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And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap #263055
08/31/13 08:43 AM
08/31/13 08:43 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline OP
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After about 6 months of drawing, starting over, and drawing again, I finally reached a graphic layout I deemed worthy of the effort required to wrap my F18 (now, if I can just sail as well). I hope to have the hulls wrapped this weekend. The sails will wait until the spring where I plan on refreshing the sailplan (no point in putting graphics on sails that will be replaced soon). Here's the plan:

[Linked Image]
The plan by Team Seacats, on Flickr




I created that boat template by digitally tracing (by hand on a tablet) over a picture of my old F18. The angle was perfect for this use with the sails. I assigned subtle transparencies to the sails (a little hard to see in that small version). Once I got an infusion, I needed to change the hull shape. I found a square shot of an infusion under sail flying a hull and it looked like it would make an accurate template. I traced that hull and replaced the old F18 hulls with it. Here is the original image of my old original F18 that I started with for the template:

[Linked Image]
origional image by Team Seacats, on Flickr




Before ripping through a couple hundred dollars worth of wrap vinyl and laminate, I needed to make sure my template was accurate. I mounted a chalk-line laser level on a tripod to beam a horizontal line on the starboard hull as it sat on the trailer. I then measured the overall length of that line and then took vertical measurements from the line to several reference points (bottom of the beams, bottom of the hulls, bow and stern dimensions). I then laid out squares matching those dimensions on my digital drawing and it was almost perfect (I was astonished).

It then took about 1.5 hours to redraw the graphic and prepare it for printing. I needed some extra graphic above, below, and beyond the hulls so I could trim it to fit as it is applied. I also needed a mirrored version for the port hull and I needed to find a way to get both hulls to fit on one 54" wide sheet of vinyl to reduce my cost. Here are the graphic elements that went into the hull wrap. I added several shadow effects to some of the elements.

[Linked Image]
outline5 production_process1 by Team Seacats, on Flickr




Now laying them out to fit on a sheet. The hull profiles were shaded dark so I could see roughly where I'll need to separate the two pieces:

[Linked Image]
outline5 production_process2 by Team Seacats, on Flickr




And finally, the production file. This is a really LARGE file. It's an image the size of the two 18 foot long hulls. The resulting file that I imported into the RiP software that manages the printer was nearly 100Mb and I had to step it down to 125 dpi just to keep it manageable for the computer (most sign shops will step it down to 96 dpi when doing wraps). I have a relatively strong computer and it took it 5 minutes to export the graphic file and about 10 minutes to RiP it for the printer output.

[Linked Image]
outline5 production_process3 by Team Seacats, on Flickr




I had the printer set to a high resolution - it took a little over 2 hours to print. A lower (typical wrap) resolution would have taken about half that time. At this point, I'm really happy to have the optional automatic takeup roller on this printer. It would be tough to manage the length of vinyl coming off the machine without it. I'm also happy to have the VP version that has twice as many print heads. They don't offer this machine this way anymore and it could have taken nearly 4 hours to print it at this resolution. However, if I ever have to start replacing print heads I may rethink that ($1200 each).

[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5348/9637414370_4077af315f.jpg[/img]
DSC_3844 by Team Seacats, on Flickr




This is where I stopped last night with the image on the floor drying. It's not completely necessary, but allowing the ink to cure makes for a better lamination (no more offgassing). The ink is similar to automotive paint. I left it out to dry over night before I'll laminate it today...maybe. I'm really nervous about this step because I've never laminated something this large and it's pretty much a hero or zero operation. If I don't get the graphic fed perfectly into the laminator at the very beginning, it will either wrinkle or feed to one side and all will be lost. I'll have to gather my nerves today.

[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7300/9637416138_fc24154034.jpg[/img]
DSC_3850 by Team Seacats, on Flickr





Jake Kohl
-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263056
08/31/13 08:59 AM
08/31/13 08:59 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,655
Portland, Maine
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ThunderMuffin Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Portland, Maine
You can do it Jake. I have faith.

Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263058
08/31/13 09:54 AM
08/31/13 09:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Team_Cat_Fever  Offline
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Looks awesome. I hope you don't become to familiar with the initials OCS. It'll definitely stand out.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263061
08/31/13 06:02 PM
08/31/13 06:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,430
california
F-18 5150 Offline
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california
Cool I may have you do a set of sails for me if your interested.


