With over ten years of successful product applications, ALEXSEAL® now offers what are unquestionably the best fairing and priming products in the marine market, all while working tirelessly to also produce the best topcoats available.
When selecting the right topcoat paint for a yacht, it is important to note that there is much more to consider than simply choosing what’s easiest or least expensive to apply. ALEXSEAL believes in providing a superior product, and there is a never-ending effort that goes into this primary purpose. Not only are these the most advanced products on the marine market, but a diverse team of chemists, engineers and technicians are always working together to improve the existing formulas and systems to provide products that are user friendly and can achieve outstanding results in a variety of climates. Since ALEXSEAL’s formal debut in 2004, the topcoat system has undergone many incremental improvements, in a genuine aim to make them better every day.
One such example is the pioneering of an optimized manufacturing process, or OMP, which has resulted in substantial improvements to the flow of topcoat products during this time. Premium polyester polyurethane manufacturing, such as ALEXSEAL’s process, requires the best ingredients. Chemists use a very specific combination of polyol resins and catalysts to achieve a reaction that targets 100% molecular cross-linkage, meaning every molecule is matched, mated and connected with another one during the curing process. Unmatched molecules can lead to a breached finish and the resulting disappointments of lost protection and beauty. Achieving 100% cross-linkage is a lofty goal and it is the primary reason polyester based polyurethanes retain gloss better than competing products. This molecular crosslinking creates a tougher finish that stands up better to real world wear and tear on a yacht. One can see this in practice in places such as longer lasting non-skid decks and resistance to damage from rubbing fenders on a hull-side.
Despite any paint’s toughness, repairs to a yacht’s surface are inevitable. Guests will bump the dinghy around; crews can make mistakes; and the habits of other boaters aren’t always predictable. When a mishap does occur to the topcoat, the initial choice in paint technologies can mean the difference between an easy, seamless repair and an unsightly frustration.
Today’s aliphatic polyester polyurethane coatings, like ALEXSEAL, are comprised of resins in which the pigment thoroughly saturates the entire thickness of the paint film. To the contrary, traditional polyurethanes separate out into a clear surface coat, with the color or pigment underneath. When a repair is needed, these traditional coatings require buffing and sanding all the way through the clear portion of the finish in order to affect the color beneath. This need to deeply abrade the coating during repairs can result in a prominent “halo effect,” and makes completing a seamless repair much more difficult—even for the most experienced of technicians.
While acrylic paint can be repaired like a full-pigment polyurethane, acrylics are much softer and do not provide the durability and resistance to harsh marine elements that premium polyester polyurethanes can. The softness of acrylic coatings also makes them less than optimal for nonskid and other high traffic or scratch prone areas of a yacht. For instance, a soft coating often jeopardizes a satisfactory color match between a bulkhead and cockpit sole, as the areas wear at different rates. By their very nature, acrylics just don’t work very well in these circumstances. That is why experienced yachtsmen and applicators usually choose polyester polyurethane when they seek a highly durable finish.
When choosing a polyurethane topcoat, there is an alternative to compromising between traditional aviation style polyester polyurethanes—which provide the hardest surface with the highest chemical resistance—and automotive style acrylic polyurethanes—that are softer with quick drying and easy to repair characteristics. You no longer have to choose between a hard to scratch, yet hard to repair, polyester system and an easy to repair, yet easy to scratch, acrylic based system. The choice is now clear; ALEXSEAL Yacht Coatings provides a superior solution—designed from the molecular level on up—to excel over the competition in all marine applications.