Ghost registration numbers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Slimcobra, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    When I bought my boat I put my registration number on with temporary decals. I now want to put on numbers I like but I can still see a shadow of the numbers from before I bought the boat. I already tried the Starbrite Premium Cleaner Wax and that didn't touch it. What do you guys recommend?
  2. stg099

    stg099 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 30, 2013
    2004 280 Sundancer
    4.3 Mercs/Alpha
    You'll have to buff it out with a rotary or random orbital, I'd recommend a rotary with a wool cutting pad. As for products, everyone has a favorite, but I have had really good luck with the Buff Magic product, others prefer the 3m finesse it line. Either way this will get the surrounding gel coat back to the shine you found under the letters that is providing the "ghost" appearance. After you buff, preferably the entire hull so you don't leave streaks, make sure to wax it or use a glaze to protect it. Youtube is a great resource for learning this stuff if you're not already familar/comfortable
  3. QT1

    QT1 Active Member

    Oct 20, 2016
    Belair, MD
    1990 350 Sundancer, "Quality Time II". Avon rib w/ Yamaha 4 stroke. Upgraded Raymarine GPS/radar.
    7.4 Mercruisers
    Buff magic is a great product. Had the same situation in 2016 and removed the ghost letters perfectly with a wool buffing pad.
  4. KevinC

    KevinC Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    2004 340 Sundancer
    1988 Proline Center Console - 90hp Mariner/Mercury
    1969 Boston Whaler
    Twin 8.1 V-drives
    +1 on the Buff Magic. Rotary with a wool pad will cut faster and better than a Orbital with a foam pad but the orbital may be more manageable especially if you do not have experience with or own rotary already.

    JVM225 likes this.
  5. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    Honestly, on an 18 year old boat, you may never get the ghosting to go away completely. It will get better, but the one-step buffing products may not cut fast enough. You may need to step up to a heavier cut, then progress to the lighter cuts like Buff Magic and Finesse It. And, as others have said, you need a rotary machine to make this job easier.
  6. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    might have to 'wet sand' the area.....Google will bring up all you need to know....just start with a coarse sand paper and gradually use finer and finer grades.....then use a cutting compound with a rotary buffer and finish up with a polish and takes several steps but sometimes that is the only way to completely remove the ghosting....

  7. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    I think I would live with it before I take sand paper to it. I do have an rotary buffer. I try a better compound with ti and see what happens. Thanks guys!
  8. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    How bad could it be ? Try to spank your new numbers on the ghosties
  9. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    Solid advice!
    18 year old boat: I wouldn’t bother with sanding or heavy cut compound.
    Get what you can with the Buff Magic, put the new numbers over the ghosting, and live with it until the sun does it’s thing.
    My boat had the previous owners vinyl name and hailing port on it when I bought it. Marine Max removed it. There was ghosting when I took delivery. I used the rotary-wool pad-buff magic routine to get it a little better but it was still there. New vinyl name and hailing port covers most of it. There is some ghosting visible if you look for it, but it isn’t immediately apparent.
    I’m pretty fussy and I can live with it. That’s how little it is noticeable.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
    Slimcobra likes this.
  10. Sarah g

    Sarah g New Member

    Feb 20, 2018
    2005 Searay sundancer 280. Beautiful blue hull, and our favorite place to be any day!
    Twin 5.0
    We used buff magic and it worked great!
  11. Captn TJ

    Captn TJ Active Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    Catawba Island, Oh
    2005 280DA
    Raymarine E80
    5.0 with Bravo 3

    Had somewhat of the same issue but it was related to the old name on the stern. Used 1000 grit paper followed by 2000 grit (both wet sanded) and then buffed out. You can get this grit sandpaper in any automotive store and even walmart in the auto section.

    When people think of sandpaper its generally a courser grit like 150. Auto detailers use 1000, 1500, 2000 daily to blend in paint.
  12. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    97 270 Sundancer
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    8.2 Mercs,
    7.4 BII
    260hp Alpha 1
    Buff Magic is the best option, but Dennis is right, I had mine done by true pros and it still did not completely disappear in certain light.

  13. Boatguy49036

    Boatguy49036 Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2017
    Marblehead , OH
    390 Sundancer 2004
    Garmin 7612 XSV
    8.1 Horizons
    8.1 Mercruiser
    I’ve never had much luck with Starbrite products. I’m sold on 303 or 3M. The stuff works. Waxes, cleaners, polishes, protections, etc.

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