Boat names are tricky.  I had looked at several boats I’d not have changed the name of and some that I definitely would.  FREEDOM RIDER IV was a name that needed changing.  Anyway I decided on OFFLANDER.  I can live with that even though REEFER GLADNESS received the most votes when I posted about my boat name considerations.

I’ve begun to remove the old boat name letters and prepare the hull for the new boat name letters.  Coast Guard regulations require the boats name and home port be in characters at least 4” high. Obviously the old home port ‘San Fransisco CA’ was not.  It measured only about 2.5” high. The rub rail and decorative blue strip made it difficult to add 4” home port under boat name. I’ve decided to just put the boat’s name on each side of the bow but will add the boats name and home port ‘Duluth MN’ on the stern and it will wrap around the pointed stern of my double elder.

I researched ‘how to remove vinyl lettering from boats’ and found 3 methods.  One involved a solvent that needed to be rinsed off quickly to avoid damage to gel coat.  The next was a heat gun and plastic scraper.
The third and most favorably recommended was a round rubber decal eraser.  I bought one of these at an auto body supply place in Duluth.  I also had my heat gun and plastic scraper.  I started with the heat gun but it seemed slow and I worried about overheating the gel coat.  Then I tried the decal eraser and it was quickly obvious why it was the most recommended method.  Still it left shadows of the old fact I could make out the name prior to that.. ‘CARPA DIEM’  If you look up just under the teak toe-rail you can see it’s pretty messed up so I knew I’d need to repair and paint the hull prior to applying the new boat name letters.  That’s what I’m going to do this morning.  I hope to finish before the afternoon when port side is the sunny side.

I finished sanding the areas where the old boat name was.  After sanding, CARPA DIEM was more noticeable than FREEDOM RIDER IV... I vacuumed then wiped the area down with Interlux brush thinner 333.  I decided to use Interlux yacht enamel to paint the hull above the waterline but I only got a quart so for now just the areas between toe-rail and rub-rail or at minimum where the new boat name lettering and home port are going.  I picked a semi gloss white.  The color is good match but not the sheen understandably as I’m sure the hull hasn’t been buffed in forever.  Reading the paint can it recommends a undercoat of Interlux white undercoat 279 and a 2 coat minimum of the yacht enamel.  I didn’t get the undercoat as I didn’t know... I’ll do 3 coats of the yacht enamel and hope it’s ok.  I won’t bother posting about the 2 additional coats sanding and wiping down in between.  I’ll wait until I’m applying the new letter decals.