DETAILING & CERAMIC COATING
What is a Complete Marine Detail?
Benefits of a Boat Detail?
How do you Detail a Boat?
A Complete Marine Detail, otherwise known as a Boat Detail, “Wash & Wax”, Full Detail or Yacht Detail, is the process of thoroughly cleaning or washing a vessel, refinishing or compounding necessary surfaces, and applying a coat of protection to all surfaces.
Boats and yachts are constantly prone to the elements. The three main contributors to damaging a boat’s cosmetic health are UV rays, dirt, and saltwater.
Consistently washing and detailing your boat or yacht is of utmost importance to keep the elements from damaging the vessel.
Our thorough process first starts with a Standard Wash. Wash all smooth gel coat surfaces, compartments/hatches, and all non-skid surfaces. Wash and dry all vinyl seats and cushions, rust, mold, and mildew removal, clean all compartment hatches and tracks and dry all surfaces of the boat.
Depending on the condition of your gel coat the next step will consist of compounding or waxing all smooth gel coat surfaces. This is where most time is spent; applying and buffing wax and/or compound is a very time-consuming and laborious process.
If your gelcoat is chalky, a labor-intensive restoration process is necessary starting with wet sanding the boat and then completing multiple steps of compound and oxidation removal.
Then we clean and treat all canvas/bimini tops, seal seats with UV protectant, polish and shine all metal (including outriggers and alloy) and clean glass/isinglass.
Ceramic coating is a great solution for the long-term protection of your vessel. This coating lasts up to six times longer than a standard wax. If you are ready for your ceramic coating, get your quote from us. Read below to learn why a ceramic coating may be the best solution for you.
What is Ceramic Coating?
Marine ceramic coating is an alternative to a traditional boat or yacht wax. Ceramic coatings have gained an increasing role in yacht care over the last few years because they withstand the elements longer than traditional wax. Boat ceramic coatings are usually good for a few years before needing to reapply the coating. The coating helps protect your vessel from UV rays, salt, and weather.
Made from ceramic nanoparticles, SiO2 Nanotechnology completely fills microscopic gaps and crevices to create a smooth surface, shine, and protection. This ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that is suspended in a clear resin. When the coating hardens on to a gel coat surface, it’s chemically bonded to create a layer that is semi-permanent.
Think of ceramic coatings as adding a semi permanent clear coat to your watercraft. They can last up to three years if cared for properly. We guarantee our coatings and offer a free warranty! If you have more questions regarding how ceramic coatings work, visit www.starkeyachtcare.com.
Benefits of Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coating lasts up to six times longer than wax. Vessels need to be waxed every four to six months. When you opt for a ceramic coating instead, you only need to apply a coat every two to three years. It is a long term solution that allows you to use your boat or yacht more with no need to worry about bi-yearly marine detailing.
Ease of Cleaning
While you will still need to wash your boat regularly with a ceramic coating, it will be much easier to clean. Ceramic coating is more hydrophobic than its counterpart meaning that the surface repels water, salt and black streaks than a waxed gel coat.
Appearance of Your Vessel
If you are looking for a wet or a glossy mirrored look, nothing compares to a ceramic coating. The coating gives a high gloss look unlike a traditional wax that allows your boat to pop. Ceramic coating may be the way to go if you want the ultimate shine. In addition to the shine, ceramic coating also helps prevent scuffs on your vessel.
Ceramic Coating Process
Wash the Vessel
Washing the boat or yacht is the first big step in the detailing process. It’s important that the dirt, salt, and mold is removed from the vessel before starting the next step of the process. This includes cleaning out boxes, cushions, vinyl, and anything else that might be needed. It is of the upmost importance to decontaminate all surfaces before the next steps.
Buff the Scratches and Oxidation
Depending on the condition of the boat or yacht’s gelcoat, one to three rounds of compounding may be used to buff out the oxidation and remove scratches. For boats that have severe oxidation, we may have to wet sand the gelcoat before moving to compound. The compounding process is followed by a polish to remove any swirls and streaks to give a perfect surface for ceramic coating to cover.
Before applying the marine ceramic coating, the boat is washed again and the surface is cleaned with isopropyl alcohol to make sure there is no oil residue on the gelcoat. The ceramic coating is then applied to the clean surface carefully by hand. The ceramic coating typically takes a few minutes to dry or “flash,” and then the residue is wiped or ‘leveled’ by hand with microfiber towels. We repeat this process for a second coat after the ceramic has had at least an hour to cure.
Is Ceramic Coating Right for You?
We suggest a ceramic coating for people who:
Want to avoid getting a wax detail every four-six months
Have struggled in the past keeping colored gel coat from oxidation
Own a vessel over 35 feet and it’s getting pulled out of the water
Seek a perfect or wet look
Want an easy clean
Have recently bought a new vessel with gel coat in near perfect shape
Is Ceramic Coating Worth the Cost?
Within a two to three-year timeframe, a traditional boat or yacht wax may have a similar price tag as a ceramic coating if you properly maintain your vessel with regular marine waxes and washes. If you have a ceramic coating and actively wash your vessel, the coating will last longer and it becomes more price efficient. However, the overall time that is spent detailing your boat will decrease, meaning you have more time to enjoy on the water!