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Everything You Need to Know Before Purchasing Boat Graphics

Everything You Need to Know Before Purchasing Boat Graphics


Maybe you’re looking into boat graphics and decals with the intent of brand awareness, advertising a product or service, or spreading your name around town. Or perhaps you just want to add a splash of color to your outings at sea. Whatever the case, watercraft graphics need to be aesthetically pleasing, eye-catching, and long-lasting to be successful.

However, not all wraps are built the same, and not all design choices are the right ones. Alternatives abound, and different types of wraps are plentiful. But don’t worry – we’re here to help you avoid any potential snags when it comes to purchasing boat graphics.

Let’s look at the most immediate factor – cost.

If you’re familiar with car decals and graphics, the price tag is relatively similar. The average cost is around $13-$15 per square foot of applied decal, but this will vary depending on the length of time spent on design. For instance, the total cost on this 30-foot power catamaran came to $2,600 – less than half of a $6,500 quote on a custom paint job.

Whether this price seems economical to you, however, depends on your goals. Are you advertising your waterfront properties on the hull, with the expectation of at least 2x ROI? Then this might be your golden ticket. Pete Galbiati, Director of Sports Marketing for JDC Marketing Group of Atlanta, states that a wrapped vehicle will generate 1.2 million impressions per month, if you take media and television coverage into account. Of course, these numbers may be optimistic if you’re not wrapping a sponsored vehicle in a sporting competition, like power boat racing or bass fishing.

Getting a vinyl wrap because you need a custom design that’ll match up to your ideal cruiser? Desires and preferences are difficult to quantify, but we’d say go for it. Wraps can preserve a vessel’s paint job, maintaining that fresh-off-the-assembly-line look. What does that mean for you? Higher resale value or greater cosmetic longevity. photo 1What aspects go into a successful wrap design?

  • Avoid small print and long copy. Be aware that your graphics will be in motion, and that motorists, pedestrians, and other watercraft passengers will only have a few seconds to comprehend your message.
  • Use bright colors. This should be obvious, but so many vehicle wraps are weighed down by images and complex graphics that a bolder color palette gets lost in the shuffle. Also, don’t forget that certain colors evoke different emotions, e.g. blue evokes trust and professionalism.
  • Keep design simple. Over-cluttering your design with too many images, lettering, and conflicting styles will cause onlookers to glaze over. Sometimes less is more when it comes to the art of standing out.
  • Be on the lookout for any boat graphics that catch your eye on television or in person. Ask yourself what it is about the design that compels you to investigate that product or service. Incorporate those elements into your own boat graphics.
  • Just looking to get the word out? Vinyl lettering is an even cheaper way to convey contact information.

How long do they last? Is there maintenance involved?

Given you care for your vehicle regularly, you can expect a vinyl wrap to last five to seven years. Of course, keeping your boat graphics vibrant is as easy as sopping the hull with a bit of soap and water. A 70% alcohol solution will also work for tough grime.

Avoid cleaning your vinyl decals with pressure washers or stiff brushes. As durable as a high-quality vehicle wrap often is, decals are not impervious to physical damage.

Mending a vinyl wrap is much simpler than repainting a scratched paint job; a simple patch will often work. Rewraps are rare, and most repairs are minimal. photo 2What are the types of boat graphics?

  • Boat Lettering – If you need to send a message, there’s no simpler way than bold typography. Custom fonts, unique colors, and special effects are all benefits anyone should take advantage of.
  • Hailing Ports – If you travel quite a bit, displaying your city and state might be a source of pride. It also may be required by your state or local government if you wish to be documented with the US Coast Guard.
  • Full Boat Wraps – For maximum effect, why not wrap your entire vehicle? If you have many sponsors, or just want to make a large marketing impact, a full boat wrap will be more than sufficient.
  • Partial Boat Wraps – Maybe you’re trying to stretch your dollar. Well, with the right design, a partial boat wrap can be just as effective as a full one.
  • Boat Striping – Adding a stylistic accent to your watercraft doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. Vinyl striping can give your boat two-tone trim at half the cost.
  • Registration Numbers – Registration number lettering is necessary for ports and government authorities to identify your vessel while in use. Also, they prove that a boat has been legally registered to you. Unless you’re a pirate, in which case, you’ve got bigger things to worry about other than registration documentation.

For more professional tips and tricks involving boat graphics, you can rely on the experts at Image360®.

1693 Main St., Sarasota FL 34236

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