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DIY custom boat decal with your Cricut

Save money by making your own vinyl decal for your boat or any other vehicle with your Cricut. It’s not that hard! I will show you how!

My friends Will and Sophie asked me if it was possible to cut vinyl with my Cricut to identify their boat. It was really a great opportunity for me and I jumped at the chance!

In the video below, you will see the complete process in Design Space as well as how to install the vinyl.

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What type of vinyl should be used to apply to a boat?

Well, first of all, you will obviously need a permanent vinyl.

As the decal will be under harsh weather, I opted for what is called a marine-grade vinyl, the Oracal 751.

Difference between Oracal 651 and 751

One might think that the Oracal 751, being more durable, would be thicker than the 651, but it is quite the opposite.

At 0.05 mm (2 mil) thick, Oracal 751 vinyl is about 25% thinner than the 651 making it more flexible and stable. So it is ideal for curved and multidimensional surfaces like vehicles.

The Oracal 751 also has a longer lifespan, about 8 years when continuously subjected to harsh sunlight. I imagine (and hope) it would be even longer for a boat that will be stored half the year!

The disadvantages

Oracal 751 vinyl is more expensive and sometimes more difficult to apply without stretching or breaking it (kudos to my friend Wil who applied vinyl on a boat for the first time!!!)

See Oracal 751 datasheet

Maximum size

Since I had to use a mat to cut this vinyl, I had to limit the design to 11.5″ X 23.5″. See the video below to see all the tricks used to optimize the size of the image.

Cut setting to use in Cricut Design Space

As the Oracal 751 is thinner, we cannot use the same cut setting as the Oracal 651. I used the “Outdoor Premium Vinyl” setting in Design Space, but I always suggest doing a test cut to confirm that the chosen setting is adequate.

You can check out this article to know my technique to make an easy test cut.

Materials and tools required

How much does it cost?

I bought 36″ of this marine-grade vinyl from Script Designs and the same dimension of transfer paper. With the delivery and taxes, it cost me $25.

I have no idea how much similar lettering can cost on a boat (if you know, feel free to tell me in a comment!), but I’m pretty sure my solution makes it a good deal! What do you think?

See all the installation details

So, are you willing to try it too?

P.S. Thanks to my friends Will and Sophie for documenting the whole process and trusting me to carry out their project!

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