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How to choose a topcoating for your superyacht

Technology
Written by
Parisa Hashempour

Long gone are the days when a superyacht was either white or navy blue. Now, there is a magnitude of shades to choose from. Superyacht topcoat specifications are best decided at the beginning of the build process and should include decisions on the type of finish, quality and the appropriate anti-fouling. These choices needn’t be confusing, as once a professional team is involved, the procedure is instantly easier.Boero Profile PicturesTo uncover the secrets to the ultimate exterior look and how best to work with a paint partner, we spoke with the director at Boero YachtCoatings, Antonella Donzelli, who laid out her seven top tips for choosing a perfect topcoat for any superyacht.Boero YachtCoatings company marketingLook for longevity

When selecting a topcoat for a yacht, it is good to bear in mind that the product will have a performance quota that determines how long it will last and how much protection it gives to the exterior. A top-quality product will be able to preserve both the appearance and the function of the hull. Challenger PRO from Boero YachtCoatings works as a long-lasting durability enamel and can keep the yacht protected over time with a high-gloss retention for the yacht’s aesthetics.Boero YachtCoatings company photoPhoto: Boero YachtCoatingsConsider testing

There are many ways to test the topcoat on test panels which can be exposed to a full range of weather conditions such as in Florida. Testing can also be done in a laboratory with equipment such as a weatherometer and UV lamps to help predict how the product will behave over time. Unfortunately, these tests are expensive and time-consuming – they can take several months, even years in some cases, depending on the test performed.

To avoid a drawn-out process, owners should look for coatings companies who facilitate their own testing. This is usually done while a product is being created, as well as in regular intervals over time to improve its characteristics, performance, formula and environmental impact. This ensures that a shipyard and owner are offered a quality certification before using the product.

Khalilah yacht in PortovenerePhoto: Carlo DemicheliGet the right colour

In the past, yachts were most often white and occasionally blue. Usually, this was because colour range options were limited. However, if technicians are given the facilities to conduct constant research like those at Boero YachtCoatings, they can develop a complete tintometric system that offers more than 200,000 colours in different finishes such as gloss, matte, pearlescent or metallic.

When it comes to picking that colour, a lot depends on the owner’s tastes. Choosing from the diversity of colours available is the most exciting part of yacht customisation. It is a way to express the personality of both yacht and owner: it’s about how your yacht talks to you!Boero YachtCoatings company marketingUnderstand your colour maintenance

Different coloured finishes have different requirements for maintenance and is something that should be considered when choosing a yacht’s coating colour. For example, the matte finishing on a superyacht is not polishable, whereas enamels with a clear coat applied on top usually are. 

From a technical standpoint, lighter colours stress the paint system less due to their lower heat retention from the sun, whereas high temperatures can overly stress both the paint system and the structure of the yacht. Owners should also consider that quick temperature drops can pose a risk to the underlying products within the paint system.Monaco Yacht Show 2019Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesLearn about other exterior elements

Although the topcoat of the yacht is the only thing we see, there are many layers and products underneath that contribute to the performance of the paint system. Choosing a great topcoat supplier is not the only thing that owners should be aware of, there is a greater scope of products that need to complement one another. 

Boero YachtCoatings’ fillers, like Epolight Win and Epoyacht, work together with the topcoat to help insulate the boat and create a barrier effect from the outside. Together with an undercoat, such as Epoply and Challenger PRO enamel, the fillers become integrated into a very reliable and complete product range for both new builds and refits with an antifouling product placed under the waterline.Yacht crew during the Monaco Yacht Show 2019Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht Times Think about sustainability

Fillers are not only just great protection, but they also help with insulation and energy saving. In particular, they help to reduce the consumption of air conditioning in summer. Sustainable options are becoming more and more popular across the market and therefore many suppliers are reworking their products to accommodate this demand.Cannes Yachting Festival 2019 - Day 2Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesWork with reliable experts

A good supplier should have a portfolio of services that proves how they can make the customer journey more satisfactory. Their work should also fall in line with goals for sustainability, the kind of support they are able to offer and their complete range of services. Good coatings manufacturers with plenty of experience will also be able to provide reliability to the owners with a good list of references and past projects to support their credibility. 

Make sure you work with the right people when implementing your superyacht’s top of the line top coating. To find out more about Boero’s range of products, including the Challenger PRO, contact the firm directly via the information below. 

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