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Old 07-17-2017, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Vinyl Hull-wrap Refresh?

I'm going to think out loud here for a minute and see if anybody else has given this some thought or even a try.

A friend of mine recently had a solid navy blue vinyl hull-wrap done on his boat (a 48-foot trawler). It was a very interesting process, and got him a very finished-looking hull for less than a third of the cost of Awlgrip paint. A year later, it still looks great and has not suffered the kind of damage you hear is a problem with vinyl. It updated the look of his boat by about two decades for about $1300 all-in. This has got me thinking.

The 90s-era color scheme of my 1994 3200 SCR is a more than a little bland and dated. And 23 years of wear and tear has left it with rub marks, scratches, and some oxidation. I did a full compound polish last year, which helped a lot, but it's still kind of ... old.

_Meralee.jpg

I'd like to update the look and enhance the visual lines of the boat by having a contrasting color on the hull. But I don't want to commit to paint, which requires sanding and priming (thus ruining) the gelcoat (). A vinyl wrap sounds like just the trick, since it can look almost as good as paint and can be peeled off without damage to the gelcoat if I decide to go back to the original look.

Navy blue is the classic look, but it just doesn't look right with the sleeker lines of a modern express cruiser. It's more of a trawler or downeast look. I love it, but it isn't right for the Maxum.

The admiral has recently been admiring the hull finish on some local euro-style picnic boats which frequent our waters in the summer. One of these has a silver tumblehome hull which is beautiful and looks very expensive (it's an automotive finish, not vinyl). Metallic finishes are fairly easy with vinyl wraps, so...

Silver just doesn't work with the rest of the colors on the boat, which tend toward the beige/pastel end of the spectrum. It's too bright and cold. So I started looking at warmer palettes. Metallic beiges and warm greys start looking like gold really fast, and I don't want my boat to look like an 80s-era Cadillac. The blues gets too vivid when they go lighter and metallic. Reds, yellows, and oranges are a definite NO. My Maxum is not a go-fast or a wake boat.

Which leaves green, in the same color range as my canvas and much of the interior trim. So I did a few quick mock-ups in Photoshop to see what it would look like:

Here's dark green:

HullWrapConcept01b.jpg

That's nice, but too dark and too green. Then over the weekend, I saw a car out on the road that was painted a gorgeous metallic sea green color. What would that look like?

HullWrapConcept03.jpg

Much better! That looks very nice, and enhances the lines of the boat while not being too heavy. But the big OEM "MAXUM" graphic is gone now, and I kind of like that.

But hey! This is vinyl! I can do any graphic I want with this stuff. So let's do a modernized version of the Maxum logo ghosted in to the stern quarter:

HullWrapConcept03b.jpg

What do you think? Too flashy? Weird?
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:38 PM   #2
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As an example of the color effect that's possible with a vinyl wrap:

Chameleon Blue Chrysler Crossfire | Vinyl Car Wrap | Car Wraps in Toronto, Miami | RESTYLEITWRAPS.COM

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Old 07-17-2017, 05:44 PM   #3
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I would keep the hull white and just wrap the accent trim to freshen it up.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:58 PM   #4
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I'm not a big fan of the all-white look, and a few trim lines aren't going to really freshen this up much. I'm looking for something quite a bit more updated and modern. Like this:



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Old 07-17-2017, 06:01 PM   #5
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For contrast, here's the only example I could find of somebody redoing the color stripe on a 3200 SCR (in navy blue). It's not that great.

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Old 07-17-2017, 10:00 PM   #6
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I think you are getting there. The green was way out there IMHO....you have a Maxum not a sunseeker! I liked the small stripe under the colored hull picture. Tasteful but not out there. Lol. Please let us know what you do,

Good luck

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Old 07-17-2017, 10:48 PM   #7
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Your boat your call on what you like.

Me I like the painter over stripe.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:24 PM   #8
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The darker the color, the higher chance it will fade. This is especially the case with anything with red in it. Dark colors also make the cabin hotter than white.

Vinyl wraps are a nice cost effective way to address a problem.....severely faded gelcoat or faded paint. The problem is the cost over time. In the short term you save significantly over painting the hull. In the long term, it will need to be re-wrapped more frequently than a paint job.

Any ding or scrape will tear the wrap. Repeated hard rubbing of fenders will potentially impact the wrap. The wrap can't really be repaired.

If you're looking long term, then I would consider paint. Short term, like for a sale a wrap is a good idea.

My question is.......Are you actually solving a problem, or just looking to put some 'lipstick' on her?
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:08 PM   #9
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It's a cosmetic refresh and upgrade, and I don't want it to permanently destroy the gelcoat doing it. So no paint. Period.

My friend who did this to his trawler hasn't had any problems at all after a year, and he moors in salt water. He lives aboard and cruises regularly, so it sees some use. But he did pay a professional to put the vinyl wrap on and they did a good job with cleaning, application, and sealing the edges. It's not something for a DIY project in this application. He also bought cloth covers for his fenders, which has prevented fender chafe. His hull was originally white gelcoat. Now navy blue. It looks very nice and expensive, though it definitely wasn't.

The installers all say a vinyl hull wrap will last 3-7 years, depending on wear and use. At this rate, I think my friend's wrap is probably going to hit the long end of that spectrum.

An Awlgrip or Alexseal paint job, if you take good care of it, will last somewhere around 5-12 years. But it will also cost at least twice as much. Maybe three times. So for the same cost as paint, I could expect to replace the vinyl wrap at least once and get somewhere around 10 or more years of life total. Maybe more if I'm careful with it.

And if I don't like it or want to change it, it comes off easy.

Vinyl definitely seems like the right solution here. What I'm mulling over is whether I do stripes or the whole hull below the rub rail. The OEM stripe is now very dated, both in color and configuration. It's integral to the gelcoat, so I have to do something at least as extensive as that if I want to change it.

Mainly, I've been wondering if anybody else out there in MaxumLand has done a full hull paint or wrap rather than just refreshing the stripe. It would be nice to see some real examples before committing to something like this.
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:59 PM   #10
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Here's a vinyl-wrap company in Vancouver, BC that does lots of boats. That's a bit far north for me to go for my boat, but their gallery is interesting. They also claim vinyl is much less subject to color fade than paint, which I believe based on other experience in an architectural context.

Vinyl Boat Wrap
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