3M IJ180 Controltac Plus Comply "Stinga" Speedboat


Part of being a winner is looking like one, and there is no doubt that Greg Houston and his boat, a 21 foot Force aptly named ‘Stinga’, certainly look the part.

Greg has forged an iron-clad reputation in the world of water-ski racing as being one of the fiercest competitors in the history of the sport, and one who races to win.

Greg owns and drives ‘Stinga’, and is often pulling his son, Jack, first across the finish line in prestigious water-skiing races such as the Sydney and Geelong Bridge to Bridge. Greg also races in other events, as his skills as a driver and racer are in high-demand.
Greg and his Team Stinga Racing (TSR) crew pride themselves on being professional in every aspect of water-ski racing. And at such an elite level of their sport, they rely heavily on their sponsors to help them achieve and maintain this level of professionalism.

Enter Townsend Signs (www.townsendsigns.com.au). When a boat is skimming across the water at the highest rate of knots its motor can propel it, it can be a visual blur. So, bold boat signage plays a two-fold role. It has to be a true representation of TSR’s brand and, just as importantly, it has to be recognizable at a split second glimpse.

Townsend Signs donated HVG Graphics material and their time to transform an innocuous looking white boat into a racing icon commanding respectful attention. The materials used were 3M IJ180 Controltac plus Comply base media & 3M 8518 High Gloss clear overlaminate.

“I used 3M IJ180 for many reasons, such as print quality, the high gloss finish etc, but the main reason I use this product on all of our wraps is its reliability,” says Ian Joyce, of Townsend Signs.

“Adding our designs to this applications is very straightforward. We put a lot of thought into our designs, and aim to achieve maximum customer satisfaction. We have to take into account what we can and can’t achieve with production and materials available. Products like this allow us to really push the boundaries. Greg was more than happy with the result, it met all of our expectations… and some”, says Ian.

The fact the boat has ‘champion’ written all over it, without using the word Champion, is an added bonus!

The overlaminate provides a glossy 'paint like' finish adding sheen, as well as the highly durable pigments providing depth and definition to the graphics. A professional and classy look is very achievable with this medium.

This overlaminate also adds to the durability of the signage, especially in extreme conditions such as constant exposure to sun and water.

The superior conformability characteristics ensure fast and easy application in deep channels and over complex curves, ideal for tricky and uneven surfaces. And if you do have an alignment issue during application, the Controltac allows you to cleanly remove signage and reapply without bubbles or loss of adhesiveness.

Due to the superior look, quality finish, and ease of applications, these materials are being used more and more in vehicle signage both on and off dry land.

So how did the new ‘new-look’ Stinga take to the water? She crossed the finish-line first… and looked mighty fine as she did!

Fast facts:

  • The overlaminate provides a glossy, paint-like finish
  • Perfect for the fast-growing vehicle wrap market
  • High quality pigments provide greater durability than digital inks
  • Wide range of colours including metallics
  • Flexible film allowing application on a range of surfaces and increased conformability
  • The Controltac adhesive allows you to glide your graphic across the surface for precision fitting and matching during application
  • It also allows for clean and fast removability when you want to replace it

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