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Everything You Need to Know About Yacht Painting


Posted by Chris Savage on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 7:00:00 am

If you own a yacht, you’ve either needed yacht painting before, or you’ll eventually need your boat touched up with professional yacht painting services. Here’s a rundown of how the process of painting a yacht actually works.

Preparing Before Painting

Before we start painting your yacht, we need to prepare correctly. Yacht painting is about 80% prep work, 20% actual painting. Without the right preparation, the paint job will fail. First, we remove old Gelcoat and layers of wax, getting the surface ready so that the paint will adhere correctly. Without this step, the outcome is exceedingly poor. It’s essential to remove wax and Gelcoat for a great paint job.

Gelcoat is the standard coating for the majority of modern yachts. It protects the outer surface, preventing mold from growing on the surface of the fiberglass. It also adds pigmentation, but overall, Gelcoat isn’t particularly durable. When it’s exposed to sunlight and salt water, it becomes more porous. The tiny pits that develop aren’t readily visible to the naked eye, but they accumulate waxy buildup that paint has a hard time adhering to. Before painting, we absolutely must remove the old Gelcoat.

After removing the wax and Gelcoat, we’ll sand and de-wax the exterior, then apply a special primer before we paint.

Special Considerations

Yacht painting is affected by the size and model of your particular yacht. Some models have hard-to-reach spaces that we may not be able to paint with a sprayer. For these areas, we brush paint instead. If you have non-skid decks, we probably can’t repaint them at all. Their specialized abrasive surfaces simply don’t hold paint very well, and sanding them isn’t an option.

Painting with Dark Colors

When people think “yacht,” white is generally the color that comes to mind. But recently, there’s been a growing trend of painting yachts with darker colors, like wide feature stripes or black areas between windows. Because these dark colors absorb heat, they can warp or damage the fiberglass surface. Using a checkerboard pattern is a way to avoid this damage, although in general, we don’t recommend dark colors on fiberglass yacht surfaces.

When to Paint Your Yacht

The best time for yacht painting is when ambient daytime temperatures are around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is below 65%. In South Florida, this means that fall and winter are usually the best time for yacht painting. At the height of summer, the oppressive heat and sweltering humidity aren’t particularly conducive to a good paint job. In South Florida, many yacht painters actually set up indoor booths for painting, since the right temperature and humidity conditions are hard to come by in our tropical climate.

Finding the Right Painter

Yacht painting is distinct from painting other vehicles or structures, and so it’s best left to professionals who specialize in yacht services. It’s best to stick with a reliable company that already has a great reputation by word of mouth, and to steer clear of fly-by-night operations. By law, urethane painting work must be conducted in enclosed spray booths, preventing environmental contamination.

Yacht Painting & Yacht Services in Fort Lauderdale

At Foster’s Yacht Services, we provide yacht painting, yacht repair, yacht refit, and other services for South Florida yacht and mega yacht (M/Y) owners. When you’re due for a new paint job, contact us any time to schedule with us.

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6 Helpful Yacht Refit Tips


Posted by Chris Savage on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 7:00:00 am

Your yacht or mega yacht (M/Y) may occasionally need repair or refit services. When that time comes, you’ll need to take it to yacht repair specialists. c

Consider an Interior “Soft Goods” Refit

One of the simplest ways to update the look and feel of your yacht is to do some interior design work. Swapping out curtains, cushions, and other things with tired old fabrics can breathe new life into your yacht’s interior. Many interior designers subcontract with fabricators for curtains and other related home goods. Today, marine fabrics have advanced significantly, and many durable “outdoor” fabrics are as comfortable and appealing as their indoor equivalents. Changing things like curtains is one of the most cost-effective ways to change up your yacht’s interior.

Plan Ahead and Set a Realistic Budget

One thing that can bring up your yacht refit expenditures is scope creep and “might-as-wells.” People think, “We did this, so we might as well do that.” The next thing you know, you’ve spent a ton of money and your refit still isn’t complete. You can help yourself avoid this trap by setting a realistic budget ahead of time. Defining a clear-cut scope for the project, with little ambiguity, can help you achieve what you wanted without overspending on features you don’t really need. Your budget should also account for unexpected setbacks and other potential contingencies.

Assemble an Experienced and Quality Team

Your yacht deserves the best, and when you’re considering a yacht refit, you’ll need to find a qualified yacht services company with experience, credibility, and a solid reputation.

