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7 Myths of Ceramic Coating?

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

Ceramic coatings? Should they be getting the hype they deserve? As a professional detailer, I am excited to work with some of the leading brands in the industry. Ceramic coatings definitely have much to offer when it comes to protecting your gelcoat. But... I think there are a few things you should know before you decide for yourself!. Today we are breaking down 7 myths when it comes to ceramic coating your boat!

Myth #1 Ceramic coatings don't work

Are you one of those boaters or detailers who doesn't believe in ceramic coatings? Perhaps you had a bad experience, used a knock off coating, or applied your ceramic to a boat that wasn't prepped correctly. All of these are valid reasons to throw ceramics out the door. However, the results are in the science! The nano coating technology will outlast a wax or polymer any day. Prep the boat correctly, remove ALL oxidation, use a 9-10H coating and you are set to see the magic. Ceramic coatings create durable bonds that can hold up for 12-24 months on marine applications. Some of the most reliable brands include Starke Yacht Care (Use code: TOPDOCK15 for 15% off all Starke ceramics), Gtechniq, and IGL Coatings. Tip: Newer boats will hold up longer because the gelcoat has less damage.

Myth #2 New boats don't require prep work

New boats do require prep work. I get this question a lot. You should still run a polish on new boats before you apply a ceramic coating. Give the boat a wash down with dawn dish soap to strip any waxes or oils. This is important for the bonding of the ceramic coating. Then run a polish like Starke Elevate to remove minor scratches and imperfections. After that you're good to coat without any speculation of whether or not it will last.

Myth #3 Graphene ceramic coatings last longer

Do graphene coatings actually last longer than your standard silicone based ceramics? Many claim they do... but I still don't think it's proven. Not just yet. What benefits do you get with graphene? A higher water contact angle, less heat absorption, less water spotting, repels dust, and superior flexibility to name a few. Do you actually notice any of these features? I have not, only a slight increase in water beading. Do any of these characteristics actually suggest longer durability? In terms of the science, graphene is more durable, not to mention forming only a single layer atom! On paper you would agree graphene gets the win! In the real world application, I have not noticed a significant amount of extra durability when compared to silicone based ceramics. Although I think graphene is friendly to work with, more flexible, it's extremely expensive. I encourage everyone to give graphene a try for themselves. Be careful, some ceramics are infused with graphene and other ceramics are true graphene coatings. True graphene ceramics gets the attention in our conversation today. Graphene for me is a myth!

Myth #4 Ceramic coatings require less maintenance

Ceramics coatings don't necessarily require more work but they also don't require less. Regardless of the situation, ceramic coatings last the longest and work the best when they are clean and free of debris. You let dirt and dust build up, the gelcoat will get much hotter sitting out in the sun. The more we can eliminate heat on the surface of your ceramic coating the longer we can make it last. Keep your boat clean. It's easy after you have it coated. Wash it, apply Sio2 topcoats and you will be on the path to the best success with your ceramic. Do the work required for proper maintenance, hire a wash company, but don't let your coating go to waste!

Myth #5 Ceramic coatings last forever

Ceramic coatings certainly don't last forever. In a marine environment? Forget it! They aren't one time coatings and you're set for life. Unfortunately, haha. And if you see this advertised somewhere don't believe it! It's not true on a boat. In fact, most ceramic coatings last between 1-3 years depending on storage, sun exposure, heat, water environment, and so much more! Apply your coating to the best of your ability or hire a company that will and you've done your best! Don't have false expectations :)

Myth #6 Ceramic coatings are scratch proof

Ceramic are not scratch proof... sadly. But they are scratch resistant. At least a little bit. Because they achieve a 9-10H hardness on the pencil scale, any minor scratches will scratch the coating rather than your gelcoat or paint. I have certainly noticed this with paint, but the same goes with gelcoat. Don't expect to hit a rock, another vessel, a dock, and think your boat is indestructible!

Myth #7 Ceramic coatings aren't susceptible to harsh chemicals

The last myth to bust! Although it may seem like ceramic coatings aren't susceptible to anything, they actually are. Every time you wash your boat with degreaser or dish soap, or even a PH balanced soap for that matter, you shorten the life of the coating. So I don't suggest washing your boat everyday! If you keep your boat covered and away from the sun, it's not necessary to wash it until you use the boat. However, if you dock at a marina and your boat gets a lot of the elements, then you should wash it when as it gets dirty. The main takeaway here is that you can use degreaser and dish soap on your boat, it won't strip the coating, but it will decrease the durability in the long-run. Use your best judgment, sometimes you need to remove water spots with a product like Starke Venom and that's okay.

That's all for today! Hopefully you were able to learn more about ceramic coatings. What to expect and what not to expect. Ceramic coatings overall are an amazing innovation to the industry, but we had to clear up the myths today! Thanks for sticking around.

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