How to remove boat decals? | Step By Step Guide

Knowing how to remove boat decals and other connected items is also a great experience. We learned about some incredible ideas after conducting an extensive study and speaking with shopkeepers. My brother and I had the idea to upgrade our boat by applying them.

How To Remove Boat Decals 

It’s simpler than you might imagine taking the decals off your boat. You can use the following techniques to remove the decals if you have a little perseverance or elbow grease. The most important thing when trying this is to take extra care to avoid harming your boat’s gel coat of paint finish.

Use suitable products and techniques and are careful to remove them without damaging the hull. You can use the following steps whether your boat is built of wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. Let’s discuss each method in detail.

1: Use An Eraser Wheel

Using an eraser wheel to remove decals from boat surfaces is one of the best methods. When removing boat decals, an eraser wheel works similarly to a pencil eraser but cleans up a greater surface area.

You only need to connect this gadget to the adapter to utilize it. Once all of these parts are connected to your standard drill, you are ready to use it. Here are some tools that are essential in this method.

  • Eraser wheel
  • Adapter
  • Home drill (check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine which drill is appropriate for your eraser wheel)
  • Clean clothes or solvents such as Sticker Off or Goo Gone

We start the removal process now that you have all the necessary equipment. To remove outdated decals off your boat’s cover, follow the procedures below.

Step 1: Erase The Decal

  • First, read the directions on how to attach the eraser wheels using a drill and an adaptor.
  • After securing those parts, switch on the drill and move it to the part where the decals need to remove.
  • The decals will then be gently sanded over and immediately removed using a pencil eraser technique.

Note: If you use this method, make sure you have lots of time because it will take a lot of patience.

Step 2: Erase The Residue

Some adhesive sludge will remain in the decals’ former locations after the boat is cleaned with an eraser wheel. It makes your boat feel sticky and unmanageable to put new graphics in the same region.

Spray some Sticker Off or Goo Gone liquid on the area with the adhesive residue to accomplish this. After that, rub all of those sticky places off with a clean rag. It is worthwhile to have an eraser wheel because it is inexpensive and doesn’t harm the surface of the vessel.

2: Use A Heat Gun

Heat treatment of the stickers or vinyl decals is the method most frequently used to remove old boat decals. There are two ways to practice applying heat to the decal surface. The following things you need for this procedure:

  • Heat Gun or Hair Dryer
  • Plastic Scraping Blade
  • Adhesive Remover
  • Decal Removal Wheel (optional but helpful)

Step1: Melt The Decals Glue

  • Switch on the heat gun and move it toward the vinyl decals (avoid direct contact with the boat vessel).
  • Move the heat gun slowly from side to side once the decals are softer and more flexible.
  • The best approach is to continue moving the gun over the decals. Your watercraft’s gelcoat can be burned if the heat is concentrated in one area.

Step 2: Remove The Boat Decal

  • After heating the decals with the heat gun, remove them from the boat’s surface.
  • Lift one or two corners of the softened decals using plastic scrapers or even your nails.
  • Make every effort not to harm the vessel’s paint or gel finish. If it’s ineffective to peel the decal’s margins off, you can remove them by applying additional heat to the region.
  • As the vinyl decals get to separate from the craft’s cover, you may take them off without difficulty.
  • Use the scraping blade from top to bottom to fully remove the decals.

While you peel the vinyl decal, keep the heat going by moving the cannon around the vessel.

Step 3: Erase The Residue

  • You can utilize the same method employed first in this step. Spray some liquid Goo Gone or Sticker Off onto the residue area. After that, wipe it away with a clean cloth.
  • Even on challenging surfaces like those from aluminum boat covers, adhesive residue can still be removed with solvents like Sticker Off or Goo Gone.
  • Nonetheless, other people favor mineral spirits and acetone. Acetone indigence to remove as quickly as possible because it can rapidly damage the gel paint on your boat.

Note: When applying acetone to your vessel, keep a wet cloth nearby if you are determined to persist with it.

3: Hot Water Pressure Washer

The third way to remove decals from a yacht is to use a hot water pressure washer. The hot water heats the decals and glue underneath, which is why this method is effective. The decal grows softer as it warms up.

It is simpler to remove glue when it has heated up. The stickers are made easier to remove with hot water. High-pressure water is used to force the sticker to separate from the boat hull. The following things you need in this method:

  • A high-pressure washer
  • Hot water
  • Solvents
  • Clean rag

Step 1: Activate The Hot Water Pressure Washer

Before usage, heat the water.

