Benefits of Ceramic Coating
Mother nature can be brutal to your yacht. The outside elements can do considerable harm to your boat inside and out. This is especially true in coastal climates where saltwater and sea spray can damage a range of materials like nylon, plastic, vinyl, stainless steel, paint, fiberglass or wood. For this reason, it is important to protect your boat from the Florida weather.
Boat hulls have a gel coat external layer that reinforces the fiberglass structure. However, the hull needs a coating to shield it from saltwater, high heat and UV rays. You can protect your yacht by applying a professional coating as required. While there are various coatings available – varnish, zinc oxide, silicone polymer or wax – perhaps the best protection for your boat is ceramic coating.
Comparing the Three Leading Boat Coatings
Of all the products on the market, most professionals recommend these three types of yacht coating:
Boat wax functions in the same as car wax. It adds a gloss finish to the boat surface while protecting it from dirt. Wax is easy to apply and does not require a professional job. However, wax rarely fulfills its intended purpose – to protect the boat from UV lights and saltwater. It also does not protect the boat against fouling release. Wax can leave stubborn stains, and you must also apply it several times per year (although manufacturers claim that it can last for six months).
Manufacturers design sealant to bond to the surface and shelter it from sunlight, salt and water. Although it takes more work to apply sealants, they are typically more effective and long-lasting than traditional wax. However, the seal does not always hold up, and you may be disappointed with the overall result. Plus, sealants may not last much longer than wax after the application. Much of it depends on how well they are applied.
If you are frustrated with the lackluster performance of waxes and sealants, you may discover what you are looking for with ceramic coating. Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that contains ceramic nanoparticles (silicon carbide or silicon dioxide) suspended in a clear resin. When the coating hardens, it bonds to the surface and creates an impenetrable layer. Ceramic coating lasts twice as long in the Florida climate as other products, making it far superior to traditional sealants and waxes.
What Are the Benefits of Ceramic Coating?
There are several advantages to using a ceramic coating to clean and protect your yacht.
Ceramic coating can protect the paint on your yacht above the waterline for up to three years. Also, the ceramic coating can be retouched without being removed. This extends the overall lifespan of ceramic coating up to 24 months or four seasons. It lasts longer in the Florida climate regardless of the saltwater, UV rays or extreme temperatures.
Boat Paint Protection
Every time you take your yacht out to sea, you risk chipping the boat paint. The paint is also vulnerable to high winds, debris, saltwater, UV rays and other elements. Instead of waxing the boat, you want to lower the risk of damage to the paint job. Ceramic coating creates a solid barrier around the boat and reduces abrasions, nicks, scrapes and other forms of paint damage.
Greater Fuel Efficiency
It is hard to imagine a correlation between coating and fuel efficiency. However, a unique benefit of ceramic coating is its ability to reduce drag when applied to the yacht hull. The coating reduces surface tension, allowing the water to glide across the lower hull with less resistance. This allows the vessel to move at higher speeds using fewer RPMs. The result is less fuel consumption and greater motor efficiency.
Easier Maintenance and Cleaning
When you treat your boat surface with ceramic coating, the surface becomes hydrophobic. You simply grab a hose and spray down the hull, washing away the fish blood, dirt, salt or debris with little to no effort. The coating prevents salt deposits from building up, making it easier to clean the boat after each excursion. You can remove most deposits and debris in minutes instead of spending hours washing the boat.
Prevents Fouling and Corrosion
Fouling is the buildup of plant and animal life around the submerged part of the hull. Although boat paint is designed to resist fouling and corrosion, it is relatively ineffective in boats that remain in the water. Ceramic coating creates a strong defense against saltwater, algae and small crustaceans collected on the surface. You no longer need to take extra measures to remove the buildup.
Are Ceramic Coatings Foolproof?
No form of ceramic coating will provide 100 percent protection in all situations forever. For instance, if another vessel collides into yours or someone accidentally scratches the surface with a tool, the coating is not strong enough to prevent scratches or dents. Instead, coatings are designed to resist debris or outside elements under normal conditions.
You still need to clean and maintain the boat surface with frequency – preferably each time you take it out. Wash down the surface after every trip to cut down on the need for heavy cleaning or premature coating re-applications. Another thing to consider is that ceramic coatings are not permanent. They typically last 18 to 24 months. After that, you will need to re-apply the coating.
Contact Pensacola Shipyard Today
To find out more about our marina and boating services, call 850.780.8441.