Boat Graphics

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Many boat owners wish to apply some kind of boat graphics to their boats. Usually, the graphics consist of a well-designed name or personalized logo affixed to the stern of the boat, and little more. For some powerboats and racing boats, however, boat graphics can take many forms, turning the body of the boat into a highly graphic canvas.

In the past, boat graphics were hand-painted on by sign painters, or the owner of the boat. With the introduction of vinyl lettering, however, decals became the system of choice. Decals offer the obvious advantages of speedy application, durability, and a reliable look that doesn't scrape as easily as some enamel paints.

Until recently, applying the vinyl, though quicker then hand painting, was still a tedious task. Most kinds of vinyl adhesive used heat-sensitive chemicals to affix the vinyl lettering, which required the careful use of a torch or heat gun. Removal could be similarly difficult.

Contemporary Boat Graphics

Modern vinyl decals are usually self-adhesive, simplifying the application process dramatically. New types of vinyl also generally include other attractive features, such as semi-permeability, allowing air bubbles to escape without being trapped under the vinyl. Some printing shops may also feature photographic printing options, allowing boat owners a greatly expanded palette of colors and visual textures.

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