Sea vessels are exposed to the elements all the time. Even if they are manufactured from durable materials, several parts of the watercraft are vulnerable to corrosion and other damage from various factors, such as freshwater and saltwater, pollution, and marine microorganisms.
Protecting water vessels is critical to ensure that they are seaworthy. It could be disastrous if the watercraft becomes vulnerable, especially on the parts that are submerged in water.
The most vital products to protect them are marine coatings, which are specially developed for the marine environment. They are used for the protection of boats, ships, tankers, various water vessels, and other structures that are erected in the water, such as offshore oil rigs. They are waterproof and help the vessel glide smoothly in the water.
Each type of marine coating has particular functional properties to protect the different surfaces of water vessels from abrasion and corrosion. Marine paints, particularly polyurethane paints provide maximum gloss and color retention, weather resistance, maximum resistance to water, solvents, oils, and other chemicals, as well as resistance to abrasion and impact. They increase the efficiency of the vessel while lowering maintenance costs.
Applications of marine coatings
Marine coatings such as Durabak’s marine grade paint are specifically formulated to ensure that the water vessel sails smoothly, meaning it prevents marine fouling and corrosion and makes the vessel self-cleaning. In the marine industry, fouling is when organisms attach to the parts of the vessel that are underwater. But these microorganisms do not only attach to marine vessels. They also attach themselves to building structures, pipes, ropes, and other materials that are submerged in water.
Parts where marine coatings are applied:
Below the waterline
For water vessels, marine-grade paint is applied to the parts below the waterline, the parts that are always submerged in water. The part is primed with anti-corrosion paint followed by anti-fouling paint.
Along the waterline
Marine coating is also applied on the part along the waterline. This part of the vessel’s hull is usually above the water but can be intermittently submerged. The part is often painted with polyurethane resin or alkyd and vinyl resin paints.
Superstructures and topsides
The topsides and superstructures (the parts of the marine vessel that project above the vessel’s main deck) are the exposed parts of ships and other water vessels. They are exposed to salt spray and may sustain damage due to the handling of cargo. On superstructures, the preferred primary coatings are zinc chromate or red lead. The primer on superstructures is often overlaid with white finishing paints. These finishing paints may be alkyd or oleo-resinous paints that contain non-yellowing oils.
If the superstructures are made from aluminum, zinc chromate paints are used.
Other applications of marine coatings
Marine coatings and paints are waterproof coatings that are applied on every type of water vessel, and for houses, including exterior surfaces, furniture, and hardwood floors to make them waterproof.
Marine coatings release toxic fumes during application. While you can apply the coating yourself on small water vessels, you should hire professionals to do the job if your watercraft is bigger, as the job will require more tools, equipment, and the right skills and training.