Should I Ceramic Coat My Boat?
As a Professional Boat Detailing Company located in New Hampshire, we are asked by clients nearly on a daily basis whether or not they should have their boat ceramic coated. In recent years, these semi-permanent protective coatings have taken the Automotive and Marine industry by storm, and ceramic coatings have been notarized as the "superior" option for vehicle protection. As the level of protection Ceramic Coatings provide is a great choice for boat owners, there are some questions you should ask yourself before deciding whether or not to ceramic coat your boat.
As professional detailers, we have priced out the cost for the application and maintenance of ceramic coatings over 2 years vs the cost to have Polymer Sealants applied every 4-6 months over 2 years. This pricing is based off of our current averages and timeline of Maintenance required to get the most out of each coating.
24ft Boat (Example) Ceramic Coating and 2 Years of Maintenance:
Interior & Exterior Ceramic Coating: $100 / foot = $2,400
Maintenance Wash & Ceramic Enhancement 1: $15 / ft = $360
Maintenance Wash & Ceramic Enhancement 2: $15 / ft = $360
Maintenance Wash & Ceramic Enhancement 3: $15 / ft = $360
Maintenance Wash & Ceramic Enhancement 4: $15 / ft = $360
Total Cost for 2 Years of Ceramic Coating Protection: $3,840
2021 24ft Boat (Example) Price for Polymer Sealant for 2 Years of Protection:
Interior & Exterior Wash and Wax 1: $25 /ft = $600
Interior & Exterior Wash and Wax 2: $25 /ft = $600
Interior & Exterior Wash and Wax 3: $25 /ft = $600
Interior & Exterior Wash and Wax 4: $25 /ft = $600
Total Cost for 2 Years of Polymer Sealant Protection: $2,400
If you are interested in having your boat ceramic coated, these are the 3 questions you should ask prior to the application of a Ceramic Coating:
1. How often do you intend to have maintenance details performed?
It is crucial to understand that Ceramic Coatings are NOT a permanent protectant for your boat. The lifespan of ceramic coatings is completely dependent on the level of maintenance you intend to perform on your coating. Depending on the brand and quality of the ceramic coating being used on your boat, the lifespan generally will last for 1-2 seasons. It is recommended that after your boat is ceramic coated, maintenance details and Ceramic Enhancements are applied on a regular basis (every 4-6 months) in order to get the most out of your coating. Ceramic Coatings are NOT a “set it and forget it” type of protection.
2. What is your budget?
With the longevity that ceramic coatings provide, it is important to understand the cost of having these services performed on your boat. Depending on the age, make, model, and size of your boat, the price per foot for ceramic coatings generally starts at $100 per foot. This price is justified, due to the significant cost of Ceramic Coatings and the intricate procedure required for proper application. For example, the ceramic coating that we trust (as well as many other detailers) Starke Repel Pro costs $225 for just a 100 ML tincture. The same amount (100 ML) of Polymer Sealant Hyper Hold Pro costs just $11.21.
The material cost alone for Ceramic Coatings is approximately 20x the cost for a Marine Grade Polymer Sealant.
3. What is your end-goal for having your boat ceramic coated?
This question is extremely important and ties the previous 2 together. If you are interested in having your boat ceramic coated, what is the reason? For boats that are constantly exposed to the elements, and are being rinsed off on a consistent basis (fishing boats, yachts, charter boats, etc.) a ceramic coating will allow for much easier cleaning and maintenance. These coatings will withstand the elements and keep your boat protected for 2-3x the length of a polymer sealant. However, if your end goal is simply to keep your boat looking as good as possible, you may be better suited to have a Polymer sealant applied every 4-6 months. Polymer Sealants have many similar qualities to ceramic coatings. They allow for UV Protection, water beading, and make it easier to clean your boat with the proper products.
If you have more questions about the level of protection that is recommended for your boat, always consult with your local detailing company. Be conscious of the fact that detailing companies will often try to persuade you into a Ceramic Coating, due to its price. However, using this guide will help you navigate your options and choose the most viable sealant or coating for your boat.
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