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Old 05-04-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
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Removing Old Boat Name?

What is the best method for removing old vinyl lettering from fiberglass transom without damaging the gelcoat?
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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What is the best method for removing old vinyl lettering from fiberglass transom without damaging the gelcoat?
Over here we have an item called a Caramel wheel. It's a rubber type wheel that fits into a chuck of a drill. Use it on low speed and it cone right off. Panel shops use them for removing pinstripes etc as they don't damage paint work etc.

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Old 05-04-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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I use a heat gun and it softens the vinyl enough in just a few seconds to get it peeling off. Had the whole transom of my old boat done in a matter of minutes. I did the boat numbers as well the same way. Just don't let the heat gun sit in one spot too long and you will never do any damage. I have heard blow dryers will work as well but don't throw the same heat as a true heat gun. Very quick and easy.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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Allen's idea of using heat I think is the most effective. But be careful not to use too much. We used a hair dryer rather than an actual heat gun to remove the boat names the previous owner had applied to both sides of the flying bridge.

For the sticky residue that might be left after removing the old vinyl we found that a citrous cleaner does a great job of removing it.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
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Thanks Guys

Monday I will pick up a heat gun at the shop.
I also have a gum wheel, acetone and adhesive remover.
I will use the heat gun first.
Then play it by ear.
thanks again.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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Use a windshield ice scraper after heating the letters. It's plenty hard but softer than the gelcoat so you can really go at it.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
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We're doing the same tomorrow, but we'll be using Bio-Solv. It's a "green acetone" that softens the adhesive and allows the vinyl to be easily pulled off. They have a slide show of some guy using it to remove 24-year old vinyl graphics:

Bio-Solv is a 100% bio-degradable and non toxic cleaning solvent replacement for acetone, xylene and other harmful solvents

Our letters aren't that old and are in decent condition, so it should be even easier. We'll be making a video of the process so you can see how it works. Well, we hope it works that easy, anyway!
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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the lettering came off very easily with a heat gun.
I concentrated on one corner of a letter for about 15 seconds and then heated the rest of the letter for 5 seconds. Using a plastic scraper, I worked the corner until it rolled back about 1/4' and then with my fingers was able to pel off the whole letter in literally seconds.
The shadow, well, that's another story.
Gum Wheel - I should live so long. I gave that up quickly.
Acetone and adhesive remover - Waste of time.
Alcohol - removed the faint trace of residue, but that's it.

320 Grit wet/dry paper applied wet - worked great. I went to store and picked up some 600 Grit paper for fear that the 320 may be too aggressive. That was somewhat slow going but not too bad and that did the trick.

Now for my next question - I am going to buff the entire stern before the new lettering is applied. Definitely NO WAX at this point. What grit wet/dry paper should I use to remove the chalking of the gejcoat?
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
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I think the liquid abrasive with a pad and buffing wheel works best and all the pro's here use that. 3M makes a great fine polishing liquid I see most people use. You can get it at the automotive paint stores. They use it to polish clear coat.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:10 AM   #10
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Removing Vinyl Lettering

The old lettering is gone, after a few days, the shadow is gone and now with the new lettering - life is good.
Here is what I did..........

http://freeboatprojects.com/Vinyl_Lettering_Removal.html
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:46 AM   #11
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The old lettering is gone, after a few days, the shadow is gone and now with the new lettering - life is good.
Here is what I did..........

http://freeboatprojects.com/Vinyl_Le...g_Removal.html
Hope you de-named her and re-named her properly :-)

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Old 07-17-2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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Hope you de-named her and re-named her properly :-)

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Oh yes. Thanks for your concern.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:40 AM   #13
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Oh yes. Thanks for your concern.
You're welcome. If you hadn't or didn't know how to then I could've posted a link explaining how to. :-)

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Old 11-04-2016, 08:49 AM   #14
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What about a dark (black) Awlgriped hull? Will the old name leave a shadow like it would on a gel coat hull?

If no the problem is solved. If yes, can you compound or wet sand it out?
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:43 AM   #15
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You asked what's the easiest way? Hire someone that does it for a living. I did, and boy was I glad. The lettering had been there for 30 years. My new lettering went on a few days ago. I did not re-name her. With all the "crossfit and boat yoga" projects I have been doing, this is one I gladly paid for.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:58 AM   #16
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What about a dark (black) Awlgriped hull? Will the old name leave a shadow like it would on a gel coat hull?

If no the problem is solved. If yes, can you compound or wet sand it out?
Is the name painted on?
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Old 11-05-2016, 05:26 PM   #17
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Is the name painted on?
No, stick on.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:57 PM   #18
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Took painted name off months ago with Easy Off. Worked like a charm. Buffed out then renamed with vinyl.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:02 AM   #19
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Stick on vinyl comes off easily with a heat gun or hair dryer. A bit of a shadow is often left on the gelcoat where the old name was, even after polishing. It usually disappears on its own after being in the sun for a couple weeks.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:25 AM   #20
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the lettering came off very easily with a heat gun.
I concentrated on one corner of a letter for about 15 seconds and then heated the rest of the letter for 5 seconds. Using a plastic scraper, I worked the corner until it rolled back about 1/4' and then with my fingers was able to pel off the whole letter in literally seconds.
The shadow, well, that's another story.
Gum Wheel - I should live so long. I gave that up quickly.
Acetone and adhesive remover - Waste of time.
Alcohol - removed the faint trace of residue, but that's it.

320 Grit wet/dry paper applied wet - worked great. I went to store and picked up some 600 Grit paper for fear that the 320 may be too aggressive. That was somewhat slow going but not too bad and that did the trick.

Now for my next question - I am going to buff the entire stern before the new lettering is applied. Definitely NO WAX at this point. What grit wet/dry paper should I use to remove the chalking of the gejcoat?

2000 GRIT and use hand soap as a lubricant
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