Richard Vilvens
Brand Ambassador
PSA Capricorn USA
R.Vilvens@yahoo.com
Fairfield, Ca
F-18 5150

http://www.capricornsailing.com/
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: F-18 5150] #263063
08/31/13 10:36 PM
08/31/13 10:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline OP
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South Carolina
I may never do this again!...I need to hire somebody to show me the ropes with the wrapping technique. We finally got one hull done and it looks pretty good but it took a while. I'll have some pics tomorrow.


Jake Kohl
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263065
09/01/13 09:27 AM
09/01/13 09:27 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Must be a b@#$h to keep all the bubbles and wrinkles out on a 3d surface , that big.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #263066
09/01/13 10:50 AM
09/01/13 10:50 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
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South Carolina
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
Must be a b@#$h to keep all the bubbles and wrinkles out on a 3d surface , that big.


In hindsight, it wasn't THAT bad. I had a lot of frustration with my laminator and spent about four hours just trying to get it to run true. I kept getting a "boat wake" when I would do a dry run with the vinyl (or any vinyl film that wide) after a few feet of running. I had just about given up when Ted came over and convinced me to take it apart and reverse engineer it. We finally figured out that the pinch rollers didn't have enough pressure on them so we adjusted the tension springs and got it working. That amount of annoyance really shortened my fuse and while I knew I need a mental break before getting into the wrap, the uncertainty of what was to come would have impacted by sleep that night. So, I figured we should push through. My irritation was offset with a couple of beers and good company but when it was done, I was DONE.

Here is the laminator before I changed it over to the 54" wide films. I've only ever run 30" wide material through it and, even then, it was a periodic source of some frustration.

[Linked Image]
DSC_3852 by Team Seacats, on Flickr



By about 8:30 we had it laminated and started installation of the starboard hull. We finished at about 10:30. With a little practice, I think I can get this to just a little over an hour per hull.

Application wasn't too bad. I'm planning some more tricks today and am convinced that a third pair of hands will make this go very quickly. The vinyl itself is low tack/removable for about 48 hours, shrinks under heat, and has a tiny matrix carved into the adhesive to help allow air to escape. It also turns to butter with a little heat. It is pretty incredible stuff (and I'm use the economy film for this test wrap since I was pretty sure I was going to destroy a bunch of it...I'll upgrade to a higher quality film on the next round). It is pretty incredible with what it will endure. The fact that there is no flat surface and everything is convex on the boat shape makes it a little tricky. You can't attach too much of the vinyl down any part of the hull and have to go little by little down the entire hull. I'll be cleaning out a little more space in the garage for the application to the port hull too.

[Linked Image]
DSC_3856 by Team Seacats, on Flickr

[Linked Image]
DSC_3857 by Team Seacats, on Flickr

[Linked Image]
DSC_3863 by Team Seacats, on Flickr

[Linked Image]
DSC_3861 by Team Seacats, on Flickr

[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5454/9647128916_bacf4a30f2.jpg[/img]
DSC_3870 by Team Seacats, on Flickr





Jake Kohl
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263069
09/01/13 01:06 PM
09/01/13 01:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,655
Portland, Maine
T
ThunderMuffin Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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T

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,655
Portland, Maine
That looks AWESOME jake!

Good work dude!

Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263070
09/01/13 01:08 PM
09/01/13 01:08 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Roanoke Island ,N.C.
A torch instead of a heat gun? you're brave. Looks incredible.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #263072
09/01/13 01:23 PM
09/01/13 01:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
A torch instead of a heat gun? you're brave. Looks incredible.


haha...yeah, well...the tutorial I have said that once I gained experience I would appreciate the speed of using a torch instead of a heat gun. I figured I would jump right to that step. I got lucky - the only time I burned through was when it didn't matter and man, you want to talk about a thin fast line.


Jake Kohl
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263078
09/01/13 11:47 PM
09/01/13 11:47 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 5,582
“an island in the Pacific....
hobie1616 Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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“an island in the Pacific....
You should talk to the guys who do trucks, buses and cars for race teams.


