Wagons near three masted schooner on railway.

Gold leaf boat names

Restoring the gold leaf decoration
on antique fire apparatus...

Gold leaf lettering on boats has a long tradition. This page shows gold letters on several old wooden boats. Most of these boats have varnished transoms. If the boat is cared for and the varnish re-coated regularly, the gold will last for many years.

Serenity gold leaf bow scrolls Brilliant ready to splash.Northern Spy with logo artwork to work from.Painted letters with a gold leaf outline... a good look not used much.Gold trailboard on Cristobal1853 boat launching in Portland ME harbor. Hilaire simple modern gold script My equipment set up after gilding from a float in the harbor.Engine turned gold Bellona Elysium at the dockGilded name Affinity next to two different era racing yachts.Gem Stone in paint shop. Gem Stone showing palladium and gold colors of metal leaf. Bellatrix engine turned letters.Bellatrix in the water.1906 Boston harbor. engine turned gold Chris-Craft logo Chris-Craft adv. image Painter in Chris-Craft factory gilding the registration number on the bow. Remember When name on Chris-Craft. Scooter name on Chris-Craft.Muskrat Bill on the water. the elusive Common Sense Whi Ffus with spelling detail of the golden Whi Engine turning with a smaller tool creates a more vibrant effect like on Truant Canoe on a Maine lake. Once I saw loggers on the river like this.small gold name on a new Maine canoe.
Inspecting the deck frame. Silhouette with leaf applied to four of the sized letters.

    Gilding is a process of painting on a glue called size. When the size is just right, small sheets of gold leaf are placed over the area. The gold only sticks to the size, and the rest of the gold can be reclaimed. When the glue is dry, the area is wiped with a wet ball of cotton to remove small flecks of gold. Finally, the letter is outlined. This name was gilded in palladium, which will not tarnish like silver.

Palladium leaf being applied to sticky sized letters. Extra leaf is gathered and saved for future use. A wet ball of cotton removes the remaining loose metal. A painted outline cleans up the edges and increases visibility. The next day the entire transom is varnished to protect the metal leaf from scratching.Thomaston ME warf with the lime kilns smoking in the background.Engine turned gold leaf name Content

    Engine turning puts microscopic scratches in the gold. This makes the gold catch the light, no matter what direction the light is coming from. It also makes the light glint and flash as the boat rocks in the water. Gold is so soft that the scratches can be made with a piece of velvet. A ball of velvet can just be twisted while gently touching the gold. For large jobs I use an electric screwdriver to hold and spin the velvet.

Close-up on letter N partially engine turned. You can see how the turning catches the light.
Bronze bow scroll gilded and clear coated with AwlGrip.Dock stool with boat's name in gold. Three gilded bronze crowns at bow end of a gold cove stripe.Carved lettering by Chuck Dorr with gilding by Peter Achorn.Sumurun transom lettering Sumurun being launched with bow dragon head. Sumurun aft end with gold lettering and stripe. gilded Fife dragon head on Sumurun.gilded Fife dragon tail on Sumurun.historic schooner Brilliant's gold bow name copied and reproduced from previous lettering. Elena in bold gold and red. the water tricycle by Wammopostcard of Marshall Point Lighthouse
All photos, artwork and information are copyrighted by Peter Achorn and Fire Gold.  © 1999-2015 all rights reserved.
Any perceived copyright infringements are unintentional and will be removed upon request.