Foto BPS

OSSENZIJL – Does anything make a yacht owner happier than smooth, shiny paints and coatings applied to their hulls by a computer-steered paint mixer? Surely not! “A paint mixer saves much time and yields the right colors,” says John Bruintjes.

He started Bruintjes Paint Service in 2019 for all the right reasons after 16 years of learning from professional applicators. “I was looking for a new challenge,” says Bruintjes, who does refits, maintenance, new builds, and spot repairs using such top brands as Alex seal, Awlgrip, Hempel, International and Jotun.

This newsletter found him at Vri-Jon DSA Yachts, applying Awlgrip coating systems to the hull of the yard’s new 14.3m Contessa 47 AC.

Painting a yacht is not a job for a slow weekend. It’s time-consuming work with AkzoNobel checking your work step by painstaking step to ensure compliance with the technical specifications for its Awlgrip brand. It grants a boat a painting certificate at the end of this step-by-step dance. Only with AkzoNobel’s approval can work start on the next layer.

Vri-Jon sends its hulls out to be blasted. The first layer of primer goes on, 100 microns thick. AkzoNobel checks that. “We then machine-apply AwlFair putty to the hull,” says Bruintjes. “The machine gives the right mixing ratio. We apply at least four coats. Before the next coat goes on, we remove the granular structure by sanding.”

Again, AkzoNobel checks that putty for tightness, hardness, and flexibility.

Covering the putty is a layer of Awlgrip primer to protect the filler and prevent the topcoat from soaking into the primer. It is lightly sanded, and finally, the Awlgrip 545 anti-corrosive epoxy primer is applied at a thickness of 250 microns. Bruintjes sands this primer to remove any spray pattern. Next, the hull is thoroughly cleaned. The hall’s temperature and humidity must meet strict values.

“Before spraying, we wash the hull with water and apply Universol degreaser. Then we repeat that with an Awlgrip degreaser. Finally, we use a tack cloth to remove any dust,” says Bruintjes.  AkzoNobel also judges these steps.

Finally, the paint goes on, in measured amounts, to which a hardener and a thinner are added. The result must be perfect,” says Bruintjes. “Like a mirror!”

Metallic paint goes on with 90% dilution and is then cured. The clear coat, Awlgrip Topcoat Clear, can only be applied the next day. Again, AkzoNobel will assess that outcome.

After the hull, it is the superstructure’s turn. Finally, the underwater hull gets two coats of primer and a coat of adhesive primer, followed by two antifouling layers. Bruintjes: “Working accurately and neatly is the motto in this business!” For a yacht like the Contessa 47 AC, it takes 8 to 10 weeks to achieve a shiny result, step by step.