I spent a day working on the hull because the lettering guy was ready to go. After removing the old letters, I prepped the surface with 600 grit wet sanding followed by 1000 grit. After several washings, I followed up with 3 passes of a heavy cut compound, then 1 pass with a medium cut. I did this on the transom and the forward areas that will receive the new lettering. I think the rest of the hull will buff out nicely with 1 pass of compounding followed by wax.
I did the lettering design myself and I am very pleased with the results and I think the read really POPS!