There’s always some satisfaction in personalizing your pontoon. And you might have noticed the great lengths that other boat owners go to make their mark and stand out. Vinyl wrap for pontoon boats is a popular choice for those who want to set their boat apart from the others. But is it any good?
What are Vinyl Wraps for Pontoons?
Vinyl wraps are sort of like decals that adhere to the panels of your boat to provide decorative and protective benefits. You can get them in a range of colors, patterns, and designs, and you might even be able to have one customized to your liking. They work wonders to breathe life into a tired, older pontoon model so you can refresh its look and even improve its resale value by a smidge.
Other than making your boat look better, vinyl wraps also offer an added layer of protection. They can reduce the impact of UV radiation and of course, they protect the panels underneath from mold, mildew, stains, and other cosmetic damages. And since they’re not all that expensive, it’s really a small price to pay for the kind of protection they provide.
If you’ve made the right choice, your vinyl wrap could last well over 10 years with proper care. But just like anything else, that sheet will start to age over time. And when discoloration, peeling, wear, and tear start to show, it might be time to consider buying a brand new wrap.
How to Choose a Vinyl Wrap for a Pontoon Boat
There are quite a number of vinyl wrapping materials on the market, so it’s important to practice some tact when choosing the right one for your boat. Some of them might not last more than a few days or weeks, especially if your boat is often faced with harsh weather conditions.
That said, you’re going to have to read the fine print to make sure you’re getting a good wrap. Look out for something that offers UV protection so it can save your boat and itself from discoloration and fading. It’s also important to make sure you’re selecting a wrap that’s more durable, offering significant thickness and resilience versus scratches and cuts.
With the right vinyl wrap, your boat should look just fine for the next 10 years or so. Also, many of them also come with a warranty. The longer the warranty, the more durable and reliable your vinyl wrap is going to be.
Although some boat owners have successfully vinyl wrapped their pontoon by themselves, it’s not usually recommended. The task can be especially challenging if you’re not too confident in your skills, and vinyl can be fickle to work with. Risking bubbles, tears, and warped designs and patterns, it’s always better to call in a professional to get the job done.
How to Remove Vinyl Wrapping
If your boat’s already been wrapped and it’s high time for a change, then you can remove that stuff yourself to prep your pontoon for the next, new layer. The best way to do that would be with a vinyl decal remover.
These are sold in a variety of forms, but the decal eraser wheel should save you time and energy. All you need to do is attach that baby to the end of your drill, and you should be able to work away the vinyl material without much effort and time.
A word of caution though - a decal eraser wheel can easily break with just enough pressure. And while you might feel tempted to press as hard as possible, adding too much pressure could break the wheel and send your drill straight into your pontoon boat’s side panel. Work gently and carefully, and try not to speed up the process with excess force.
Some boat owners have also had some success with a heat gun. Heating the material to 65° and then gently pulling away from a corner might help improve your chances of getting the whole thing in one piece. Keep in mind though that this method will take a lot more patience, and if you’re not too skilled with a heat gun, you risk damaging the panel underneath.
Once the vinyl wrap has been removed, give your pontoon a well-deserved wash and make sure to dry it properly. That’s all it should take to have it ready for that next vinyl wrap.
That’s a Wrap
Vinyl wrap for pontoon boats expands the horizons for customization, letting you design and decorate your boat in a variety of ways. But make sure you’re buying a quality wrap. With the right choice, your freshly wrapped pontoon boat should see another 10 years of problem free protection all thanks to that vinyl layer.