Vinyl Boat Wrap FAQs

You’ll find the answers to common questions about marine vinyl wrapping here, but if you have a question that isn’t answered here, just contact us and we’ll answer it personally.


Appearance

Will any joins be visible in the vinyl wrap?

Any joins or seams in the vinyl wrap will be visible on close inspection, but step back a few metres and you would most likely have no idea they were there. Once finished and back in the water, it’s very hard to tell that your boat has been vinyl wrapped rather than painted, especially when viewed from a few metres away or more. In some colours (such as metallic effects) joins can be more visible, but we can show you samples before you go ahead if you like – just ask us.

Will my vinyl boat wrap fade?

Vinyl is generally more fade-resistant than paint. The premium quality 3M vinyl we use is warranted for up to 7 years against fading, although solid colours do have better fade-resistance properties than metallic colours.

Will the vinyl lift or peel?

Quality vinyl that has been professionally applied and properly cared for should not lift or peel. Every vinyl wrap comes with up to 7 years warranty against material faults (dependent on the type of vinyl you choose), and a 1 year workmanship guarantee. You should also read the vinyl care instructions to ensure you look after your vinyl boat wrap properly.

Is a vinyl wrap reversible?

Yes, a vinyl boat wrap can be fully reversed with no damage to the underlying surface and no glue residue left behind, provided the underlying surface is in a good, sound condition when the vinyl is applied. Removing a vinyl wrap can be quite time-consuming, especially if the vinyl is old, but it is certainly possible.

How heavy is a vinyl finish?

For racing yachts where weight is critical, a vinyl boat wrap will generally be no heavier than a spray paint job, and will probably be lighter.


Cost

What’s the cost difference between painting and vinyl wrapping?

Vinyl boat wrapping can cost as little as a third of the price of a marine paint job. The cost savings are further increased by the fact that boat wraps can be applied in as little as a day or two, and can be done outdoors, reducing yard and shed time.

Is the cost difference greater for different boats?

The cost difference between vinyl wrapping and marine painting is generally more for bigger boats than smaller ones. Smaller boats (under 30 foot) can expect vinyl wrapping to cost around half the price of a professional paint job, while very large boats could find the cost is closer to a quarter of the price of professional painting.

What other factors affect the cost?

The main factor is the height of your boat’s topsides. Vinyl is supplied in fixed widths, so if your boat’s topsides are slightly larger than the width of the vinyl, a second length would be needed for each side. Complex curves and hull fittings can also increase application time, and therefore cost. There are lots of ways we can work to keep the cost down for you though. Request an estimate now to get a rough idea of the cost for wrapping your boat.


Application

Can vinyl be applied to any boat?

More or less, yes! We can apply vinyl to painted hulls (topcoat or undercoat), gelcoats and aluminium boats, provided the surfaces are sound.

Does my boat need to come out of the water to be vinyl wrapped?

Yes, your boat will need to be hauled out for a hull wrap, but for most boats, wrapping the hull will take just one or two days, so the costs for yard time are minimal.

What’s the process of wrapping a boat?

See the vinyl boat wrap process page for full details.

How long does it take to apply a vinyl hull wrap?

It can take as little as a day or two to apply a vinyl boat wrap, but it depends on the size of your boat. We will tell you the expected duration of the work when we quote the job. To get started, request your free estimate now.

What sort of surface prep needs to be done before a vinyl wrap?

Your boat’s hull will need to be sound, with no flaking paint or excessively chalky gelcoat. You should also ensure that the hull is properly fared, as low or high spots will show up clearly under the vinyl. The hull should be clean and free from marine growth, mould or silicone. Hull fittings should ideally be removed, but if that’s not possible we can work around them.

Can I wrap my own boat?

We wouldn’t advise it. Boat wrapping is a specialised skill, and you’ll get the best results if you employ a qualified and experienced professional to do the work. ‘DIY’ boat wrap jobs often have problems with tears and bubbles, meaning your wrap won’t look as good. Plus you’ll benefit from our 1 year workmanship guarantee when we wrap your boat for you, as well as 3M’s materials warranty, which is only valid when the vinyl has been applied professionally.

Can vinyl be applied below the waterline?

Vinyl can be applied below the waterline of some vessels – usually tenders and small boats that are out of the water most of the time. However, we cannot offer any guarantees on under-the-waterline jobs.


Longevity

How long does a vinyl hull finish last?

The premium 3M vinyl we use has a lifespan of up to 7 years (depending on the type of vinyl used), which makes it comparable with a marine paint job. Vinyl is generally more fade-resistant than paint, so you may find a vinyl wrap will keep your boat looking great for even longer than a paint job.

Is a vinyl finish as hard-wearing as paint or gelcoat?

Vinyl will scratch more easily than paint or gelcoat, but this is offset by the ease and low cost of repairs – simply cut out the affected area and stick on a patch for a near-invisible fix.


Care & repair

How do I care for a vinyl boat wrap?

Wash your vinyl boat wrap with soapy water only (never abrasives or solvents), and take care with high pressure water around edges and joins. See the vinyl boat wrap care & repair page for full details.

What happens if the vinyl finish gets scratched, torn or damaged?

Vinyl boat wraps are incredibly easy to repair if damaged. Just cut out the affected area, then measure, cut and apply a suitable patch. If applied correctly, the joins should be practically invisible when viewed from a few metres away or more. And because vinyl is very fade-resistant, you won’t need to worry about colour-matching.

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