Article by ONBOARD Magazine
SHINING INTO THE FUTURE
by Claire Steel, Director, and Founder of CeraShield
7 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SELECTING A CERAMIC YACHT COATING COMPANY
With Ceramic Coatings firmly embedded in the superyacht sector, the interested parties within the industry are calling for higher standards and regulations from ceramic coating companies. Paint applicators, paint manufacturers, yacht surveyors, and shipyards are requesting that Captains, management companies and owners’ representatives carry out more due diligence when selecting a company to apply ceramic coatings to a vessel.
CeraShield has designed a contractors checklist for use by captains, crew, and yacht managers, to ensure that the service you choose meets all the necessary requirements.
Terms & Conditions
Terms and conditions contain important information. To avoid any uncertainty during the execution of the project and any warranty issues that may follow, it is vital that any company quoting provide terms and conditions.
- What is included in the contract?
- What is excluded?
- What circumstances could/would void the warranty?
- What is the service provider’s warranty policy?
- How is additional work outside of the original scope of works charged for?
Often companies with extended warranties will have clauses regarding the gloss of the coating. Down gloss should average 10 GU (Gloss Units) a year.
Removal of Coatings
The most common question asked about ceramic coatings and surprisingly the question that no one researches enough is, “can ceramic coatings be removed?” Simply having a company say they can remove their coating is not enough. The paint applicators and paint surveyors need to answer this question for you before you agree on a company.
- What laboratory testing has been carried out to prove their coating can be removed before a paint job?
- Does the company have testimonials from vessels who have applied ceramic and removed it prior to repainting?
- Can the ceramic company demonstrate evidence of recent experience of removal before a paint job?
Actively follow up on removal references provided.
Seek advice from experienced paint applicators and paint surveyors.
As the ceramic coating industry evolves, much like the paint application sector, quality international standards are a significant process in the project.
- How does the chosen service provider manage their quality-of-service delivery?
- What recognised standards does the company adhere to, for example, ISO or ICOMIA?
- How do they assess their quality control?
- Do they use calibrated gloss readers to measure before and after gloss readings?
- Will the company provide quality control documentation and a final report?
- What environmental systems do they have in place?
- What is their health and safety policy?
Check the company has valid, in-date liability insurance and that all the workers are legally employed and covered under the company´s insurance.
- Request a copy of their insurance policy
- Valid global coverage insurance
- Valid work contracts
Tags: ceramic coatings, CerasShield
To establish credibility and trust it is important for the yacht coating company to provide references, up-to-date testimonials and case studies of similar projects, to verify their experience.
- Ask the company for case studies showing a project being undertaken
- Request references of vessels they have coated and contact the crew directly
- Contact the crew about any warranty issues they have had and how the company has responded to them
- What refit/commercial yards does the company work with?
- What is the longevity of the client’s relationship with the company?
- Does the company have any endorsements from paint applicators and paint surveyors?
Product Testing & Quality
There is a wide choice of ceramic coating companies offering different products. It is important to enquire what product testing has been carried out, in a laboratory, using weathering chambers that simulate the superyacht environment.
- Has your chosen supplier carried out weathering testing to demonstrate longevity?
- What compounds are they using for preparation?
- Are the compounds being used water or oil-based, instead of alcohol-based?
- Request Technical Data Sheets (TDS) to be kept on file
- Do you know if the products used are substitute ceramic coatings for cars or specifically designed and tested for yachts?
It is the obligation of the business selected to account for its actions. With an experienced, knowledgeable, and professional team, the project is more likely to be delivered effectively on time, and in line with expectations.
We believe that the future of ceramic coatings is bright. In the not-too-distant future development of new coatings that offer a lower silicon content will be available. New builds, especially vessels over 100m will opt to apply ceramic coatings at the build stage and for ceramic coatings companies, paint manufacturers and paint applicators to work together, there needs to be more research, standards and documentation provided by the ceramic coating companies.