Paint and Gel-coat preservation

Considering the excessive cost of having a yacht painted these days it pays to stay on top of your yachts paint and gel-coat surfaces. Two of the biggest offenders are:

Most common dirt and salt marks
- Exhaust Fumes
- Grease
- Dirt
- Seawater

Solutions for cleaning these foul elements include:
1. Warm or hot water will disolve any salt quickly, many boat soaps have a a pH and are too aggressive like Orphine and traditional dish soap, gel soaps are kind to your vessels flat surfaces and many times cheaper.

2. Avoid anything with too high of pH or two low, pH7 is neutral.

3. Long sea journeys may need  a bit of vinegar thrown into the bucket to give that much needed punch in removing the hard crystalized salt, 1 to 9 is a prefered mix ratio.

4. When it comes to removing grease a citrus cleaner like goo gone works well but make sure you check with the manufactuer first. Alcohol works well sometimes but use a microfiber towl.

5. When cleaning up near the hot tub or on the fore deck make sure sunscreen is removed before it backs in to the paint.

6. Diluted bleach is good for removing fish blood but remember it does oxidize the paint so use it seldom.

Most common wear and tear of paint and gel-coat:
- General use
- Over exposure to harmful UV light degrading the surface

Ways to protect:
1. Regular, gentle cleaning to prevent the need for abrasion of the surfaces with more aggressive cleaning products.

2. UV sunlight is the second highest causes of paint and gel-coat breakdown after physical cause. A good UV wax or polish like Awlcare needs to be applied every three months. 3m liquid wax is also a good paint perserver

3. All surfaces should be rinsed thoroughlybefore washing and do not use excessive amounts of soap when washing down your boat.

4. Apply a regular polymer paste/liquid  treatment that is ealed with a nano-lacquer surface protection. This needs to be done before the gloss on the existing paint has detriourated or you will only be performing damag limitation rather than protection. (remember to tell paint contractors if a polymer has been used, it can foul a repainting process)

John Doe - Freedom Yacht Management