When they arrive fresh from the manufacturer, the vast majority of boats are going to be covered with a gel coat finish. This is a resin-based material that dries hard to create a tough shell around the hull, and it can last for a long time before touch-ups are required.
Unfortunately, you will need to add further protection eventually due to anything from bumps and knocks to fouling and simple exposure to the elements. When that happens, you'll need to decide between either reapplying a gel coat or using marine paint. While both options have their own benefits and drawbacks, most owners find marine paint is the better option.
Continue reading for three reasons why.
1. More Design Options
While gel coats and marine paints both offer exceptional durability, gel coats fall behind when it comes to design options. You'll only find gel coats available in a limited number of colours, and it's very hard to use a gel coat for custom images and graphics. That's fine when the boat is first made since the manufacturer will want to keep the design relatively neutral, but owners often like to choose their own colours and designs. Marine paint is ideal since you can find it in a huge range of colours and shades. It's also much easier to apply with custom graphics and images.
2. Easier Application
Preparation will involve sanding down the hull of your boat regardless of whether you choose marine paint or gel coat, but from there, things are much easier with paint. Gel coat needs to be sanded, buffed, and polished once applied in order to create the desired appearance and coverage, and it isn't something many owners are happy to apply themselves. In contrast, marine paint can be sprayed on without any special abilities. That's great for those who prefer DIY projects, but it's also advantageous for those hiring professionals since painting will tend to take less time and require less labour.
3. Range of Options
Two-part marine paints use one part paint and one additional option for added benefits. Marine paints can include coatings against UV radiation and fouling to keep your boat's hull clean and undamaged. You can also find anti-slip coatings and add final primers to provide additional protective layers that match the environment where you intend to take your boat. That means marine paint is versatile enough to work around a wide range of needs and wants.
For more information, contact a company such as Crystal Paints.