Every boat owner knows this: Noting makes your vessel stand out more than a customized exterior. But should you paint or wrap your boat? Read on to discover the answer.
What Are Boat Wraps?
Before we delve into the paint vs. boat wraps debate, let’s take a closer look at what a boat wrap is.
You may be familiar with vehicle wraps, or fleet wraps. In short, wrapping a car means applying digitally printed sheets of vinyl to the surface of a car to change its appearance.
The basic principle is the same for boat wraps. Wrapping your boat means covering the exterior of your vessel with digitally printed vinyl. Digital printing has advanced so much and vinyl is such a versatile material, that boat wraps offer endless possibilities, including:
- Solid colors
- Marine life scenes
- Personalized designs
- Any combination of the above
The comparison between cars and boats can be useful to understand the general principle of wrapping. However, there are many differences, with one of the most important being the extreme conditions that boats often have to endure. That is why marine wraps are made with materials specially designed to sustain the demanding conditions a boat encounters on a daily basis, such as UV rays, corrosion, and floating detritus.
A paint job is a pretty self-explanatory concept. Here a person paints your boat by hand. Needless to say, this process can be expensive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive.
Full, Partial, and Interior Boat Wraps
Wrapping is an extremely versatile technique that can be used on any type of vessel. Whether you want to wrap your personal watercraft or need bass boat wraps, you have an ocean of options to choose from.
These are just some of the types of boats whose appearance you can upgrade with a stunning wrap:
- Jet skis
- Jon boats
- Bass boats
- Bay boats
- Flats boats
- Cuddy cabins
- Large yachts
When you wrap your boat, you can choose to wrap the entire hull or just a portion of it. The first alternative is called a full wrap, while the second one is known as a partial wrap.
Additionally, some boats have considerable interior space, so wrapping the interior of your boat is another option you can consider to personalize it. Decks, dinettes, and other cabin furniture are some of the areas of your boat where you can apply a wrap.
Should You Paint or Wrap Your Boat?
From customization and repair to maintenance and removal, this is how boat wraps stack up against paint jobs.
Boat Wraps Are Faster to Install
One thing is for sure: paint jobs are a time-consuming process. This is an important factor to keep in mind because most boat owners prefer to enjoy their boats instead of having them sitting on land for an extended period of time.
Fast installation is even more important if you use your boat (or boats) for business. In that case, time is money so you want to opt for the quicker alternative.
For example, think of how long it would take to hand-paint a fleet of boats. No company can afford to waste so much time!
By contrast, wrapping your boat is a much faster process than a paint job and allows you to have your vessel back on the water as quickly as possible.
Vinyl Boat Wraps Are Easier to Repair
The same logic outlined above applies to repairs.
A damaged boat wrap tends to be easier to repair than a damaged paint job. A wrap is applied in panels, so all you have to do when damage occurs is to replace the affected section. This simplicity reduces downtime and gives you more time to do business or to simply enjoy yourself.
If this is an interesting advantage for people who own a single boat, it’s easy to see how it can represent a huge benefit for companies that own multiple vessels.
Boat Wraps Are Low Cost
Another crucial point in favor of vinyl boat wraps is their low cost. Wrapping your boat usually costs a fraction of what you would pay for a paint job.
As a rule of thumb, the more complex your design is, the more expensive the paint job will be. It makes sense because painting an intricate design by hand takes a lot of work and time. The problem is that even a relatively simple design can put a serious strain on your budget.
Enter boat wraps. Designing on a computer is a less expensive and more precise process than painting a boat by hand (more on that in just a minute). This means that you get to save a lot of money and also get an even more impressive design.
Boat Wraps: Customization That Makes a Splash
A paint job is a complex operation where many variables can influence the results. Here the skill of the individual artist, their experience, their workload, and the pressure to finish the project play a role in the final appearance of your vessel. In other words, there is a lot of unpredictability involved.
Boat wraps offer more control because computers give you a precise idea of how your boat will look like after wrapping it. And with the advancements in digital printing, you can rest assured that whatever graphic you choose will be rendered vividly and faithfully.
Whether you want your boat to display a logo, an image, or a complex scene, an expert designer can bring your vision to reality. Then an experienced team of installers will apply the wrap with painstaking attention to detail, delivering impeccable results.
Boat Wraps Are Easier to Maintain
Paint jobs can be summarized in a single concept: time-consuming. It takes time to create a paint job and it takes even more time to maintain it.
Maintaining a boat painted by hand means spending hours buffing and polishing. It also involves spending a lot of money on dedicated products.
Furthermore, paint jobs may need touch-ups or repainting every few years.
A vinyl boat wrap, on the other hand, only requires basic maintenance with a soft brush and a mild soap/water solution to stay vibrant and stunning.
Wraps Protect Your Boat
Boats are naturally exposed to the elements so they need all the protection you can get.
Boat wraps protect the surface of your vessel because they are resistant to the sun’s UV rays, which are one of the agents that contribute the most to the deterioration of your boat’s exterior.
A marine wrap also protects from scratches and dints, preserving the original surface of your vessel.
Boat Wraps Are Easier to Remove
Boat Wraps, and vinyl graphics in general, are easy to remove. Of course, this simplifies repairs, but it also can come in handy in other situations.
If, for example, your wrapped boat is branded and you need to remove a sponsor or change a piece of information, the modification can be done easily and efficiently, even on short notice.
The same applies if you just want to change the appearance of your wrapped boat for purely visual reasons.
With paint jobs, by contrast, any removal of modification can be costly and time-consuming.
Boat Wraps: Wrapping It Up
All in all, boat wraps are the most convenient option for boat owners looking to personalize their vessels.
Not only do boat wraps shine because of their low cost compared to paint jobs, but they also provide more graphic possibilities and greater control over the final appearance of your boat.
Boat wraps also excel in the efficiency department. While paint jobs are time-consuming, a boat wrap can be installed quickly to ensure that you are turning heads at the marina in no time.
Choosing a boat wrap saves you money in several ways. Boat wraps cost less than paint jobs to begin with, but maintenance, repairs, and modifications are less expensive as well. All these savings add up over time, providing you with extra money to invest in your vessel.
And the benefits don’t stop there. In addition to the time and money you get to save, a boat wrap offers high-quality graphics that can match or exceed the results you could obtain with the most expensive paint job.
In conclusion, a boat wrap allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds: artistic quality delivered with the efficiency of the digital age.
About CR&A Custom
Looking for boat wraps in California or anywhere in the United States? Don’t sail into the unknown. CR&A Custom is a Los Angeles-based large format printing company with a proven track record of success serving clients of all sizes across a broad range of industries.
Our team of designers, technicians, and installers have the know-how and the drive to take your brand to new heights with our high-quality visual solutions: boat wraps, fleet wraps, building wraps, vinyl banners, experiential marketing, and more!