50 foot yacht being repainted

The outer surface of many motor yachts is fiberglass and Gelcoat. Gelcoat is applied during the hull molding process to protect the surface from mildew and other common seaside dirt and grime. Gelcoat also is pigmented, and provides the exterior color of the boat. So, you may be wondering why would such common construction design on a yacht ever require painting?

It is a good question, and the answer is that even the best Gelcoat does not last forever. The sun and the elements, not to mention constant washing and waxing of your yacht, eventually can make the Gelcoat look old and dull.

When that happens, the best way to bring your yacht back to her “maiden voyage finish” is have her repainted. But, repainting a large luxury yacht is a serious job that should only be left to marine paint professionals.

professional yacht painting

How to Choose a Marine Painter

Having your yacht painted is a major job that will be expensive and will take a fair amount of time. When choosing a yard or contractor to paint your boat, you do not want to pay more than you have to, but nor should you make price be your only determining factor.

Stick with a reliable yard that has a good reputation, and that is willing to give you references and show you examples of their work, preferably the actual yachts, and not just photos or videos. By law any urethane painting work needs to be done in an enclosed spray booth. Even if it wasn’t required by the EPA, that is the only way to ensure that the environment is controlled for a perfect paint job. Any yard that does not have such a paint booth should be avoided!

The Paint Job

There are quite a few steps to painting a luxury motor yacht, but the most important one is preparation. Did you know that most of the cost of repainting a yacht is in preparation? Almost every time that I have seen a failed paint job, it was because of poor preparation. Removal of old Gelcoat, layers of wax, and otherwise preparing the surfaces to be properly repainted is critical to getting a successful and long lasting paint job. Any skimping at this step, will result in a poor outcome.

Luxury Yacht Paint Job

A Proper Spray Booth

Make sure you are aware of any surface damage or imperfections that need to be repaired, prior to your painters beginning their work. You do not want any surprises!

All hardware should also be completely removed. “Masking” of hardware or window frames etc., is a sign of shoddy workmanship.

 A Note About Colors

I have seen a trend recently to add dark color accents to yachts being repainted, or to repaint the entire vessel in darker colors to give your yacht a more striking appearance.

However, this is not such a good idea, especially in Florida. Dark colors tend to absorb more heat. This can result in shrinking, warping or other defects to the surfaces being painted. Light colors on the other hand, reflect light and heat.

boat being prepared for painting

Preparation is Key to a Job Well Done

One way to ensure that your yacht will be painted right, and at the right price, is to use our On Demand paint service. All of our technicians have been completely vetted. That means you will know that all of our painting professional are experts in the field, who have done dozens of yachts just like yours. And, since the yacht painting job will be part of our On Demand Yachting solution – you will be able to completely monitor the job from your own dashboard, from start to finish!


Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.