Finish, Mounting and Maintenance
Once upon a time boat names were all hand carved or pained and because this was a skill that took time and care, time and care was taken to ensure that the lettering was designed to fit and enhance the boat.
Bespoke Bronze Castings
A bow with a pronounced flare will cause foreshortening.
Boat Books on-lineOne of the problems associated with graphics on a boat is caused by the optical illusions created when curved surfaces are viewed from different angles.
Even the most beautifully carved name plate, which looks wonderful viewed straight on, can look slightly odd viewed from above, especially if it is on a curved surface.
A straight name board on a curved, sloping transom can look like a grin when viewed from above.
Equally, name boards on the bows need careful consideration.
Boat Books on-lineThe purpose design is to establish a harmony of proportion throughout the whole structure.
Whether you are using cheap vinyl lettering, carving you own, having one made, such as a bronze name plaque, first consider the design carefully.
Once you decide where the name is to go, make some rough measurements and estimate the size you want.
A ‘rough rule of thumb’, starting point, for the maximum length of a bow name plates is to make it 1 inch for every foot or 75 mm for every Meter, of overall length of the boat.
For a transom, somewhere around 60% to75% of the transom width.
But these are general rules of thumb, you will also need to take into consideration the number and size of the letters, a short three letter name will look odd if it is stretched.
Actually choosing a font is probably more
choice on the average word processor is enormous.
Try to choose something which will express both the personality of your boat and perhaps say something about you.
Type your boat name into your word processor, then keep changing the font type until you find the one that seems most appropriate.
For a traditional look a font with serifs, such as Times New Roman is the safest bet.
For a truly classic design use an upper case, serif, font for the boat name and smaller upper case, sans serifs for the port of registration.
No further embellishments are required.
With the advent of vinyl decals it has
become perhaps too easy to
incorporate imagery into a boat name.
An image can make a name more visually compelling, however a boat name does not require an image.
And all too often the vinyl decals use ‘clip-art’ of dubious artistic or original quality.
Images work best when they simply add a flourish or add to the meaning rather than overpowering it.
Something else to consider is that the more ornate a name board, the more difficult it will be to keep it maintained.
There is nothing like a bit of gold leaf on
name board to turn it into
a real work of art.
And the extra benefit is that the gold leaf will out last any varnish or even the wood itself.
But whatever the finish the boards will need removing from time to time for maintenance, it may just be to paint underneath.
So, when it comes to mounting, do it such ways that the screws/bolts can be removed at a later date (something else which you cannot do with vinyl lettering).
A wooden name board which has been varnished needs to have the top coat topped up regularly.
The UV protection in the top coat will break down with time and it is this which needs topping up.
That beautiful name board will add a wonderful touch of distinctive elegance to any boat so long as it is kept looking good.