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How to Protect Your Boat Graphics

applying boat graphic

The typical boat owner today is
not satisfied with an empty hull. That’s right: graphics are becoming more and
more prevalent in the world of boating—so prevalent, in fact, that
graphics-protecting products have become a “must-own” for a majority of boat

The problem? Not enough boat
owners are familiar with how to protect their own investment. This leads them
to using haphazard methods in maintaining and protecting their graphics,
ultimately resulting in faded and chipped graphics. With faded graphics comes
an even more important loss: the loss of the money you paid in order to have
the graphics installed in the first place.

It doesn’t have to be this way.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems in protecting your boat
graphic—as well as the most convenient solutions:

Problem: Slowly Fading Graphics

Solution: First, figure out what’s causing the fading graphics. For
many people, it’s exposure to the sun. Just as the sun will give you a sunburn
if you expose your skin to the sky without proper protection, so too will your
boat give in to the sun’s harmful rays after enough time spent outdoors.
Locating a wax that offers UV protection is essential if you want to prevent
long-term sun damage.

For many people, this simple
problem has a simple solution: more consistent maintenance. It might seem like
a chore to keep your boat freshly waxed, but the protection from the elements provided
by that wax (as well as the pre-wax wash) will help ensure that your hull is
ready to look good for the long haul.

Having the right wax is also
key to ensuring that your boat’s graphics will survive the long-term damage
that comes with regular boating, even if you don’t take your boat out every
weekend. We recommend our Graphix
if you’re interested in a solvent-free wax that offers UV protection as
well as dirt, grime, and stain cleaning.

Problem: Salt Damage

Solution: Salt damage comes as a result of exposure to—what
else?—salt water. For those who keep their boats exposed to salt water, regular
washing and protection is even more important than those who expose their boat
to fresh water. But that’s not the end of the story. Ensure that your graphics
are installed with a finish film (often matte, satin, or gloss) that keeps
issues like salt damage at bay. This will offer additional long-term protection
against other slow-fading damage like sand and road grime.

Problem: Abrasions

Solution: What’s more frustrating than a dent or abrasion damaging
your newly-minted graphic art? Abrasions, by their very nature, can be hard to
predict, but they’re also highly preventable if you’re careful about how you
drive and where you park your boat. You’d be surprised at how many boat owners
acquire their abrasions just as they’re carefully docking their boat because
they didn’t see an underwater panel or metal beam. Know your surroundings
before trying them out with your boat, and many abrasions can be avoided.

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