US Sail Level 2 Instructor
US Sail Level 3 Coach
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263080
09/02/13 03:55 AM
09/02/13 03:55 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,584
+31NL
Tony_F18 Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Friend of mine did the same, the only downside is that when you damage the hull it is a real pain to repair the wrapping.

Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263082
09/02/13 12:04 PM
09/02/13 12:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 502
Port Noarlunga, SA, Australia
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Darryn Offline
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Port Noarlunga, SA, Australia
Did you work out the weight of the graphics?
Darryn
Mosquito
1782

Last edited by Darryn; 09/02/13 12:04 PM.
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263083
09/02/13 12:21 PM
09/02/13 12:21 PM
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brucat Offline
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What is the projected impact on drag through the water?

How low can you go before risking damage to the wrap from contact with sand?

Mike

Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Tony_F18] #263084
09/02/13 01:33 PM
09/02/13 01:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
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South Carolina
Originally Posted by Tony_F18
Friend of mine did the same, the only downside is that when you damage the hull it is a real pain to repair the wrapping.


Not when you own the equipment and can just print a patch whenever you feel like it wink But, in all seriousness I agree...It's not as durable as paint or gelcoat. You make a tradeoff but you do get considerable benefits:

1) the graphic possibilities are almost endless
2) It is easily repairable (provided you can acquire patches easily)
3) hull prep and installation can be done in less than a day (try that with any other finish) and
4) it's completely removable.

I could probably apply this whole boat again in three hours with an extra pair of hands - and that includes a coat of wax. I think I probably had 60 man hours in it when I regelcoated 50% of this boat two years ago...so if I have to redo this graphic in a year and a half, I'm still waaay ahead. I'm also going to stop using my trailerable hull covers so it's saving me packing time.


Jake Kohl
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263085
09/02/13 01:47 PM
09/02/13 01:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline OP
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OK...all done! We finally found a process that works pretty fast. We line the graphic up on the hull and temporarily tape in place. We made a tape hinge in the middle (as we did yesterday) to help guide the alignment. Instead of trying to peel back half of the graphic and lay it on the hull in one go, we rolled back the liner material about three feet back from the bow. We then stuck the bow and used the roll of material as a spacer to keep the sticky side off the hull until we pressed it in place. One person just kept rolling the roll down the hull while I pressed the film in place. I had a third pair of hands holding some vertical tension on the film as I pressed it but I think I can handle that while I press on my own. It goes pretty fast this way. Once it's applied to the flatter part of the hull we just started working down and up around the hull lifting, tensioning, and pressing into place. We had the bulk of it on the hull in 45 minutes and should be able to get even faster next time. All hands were on deck so I didn't get many photos of the rolled liner technique.

I then trimmed the edges with a razor blade and used an old batten to make a straightedge on the bottom of the hull. I finished the edges that will be directly exposed to water with a very thin 1/2" wide 3M edge-sealing tape made for sealing boat wraps. It then applied a coat of a polymer wax and then a carnuba wax to make it slickery.


[Linked Image]
DSC_3876 by Green Room Graphics, on Flickr


[Linked Image]
DSC_3884 by Green Room Graphics, on Flickr



[Linked Image]
DSC_3887 by Green Room Graphics, on Flickr



Jake Kohl
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Darryn] #263086
09/02/13 01:50 PM
09/02/13 01:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
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Originally Posted by Darryn
Did you work out the weight of the graphics?
Darryn
Mosquito
1782


Interesting question. I weighed a sample scrap piece this morning and it works out to be 1.65 lbs of material per hull. I guess I need to diet for a week. ;-)


Originally Posted by Brucat
What is the projected impact on drag through the water?

How low can you go before risking damage to the wrap from contact with sand?

Mike


I certainly don't have any scientific data on this but it can't be much. It's a very thin film and it's mostly in-line with the hull. It doesn't cover the bottoms but stops just shy of where my cradles hit the hull. Visually, it will be hard to notice the difference. I did run it further down on one side to see how it survives the cat-trax. However, this is not as tough as gelcoat or paint. I wouldn't expect it to survive well if you plan on rubbing it up and down a beach. It has a clear laminate film on it to help give it some additional durability but you trade the durability you would get from other finishes for the incredible graphic possibilities and removability. It can also be patched if needed since it's all digital. I can just reprint a section and repair (obviously, I don't want to do this more than I have to). The vinyl has a gloss laminate that I apply after application so it looks has a high level of reflectivity.

