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How to Remove Boat Decals

Ever see someone with a tattoo they wished they could remove? Unfortunately, the process can be expensive and difficult. A boat with a bad or outdated decal can feel the same way. Although the decal wasn’t etched into the hull, the fact that a decal can stick on so strongly to the boat can mean a time and labor-intensive process of removal. Unless you have our quick guide on how to remove boat decals, that is. We hope these tips will help you get the job done in no time!

Work Carefully

If you’ve ever removed a sticker from a new credit card, you know just how easily it can peel off. Many boat owners have the same vision for an old boat decal. If they do it the right way, they figure, it should come right off.

That’s when things go wrong. When the decal doesn’t come off that easily, you tend to force the issue. That means ripping, tearing, or endless frustration when you can’t get a hold of the decal at all.

The solution is simple: patience. If you use the right strategy and the right products (more on that in a bit), you have to trust that the process will work. It’s not like peeling off a sticker that was meant to be peeled off. Boat decals are there to stick—for a long time. Working patiently will help ensure that you get the decal off properly. If all goes well, you’ll get it off in one piece.

Use the Right Equipment

When wondering how to remove boat decals, start with a product specifically designed to help: Release Adhesive & Sealant Remover.

This adhesive remover comes in a compact, easy-to-use spray for topical application. Combine it with a scraping tool to lightly get under the boat decal, and work slowly. Let the spray do its work while you peel back the decal in small stages.

You can use this adhesive remover on a variety of boat surfaces—fiberglass, wood, metal, even glass. But you should still pay attention to the surface you’re working with and not just the decal. Obviously working with glass can be treacherous, which is why it’s important to let the adhesive remover do most of the work while you simply move and progress.

As you peel back the decal, continue applying a generous amount of spray at each stage. You may even take small pauses to let the spray work on the adhesive, then pinch the decal and use the scraper lightly to continue your removal.

Clean the Area Once Finished

Here’s a final step that many boat owners overlook: what to do with the area once you’ve removed a boat decal. It’s not clean, even if it looks it. The fact is, some adhesive might be left over. This adhesive can, in turn, attract debris.

Even if you’re going to apply another decal, give the adhesive area another spray and then clean it off, allowing it to fully dry before you apply a new decal. Boat Cleaner should do the trick. This will ensure that you work with fresh adhesive on a dry surface, which makes for the best chance that your new decal will be there to stay.

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