Frequently Asked Questions
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO INSTALL?
With LuxWrap, a hull colour change on a 40-60m yacht will take 7-10 days to complete in the water. A project like this can be booked in and completed quickly, even in the middle of your main operating season.
DOES MY YACHT NEED TO COME OUT OF THE WATER?
LuxWrap is unique in its ability and experience in wrapping Superyachts in the water with minimal infrastructure requirements. Having completed the largest Superyacht hull wrap in the water at 60m in 6.5 days, and others in the 40-60m range, we have a proven system that works. Smaller yachts however will still need to be lifted.
HOW MUCH CAN I REALLY SAVE?
We ask our Clients to think in the context of what they usually get for their money, compared to what we offer.
With paint you pay a capital amount which can almost be considered an investment in the value of your yacht, yet it depreciates every year and needs to be redone every 8-10 years. Paint also degrades under UV and is further eroded each time it is polished, until eventually there is nothing left. When the time comes to repaint it has a huge cost, months of downtime, and potentially millions in lost charter revenue.
Wrapping on the other hand also lasts several years, although we generally say to expect a 'few' years. The major difference is that with wrapping, particularly in the 50m + range, you can expect the cost to be around 10x lower than painting, and often lower than polishing. These percentage savings also increase as yacht size increases.
Furthermore the speed we can install means you have virtually no downtime, which for busy charter yachts represents a huge saving.
With this mindset, Owners and Captains are starting to realise that wrapping is a way to keep their paint fresh on a permanent basis, wrapping every season, year or other interval.
VINYL VS. PAINT? WE SEE IT DIFFERENTLY
Superyacht paint is without doubt more durable and tougher than vinyl, but if that is what you focus on you are missing the point.
You will hear us say repeatedly that we do not consider vinyl as an alternative to paint, but rather a compliment. What do we mean by this?
Imagine, if instead of polishing your paint every couple of years, you wrap it, and all you ask from the vinyl is a year or two (a "few" years) of service... After ten years, your paint would still be brand new, saving you the cost of repainting, and you wouldn't have lost anything in terms of downtime.
With wrapping you are also free to try out new colours along the way, customise and do things you never would or could with paint, because whatever you do with vinyl is fully reversible.
In our mind it makes sense to wrap as soon as new paint is out of its warranty period.
HOW TOUGH IS THE VINYL ITSELF?
The real durability of any product depends on a large number of factors, including, among others, the quality and the preparation of the substrate, exposure (environment, climate, exposure angle), the maintenance of the vinyl and the amount of pollution.
The degradation of materials (such as the slight and progressive change of the colour and the gloss) is a natural and unavoidable phenomenon for both vinyl and paint.
On yacht exteriors, vinyl has a great resistance to UV but will be damaged by coming alongside with no fenders down.If left alone (no mechanical damage) vinyl can be as stable as the best paints. Vinyl also fares very well against fender wear.
WHAT IS THE DURABILITY UNDER UV?
An estimate of the durability is obtained by aging tests of the cast vinyl under UV-rays and by natural exposure. The pigments (colouring) of the vinyl film influence the durability of the colours.
Based on a vertical exposure, black and white vinyl can last approximately 10 years in a Mediterranean climate. Colours have an indicative durability of 8 years, whereas metallics and certain other finishes have an indicative lifespan of 3-5 years. Exotic finishes such as chrome are not warranted for long term use in a marine environment and should only be considered with this understanding.
The key thing to understand when wrapping a Superyacht is that the vinyl will degrade over time so that the paint doesn't have to. If this is understood up front, and you know what you can expect in terms of lifespan, you will never be disappointed.
As the market begins to understand this, we believe that regular wrapping will become part of the standard Superyacht paint maintenance plan. After all, polishing degrades the paint and wrapping preserves it.
HOW DO I MAINTAIN A VINYL FINISH? DO I NEED TO BUFF?
Vinyl should not be buffed, nor should it be scrubbed with anything abrasive. It should be kept clean by using neutral soap and water, or other suitable vinyl cleaning products.
DOES VINYL OFFER THE SAME FINISH AS PAINT?
Today's vinyl films can be said to rival most aspects of paint and are in some cases indistinguishable from paint. In many cases though the finish achievable with vinyl would be simply impossible with paint.
Superyacht wrapping is fun and exciting and we are very much looking forward to the future of Superyacht customisation as the era of vinyl progresses.
WHAT SIZE DOES THE VINYL COME IN?
Vinyl films come in different roll lengths and widths, however the norm is 25m long x 1.52m wide. Some manufacturers make rolls 50m in length and some finishes come in narrower widths.
HOW EASY IS IT TO REPAIR DAMAGED VINYL?
There are two levels for repairing vinyl.
The first is owner/crew repairs, which are carried out on the fly, this usually involves a ‘patch’ over a damaged area (in the same colour) to give colour consistency in that area. This is a very convenient solution for small areas and while the boat is out in service.
The second level is for larger damaged areas, and this is best repaired by skilled fitters.
WILL I SEE ANY JOINS?
We generally say unless you know the joins are there you won’t see them as they are disguised over features and within the natural lines of the boat. Our skilled installers may also put joins in places where light changes on the boat and therefore making them difficult to see.
IS IT EASY TO REMOVE?
Vinyl is far easier to remove than paint, and although it is not a fun job it is essentially just a case of peeling the vinyl back. Subject to how long the film has been applied it may leave some adhesive residue behind, which is easily removed with a mild solvent and some effort.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE FAIRING?
Vinyl film does not have the filling properties that paint has, therefore the more perfect the surface we wrap onto, the more perfect the end result will be. If we were to wrap over a scratch, it would be visible through the vinyl.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE QUALITY OF FILM USED?
Incorrect vinyl selection may lead to shrinkage, adhesion failure and premature breakdown of the film. It is therefore very important to use only the best premium films.