Classic Boat Deck Striping, Classic Yard Mulch And A Classic Dog Ride! It’s A Classic Saturday.

stripe 1

Jimmy laying down the tape on Clif Aimes 17 foot Sportsman.

Yesterday was a fun day with a bunch of different things to do, the highlite of the day, and nerve racker was my first striping job. Don’t tell Clif though. I just had seen it done and thought,mmm self, how hard can that be? I was a shacking mess after it was done.  First I tried it out on one of the old Barrel Back hatches I have from Sylvia.

stripe kit

A Beuler Stirpe Kit

Seemed easy. Until you do it on a brand new varnish bob and its not your boat. Here is a lesson. Dont put your hand on the deck while you are doing this. One palm into wet paint and it went down hill fast. After some panicky wiping down, we decided tape was the way. Which is a fail safe method, But that Bueler Roller is amazing and does do the trick. Nerves will kill you.

stripes 4

Taking the tape off

Here is a video from the Antique Boat Center. No tape. YIKES

You have to go into a job like this with an amazing amount of confidence. Which, now i don’t have, but will do it again. the results in the end were fantastic.

stripes 10


Then home and MULCH! lots of mulch. Aprox 20 Cubic yards of it.

Sunset mulch


but that’s OK, cause the sun was out and late in the afternoon it kinda warmed up to a nice 68. So out we went with the pups who know know the words. BOAT RIDE. Its a crazy yap fest until the Trusty Van Ness W start up.

Stripes Dog, Ruby Oreo

Thats some happy Pooches. Thats the boatress burried in there behind the dogs.

sunset yard

Then back to Mulching.


21 replies
  1. Brian Aiken
    Brian Aiken says:

    for what it’s worth, I have never tried the Bueler tool… Though i am tempted..
    But here’s MY tip for striping, boot stripes and so on: Forgo the expensive tapes from automotive suppliers and just use 3M lo-tack blue tape [I like the 3/4″] It lays down easily and there’s virtually no bleed-under nor does it pull off finish unless it’s already bad.
    I’ve tried just about everything over the last 25 years and so far the 3M lo-tack seems best.
    I’ve never tried frog tape so that might be next

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    The bueler is amazing if the grooves are clean. In this case there was some cracks and stuff. It does lay down an amazing clean line.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I tried a striping tool once, don’t think it was a Bueler though, it worked great on my practice plank, but was a very different experience on the deck. I thought I was copping out when I went to taping, but have since learned that many people whom I have a great deal of respect for in this hobby/lifestyle/addiction use tape for this job.

    I have tried most of the commercial brands and find I like the 3M blue tape with EDGE-LOCK for deck stripes.

    I’m even doing the black floor deck stripes on AB this way.

  4. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    Matt, did you sand the seams before you painted them and what white paint did you use and did you thin the paint?

  5. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    68 degrees in DC yesterday? It was 80 here at our cabin in Balsam Lake in northwestern Wisconsin. So Will and I gave Rabbit her first glorious run yesterday. Then at the Indianhead Supper Club (Wisconsin lake country supper clubs: THAT’S a future story idea, Matt) last night we ran into four different groups of friends who said they had enjoyed hearing/watching our little Gar zip by their cabin. It’s almost like Rabbit is the lake’s official mascot. In fact, while I was getting ready to start her down at the boathouse we even had a pontoon full of lakers stop and tell me they just wanted to wait to hear it start. (On the second crank the old Chrysler Crown did not disappoint.) We woody boaters don’t always realize it, but we bring smiles to more than ourselves.

  6. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    My only experiences with striping involved using tape. The striper tools appear to require a very steady hand and lots of confidence. I have never been blessed with either of these traits.

  7. Mark B.
    Mark B. says:

    The problem with using masking tape is getting the lines straight and gaps the exact width.

    I solved both of those by using pre-made pin striping tape. It comes in various widths and gives you masking tape on either side of the gap that is pre-spaced so all you have to do is get in the right place and then peel back the clear spacer.

