Benefits of offering clear coating

Using no new equipment or people and an easily applied clear coating rejuvenation system, you can restore “like new” color and shine to your boating customers while making a nice profit in the process. Because every boat owner wants their watercraft to look as clean & shiny as the first day it came off the showroom floor, but find that difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

What makes the fiberglass gelcoat or aluminum  lose color intensity and luster? Sun, heat and moisture are the three major causes of degradation. Combined, they work to dry out the pigment molecules that give the surface its color and shine. They slowly degrade the molecules from an almost marble-like sphericality to a dimpled golf ball surface and, eventually, to a fuzzy tennis ball where the color is faded and shine diffused. So what do you do?

Anything clear that returns moisture to the surface will wet out the pigments returning their color and restoring their molecules to microscopic marbles so light can be magnified from diffuse to pure specular gloss for maximum shine. If you want proof of how easy it is to restore color and shine to anything faded, get a sample piece of really dull and oxidized fiberglass. Simply take some soft scrub, a sponge and a bottle of olive oil from your kitchen. After cleaning a small area, pour some oil on to that faded piece of fiberglass… Voilà, it is instantly restored. And, it will stay like that for a few days.

You can see from the olive oil demonstration that restoration of color and shine is easy; it’s the maintaining of a like-new appearance that is more difficult. A quality acrylic polymer clear coating does the restoration for years not days. While eventually it will need reapplication, this can be easily done to once again restore the color and mirror-like gloss while  providing effective weather protection for another two to 3 years instead of two to three months for the best buff & polish job. And, the proper coating reduces friction and drag resulting in fuel savings. It is not unknown for the fuel savings on a frequently used boat to almost pay back the cost of application over two years.

What to charge? Obviously, pricing is market driven but a reasonable starting point for most boats is $40 to $50 per linear foot, more for deep hulls. That makes a cost to the customer on a 20 foot boat, for the top and hull, of $800 to $1000. Labor cost for cleaning and application (which can be done by roll and tip or spraying), takes 3 to 4 hours, and should be less than $100. Clear coating will vary but should be less than $200. You can at least net more than $500 on this boat. And, clear coating all the polished aluminum and stainless steel moldings, supports, outriggers and railings “bright work” to not only protects them from the three damaging environmental effects mentioned earlier, but also, if you are in a salt water environment, from the ravages of salt attack.

So, while doing a valuable service for your clients, you can add measurably to your bottom line. Your customer will enjoy years of stress relief, relaxation, increased affordability and just pure fun on the water.

William Rice founded Vivilon Coatings in 1979. It is the oldest producer of a full line of clear coatings to restore and protect almost every outdoor surface. Contact them at 800-848-4566 (800-VIVILON) or email: viviloncoatings[AT]

One comment

  1. It’s really nice that gel coating on boats can help your boat look like new. One of my friends absolutely loves boating, so I think she may be interested in learning more about gel coating. Thanks for all the great information on gel coats and how to maintained them.

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