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What are ceramic coatings and why are so many people talking about ceramics?
Has a detailer, friend, fellow boater, talked to you about this technology?
At the very least, I’m sure you have heard at least something about ceramic coatings, or possibly had your vehicle coated.
As a boat owner, it is probably safe to say you are looking for the best and most economical way to protect your boat, from the constant UV, salt as well as other environmental challenges.
With that, if you are attending 2018 FLIBS and would like to learn more about ceramic coatings, come by the Glidecoat booth at the Nautical Ventures AquaZone which is in the Sailfish Pavilion at the Broward Convention Center and one of our team members will address your questions.
A few common questions you may be thinking about;
Most boat owners we speak to are used to having their boat buffed and waxed a few times a year to help protect and add shine to the boat.
And, if you have owned and maintained a boat for any period of time, you know wax does not last long here in South Florida. Maybe 2 -3 months, if your lucky.
So, is it worth the extra cost to apply a ceramic coating?
Here is a great article written by Christian Westhorpe at Glidecoat describing the differences between Wax and Ceramic Coatings to see if they are worth it.
2). How much does it cost to have a ceramic coating applied to my boat?
A challenging question to generalize, as each boat is unique and a boat owners needs can be different.
That said, it is important to understand we are talking about a different service than buff and wax.
To provide a frame of reference, the rates for a ceramic coating application can start at $80 per linear foot and range up to $250 on the high end.
The rates are dependent on a number of factors; boat condition, where will the work be done (in the water, trailer, inside, lift to name a few), which sections of the boat will be coated, etc.
When applying a ceramic coating, the preparation is essential for success.This typically requires multiple restoration steps to remove oxidization and restore the shine.
As an example, if your boat hasn’t been detailed in 1 – 2 years and has signs of heavy oxidization. You will need to complete the following steps to restore the boat and then apply a ceramic coating;
Step #1 – Wash the entire boat
Step #2 – Heavy cut compound with a wool pad (Depending on the surface, this step may need to be completed 2 – 3 times)
Step #3 – Medium cut compound with wool or foam pad (may need to be repeated)
Step #4 – Polish (this step may need to be repeated)
Step #5 – Sterilize the surface to remove any dirt, compound or polish residue from the surface
Step #6 – Apply two coats of Glidecoat Liquid Crystal
As you can note, this is a thorough preparation process that generates tremendous results as typically we are able to restore boats to better than new finish. Check out our 20+ case studies.
3). How long do ceramic coatings last?
This is dependent on the product you choose to be applied to your boat.
As a frame of reference, more than 90% of ceramic coating companies started in the automotive industry and thought it would be a seamless transition into marine.
And, the reality is, marine conditions and bonding with gel coat/paint is much harsher than applying ceramics to painted aluminum with minimal exposure to salt and other challenges.
The Glidecoat ceramic coating has been specifically manufactured for the harsh marine conditions and thoroughly tested here in South Florida. Our ceramic coating will last 18 months here in what is one of the toughest marine environments in the US. In northern climates, such as the Great Lakes, you can expect 2-3 years.
That’s at least 6x longer than wax!!
If you have any questions about ceramic coatings, please come by the Glidecoat booth at the Nautical Ventures AquaZone which is in the Sailfish Pavilion at the Broward Convention Center and one of our team members will help you.
Enjoy FLIBS and we hope to meet you at the show!