Consider Refitting the Lighting

Lighting upgrades can help improve your yacht’s energy efficiency, especially if it’s an older boat. Today, LED lights are cheaper and more widely available than ever before. With an estimated lifespan of over 100,000 hours, you may not need to replace a lightbulb again for over a decade. They’re far more efficient than halogen bulbs, and the slightly higher upfront cost is offset several times over by energy savings and not needing to replace bulbs as often.

Don’t Underestimate the Time It Takes to Source Parts

If you need specific parts for your yacht refit, sourcing them can take a surprisingly long time. This is something you’ll need to keep in mind for your project. Order parts as early as possible, as manufacturers often hold small amounts of stock and can run out before another batch is manufactured.

Spring is the Busiest Time of Year

Spring is a popular time for yachters to want yacht refit services, meaning companies that specialize in yacht services can be booked full during these months. If you’re scheduling between March and May, it’s a good idea to try to commission the work well in advance to make sure contractors are available.

Yacht Services in Fort Lauderdale

At Foster’s Yacht Services, we’re among the area’s premier providers of yacht services, including yacht repair, yacht refit services, yacht painting, and more. Call us any time to schedule service for your yacht.

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4 Reasons Why You Should Attend The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show


Posted by Chris Savage on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 7:00:00 am

The largest boat show in the world, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat show, attracts thousands of people each year to the state of Florida. People fly in specifically for this event, many of whom who have already attended in the past. Listed below are four reasons why you should attend the Fort Lauderdale International Boat show.

Learn something new about the Boating Community

If you’re Interested in learning about the boating world, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat show is an excellent place to start. Whether you’re trying to “test the waters,” or are an experienced boat owner, there’s always something new to discover. Learn about the numerous types of boat makes and models, or keep up to date on the newest boats available on the market. It’s always good to see what you’re getting into before purchasing a boat, and to understand what it takes to own one. Joining us at the boat show will help you can gain insight on the industry by talking to experts about the merchandise. We also have seminars and classes that can help educate our guests on boating techniques such as boat control, anchoring, docking, multi-vessel rafting techniques, powerboating, and more. Even if you aren’t into boating, you can get the feel of the boating lingo and culture.

Networking and Employment Opportunities

Walking the dock at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat show is a great way to network. There you’ll find people visiting from all parallels and verticals across the globe. It’s a great place to market your business, and find new employment opportunities. You’ll be able to get the name of your company out there, and meet people that require the services offered by your business. Attending this event can help you make connections with new companies that deliver the services you’re looking for, and give you a chance to link up with big suppliers and vendors as well. What’s more, you can expand your contact list by mingling with potential employers and business partners, and shake hands with captains.

Exotic Cars

If our gamut of boats and sea vessels doesn’t entice you to come join the fun, then maybe our auto show will. Our exhibits include a plethora of exotic cars available on display: Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Bugatti, and more. You’ll even have a first look at new models that haven’t even been launched on the market yet. Our lineup of luxurious cars will certainly raise your eyebrows and keep you entranced.

Entertainment

There’s a reason why the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show hosts guests from all around the globe. It’s a place with an atmosphere suitable for the whole family to partake in. Everyone will find something that will make the drool slide off their palate. Whether it’s the food supplied at the event, the maze of immaculate boats, or the exotic cars, everyone will find something to enjoy. So jump on board, and come rock with us on the docks.

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Fort Lauderdale - The Yachting Capital of the World


Posted by Chris Savage on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 7:05:00 am

Fort Lauderdale - The Yachting Capital of the World

Fort Lauderdale is undoubtedly the yachting capital of the world, and it has been dubbed that by a variety of different yachting experts and publications. Fort Lauderdale has 50,000 registered yachts and over 300 miles of inland waterways. It also holds two of the largest cruise ships in the world, and, unsurprisingly, it is home to one of the largest boating shows in the world as well. Fort Lauderdale is scenic and very amenable to many different types of yachts. Here are some of the reasons that Fort Lauderdale is the yachting capital of the world:

The Waterways

As aforementioned, Fort Lauderdale has over 300 miles of inland waterways. That is not something that is very common in other port cities—at least, not to that extent. Fort Lauderdale offers a variety of different options for yachts, and the waterways are wide enough that they are able to squeeze through without trouble. The spacious avenues for yacht travel are enticing to owners of large cruise ships, which pass through Fort Lauderdale daily. Fort Lauderdale is also a very popular cruise ship locale.

The Weather

Florida weather is beautiful, and everyone has heard of the famed Florida sunshine. Yachting is fun, but being able to ride on a boat in the breeze and feel the sunshine is one of the many reasons that Fort Lauderdale is the yachting capital of the world. It combines its waterways and travel capabilities with the natural weather that has made Florida such a popular vacation destination for millions of tourists from around the world. Fort Lauderdale gets more sunny than rainy days (a LOT more), and yachting is one of the many ways to enjoy the weather in a relaxing way.

