It’s official – Ramble On is finally officially Ramble On! This weekend Rich and I put the vinyl stickers on the hull…finally! We took the old name, Mary Morris, off a couple of years ago and had every intention of putting the new name on, but never did. Part of the problem was the old name left a clean spot so it was still visible. Rich attempted to buff it out with rubbing compound a year or so ago, but it was still there. It seems time was on our side. By taking the name off and leaving the hull blank to bake in the sun for a year or so, the name was almost completely gone. Last year we documented the boat with the Coast Guard and so no longer have to pay stupid California registration fees. A couple of weeks ago I scraped the old registration numbers off along with the special stickers we have to pay for every year for some invasive mussels. I looked all over the internet to figure out how the fees for this special sticker were used. No surprise I couldn’t find anything specific other than the “fee will fund prevention programs at uninfested reservoirs open to the public for recreational activities.”
Last weekend we pushed the boat to one side of the slip and wedged the dinghy in beside it. Then Rich and I, along with the buffer, various bonnets and buffing compounds, climbed in and went to work. We started with an aggressive rubbing compound and a wool bonnet in a 4’x4′ area where the name was to go. I couldn’t believe how shiny our chalky hull became. We decided to continue along the aft end so it wouldn’t look too weird having one shiny spot on the hull. Even the dull brown stripe was shiny! After the rubbing compound we used a polish and a different wool bonnet. It’s not perfect, but when you start with something that looks as shitty as ours did, small improvements look amazing.
After both sides were nice and shiny we applied the stickers. We got them online a year or more ago and the directions looked simple. “Peel off backing paper, align to desired location, stick in place and pull off the top paper liner.” Where we went wrong, we think, was in ordering them a year or more before we used them. The backing paper wouldn’t come off. We ended up having to pick the edges with a knife then slowly pull the backing paper off. It was very tedious and took a tremendous amount of time. After about two hours we had the name and hailing port safely adhered to both sides of the hull. Rich did all the hard work on that part. There was a lot of frustration with air bubbles, a little torn vinyl, and lots of squeegee-ing.
The Finished Product
A quick note on the hailing port: We’re not from Fallon, Nevada. We are both California natives, but have hated what California has become when it comes to regulation, politics, and taxes. My parents fled California to Fallon, Nevada and they’ve graciously allowed us to use their mailing address as our own when we leave the country. I’ve heard stories (rumors mostly) about some people having a devil of a time cutting ties with California. I’ve heard that if you have any link to California they will try to assess taxes on you for whatever (property taxes, income taxes, library fees, etc.) We figure we’re not going to live in California forever, so why not cut ties where we can. That’s one reason we documented the boat with the Coast Guard now instead of when we’re ready to leave. The less money this states collects from me the better.