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Applying graphics

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Our 'bu is in the gelcoat spa for some treatment (culminating in a wet sanding) and I have replacement decals to install after it's done. I haven't done that type of work in the past and am wondering if it's something that is best left to a pro or if it's something I can reasonably expect to accomplish myself. My biggest concern is that I'm a perfectionist and may get really frustrated trying to do it myself.

The graphics in question are the dripmold "Sunsetter LXi" and the large, flat sunset/malibu side decal. I've read the article on MBO about applying decals and it seems straightforward but it also seems like it would be really easy to get air bubbles or make other mistakes.

I know others in the Crew have done this and would appreciate any feedback you may offer. Am I making this out to be more difficult than it really is?



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Its not to difficult, just time consuming...

1. Clean the area with a half and half mixture acetone and water..

2. Figure out where you want it and mark that area with masking tape.

3. Cut the backing of the decal in half being careful not to cut the actual decal.

4. Tape it up in the cleaned area and run a strip of masking tape down the center of the front of the decal along the cut to act as a hinge.

5. Peal back half of the decal and tear the backing paper off of it.

6. Spray the area behind the decal with water. Use just enough water that it beads up on the boat but doesn't run off. The water will allow you to move the air out from behind the decal more easily.

7. Working from the middle out use a plastic squeegee or a credit card to push the water out to the edges. Then go back and do the same thing the the other half.

8. Give it an hour or so to dry before pealing the mask off the front. While waiting, do some measuring to ensure you get the right placement on the other side.

9. When attempting to peal the mask of the front, GO SLOW!!! If a corner of the decal comes up with the mask push it back down and give it some more time to dry.

After your finished give it a couple of days before putting it back in the water... GOOD LUCK!! :)

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Oh yea... When your finished and it's good and dry, don't forget to wax that area again because the acetone will have stripped the old wax off..


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Great instructions - someone should move or copy this to the "how to" forum so it will be easy for all to find later on.

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Good idea! I'll work on getting that set up. Maybe I can get some pictures of the process to help illustrate skiline00's article.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I got the boat back from the shop. One major problem...


Sorry for the shouting...

I think the only decals going back on will be the registration numbers (from DomedNumbers of course), the Sunsetter LXI on the side rear "quarter panel" and a sunset Malibu drip-mold on the transom.

Hopefully I'll get some decent weather to take some pics and will post the progress.

Thanks again to everyone for your thoughtful input on how to install the new graphics.

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  • 1 month later...

Got the new registration and sunsetter drip molds installed today. Thanks again for all the help...they turned out great and it was really easy!

Note: the color actually matches the Sunsetter but the camera didn't quite capture it...



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