Summer's here and boating season is upon us! Boats are extremely personal to their owners according to Kris Harris at Road Rage Designs. After wrapping thirty boats so far this year, she offered some tips and tricks on managing the relationship and expectations of boat owners and the installation of the wrap. Your favorite vinyl for vehicle wraps, Avery MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS, can be used on boats too.
Road Rage Designs is located in Spring Grove, Illinois, just miles from Lake Michigan, and a prime location for boat owners. We talked with Kris Harris about the ins and outs of dealing with customers with boats, designing boat wraps and the installation process. Road Rage Designs is one of the only shops in the country that has wrapped hydroplanes, five have been wrapped so far. You can read more about those projects here.
“We’ve wrapped about thirty boats this year. We get everything from muscle boats, pontoons, fishing and walleye boats to 38 foot speed boats in our shop,” says Harris. “We’re wrapping boats for the majority of the year with the exception of December and January and our boating season is fairly short – June, July and August – because we’re so far north.”
The first step of the process is the design. “You have to get the layout correct,” shares Harris. “Boats aren’t flat and the design needs to follow the curves of the boat.” Boat owners have saved a lot of money to buy their boat and many want to customize the graphics with a lot of color. Remember, less is more according to Harris. And, a wrap is cheaper than a new gel coat but you want to get it right the first time.
Harris and her team will often go see the boat before designing the graphics and determining where the wrap installation will take place. Many owners think the wrap can be installed in the water – which it can’t. Many boats are so big that they can’t be moved. “Make sure you go to see the boat and consider whether or not you can wrap the boat on its trailer,” Harris adds. “It’s important to set expectations early and you may not be able to bring the boat to your shop for the install.”
Road Rage prints all its boat wraps in one piece on a 54” printer and Harris suggests this is the only way to do it. She also recommends using a high quality film and overlaminate combination like Avery MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS and DOL 1060 gloss. “Customers have brought boats in wrapped with cheaper films and they become separated from the boat and deteriorate quickly,” says Harris.
“Remember, don’t put graphics where the ropes will rub or touch the boat,” she says. “The vinyl will come off really quickly.” A wrap is like a sticker and it’s easier to fix than paint but if you take care and do it right the first time – you’ll have a happy customer and won’t have to fix mistakes.
We provided specific boat wrap installation tips in an article last year.
For more information on Avery Graphics products, pricing or roll sizes, printers can visit www.averygraphics.com to locate a distributor (on the Partner Page) or contact Avery Dennison at 800-282-8379 for additional product information.