What to Know About Vinyl Wrapping Your Boat: Is It Better Than Painting?

Boat maintenance and upkeep is an important part of being a boat owner, making sure your boat lasts a good long while. Just like your car, a boat needs oil changes, tune-ups, cleaning and protection. One such protection is applying vinyl or paint for the outside of your boat, but which one should you choose?

Paint has been the tried and true method for looks and protection on boats for a long time, but vinyl wraps are becoming more popular, as they are able to offer a wider variety of not only designs and colours, and also help protect from harmful UV rays and material deterioration. There are several differences between each type and this article will go over the key ones and answer some top questions about both as well.

What Is A Vinyl Boat Wrap?

Vinyl is a durable material, almost like a large, high-quality sticker that can change the colour and finish of your boat (or anything you apply it to). Vinyl is used to decorate and wrap race cars, company vans, and other vehicles, and helps to display brand logos or other signage. Vinyl is durable as it won’t fade or peel from sun or water damage, and it’s long-lasting. It will protect your boat’s paint job from deterioration due to sun damage and time out on the water as well.

When it comes to vinyl wrapping, you can choose to wrap the entire boat, which will give it a newer appearance and protection or you can wrap part of it, from hull to waterline if you would like. You can add graphics, logos and even signage to your boat as well with a wrap.

Vinyl Wraps VS Paint

The key differences between each are:


Vinyl is cheaper than a marine paint job or gel coat, and averages a third of the cost, but the cost of your vinyl wrap will depend on a few factors such as:

  • Boat size
  • Type of boat
  • Full or partial vinyl wrap job needed
  • Graphics/logos/signage
  • Who installs it for you

No matter if you own a yacht for an aluminum bottom bass boat, vinyl wrapping will save you money over paint.

Time Efficiency: When you paint a boat, it can take about 3 days to dry and then up to about three weeks to cure, depending on the paint that is used.  With Vinyl, you can have it professionally wrapped in a day or two, depending on how complex the design is.


Although some paint jobs can last longer than a vinyl wrap, they ultimately require repainting and maintenance every few years. Boat wraps, however, are simple to maintain and are easy to patch in the case of scratches or dents. Keep in mind the overall durability and longevity of a boat wrap largely depends on the material quality and installation practices. Make sure that you understand that not all boat wraps are created equal.


You can put any design you can dream up on the wrap. Printing on vinyl allows for a wide variety of choices and you can even do multiple designs layouts — the wrap installer will show you what it will look like digitally before you commit to a design. You can also do partial exterior wraps if a whole boat wrap isn’t your style. With paint, a custom job can start in the thousands of dollars and the customisability isn’t nearly what it would be on a vinyl wrap.

Top Questions Answered

Will My Vinyl Wrap Fade?

Generally, good vinyl is more fade-resistant than paint. Many wraps come with warranties that they won’t fade for at least 5-7 years. With vinyl, solid colours have better fading resistance than metallic colours.

Will The Vinyl Peel Or Lift Up?

Installation is key and a quality vinyl installed professionally should not lift or peel. Your vinyl wrap should come with a warranty against material faults and a workmanship guarantee. Always read the care instructions given to you after the wrap as well. 

Can You See Seams In The Vinyl?

Any seams in the wrap won’t be visible from a few metres away and unless you know where to look, you will normally have no idea where the seams are at all. Again, a professional installer is key to making sure your wrap is done well and therefore the seams should not be easy to spot at all.

Support and Service for All Your Boating Needs

Corleone Marina at the Balmain Marina has one of the last remaining slipways in Sydney Harbour. No matter if you’re a boating enthusiast or a charter yacht service, NSW offers a wide range of destinations that are sure to please. Corleone Marinas offers four stunning locations around Sydney. Whether a resident or visitor, we provide berths, moorings, and slipways to provide excellent care of your boat and to help keep it looking brand new.

We also have a Shipwright and Marine Mechanic to keep your boat in tip top shape. Contact us today and let’s get you out on the water and having some fun!

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