Sunday, January 5, 2014

Renewing the R&C Logo

Like most older Leopards, the R&C logo on the hardtop support had seen better days. Much better days. When Chris Smith (formerly of L47 Tribe), offered to get new logos from R&C, we jumped at the opportunity. $60 gave us two new logos. We opted to not do the L40 paw-print on the cabin side, mainly because we already had the big LUX name on the mainsail bag.

We used a razor scraper (not a razor knife!) to remove the old logo. Go slow and keep the razor flat against the gelcoat or risk nicking it. Where the vinyl of the old logo had been attached was nice, white gelcoat, contrasting with the weathered gelcoat all around it. This was both good and bad. It gave us something with which to align the new logo, but it was raised above the surrounding gelcoat, which would make adhering the new logo a challenge. You can barely see the shadow of the old logo outline in the photo to the right.

We started by aligning the new logo, with backing still in place, and attaching it with blue tape. Undoing one edge of the blue tape and folding back the new logo gave us access to the area where the logo was going to be attached. We then wet sanded the gelcoat to provide a smooth surface. The first sanding was with 320 grit with a backing block and lots of water. When the raised surfaces were removed, we graduated to 600 grit, then 1200 grit. Finally, we applied some rubbing compound to provide a glossy finish. The surface was then cleaned with alcohol to remove any sanding and compound residue.

We sprayed the logo area with water, the backing was removed from the logo, and it was pressed down. Using a squeegee, we pressed out any bubbles. A couple of bubbles wouldn't come out, so we used the razor scraper to gently pop them and the squeegee to smooth them out.

We waited a few minutes to give the vinyl time to adhere to the gelcoat, then removed the covering, slowly pulling it back on itself at a sharp angle, making sure that the vinyl remained on the gelcoat. The result is a nice looking replacement for the old, faded, and mostly missing logo. The whole process took about two hours one day while we were lounging around LUX, anchored next to Baker's Bay Marina in the Abacos, Bahamas.

Another example of cruising: boat repairs in exotic locations. ;-)


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