Let’s face it, motor yachts, or any boat for that matter, can lead a very tough life. They are baked in the sun, drenched by the rain, and depending on where they are docked, they may even get frozen and thawed out. They are brutalized by sea water, and fouled by marine life, and subject to the dents and dings of dockage.
Your yacht’s paint job is your first line of defense against all of these things, and as you can see, it can take quite a beating. So, it may not take long for your yacht to lose that shiny showroom finish. However, ceramic coatings are a new technology that can help your yacht’s exterior paint last longer.
Ceramic coating technology has been around for a few years now. It has been used predominantly in the auto industry, but as more yacht owners, and yacht management companies are discovering its advantages, it is growing in popularity. According to the makers of the coatings, a ceramic clear coat can “help maintain a freshly painted look, while protecting the paint against the elements.”
Ceramic clear coat cuts down on the downtime and expense of successive resprays. In addition to cutting down on costly resprays, another benefit is that applying the coating can be done while the yacht is in the water, meaning much less hassles for the owner or captain.
The coatings are also a more environmentally friendly way of maintaining your yacht’s surface, since they provide a barrier that is resistant to exhaust emissions and soot, meaning less cleanings with harsh chemicals, that could leach into the water. Furthermore, when the coated boat does need to be cleaned, only non-aggressive products are needed, such as a simple pH neutral shampoo.
Other Ways to Help Preserve Your Yacht’s Paint Job
Your yacht’s painted surfaces should last for at least 10 years or longer with proper care. Here is how you can be sure to have your surface paint looking good at least that long:
- Never use any kind of harsh detergents or abrasive cleaners on your boat’s surfaces. Use only soft brushes with natural bristles, or cotton fiber mops. Avoid plastics, or other stiff bristles that can easily scratch or damage the paint. You may need to use more abrasive cleansers, and stiffer brushers on the non-skid surfaces, but, try to minimize the length of exposure. If bleach or other harsh cleansers are allowed to stay in contact with the surface for more than a few minutes, they will damage the paint.
- Keeping your yacht clean is a must. Dirt, grime and other grit can cause acids to form on the surface, destroying the luster of your paint and gelcoat.
- Salt water can be very damaging. It is critical that your yacht is washed down and thoroughly detailed after every use.
- Your yacht should be waxed at least once per year.
- If you dock your boat in an area that has winter weather, and you cannot have her moved indoors, or transported elsewhere, avoid ice damage, and harm from freezing and thawing, by covering her during winter layup.
Your Choice of Marine Painter Does Make a Difference
Having your yacht painted is a major job that will be expensive and will take many weeks to complete. 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!
One way to ensure that your yacht will be painted right, and at the right price, and that everything mentioned above is done to keep your paint job looking great for years to come, 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 professionals 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.