This image shows roughly where I stopped down the curvature of the hull. I could slide this boat onto the beach if I wanted to, but I shouldn't be flying a hull too high or it might get into the graphic. But, this boat only sees the ground by accident. If I had planned on doing a Tybee 500 or Great Texas campaign, I would design the graphic a little higher and incorporate the hull color into the bottom of it to make a clean transition to keep it out of harms way.

[Linked Image]
DSC_3886 by Green Room Graphics, on Flickr


Jake Kohl
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263087
09/02/13 02:09 PM
09/02/13 02:09 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
A torch instead of a heat gun? you're brave. Looks incredible.


haha...yeah, well...the tutorial I have said that once I gained experience I would appreciate the speed of using a torch instead of a heat gun. I figured I would jump right to that step. I got lucky - the only time I burned through was when it didn't matter and man, you want to talk about a thin fast line.


Oh, and PS, I bought a digital heat gun yesterday and I do actually like that better than the torch. It's not any slower, applies heat over a broader area, and is much less likely to burn a disastrous hole in the film.


Jake Kohl
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #263088
09/02/13 02:21 PM
09/02/13 02:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
Must be a b@#$h to keep all the bubbles and wrinkles out on a 3d surface , that big.


I didn't really address this point - you have to work it but bubbles really aren't a problem. Wrap vinyl is a special material that has a slow setting adhesive. You can stick it to itself (adhesive to adhesive) and peel it back apart a dozen times. You can also peel it off the hull and restick it again and again. It will stretch if you pull it hard enough but if the stretch is a problem (say you were reaching your hand up behind it to get to a bubble) you just hit it with heat and it shrinks right back into shape. Heat will also cause it to shrink smaller than it was originally and while hot, it will turn to butter making it really easy to conform it to complex shapes. Even if you crease it while pushing it down, you lift if off the hull and hit it with heat for a couple of seconds, the crease disappears and you just push it back down. It's incredibly forgiving. There is also a tiny grid pattern carved into the adhesive to allow air to escape but this wasn't very forgiving in that way...but there is a lot of variation in the designs of the air egress between manufacturers and this was some of the lesser expensive wrap vinyls. I'm sure the premium materials are better in this regard. I'll switch to the premium materials now that I'm through experimenting.


Jake Kohl
Re: And so it begins....the boat graphic wrap [Re: Jake] #263089
09/02/13 03:46 PM
09/02/13 03:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 858
Victoria Australia
Pirate Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 858
Victoria Australia
Originally Posted by Jake
This image shows roughly where I stopped down the curvature of the hull. I could slide this boat onto the beach if I wanted to, but I shouldn't be flying a hull too high or it might get into the graphic. But, this boat only sees the ground by accident. If I had planned on doing a Tybee 500 or Great Texas campaign, I would design the graphic a little higher and incorporate the hull color into the bottom of it to make a clean transition to keep it out of harms way.

[Linked Image]
DSC_3886 by Green Room Graphics, on Flickr


yeah it should be ok on the beach/sand.... but what about on the trailer cradles ????
is the wrap good enough to withstand the ride on the trailer without being damaged.....
confused

As you said, you'd not go as far down next time, I'd also hint at incorporating the trailer cradle aswell in the design layout so it blends in somewhat better for the higher number of road users that will see the boat being transported over those that will see it on the water at a distance
wink

We learnt this years ago with the race cars, more people see the car on its way to the track than actually see it on the raceway, we also found placement of sponsors signs was also effected during transport, major sponsors signs became less visual on the trailer.



simple solution for you at this stage would be to wrap the cradle supports to match up with the boat..... then it would be sweet as


just my "view"

other wise..... top job

Kingy






Yar, & this ere post be done without a sin'le drop o' rum passin' me lips

Kingy
started with Impara Cadet #3 / Mosquito #245
& now Mosquitos #1182 & #1740

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