putting vinyl lettering on kayak?

has anyone ever put outdoor vinyl designs or lettering on their kayak? stickers? i have a machine that i can do graphic design and lettering on outdoor or indoor vinyl and thought about gussying up the yak a lil’. just wondering how well it would stay on. my boat is stored outside but shaded 95% of the time, so it would just be minimal wear and tear. so far my only experience with this machine has been applying to clean metal. great results with that.

vinyl lettering
Giving in to kayak infatuation, I named my first seakayak (the North Shore Shoreline Fuego). Used a high grade lettering intended for glass, boats or vehicles.

Has stayed on beautifully for over two years, no bad edges, no fading. 2" letters seem good.

Don’t have a machine, ordered from this outfit. Price is based on strip (they space letters for you, so it’s peel and press). I was able to get the name printed 4x on the strip space allotted, so I have a set on the boat and two in reserve.

Providing the link for others who might want lettering done for them:


Easy to use site, great communication on phone if questions, fast shipping. No minimums.

happy to
know i’m not the only one. this same vinyl can be used for lettering on signs and autos. so i’m gonna give a whirl. now , i just pick a name. kinda like the idea of putting it in a foreign language,just to keep everyone guessing.he he!!!

I had my
evil pirate name put on one of my ships using Old English font and about 2" letters. It held up OK, but around the cockpit part of the letters did come off due to abrasion.

sticker-- decal
do you do cycling also.have design for that…again design for kayaker[yak] canoe…would like to slappd some on my car …

don’t forget the bottom…
One of my waggish friends painted, in enormous letters,

CALL 911

…on the bottom of his WW boat.

Here’s what I did
I got the lettering froma commercial sign maker. I just picked out a font, enlarged it and brought to them. The lettering has been on for ten years.



nice kayak
lil’ kayaking buddy is cute too. the dog i mean. ha ha

never thought about putting the lettering below the deck. got some new ideas now. thanks

jazzing up your yak…GREAT IDEA
I think it is a wonderful idea, for a good while now they have been using lettering on boats…nothing last forever…but if you have a machine…you can decorate to your hears desire…in fact I was looking for vinyl letters, or a vinly strip with the names I want on them…this is how I got to your site here…I want to name my yak “Sanuye”…Means red cloud at sundown…My yak is yellow and I want to make the letters in Cheyenne font red…actually I wanted them to graduate from orange to red… in color…for my yak…My husband has named his DYAMI meaning eagle…I want to find them in Chyenne and in brown graduating to black…if you can make them I will pay you…or if anyone knows a link where they can be made…I have just started my search…

Good luck on your new machine and I hope your KAYAK ROCKS!!!



Make sure your surface is clean and dry
before you apply it. See if you can get one of those little rectangular poly “squeegees” from your vinyl source for burnishing the letters on. They work well. Remove any waxy or greasy stuff or 303 that might interfere with proper adhesion. I don’t know how well vinyl lettering will stick to poly, but I put the regular indoor stuff on my mailbox, where it is subjected to salt, snow and sand when the plows cruise by at 40 mph, 8 years ago and it has stood up amazingly well. It will outlast the box itself, it now seems.

Areas subject to regular abrasion should be avoided. I snag a fingernail on the “Mad River Canoe” graphics on my solo often enough but, otherwise, it’s held up just fine since '93 on the gel coat. I’m sure it will stay stuck to Royalex, as well.

i had a lot of vinal labels during a 6-month paddle trip…web site, sponsors etc etc. That was 5 years ago and they are still on there. Some of the not-so-good corprate stickers have faded and come off but not the vinyl ones.

If you want to remove them, just use a heat gun. Works in minutes.

So I know this is really old, but has anyone sprayed a clear poly over their stickers or vinyl to help protect them and make them last longer? I use one of my kayaks solely for pub paddles and though I’d outfit it with all the brewery stickers I’ve collected. Downside, is a lot of those stickers are not the best quality. I thought of maybe putting a sticker on, then a few light coats of clear satin polyurethane to give it some protection. Thoughts?

This is the outfit where I got the registration numbers for my canoe … very nice, and easy to apply.


Modern vinyl decals are incredibly durable. I don’t have any on my kayak, but those on my sidecar have held up for five years and 85,000 miles so far.