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Installation Notes

Decal Surface Application


PLEASE READ: Our decals are NOT made to be installed on a painted bodies of cars or a truck. The metal temperatures under the sun will exceed the maximum allowed temperature for the decal survival.

Affixing our underwater decals to the stern drive previously painted by anti-fouling paint, will result in the loss of the decal.

The surface must be de-greased before decal application. Fiberglass must be polished. Do not apply our decal to the chalky fiberglass. It will ruin the 3M adhesive backing. 


Underwater use decals must be installed with ambient temperature above 60F and require 24 hours adhesive curing time before submerging. We strongly suggest applying a clear nail polish (thin line) around the edge of the decal to protect the edge from delimitation due to the metal decomposition and or salt accumulation. This is actually how Air Force protects decals on fighter jets

Above water application

Use paper towel with warm water. Apply 3 drops of dish-washing liquid soap on to the wet paper towel. Fold and gently squeeze wet paper towel few times to mix  soap with water in the towel. Apply wet and soapy paper towel generously on to the area where decal will be positioned.  Remove adhesive backing and apply decal. The soapy water will keep decal from sticking on to the surface. Move decal in to position. When final position is established, use dry paper towel to squeeze soapy water from under the decal. Let it dry for 24 hours.

Trailer application to a clean metal surface (not for automobiles)

If you are applying this decal on to the metal surface like trailer or aluminum boat, we suggest to apply a clear nail polish around the edge of the decal to protect the edge from delimitation due to the metal decomposition and or salt accumulation. This is actually how Air Force protects decals on fighter jets.

Instructions for “Easy Transferred Film” die-cut decals.

By looking at your decal, you can notice that the die cut decal is sandwiched between two layers. One layer (yellowish color) is glued to the top of the decal’s finish. The back of the decal has a paperback. The top film is designed to hold the decal in place during the application process. To install this decal you need to prepare the surface by cleaning and degassing it. Use a glass cleaner dispenser spray bottle with a mixture of one full glass of water combined with one tea spoon of dish washing liquid, like Palmolive. Mix well and generously spray the application surface. Carefully remove the backing paper off the decal exposing the permanent adhesive on the back of the decal. Apply decal with top application film to the surface. Since the surface is already wet, this applied decal can be moved and re-positioned with ease. After final positioning, squeeze out all the remaining water from under the decal using a soft sponge and a small wallpaper roller. Leave the decal to dry for 24 hours. Then slowly remove the top application film. 

Image quality and material used

There are two types of graphics used on the boats today. One type is a plain vinyl, single or two color silhouette cut-outs. It has no half tones or shadows. Second type is photographic. It is multi-color dimensional photography depicting real images and reproduced using printer and printing ink. 9xmarine  specialize in both types of graphics. However, most of our boat decals are multi-color art work printed using color inkjet printer. Although, we try our best to print our images sharp and clear, there are limitation. The material we use is more like a “plastic” rather than “vinyl” This plastic is covered with a thin emulsion film which keeps ink in its place. This emulsion has limitations. The higher print quality requires substantially more ink than emulsion can absorb. Sometimes, large black images require a water-rinse to remove extra ink. Excessive ink coverage prevents hot lamination film from adhering to the surface of the vinyl. Please understand and be reasonable, your boat is not an “image portfolio”. All decals applied to your boat will be viewed from at least 5 feet away. At 5 feet away the sticker's details will blurred away for a "naked eye". We always attempt to strike a balance between image quality and longevity of the decal.

Maintaining The Decal Surface
Our surface decals can't be polished when polishing your boat. Applying any cleaning or de-greasing chemical containing solvent on to the decal surface will melt of dull the decal's finish. To secure your decal survives for years to come we recommend applying thick coat of water based polyurethane all around the sticker and especially the sticker's edges. This will prevent the sticker from loosing lamination and subsequently the entire image.