Everyone is assuming that this is a boat with registration numbers. If that's true, then rename all you wish. If this is a documented vessel, then there are entirely different procedures to follow going thru the Coast Guard. As far as the cleaners like acetone and such, be very careful. Acetone is HIGHLY volitile -- worse then gasoline.
You might consider hiring cindi fletcher, an artist in Eastport (Annapolis) who freehands boat names. The outcome is very classy and is not appreciably more expensive than the decal approach! She can safely remove the old name and residue. email me if you want her #
Maybe this was mentioned in the boat renaming ceremony link post earlier but here's how we were always told to do it:
Write or paint the boat's old name on a small piece of wood and then hide it inside the boat.
By keeping the old name somewhere on the boat, you keep the "boat gods" happy and thus keep yourself and vessel in good standing.
That the gods haven't yet become wise to this trick makes me wonder a bit about their abilities to cause real misfortune, but I assume that they still can if they have just cause. Also, since they appear to have trouble distinguishing real boat names from names scribbled on pieces of wood, I'm pretty sure I'm safe talking about "them" in this post--I hope.
Yes E-Z-Off works fine, just don't use the lemmon scented, get the original otherwise you may get a yellow stain. I would try the heat gun on low first. Low heat works better than high heat that well melt the decal, you want to simply losen the bond with the boat.