The elements are unforgiving, and without regular maintenance a sea-going vessel quickly loses its looks, and eventually becomes a safety hazard. However, boat vinyl graphics by planet Wrap can help with both the cosmetic appearance of your boat, and protect it from the corrosive effects of sun and salt water. The durability and protective qualities of vinyl makes it the ideal outer skin for any vessel. When compared to traditional marine protective coatings, it can provide a much more comprehensive solution with less downtime and less maintenance. Additionally, vinyl wraps produce little or no damaging effects to the marine environment, unlike paint applications which have always carried a residual risk.
Where can it be Applied?
Wraps can be applied to any part of a vessel except below the water-line. It’s recommended that a wrap be taken down as far as a boot-topping line but the nature of vinyl makes it unsuitable below this point. As on any vessel, an anti-fouling system is recommended for below the water-line.
How to Maintain a Vinyl Wrap
Vinyl has fantastic durability, and although there are certain maintenance procedures which need to be followed it generally requires less washing down that painted surfaces. The nature of vinyl means that is sheds dirt and soiling naturally. Vinyl surfaces need significantly less attention than painted ones and boat owners only require basic cleaning materials to maintain a lasting glossy shine.
However, there are some things to take into consideration: Fuel spills and certain oil spills need to be cleaned up quickly to avoid discolouration. Also, high-powered jet washes are not recommended, especially at the vinyl edging. Regular use of high-powered washes can raise the vinyl at its most vulnerable parts. If powered washes are used it is recommended to use at a lower power setting, or to maintain a safe distance between lance and surface area.
Polishes can be used to prolong the lustre of the vinyl. However, care must be taken to use vinyl friendly applications. Recommendations include: 3M Car Wash, Deep Crystal, Meguiar’s NXT Generation.
Who is it for?
Anyone can benefit from a vinyl wrap, from small leisure craft owners to large merchant vessel corporations. New builds are particularly suitable for this technology as chances of an underlying fault within the vessel’s structure are significantly reduced. However, the appearance of older vessels can be dramatically changed with a vinyl upgrade, and the preparation needed before an application is no different than that of a traditional paint coating. Minor discrepancies and rust patches must be treated, and filling and feathering should be carried out to make surfaces as smooth as possible. A vinyl wrap will disguise many small scratches but any obstructions which are raised need to be reduced to a clean finish before application.
With this technology becoming more advanced it seems likely that the future of marine protection lies with vinyl. With significant savings to be made, and a much needed alternative to the traditional, less environmentally friendly approach, vinyl will surely be an option for the future.