What You Should Definitely Not Do:
PUT THE RAZOR BLADE DOWN.
Do NOT use a razor blade to attempt to scrape off the vinyl decal. All you will do is scratch up the gel coat on your boat and it will look terrible. Another reason you shouldnt use a razor blade is because it is not safe! If you want to find a good way to cut your fingers and make your boat look like crap, then this is the method for you. However, that is not most peoples goal so if you want to avoid injury and the need for an expensive paint job, just dont do it.
Do not lift up a small corner and start peeling away at your vinyl decal with all your might. If you are tugging with every bit of strength in you, you not only risk injuring yourself but you have the possibility of ripping a layer of your boats top coat off with it. If you want a nice clean removal, you should not be tugging like you are trying to win a war. You should be able to peel the vinyl off with much less strength required. If you notice you are pulling really hard, you need to use more adhesive remover.
How To Remove Decalsglue
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Dealing With Residue And Shadowing
Once you have the decals themselves removed, your task is almost done. At this point, youre probably getting excited to customize your boat to your liking now that the old stickers are gone, by adding your own decals or even boat location trackers.
However, you may find some lingering residue or shadows where the decals used to be.
The next part of this guide will tell you how to deal with that.
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How To Remove Boat Decals From A Boat: 3 Methods
The ways on how to remove boat decals are usually needed when buying a used boat. Decals and stickers will deprive your boat of that brand-new look. They stick firmly on the surface, and getting rid of them may be laborious.
However, you can remove them without scratching the hull as long as you do it carefully with the right tools and products. Whether you have a boat made of fiberglass, aluminum, or wood, you can apply the following procedures.
This article will guide you throughout the whole process. So it will no longer be inconvenient to change decals.
How To Remove Boat Decals Stickers Lettering
Hey, brand new boats can be expensive. And if you’re walking on the side of practicality, then there’s really no shame in buying an old or secondhand boat if you’re looking to enter the wonderful world of boating. You can score serious deals on the used boat market, winning yourself a fairly clean boat in good working condition. It’s expected though that your pseudo-new boat might have some signs of previous ownership.
While a scrub here and a wipe there might get rid of most stains and discoloration, decals and stickers are a completely different story. Leaving sticky residue and pieces of vinyl in their wake, decals can be tough to get rid of. So if you’re looking to make that secondhand boat look brand new, here’s how to remove boat decals so it looks like they were never there in the first place.
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Remove A Decal With A Heat Gun
If you’re not in the mood to go out and buy a new tool for the decal removal process and you want to do the job with just the items you have at home, you can give the heat gun method a try. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Adhesive remover: recommend Goo Gone Adhesive Remover
The process of using a heat gun for removing vinyl decals can be pretty delicate, since you could easily damage the finish on your boat by using too much heat. Then of course, razor blades can also cause damage on the finish with the sharp razor edge.
So unless you’re absolutely confident in your ability to keep a steady hand and pay attention to what you’re doing, it might be better to check other methods. On the other hand, if you’re not too worried about your heat gun skills, here’s how to complete the process:
How To Remove Boat Registration Stickers
After the markings on the clothing of How to remove boat decals, there are no visible stains.
But the area where the paper locates is sticking. Here are some working ways to get rid of the problem.
- To wash the thing. The adhesive will wash out during the wash process.
- Wet the label with soapy water, table vinegar, or alcohol. It can only do after preliminary verification of the material.
- Heating the stickers area.
- In conclusion, we suggest watching a video showing how to wash the glue from the sticker.
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How To Clean The Metal Of The Boat
Metal surfaces are resistant to high temperatures, chemicals, abrasives.
The latter only provides that the base is not polished. It makes the task much easier than wiping off the adhesive from the sticker from the metal.
Use any suitable object to remove sticky residues: knife, spatula, etc. It is advisable to dissolve or soften the glue first. To do this, take a solvent, gasoline, oil, soapy water.
Preheating gives good results. Moreover, the metal will withstand even high temperatures so that you can use a building hairdryer.
True, it is better to tune it to low power. Some difficulties arise when cleaning a stainless steel-coated refrigerator.
It does not tolerate abrasives, can deteriorate from inappropriate chemicals. The heating is optimal here.
The Cat Is Out Of The Bag
The first time those words appeared in this blog, we had just sold our sticks and bricks business and not yet even picked up the brand new 2007 Arctic Fox 245N fifth wheel trailer we purchased with plans to travel the country for a year with Jerry. That rig served us well, very well. But as Rene eluded to in her recent rant about the evolution of our lifestyle, the time had indeed come for another major life upgrade.
