Wharram Builders and Friends

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I would like to put the Wharram logo on my mainsail. One suggestion was to use artist's acrylic paint. I could experiment on a sailbag first I suppose !! Any suggestions ? Also for signwriting name on boat [once I make up my mind !] is this paint hardwearing ? Thanks.

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Sailboat class symbols and numbers are usually from cloth, stitched and glued to the sail. I think the paint will most likely bleed at the edges, and you won't be able to get a sharp edge, nor a consistent coverage (which will be noticeable from a distance when someone looks at your sail. For signwriting you could use acrylic paint, but it will peel off after a while I think. Some type of enamel or oil based paint is longer lasting.

Acrylic paint will not bond properly to the sail cloth for sure, it will also fade quickly.

I have done a search and found this site http://www.pburch.net it has lots of advice.

Seems only disperse dyes [whatever they are] work on dacron and then at temperatures above boiling so there goes my second idea - to tart up my old sails by dyeing them tan. No way am I boiling my sails !!

They do though suggest Iron-On -Fabric-Crayons apparently you draw your design on paper then transfer it to the cloth by hot-ironing. These are not your regular crayons though Crayola do make them. Probably I should post on an arts 'n crafts site !! Might be safer to leave well enough alone....

Maybe it's my dodgy memory but I think the logos etc. on the class dinghies are printed. Possibly the cloth itself is printed even before it is made into a sail? I would imagine stitching-on is not so often done ?

Thanks for answers so far.

My logo and sail number are made of colored sailcloth with a self adhesive backing. Easy to apply but as they werent sewn on as well, they are coming off - as the sails are 9 years old now, I guess they have had a good innings.


Dave I think you have the answer. I searched for "insignia sailcloth" and found a UK supplier. Self adhesive. Another road might be to talk to people who print banners for sports events etc.

Thanks all.

Hi mate,

I agree on self adhesive for the sails. As long as you take the slippery side of the backing paper and rub the logo onto the sail and create some heat to help the glue get a good hold, they will last for a long time.

For signwriting on the hull, an easy way I find is to design your name at home on the computer and then print it in actual size. You may need several sheets of paper, then tape them together to get your full boat name. Then take a stanley blade and carefully cut out the lettering to create a stencil. Tape this to the boat and then draw round the edges of lettering with a wide chisel point permanent marker pen. This gives a crisp outline edge of your name which you use as a guide to paint over. I just use single part boat enamel and thin it to help the brush strokes if needed.

Hope this helps

Cheers, Rory

For signwriting we use a variation of Rory's method that easily produces professional  looking results. The method is to cut the required stencil out of a product called "Contact" (  that's what it's called in Australia anyway).It's a plastic film with an adhesive backing.  The stencil can then be stuck into position and the lettering spray-painted on. The stencil needs to be removed while the paint is still tacky to prevent a possible ragged edge if left to dry completely. Learnt that the hard way!!



Thanks all.  You know for years I never worried about this stuff I think looking at all the super photos etc. on this site is having a "bad" effect on me ....

Crikey! you're not trying to keep up with the Jones' are you?????? I gave up. they keep sailing over the horizon!

Thanks guys - I went with self adhesive sailcloth from http://profabrics.co.uk good service. This job only took 1day to do 1wk to practice my drawing and 20yrs to get around to.... If I had waited until I was "finished" I would not be afloat yet ... seriously.  "Eyes" 36" / 900mm across letters 12" /300mm high - I am getting a "ribbing" from the crew who figure the old skip' has finally lost it ... Still wonder about that Acrylic I was not talking about that cheap housepaint but the stuff in tubes from art shops that is used as an alternative medium to artists oils.

And here it is - -

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