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Hey buzzards,
Im purchasing a new raft, and i was wondering where one would encounter a custom decal manufacturer that produces high quality, durable decals/logos/designs to place on a raft.... where do outfitters go to get logos made? Thanks,
 

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fun weekend project to do yourself.

On hypalon boats, I've used the thinnest material I can find, an exacto knife, and a careful glue job for some very detailed custom logos that have lasted 20 years.

On my urethane boats, I do like sotar. mask with electricians tape, no sharp corners, and paint with liquid lex, after reactivating surface with thf.
 

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I've asked this before, but does anyone have any experience using sign vinyl for raft decals? I make decals with outdoor vinyl in my shop, and they stick great on a variety of materials, but I haven't tried sticking them to hypalon. I know the "bombproof" way is to use patch material and glue, but sign vinyl is cheap and easy to replace. I just don't know if there are any worries about the adhesive not working, or damaging the rubber (doubtful).
 

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Sign Vinyl

I've tried several different types on my hypalon boat and they stick at first but soon they fail as the vinyl stretches and pulls away. Sign vinyl works well as a mask for paint but that is it.
 

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I've tried several different types on my hypalon boat and they stick at first but soon they fail as the vinyl stretches and pulls away. Sign vinyl works well as a mask for paint but that is it.
That's what my gut was telling me, and I'm glad someone had the answer. It does beg the question - what kind of paint works best? I've read that gacoflex is pretty awesome, but it seems like a little bit overkill for most applications.
 

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Thanks restrac2000.

Raftfix provides custom logos to the private market as well as the commercial one. Check out some of the work I've done at raftfix.com. Click on gallery.


Gacoflex is good paint but it pales in comparison for sharpness, ability to hold original color/uv resistance and longevity, to urethane. Most commercial boats you see have urethane logos on them.

What it sounds like you are looking for and what I've been recommending, and some commercials have been going with, is their logos urethaned on a piece of matching/contrasting fabric, that they glue on. This makes it cheaper since I dont have to have the boat taking up space for so long and it also makes it easy to remove when they sell the boat. Since the urethane holds up so well they can get 2-3 boats out of one logo, if they are careful removing it, making it very cost effective.

Sign vinyl works fine for short term logos and is what a lot of fishing guides go with since they use their private boats and only need the logos to last short durations/ guide for several shops that require different logos. They are cheap enough to buy several at once and replace as needed.

As slickhorn mentioned, and I'd have to agree, the ultimate in cool factor is to hand cut and carefully glue hypalon letters/ logos to your boat. Very few commercial or privates have opted for me to do this since it is very costly due to lots of time.

Some places go with silkscreen but the second it gets introduced to any solvent its gone so that isn't very popular
 

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Thanks restrac2000.

As slickhorn mentioned, and I'd have to agree, the ultimate in cool factor is to hand cut and carefully glue hypalon letters/ logos to your boat. Very few commercial or privates have opted for me to do this since it is very costly due to lots of time.r
This has me thinking.. I own a laser shop, and can cut all kinds of fun stuff. Have you ever had anyone laser cut hypalon? I've never played with it so I can't even hazard a guess at how it reacts, but I'm kind of curious now if it will cut cleanly. I might have to dig out some patch material and give it a shot.
 

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Never have, but always thought that it would be badass. I would think you would want to stick it to something so that the edges dont roll up once they are cut and shift the material around during cutting.

Ive run it through my vinyl cutter with limited success. It wont cut through but scores it, cutting it out is still a chore. Clean cut logos out of hypalon or PVC would be sweet.
 

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I cut on a vacuum table, which should mitigate most curling. I think I'm going to grab some this week and play a little, PVC is a no-go in the laser, though. It puts out chlorine gas when it burns, which eats optics.
 

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Sure is, just a random file to test cut. It cut super clean, so multicolor inlays are a definite possibility, the gears are already turning on bigger ideas.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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how about glue on river maps :lol:
 

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Or black tiger stripes for the sides of my orange raft?
 

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You can also cut your own stencil from mylar drafting material or other thin plastic and apply paint through the stencil using a stencil brush or sponge. The trick is to keep the stencil from shifting to keep the edge clean whilst you apply the paint. I used Hyside paint made for hypalon. Check Utube for stenciling tips, and practice on another surface before you do it for keeps. We used the copier to enlarge a favorite petroglyph, cut the stencil and applied them to the trusty Avon. Let the stencil dry, reverse, and apply the opposite hand version to the other side of the craft. We've had these stencils on our raft for 10 years or so.

Have fun!
 

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Zach, what would you charge for a say 6" x 4" bit of hypalon or pvc with a boat owner's name, address, and phone number on it in urethane? I buy and sell boats from time to time and this seems like a good way to stay legal without marking up the boats too much - and like you mention I could reuse it.
 
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