Vinyl Boat wrap. One recent trend I am seeing is the use of Vinyl for boat graphics. This is not just the boat name or logo its a complete covering of the topsides instead of paint.
They call it ‘Vinyl Boat wrap”. It’s basically a vinyl film, printed with designs and graphics, that can be adhered to your boat’s hull to completely hide the colors below.
I looked at the 70 foot Clipper boats wrapped in blue that just finished a grueling round the world sail boat race. You could certainly see the scrape marks on the hull sides where the boat had dragged across something. Patching this might be an issue but I saw a guy using a blue magic maker and cleverly disguised the blemishes. From a couple yards it looked fine.
You can install a wrap your self but a full wrap takes two skilled people so I would recommend a professional installer.
vinyl Boat Wrap materials
3M control tac holds up the best to abrasions
3MTM ControltacTM Graphic Film Series 180 is a glossy, dimensionally stable, colourfast and exceptionally weather-proof vinyl range.
The unique grey adhesive has a layer of microscopic glass spheres that allow the film to be positioned and repositioned during application to almost any surface. When pressure is applied to the film, the glass spheres are pressure-activated into the adhesive giving an instant high bond.
The image is of the carbon material being applied to the transom of a 35 footer by Accent Graphics
Vinyl Boat Wrap FAQ’s
What if you don’t like the Vinyl anymore?
Vinyl is reversible unlike paint. If you get tired of the vinyl you can pull it off and have your shiny gel coat back. I read one boat owner who bought a white hull and has a blue full wrap knowing that in 3 years he would sell the boat and when he did he would pull off the Vinyl to expose the new gel coat which had been nicely preserved
The wrap jobs can last a long time some say 3 years in the sun year round and other claim 5 years.
What about the seams will they be visible in the vinyl wrap?
By necessity there are seams in the vinyl where one sheet overlaps another. On close inspection you can see them, but when you get over a foot or so away they are hard to see and father away they are invisible.
Vinyl Boat Wrap costs
Boat wraps can be applied in as little as a day or two, and can be done outdoors, reducing down time. They can also be started and finished on another day, where paint needs to wait for the right conditions unless your in a shed which costs more money.
Material costs Costs range from $1.5 sq ft for plain colors up to $18 sq ft for camouflage vinyl sheets and for custom designs.
You will need a quote but $200/sq ft is a rough guide for vinyl.
Because the labor is less to install vinyl then the overall cost should be less. Its far less dependent on the weather and space to do the job.
where can I get a wrap job. These pictures are from Accent Graphics in Annapolis, but for dealers in your area talk to a boat dealer or search online “vinyl boat Wrap and area”
Accent Graphics Based in Annapolis
Zdecals Based in Georgia Zdecals can custom design a wrap for your wakeboard or Bass Boat. They can make simple accent stripes up to a full wrap. The process from design to finish is 2 weeks and they can recommend an installer in your area.