So upgrade we did. But more about that to come, much more.
We dont mean to be so secretive, its just that weve been pretty busy during this transitionpreparing the old rig for trade-in and buying the new one, not to mention certain roadblocks, unexpected upgrades and bit of remodeling Ill be writing about soon! Suffice it to say, we are pretty damn happy with our new 2010 Arctic Fox 275B.
But there I go digressing again. Back to that sticky issue of those graphics
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Best Tips For Removing Rv Vinyl Lettering
I have two final tips for anyone preparing to remove vinyl graphics or lettering from an RV, truck, trailer or boat.
1. Use Elbow Grease.
To avoid damaging the surface, take your time and use some muscle. But dont be tempted to use abrasive pads or harsh cleanser. You can do it, put you back into it!
2. Dont Put Vinyl Letters On Your Rig!
Most importantly, to avoid all the costs, effort and time of removing lettering and detailing your RV, the solution is simple.
Do not apply any vinyl graphics in the first place! If we add any lettering to our new rig, believe me, it will be discreet and only be applied to the windows where it can be easily scraped off!
The URL on our satellite dish is advertising enough.
Use A Hot Water Pressure Washer
Our third and final method for decal removal involves a hot water pressure washer. This method is effective because the hot water helps soften and loosen the stickers. The high pressure also helps clear away the residue normally leftover after decal removal.
Although hot water pressure washers use a lot of force to remove boat decals, this is exactly why theyre so effective. However, you should start in a small, inconspicuous area and watch carefully to make sure the high water pressure doesnt cause any harm to your boat.
To remove stickers and decals with this method, simply start up the pressure washer at a low to mid setting. Spray on and around the decals to heat and dislodge them.
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How To Remove The Adhesive From The Boats Body
To learn how to remove glue from the body, it is first essential to determine the type of glue you want to delete to choose a method that will do it quickly and effectively.
Vinyl adhesives can be removed easily by heating, while other adhesives require the use of special products.
It should remember that it is very important to remove glue residues that remain on the surfaces of the elements used during the subsequent assembly of the car assembly.
Some methods and techniques to remove glue from the boat body:
- When you are going to clean vinyl adhesive, the most effective way is to heat the component or decal it with a hairdryer to melt the adhesive and lose adhesion. In the case of liquid vinyl, heating will not remove the adhesive film.
- Sometimes, to remove the remnants of the double-sided acrylic tape, it is necessary to cut the glue using some kind of tool with a certain cutting ability, such as a putty knife. When performing this operation, be very careful not to scratch the surface therefore, it recommends to use plastic spatulas and use it with moderate force and control.
- To remove the residues correctly, it is recommended to start at a corner and always pull in the same direction. It requires completing the task with patience, using a moderate, uniform amount of effort, and not jerking.
Use A Heat Gun Or Hairdryer
Our second method for removing decals and stickers in the boating industry involves using a heat gun or hairdryer to loosen them. Then, youll use a scraper or razor blade to gently peel away the decals.
As we mentioned briefly earlier, though, you must be very careful if you use a heat gun for this. Although its very effective for removing stickers, it can also damage your boat. Unless youre very confident in your ability to avoid this, you should use a hairdryer instead.
To use this method, you will start by warming the surface of the decal you want to remove. Continue warming the surface area until the decal becomes more flexible. If using a heat gun, be sure and use a very low setting to avoid damage.Scraping Off the Decals
Next, use your scraper or razor blade to scrape off the vinyl from the boats surface. Be very careful if using a razor blade, because you can easily create ugly gashes in your boat by mistake. A plastic blade tool is generally a much better option because of this.
After youve removed the vinyl labels, youll need an adhesive remover to get rid of any glue that was left behind. The general purpose adhesive cleaner by 3M is usually a good choice.
Always be sure to spot test your adhesive remover in an inconspicuous area before applying it all over the surface. Again, well go into more detail for getting rid of glue and sticker residue later on.
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Use Heat To Help Release Vinyl
Many people recommend using a rotary vinyl eraser to quickly remove vinyl letters and graphics. After spending much of my previous life in the graphics industry, however, I believe the best tool to remove smaller vinyl letters without damaging the surface below, is your fingernail. Most lettering will peel up with ease once you get under an edge.
