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Jarrod32

Removing Old Boat Numbers

8 posts in this topic

I recently moved to South Dakota, and need to change the numbers (license/registration #) on the front of the boat. What is the best way to remove the old stickers/numbers on a boat? I'm not really interested in standing there scraping them off little by little...

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Try a hair dryer, but they ain't gonna just fall off, so you will have to a little work.

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Vinyl lettering definitely use a hair dryer or heat gun, and the vinyl will peal right off.

A lot of the time it leaves glue behind (sometimes all the glue). To remove it, use mineral spirits or paint thinner on a rag - very wet - and a lot of elbow grease. There are some solvents labeled to take the glue off, but they are usually a lot more expensive and don't work much better.

After putting on your new registration you might want to use your favorite polish on the hull.

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Heat with a hair dryer to get the glue soft and remove the stickers. Use WD_40 to remove the remaining adhesive.

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After removing your old stickers be sure to wash the area with soap & water or alcohol to remove any oil residue so your new stickers will stick!

Cliff

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Hair Dryer is the way to go....(though I learned not to use your wife's good one) I recently removed decals that were probably 22+ years old from my boat with it and it went slick. Hot enough to get the glue soft, yet not hot enough to damage the paint.

I was able to get my hands on some 3M adhesive remover (maybe I picked it up at a Checker auto)and that stuff works well also. I can't recall where I got it at, but it basically turned the glue sort of rubbery and off it came.

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Thanks, guys. I knew the hair dryer/heat gun trick, but didn't know if there was something to put/spray on the numbers first.

Once the glue gets soft and rubbery, it should just roll up and ball up when I go to remove it.

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Quick update, and a couple tips. The boat was in a storage garage, with no access to electricity for a heat gun/hair dryer. I could've pulled it home...but looking around, I saw just the ticket.

Sunflower heater...the kind that goes on a one-pound propane tank. That's a lot of heat, so you want to give it some space...don't get it too close...and it doesn't take long to get the numbers ready to come off.

Used one of those small 2"x2" plastic scrapers that you use to scrape dishes with...worked real slick...the numbers peeled right off.

Then one of those soft 'bug remover' sponges with just a bit of paint thinner (as recommended here), and the glue and residue cleaned right up.

New numbers are on...the boat is ready to go..

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