only way to make the outline truly go away is to paint the hull. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now