The Shipyards

The shipyards in Fort Lauderdale have sprung up to meet the demand. There are thousands of yachts in Fort Lauderdale, and the shipyards have arisen to meet the amount with gusto. They provide quality care and docking for yachts, refitting them and keeping them from incurring any damage while they aren’t being used. The refits of these yachts are often carried out in this yards with the assistance of partners with the yard itself. Fort Lauderdale is not only a great place to own a yacht and use a yacht, it is also great at refitting and refurbishing them.

The Crews

No yard would be complete without an excellent crew. The refits that are carried out on well-known ships across the globe require crew with expertise to match, and Fort Lauderdale provides that in a way that isn’t seen anywhere else around the world. The technicians and service specialists that care for the thousands of yachts in the area are all the best at what they do, leaving you feeling reassured that your prized yacht is in the hands of someone with experience.

The Intracoastal Waterway

The Intracoastal Waterway is one of Fort Lauderdale’s many features that make it so conducive to an excellent yachting experience. The Intracoastal Waterway is 3,000 miles long, and it runs along the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. This Waterway goes around the southern tip of Florida. It is an excellent way to travel. It connects some of the major bodies of water, and yachting enthusiasts who like to travel appreciate the convenience.

Fort Lauderdale provides easy access to that. Fort Lauderdale isn’t named the yachting capital of the world for nothing. It is luxurious and fun, providing a lot of relaxation and expertise for yacht owners who want to know that their boat is in good hands.

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How to Paint a Fiberglass Boat


Posted by Chris Savage on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 6:55:00 am

How to Paint a Fiberglass Boat

Fiberglass is one of the sturdiest and most efficient materials in the world for boat building, and it has been used more and more frequently. Fiberglass boats, depending on the paint used, can last for a long time, as long as the painter in question is experienced and ready to incur the cost and labor needed to carry out the task. In this article, we will go over how to paint a fiberglass boat, first starting with the types of paint you can use and finishing with instructions on how to go about beginning the project.

What Paint to Use

Gelcoat is a common choice for the exterior finish of a boat. Gelcoat has a high pigmentation, and it is resinous. It also holds another purpose. Gelcoat prevents the fiberglass from molding, as the paint has a mold release agent that shields the boat from damage. However, gelcoat is not very resistant to the sun. Because of this, the boat will need to be repainted in order to maintain the lustrous finish that it had when it was first renovated. If you use a high-quality gelcoat, you will be able to wax your boat in order to make the paint last longer. If you wax the boat and find that it is still dull and less-shiny than when it was first painted, that is likely a sign that the gelcoat used is low-quality and the paint brand itself was not up-to-par.

Painting the Boat

A yard will do the work for you, if you decide that you don’t want to paint it yourself. Finding a painter who is reputable and will do the job well isn’t difficult, but it also is a process that you want to undergo very carefully. Yards usually do higher-quality work because they want to maintain their reputation and avoid bad reviews. Yards specialize in the boating field, and they also have access to high-quality materials that will last longer and avoid oxidization.

Don’t Go Dark

When selecting the paint color for your boat, you may be tempted to select a dark color. That is a common trend now, and, while certainly attractive, it is not advisable. Painting the space between the boat’s windows black, or using wide black stripes, will easily show damage because dark colors absorb heat faster. White is more reflective than black, and absorbs less sunlight. If you use a dark color, you might cause damage to the area that you’re painting. This distortion is caused by shrinkage. You don’t want your boat to become a magnet for the sun; that leads to problems with the outside and issues with the health of the boat in general. Light colors are best.

Preparing to Paint When painting a boat, the key is preparation. If you prepare the boat properly to be painted, you won’t have a problem with the rest of the process. If the preparation is poor, that is when you see damage that has an effect on the rest of the boat. Find which areas on the boat need special attention due to the potential for damage. Remove old gelcoat by waxing and sanding, removing the surface irregularities and flaws so that they do not show up under the new paint.

Finishing the Paint Job

Once you’ve gone through the preparation, the paint job itself is easy. You don’t want to paint any aluminum, or the deck, and the painting should take place when there is low humidity outside. After painting, don’t use abrasive cleaners to take care of the boat. If you prepare well and select your gelcoat and painter carefully, your boat will be kept in good condition. Fiberglass is one of the best materials out there, and you want the exterior to match the interior’s quality.

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