Replacement decals for boats can be found in number of different places and for a number of different prices. Regardless of the brand hull you own, you can most likely find something that will work for you to make your watercraft look great again. When working on this type of restoration project, you will have several different options available to complete it without spending too much money in the process. In this article, I would like to go over some of the places you can find the best deals on replacement decals for boats, how much you will pay, and what to do if you cannot find the right ones to complete your hull.
Buying Replacement Decals for Boats
As you look to replace the graphics on your hull, there are several places to shop for them. While it can be difficult to find the exact one you need for your boat restoration, you will have plenty of options to check out to find the right one. The list below represents some of the places you can shop for new stickers that will work for you and not completely ruin your budget in the process.
Direct: This is generally the best method to use, but it is also generally the most expensive. Most makers, including Lund, Smoker Craft, Monark, Alumacraft, and Bayliner have options to order them direct. You will have to pay a hefty price for them, but you will have a great chance of finding just exactly what you need to complete the project. I would actually suggest using this one last, since it is the most expensive option you are going to find. It is something to check and hold onto, in case there are no other options.
Boat Dealers: This one is another very expensive option, but one that will work. Visit the local marina or authorized dealer of the brand of hull you need replacement decals made for and ask if they can order them for you. You will pay a lot, but they will have access to all kinds of parts, including the graphics you need for your project. This is an option with a high rate of success, but also very expensive.
eBay: I have found all kinds of them on eBay. The prices are the best, but it is hit and miss. I have seen many graphics for sale on eBay for under 20 dollars, which is a lot cheaper than you will find in most other places. You might actually get lucky with this one and get the part you need to finish up the job. Be sure to check out the site often to see if there are any new additions that will work for you.
Various Online Sellers: There are some online sellers of aftermarket parts for marine use that might have the exact decal you need for your boat. Be sure to check around carefully. If you have a part number, it will aid quite a bit in the search for them.
I Cannot Find What I Need
If you cannot find the stickers you need to complete the boat restoration, you still have some options to keep in mind. While these options might not be perfect, they are something you can use when all else fails and you simply cannot do without the watercraft graphic you need.
Have One Made: There are many places, mostly online, that make stickers that are marine grade. Because of trademark issues, you might have to use a roughly similar design that is not an exact match. This might still be okay, since you can get something very close that will not be noticeable to most people other than you. It is pretty expensive, but if you have exhausted all the other options, this one will work out well. There are many different sites, but you must make sure the graphics they make will work for a marine application. Be sure to ask them first, so you don’t have peeling graphics down the road.
Suitable Alternatives: You actually have several options when you cannot find an exact match for your restoration. Even if you cannot find an exact match, you might be able to find something from a similar model, perhaps a more recent year, that will work. You can try to search for newer options and see if the small changes in design will work for you. You might also be able to find ones with similar designs on the graphics, even if the brand name is missing, that could work out for you. The main thing you will have to do is spend a lot of time checking out all your options, so you can find something suitable for your project.
Reuse Old Stickers: Possible, but not very likely. Still, if you are working on repairing and painting an old hull that has really good decal graphics that are in great shape, it might be possible. You can sometimes peel them off with a heat gun, very slowly, while adding adhesive remover as you go. It is a very slow process. Start out in a corner with a razor, to get it peeled up a little. Add the adhesive remover under the lifted corner and heat the front of the label. Work slowly, realizing you will only move less than ¼ inch at a time.
When they are peeled, if they are still flat and look okay, you can find spray adhesive that will stick to painted metal and work. Keep in mind that this will have a low rate of success, but if you have no other options, it might be worth trying. If you are working on a restoration project to make your boat look like new, adding old stickers might not be the best option. However, if they are very clean and stay in good shape through the removal process, it can work. It is a good option for replacement decals for boats.