Ceramic coating offers a protective barrier against an array of external elements. It is effective on cars, trucks, and even boats. While it may seem obvious that the ceramic coating can be applied to the parts of the boat that sit above the water, what about what sits in the water?
Can you ceramic coat the bottom of a boat? The short answer is yes.
How to Protect the Bottom of Your Boat
There are quite a few ways to protect your boat:
- Ceramic coating
- Antifouling paint
- Plastic polymers
Particularly the bottom of the boat needs protecting because the water is brutal. Whether it’s sitting in salt or freshwater, the water can take its toll. Combine that with varying temperatures, the UV rays of the sun, and wind, and your boat is going to become damaged over time.
Some kind of coating will be necessary so that there’s a protective barrier in place.
Ceramic coating is popular because it is hydrophobic. Water will repel from the surface.
The average boat hull has a gel coat in place. It’s water and UV-resistant, but it’s also porous. This means that it’s extremely susceptible to oxidation, contaminants, and staining.
You’ll have to decide which protective barrier you want to create.
While antifouling paint will prevent the growth of barnacles and such, it’s not going to offer the same protective barrier as ceramic coating.
Why is Ceramic Coating a Good Solution?
The ceramic coating has been gaining popularity within the marine market for a number of reasons. One of the top reasons is because of its ability to provide protection longer than wax or other sealants. Without reapplying, it can last 18 to 24 months – and even longer in the north where the sun isn’t quite as hot year-round.
The ceramic coating also contains silicon dioxide (SiCO2). The more silica within the formula, the better it is going to be. This is why it’s critical to compare the various brands that can be used in the application process.
DIY products will generally have less silica than professional ceramic coatings. Ideally, the formula should contain 90 percent silica. To ensure it secures properly, however, the surface has to be extensively prepared.
When the ceramic coating is applied properly and professionally, it can make it easier to keep the boat clean and protect against many of the elements.
The ceramic coating also provides something that gel coat doesn’t – a candy apple gloss. Often, when you have a gel coat in place, it starts to look chalky. It develops the appearance of flat paint. And even if you are washing and waxing on a regular basis, you may still find that you have to sand and paint at the end of every season or two.
Once you apply the ceramic coating on the bottom of the boat, you can stop sanding, painting, and waxing. It ends up being the only protective solution that needs to be put into place. And while it’s an expensive process, it ends up being the most cost-effective one when you consider all of the time you save. It also adds more protection.
From year to year, all you have to do is maintain the ceramic coating. As it wears every two to three years, it can be re-applied. It keeps the fiberglass bottom from disintegrating and ensures that your boat looks its very best – in and out of the water.
Finding the Right Ceramic Coating
As ceramic coatings have gained popularity within the marine industry, there are more and more products hitting the market.
If you’re going to ceramic coat the bottom of your boat, there’s an important question to ask: what product should be used?
DIY vs. Professional: Consider whether you want the coating to be made for DIY application or if you want a professional to take care of the entire process for you.
Level of silica: Look at the amount of silica to ensure you get a level that will provide you with a higher level of sheen as well as more of a protective barrier.
Life: Products vary dramatically as some are more of a high-end wax than a ceramic coating. It can be the difference of having to reapply every six months versus every two or three years.
Application process: Products vary in terms of how they’re applied. Some will require you to prepare the surface significantly before applying the ceramic coating. Some products are in a spray bottle or a built-in applicator to make the process faster and easier. Consider your skill level to determine the application process that will work the best for you.
Once you make a few comparisons of products, you should be able to confidently choose a product and/or application company to ensure your boat is well-protected season after season.
Breaking Myths About Ceramic Coating a Boat
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths floating around about ceramic coating a boat in terms of what can and cannot be done.
Ceramic coating is not a permanent barrier. It is considered “semi-permanent” because, depending on the product and the overall level of maintenance, it can last for up to eight years. During that time, you still have to wash your boat – you just won’t have to scrub as hard to get dirt and other contaminants off of the surface.
It’s also important to know that ceramic coating is not an alternative to anti-fouling paint. While it will clean up some of the water lines, it won’t prevent growth. Yellowing can still happen, and barnacles can still grow.
Not all boats are a candidate for ceramic coating, either. It’s another reason why you should depend on the expertise of a professional. They’ll talk to you about the condition of your boat’s gel coat and whether ceramic coating will be a beneficial investment.
Working with a Professional Application Company
Not everyone has experience with ceramic coating a boat, which is all the more reason to work with a professional. Bob Moses Ceramic Coating is a well-known company with experience working on boats and other watercraft. The SENSHA ceramic coating product that is used in the process also ensures that you get the quality aesthetic and durability that you demand.
Whenever you’re ready to ceramic coat your boat, top and bottom, take the time to explore your options. Particularly because of the size and awkwardness of a boat, you don’t want to take the DIY approach.
Get quotes, ask questions about the process, and book your ceramic coating appointment with a professional company with confidence.