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Making equipment labelling simpler to reduce equipment theft

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What is the issue?
Equipment theft in sailing circles is rare but it happens so it’s best to minimise the likelihood. A good way to reduce it is to clearly label equipment that is likely to be stolen with the yachts name and small ship's registry number, or your name and telephone number. Thieves don’t want to risk possessing anything easily identifiable, or that would be difficult to dispose of. These details will also assist the police tracing stolen merchandise and getting it back to the rightful owner - see reducing boating related theft Experience.

Why address this?
Painstakingly hand labelling every item is slow tedious work. It is also easy for it to go wrong and look sloppy. Making is slick and easy will make this task more likely to be undertaken and your equipment less likely to be stolen.

How to address this?
Make up some stencils and use them in conjunction with aerosol spray paint to spray label boat items. You can make a range of sizes so that it is easy to find one that suits the various sized objects that require naming.

Spray naming template
Photo: Michael Harpur

The trick when applying is to mask around the stencil and get it down as close as you can to the object. Hold the aerosol well back and lay on multiple light coats of spray allowing time between applications for them to dry. The objective is to slowly build up the text image over time. Don’t spray heavy coats from up close, it will just run beneath the template.

Some characters, such as ‘b' 'a' 'e' 'R' and '4’ as illustrated in the above stencil, have interior sections that need a bridging piece to hold these in place. This will result in some broken characters but they will remain entirely legible as seen above. If you wish to remove these bridges simply remove the template and spray some aerosol paint into the paint cans end cup. Dip a small brush into this and paint over the bridging sections to finish. Likewise, if you want a very basic approach as with uglifying our outboard engine in the above header image, simply ignore the internal sections.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

How to make stencils for spray paint art

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