Set the water jet at high pressure, and then pour hot water into the tank.

Step 2: Remove Boat Decals

  • Spray the decals to melt them while putting your washer to a low level.
  • If the power level isn’t sufficient, gradually increase it until the decals can be removed from the surface.
  • After re-spraying the decals to eliminate any last bits of glue, turn off the high-pressure water jet.

Step 3: Erase The Residue

  • The same approaches described in the same step as in the earlier ways can be used.
  • Run the high-pressure washer more and give your boat a last rinse of the residue after using solvents and removing the sticky residue.
  • After that, blot the watercraft’s outside and set it outside to dry naturally.


A hairdryer and razor blades can be found right in your home, but a pressure washer to purchase or rent. Considering that they are reasonably priced, purchasing an eraser wheel and scraper is not a bother.

You can select the one that works best for you. The good news is that every technique works well with any material. The following things must keep in mind when you try to remove the boat decals.

Work Carefully

If you took a sticker off a brand-new credit card, you know how quickly it may come off. A vintage boat decal is something that many boat owners envision. They reason that if they follow the proper steps, it is severe that it easily comes off.

When that occurs, things go wrong. That calls for shredding, tearing annoyance when you can’t hold the decal. You must have faith in the process’ ability to succeed if you employ the proper strategy and products.

It’s not like removing a sticker that was designed for peeling off. Boat decals will adhere for a very long period. Maintaining patience will help to ensure that the decal is decently removed. You should be able to get it off without any damage.

Clean Properly Once Finished

What to do after removing a boat decal is a common oversight among boat owners. The truth is that there might be some adhesive leftover. In turn, this stickiness might draw debris.

Even if you plan to add another decal, spray the adhesive area once more, clean it up, and wait until it is dry before adding a new decal. This will give you the best chance that your new decal will stay in place by ensuring that you work with fresh adhesive on a dry surface.


So, there is a benefit to the sun in this situation. To get your boat back to the same color, you must expose it to the sun. Keep in mind that this only applies to light shadowing. This technology is more challenging when it comes to decals on the surface for several years and exposed to bright sunshine.

Decal swells with a distorted and uneven appearance are another possibility. The area where the old decals were must be moistened, sanded, and polished. These techniques can flatten the surface in addition to getting rid of shadowing.

For this issue, you can either take use of detailing services or handle it yourself. You can use products for buffing, such as Meguiar’s Oxidation Remover and 3M Buffing Compound Hand Glaze.

Know The Boat Material Before Removing The Decals

Finding an adhesive remover that works for your boat won’t be difficult. The bulk of this product is designed to work with several materials, including glass, metal, fiberglass, and wood. When working, you should be careful not to damage the surface by concentrating solely on the decals.

The glass is delicate; it remains so even after you remove the decals from it. Let the adhesive remover do the majority of the work because you must be cautious. When awaiting development, have patience. The decal must be removed by spraying the remover at each stage of the procedure and pausing to give it time to work.

Put On New Decal

It is simple to add new ones by following the correct procedures for removing boat decals. Any trace of leftover material and shadowing can be removed. When applying fresh decals, it will be much better if the surface is clean. Hence, as you go through each process, be patient.


Which boat decal removal works the best?

I suggest various things, but a decent adhesive remover, a razor blade or vinyl chipper, and a heat gun are the most crucial (a hair dryer will work fine).

Can decals be removed easily?

Use your hair dryer or heat gun briefly over the decal’s surface. If the decal is vast, you should work on it in parts to keep it heated. The glue is significantly simpler to remove when the decal warms up.

What disintegrates decals?

Stickers that are particularly difficult to remove can be softened by placing an alcohol-soaked towel on the affected area and letting it sit for a while. Rub the residue away with the rag.

Is it necessary for me to remove the boat decals?

With time, boat decals get faded, chipped, or scratched, giving your boat a worn-out appearance. To get rid of them, you may make your boat seem better and create a clean surface for new decals.

Can rubbing alcohol get rid of stickers?

Sticker residue can be safely removed from plastic, wood, glass, or cloth by rubbing alcohol or vodka on the surface. Put some alcohol on the glue, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it off.


How to remove boat decals? You can select the most effective method to apply it to the surface of your boat. It is based on the quantity of decal that needs to be removed and the type of vessel.

To ensure the efficacy of the boat decal removal, always remember to use the correct tools and solvents. Along with adopting safety precautions, regardless of the three methods specified in the article or other techniques.

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