  8. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    In our shop we use the Bueler with a extra small wheel. This wheel is a special order, it does not come with the standard tool. It will do a fine job and fast. Make sure your grooves are free of any bumps or cracks. A safer bet for not so nice grooves is to hire a pin striper, will cost you about $200. And you are done and it will look great.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      I don’t know what Matt used, but when I striped Yorktown I used Pettit Salem Yacht White gloss. I am happy with the result.
      (I am not sure if this pic was taken before of after I did the deck.)

  9. Edward
    Edward says:

    3M makes a tape for striping (cannot remember part# ) that has different(pre-cut) width pullouts, I think they were several 1/8″ pullouts . Lay the tape down and pull out the pre- cut pullout for whatever width you need . Also the blue vinyl tape is great if you need to make designs or go around corners. Also consider a striping brush made with squirrel hair.
    I will try to get some part numbers and post them.


  10. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Obviously striping paint brand is top secret. I would think any good marine quality oil based exterior yacht finish will be fine.

  11. Bob Russell
    Bob Russell says:

    Wrong tape for the striping. The auto paint sores sell a tape called “Fine Line” that works much better than the household type masking tape. It makes a very defined “sharp” edge. It is also much easier to work with as it can be stretched around corners, etc.

    The best striping paint is “One Shot” also available at auto paint stores. Most strippers will ad a drop of turpentine to a small amount of paint for a single job. It makes the paint flow much smoother and eliminates brush marks, etc.

  12. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    I have used 3m fine line but the 3m green Jimmy is using is good also you just need to remember to use your finger to mash down the edges on all of it to keep it from bleeding under the tape and making a mess. I have used 1 shot as well as interlux boot stripe paint.Both work well but this is a tedious job that requires some patience and a new sharp single edge razor blade or Xacto knife to get it right for me. Also I pull the tape off pulling it slowly back over itself to keep it from pulling up the varnish edges. all just different opinions to get to the same end result.

  13. Joel T
    Joel T says:

    The Buegler Striping Tool is a very good tool but can be pricey for the one time user. There are cheaper ones out there like Master Striper which work Ok. One of the biggest problems with the tool is filling the cylinder. I use a WEST Epoxy syringe to do this. A much cleaner process than pouring from a can of paint into the cylinder. If you purchase a Buegler be sure to get the #73 wheel. It is 3/32” wide, pretty much standard size. I have striped hundreds, if not thousands, of deck seams and used this one 90% of the time. A thinner one is #57. 1/16” wheel. Another issue for some can be the groove. If you find the bottom is not flat enough only the sides of the wheel touch leaving the center void of paint. You can order a convex wheel for this problem should it happen. Every now and then I would encounter this and I kept a #73 convex in my inventory of wheels.
    As another post mentioned, One Shot works great. Get color #101L, Lettering White. Another good one to use is Interlux Brightside Boottop and Striping Enamel White, #Int-4359 HP.
    Due to the nature of the wheel, I would not recommend using any thinner with the tool. The paint will have a tendency run out and drip on the deck. When doing long seams like on a Racing Runabout, several passes may be necessary. As the video shows, start the second pass from non-painted seam and roll into the paint. Otherwise you will probably have a “clump, or glob” of excess paint where you begin the second pass.
    If you still want to use pin striping tape go to Finess Pinstriping,, and get their #F-10 or F-10L tape. (The L indicates a longer roll). This tape has a 3/32” removable center strip for the correct width. F-11 is thinner, 1/16”. Their web site shows all the different size options for you.

  14. Edward
    Edward says:

    The 3M FINE LINE tape with the pullouts ,part# 6314 it has
    8 1/16″ pull outs. The striping brush is made by Mack Brushes #00 . Hope this may help.

  15. Wayne Elliott
    Wayne Elliott says:

    I unfortunately have been through it all. I ended up using the yellow Frog tape which doesn’t pull up as much varnish. Further, I now use a tan One Shot sign maker’s paint. Though not white, I can varnish over the lines without having to re-stripe.
    A Bugler is beyond my talents even though I use it after taping.

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