Applying Boat Lettering

By Michael Vatalaro
Published: April/May 2013

Here are two easy methods to apply vinyl lettering or graphics to your boat.

One of the best parts of getting a new (to you) boat is choosing the name and putting it on the boat to make it yours. The following methods will make it easy to apply Do-It-Yourself vinyl lettering. The "wet" method is best for larger graphics or longer names, such as those that might go on a transom. Generally, if the distance from the center of the lettering to the edge is longer than your arm, you'll want to use the wet method, and probably want a second set of hands to help you. The "dry" method works great for smaller names, ports of call, and registration numbers.

For both methods you will need a ruler or tape measure, masking tape, glass cleaner and paper towels, a pin or razor, plus the squeegee that comes with the graphics. For the wet method, you will also need a spray bottle filled with three drops of dish soap in two cups of water. For the dry method you'll need a pair of scissors.

You'll have better luck with the wet method if the outside temperature is between 65 and 85 degrees. With the dry method, it can be as low as 45 degrees out. With both methods the first step is to clean off the area where the lettering is going to go by spraying it down with glass cleaner and wiping the area dry with a paper towel. Now you're ready to begin.

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BoatUS Graphics

Thinking about angering the gods of the sea? Make it easier on yourself by using BoatUS Graphics and Lettering. We pride ourselves on customer service, high-quality graphics, and an extremely quick turnaround time. BoatUS Graphics and Lettering has been supplying boat owners with custom boat graphics and lettering for over 20 years. Call 1-800-937-3300 or visit

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