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Old 05-02-2017, 10:52 AM   #1
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Vinyl or Hand Painting

We are getting ready to finally paint the hull and will need to put the boat name on the sides. The sign maker said he can hand paint or use vinyl - for about same price. Is one superior than the other. In the past I have had only vinyl.

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Old 05-02-2017, 11:18 AM   #2
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We are getting ready to finally paint the hull and will need to put the boat name on the sides. The sign maker said he can hand paint or use vinyl - for about same price. Is one superior than the other. In the past I have had only vinyl.

Gordon
I think either will work. However, you might want to do some price shopping with some of the online boat lettering shops. Installation is really easy so I wouldn't want to pay to have someone else do it. YMMV of course.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:09 PM   #3
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Paint can look amazing and the artist has lots of flexibility with unique letter shadowing, 3 dimensional appearance, color or even gold leaf if that fits your look. High-performance vinyl lasts forever but I find its better to get a graphic designer involved if you have an idea with multiple colors or shadowing effects. For example he - or she- can "compress" your letter style with the software to fit the space available. Vinyl comes in limited colors.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:44 AM   #4
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Although its seldom enforced a US documented vessel has specific requirements for "block" lettering of over a minimum size.
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:40 AM   #5
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The other alternative is digital printing. It merges paint and vinyl together.
The digital artist "paints" the requested graphics on the screen, when complete it's printed on vinyl for applying to the surface of your choice.
Think the fancy car wrapping you see sometimes.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:21 AM   #6
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Although its seldom enforced a US documented vessel has specific requirements for "block" lettering of over a minimum size.
From the USCG Documentation site:

"The official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded by the abbreviation "NO." must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least three inches high on some clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The number must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area.

The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull. The vessel name of a commercial vessel must also be marked on the port and starboard bow and the vessel name and the hailing port must also be marked on the stern. All markings may be made by any means and materials that result in durable markings and must be at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. The "hailing port" must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated."

Clearly, the HIN must be in block letters. I think there is more latitude for name and port ("clearly legible" and at least 4 inches).
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:27 AM   #7
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Clearly, the HIN must be in block letters. I think there is more latitude for name and port ("clearly legible" and at least 4 inches).

No question. There is no restriction at all other than height and "clearly legible".
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:34 AM   #8
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I prefer vinyl because I can get it off easier. If you are sure there will never be a reason to remove it, then either will work well.
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:19 AM   #9
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The CG requirements that are related to the boat's name really only apply to the transom and theyre almost never enforced.

A good rule of thumb for the height of the name on the transom is about 1/3rd of the transom's height. (Consider the top of a swim platform to be the bottom of the measurement.). If no SP, then the boot stripe. City/state should be in simple block letters - typically around 1/3rd height of the name. So...a 36" tall transom space = 12" name letters and 4" home port.

A lot of people say, "That seems too big!" But from 100' away, 12" letters look pretty small.

Again- just rule of thumb although also in Chapman's Piloting book. And none of this would apply to the side of the boat, unless you're a ship.
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:18 PM   #10
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There is a lot to be said for having a professional apply the vinyl if you go that way. Had vinyl lettering made for my boat. When I held it to the transom, I realized instantly that the compound curve was going to require the letters to be applied individually to look right. The boatyard has a guy who paints boat names and graphics. He spent an hour laying it out and adjusting it. It's perfect and maybe the wisest $25 I ever spent.

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Old 05-11-2017, 05:24 PM   #11
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There is a lot to be said for having a professional apply the vinyl if you go that way. Had vinyl lettering made for my boat. When I held it to the transom, I realized instantly that the compound curve was going to require the letters to be applied individually to look right. The boatyard has a guy who paints boat names and graphics. He spent an hour laying it out and adjusting it. It's perfect and maybe the wisest $25 I ever spent.

Ted
A bargain at $25.

I've done it a few times and it isn't all that tough. This last time was more difficult as the font chosen (by my wife) made the "K" a bit difficult and the name spanned the aft cockpit door.
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