Using a hair dryer set on Hot will make the job much easier. Warm each letter for 10-20 seconds first. Pick at an edge enough to pinch the vinyl and start peeling. Keep the heat applied while slowly pulling up and follow the contour of the letter to avoid tearing the vinyl. Maintain a distance of at least a few inches to avoid melting the vinyl or damaging fiberglass beneath, if applicable
Problems With Boat Stripes
Here are a few examples of boat stripes that have failed:
These stripes have dried out and cracked.
Never put new stripes over old stripes. This will cause peeling later on.
Clear plastic coating on stripes was not removed after stripes were applied.
Waterline stripes wore away from the boat fenders.
Waterline stripe, clear plastic coating not removed.
Waterline stripe gouges.
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To Remove Decals And Stickers From A Boat
The second popular method for removing decals and stickers from a boat is the use of a heat gun or hair dryer along with a scraper or razor blade.
In the photos above, this is the method I first started using. I had used it previously to remove the name of a car dealership from a vehicle I purchased and it worked well for those small letters on the tailgate.
However, when trying to remove the vinyl registration letters from my ten year old boat, it really did not work very well and my fingers were yelling at me.
With this said, your experience may be better than mine, so let me tell you how to do it.
Let me first say, be very careful using a heat gun. They get extremely hot and you could damage your boat if you are not careful.
If this is the first time you have tried removing stickers with heat on a boat I suggest using a hair dryer because they do not get as hot as a heat gun, but can still do the trick, only slower.
A Heat Gun Or Hair Dryer
Loosening decals for easy removal can be done with the help of a heat gun or hairdryer. In addition, youll need razor blades or scrapers. Still, do the scraping gently.
You have to be extra careful when youre handling a heat gun. Its deemed effective in making decals gone, but it can cause damage at the same time. Therefore, just use it once you have the right skills. If not, youre better off with a hairdryer.
Utilizing either of these two tools will begin with warming the surface where theres a decal you want to remove. Keep on using the tool until it becomes flexible. When using a heat gun, you only need a low setting to finish the job.
Be careful during the scraping process. A single mistake can create unpleasant gashes on your boat. If you have doubts about the movements of your hand, you can opt for a plastic blade.
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How To Remove Sticky Residue From A Fiberglass Boat
This is how you remove sticky residue or glue from a fiberglass boat. Follow these six steps and your fiberglass boat will be clean and looking like new.
Apply a small amount of acetone solvent to a clean rag. The rag should be damp, but not soaked with acetone.
Wipe away the glue on the fiberglass using the moistened rag. The solvent causes the glue to soften, making it easier for you to wipe up and remove.
Reapply acetone to the rag and continue to wipe the glue away until it is completely removed.
Add a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap to a bucket of water .
Moisten a cloth with soapy water and wipe down the fiberglass to remove any dirt.
Fully rinse the fiberglass boat with fresh water.
Using a clean rag or microfiber drying towel fully wipe down the fiberglass to dry.
Remove Soft Adhesive With Wd
If the soapy water doesnt work, another adhesive remover to try is WD-40. While this product often finds its purpose in car maintenance, it is also highly effective at removing stickers from the drywall and other surfaces. Its also one of the safer methods to use on latex paint and drywall since stronger chemical cleaners can ruin the paint.
To use this method, either apply directly to the sticker or the residue left behind. Allow the area to soak for a couple of minutes before wiping it away. Clean the area with soapy water and dry when finished.
Use WD-40 for how to remove decals from car windows and bumpers, too. You probably already have a can in your car already!
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Easy Removal Of Old Boat Lettering And Graphics
I am often asked, “What is the best way to remove old boat lettering and boat graphics?” Perhaps you wish to change the name of the watercraft, or perhaps you just want to upgrade your lettering to a new style with matching boat lettering graphic accents and accessories.
Or perhaps you just want to sell your boat and you wish to save your boat name for a future boat purchase. No matter what the reason, the result is the same, be prepared to scrape that decal and lettering off your boat and come equipped with plenty of elbow grease! Unless of course, you wish to use a little more removal technique and a little less elbow grease. First determine what kind of surface you are working with. Removal from a painted hull is dramatically different than removal from a fiberglass gel coated craft. In either case, you can use a scraping and soapy watery method on any surface. There are several methods to choose from but scraping and soapy water is usually safe for most surfaces and it gives you a chance to stop if you discover you are damaging your boat topcoat. You will need a scratch free plastic scraper and a solution of 1 cup of water and 5-10 drops of Palmolive dish washing liquid. The dish washing liquid serves two purposes.
You can see a photo of the Lil Chizzler here: .
William Agreste is president of StreetGlo reflective decals and graphics, a division of Cobra International, Inc., Norfolk, Virginia USA