By Chris Himstedt
It’s that time of year again. Lights are hung on the house, decorations are being pulled out of storage, the tree is going up and if I play my cards right, in no time at all, I hope to be wrapping Christmas presents earlier than last year. I am, however, not very good at wrapping gifts. This takes patience and skill that I simply don’t possess – especially with the big presents.
If you’re a pro fisherman, however, and according to Denny Brauer, this is the time of year you gear up with a new boat that needs to be wrapped and readied for the coming fishing season. No, not wrapped with paper and a bow, but with a beautifully designed, custom vinyl wrap that tricks out even the prettiest of boats.
A few short weeks ago, I learned that Denny’s boat was being wrapped just a few miles from my house. I’ve often wondered what goes into this process so after a few quick phone calls, everything was set up for me to see how this boat was to be transformed.
Meeting up with my friend John at Vinyl Images and Design, he told me that they wrap everything from trucks, trailers, boats and bikes to helmets. Looking at the pictures hanging on the walls of their workshop, I was already fascinated. However, sitting right in front of me was a beautiful new, decked out Ranger Boat with a 250HP Evinrude power head.
The wrap was already applied to one side of the boat and the interior almost finished. Already, I was impressed. The detail being put into the wrap was beautiful. The interior, covered in blue flame across the console and step riser to the deck added detail to areas that I’d never seen before. The stock seats had two stitched carbon fiber-like stripes down the back and bottom. John took advantage of this look and matched it perfectly with a wrap around the center console. Had he not told me that he wrapped the console to match the seat stitching, I would have never known.
The vinyl is printed with inks that are guaranteed to last 5 years without fading and you can print whatever design you can dream up. John told me that they offer services to help create just about any design. I watched him pull a sheet of vinyl from the printer table that was longer than the boat in front of me and start taping it in place, measuring carefully to mirror the other side of the boat. In no time at all, the boat was being transformed from an already really nice Ranger and into Denny’s Strike King fishing machine.
A few days after the boat was complete, I learned that Denny’s truck was in the shop getting wrapped and he was going to pick it up himself in a day or so. Again, I had to go see it and arranged to be there when it was being picked up. When I pulled into the lot, the entire rig was sitting in the parking lot. Denny, Chad, and John (from Vinyl Images) were looking it over. The truck matched the boat with more blue flames and Strike King logos all around and again, I was mesmerized at how good it looked. Especially when they were hooked together.
After introductions, I learned that Denny had the first wrapped boat on the Bassmaster Tour nearly 12 years ago. Budweiser was involved in the first wrap with him and the idea took off from there. Not long after, sponsor’s names and custom graphics were wrapping all the touring boats. Clearly, the process of designing and wrapping boats and trucks has been refined and improved.
“This year, there’s going to be a lot of jealous fishermen on tour once they see this boat,” Brauer said.
These shots will give you a sense of the detailing that went into this incredible wrap job. Every square inch of fiberglass on the boat is covered. And check out the rims!