The new, special yacht coatings by the Hamburg paint manufacturer Mankiewicz Gebr. & Co. are starting to capture the market.
The chemical formulas of Alexseal Yacht Coatings are long and the compositions complicated. The new high-tech paints are the result of long-term research and development and offer the highest quality and simple, practical application. Alexseal is the name of the quality coating for yachts by the traditional Hamburg varnish factory Mankiewicz Gebr. & Co, which has made a name for itself for decades in the global market of special paints for aviation, automakers and industry. The third generation owner managed, medium sized company established in 1895, successfully sets on continuous advancement of its products. Nearly 100 experts employed in the research and development department in the Hamburg parent plant ensures Mankiewicz will take an international leading position despite the competition of worldwide operating paint manufacturers. In the past years, the growth numbers of the Hamburg varnish specialist have always been in double digits. The number of the now almost 700 employees had doubled within a short period and new markets were also conquered with the new yacht paints under the Alexseal brand.
The success has multiple fathers. Aside from the familiar high quality the products offer, company owner Michael O. Grau, a regatta yachtsman and team worker, is an excellent motivator of his employees. Addtionally, it is the research and development department, which is rather large for a medium sized business, ensured the relatively new division offering yacht paints would quickly steer the course of success. The Alexseal Yacht Coatings are polyurethane and epoxy based. The exact compositions achieved after long research are a highly guarded company secret. The coating systems manufactured specifically for the various applications are characterized by high resistance to saltwater and extreme exposure to UV rays, conditions commonly found at sea.
We have refined the ‚Wet-Look’,“ explains Michael O. Grau, referring to surfaces which always shine as if they are still wet. Extremely smooth paint, deep gloss and the particularly hard surface ensure the continued luster of Alexseal. Regatta yachtsman Grau, an avid water sportsman who spends plenty of his spare time on the water, among boats and yachts, recognizes the typical Alexseal luster on yacht hulls.
According to him it was a long development phase, with test after test, which also included the competition’s varnishes for comparison, until the Alexseal coatings showed their current qualities. Climate controlled chambers in the laboratory, in which test boards with Alexseal surfaces are exposed to extreme weather for months, are just as much a part of it as test areas in the hot California sun. There the test boards rotate with the sun, multiplying the realistic UV exposure.
The quality of Alexseal is especially clear with dark hull colors, which normally tend to quickly fade from the extreme UV exposure at sea.
According to Michael O. Grau, they have experienced dark blue yacht hulls in the Mediterranean, which still have a „Wet-Look“ luster after years. This luster can be objectively confirmed using special measuring devices. Shipyards usually use the so-called „wave-scan DOI“ by BYK Gardner for this. A side note: The manufacturers of these devices the size of a small portable radio, which are constantly exposed to the sun, use Mankiewicz paint as their coating.
In the beginning, Alexseal was able to establish itself especially in the quality conscious manufacture of super yachts, where particularly many American and Australian yacht manufacturers decided on the high tech paints from Germany. But Alexseal keeps gaining more and more customer in Europe, too. Company president Grau attributes it to the paints above all having been manufactured with a goal of offering easy and economic use. In addition, environmental protection plays a major role at Mankiewicz Gebr. & Co. Alexseal coatings are low in solvents, which do not require being labeled as toxic. „Painters are happy“, says Michael O. Grau.
The continuous advancement of Alexseal in the research department of Mankiewicz offers new perspectives for the future. Pigments can be added to the yacht varnishes, which e.g. reflect infrared rays. This keeps dark colored yacht hulls from quickly heating up, which will further benefit the durability of the varnishes.
And so-called Sol-Gel technology opens new doors with Alexseal. Sol-Gel means a chemical connection of the attributes of varnish with the attributes of glass. The benefits are a surface similar to glass and especially scratch-resistant which will not become brittle and fragile. The composition of the newly developed high tech varnish is currently being prepared for the market.
Outstanding material and a committed, team oriented cooperation are the basis for our success,“ explains company president Michael O. Grau and refers that just these qualities bring success in regattas, as well. That the young but growing yacht paint department will soon close ranks with the great successes of other departments is a done deal for Mankiewicz.