Well, we officially became Blue Turtle today! We submitted the name to the Coast Guard back in May when we closed on the boat, however, we finally got around to changing the actual graphics on the boat today. In order to prep for the new graphics, we had to remove the old name from the back of the boat. The previous name (“Down Time”) was lettered in vinyl on the back and in order to remove it, we had to use a heat gun to warm the vinyl up enough so we could peel it off.
Once the old lettering was off, we decided to wet sand the area. Wet sanding is a process similar to polishing— it removes the very top layer of gel coat and thereby removing any flaws and defects—and leaves a smooth, shiny finish. Our boat desperately needs a new paint job since the gel coat is worn down to the very bottom and it is also very chalky. The real reason we needed to wet sand was to remove the chalky residue on our boat in order to give the new letters something to stick to. We have plans to repaint the boat, but it probably won’t happen until this winter when it is cooler. So for now, we opted to wet sand it and go ahead and have it lettered. Wet sanding is a fairly simple process. You wet the area to sand, and then sand it with 400 grit paper to start. Once you finish with the 400, you continue to sand with 600 grit sandpaper, all while keeping the area wet. The result is a beautiful finish (if you have a nice paint job)!
Once the area was wet sanded, we were ready to have the new graphics installed. Being a graphic designer (and slightly Type A), I had to, of course, design the graphics and determine where they would go. Since I already had the blue turtle emblem designed from my company logo, I knew I wanted to use it. I wanted the boat lettering to have a different feel to it, so I changed the font used for the letters “Blue Turtle” and only used the upper half of the turtle so that it looked like he was rising up from the swim platform. Once the graphics were designed, I emailed the files to Signs in One Day in Cape Coral. They sent me a proof to sign off on and set up the appointment for the install. Earlier today, AJ (our installer) showed up with our cut vinyl lettering and installed the graphics on the back of the boat.
And here’s the final result:
We still have to re-letter the 2 teak wood plaques that were on the sides of the boat. We gave them to a friend of ours who removed the older letters and sanded them down. Once we get them back, I’ll send the artwork to our sign guys and apply a layer of varnish to the wood (to give the letters something to stick to). Then I’ll apply the new Blue Turtle letters and varnish again.
Let us know what you think!