Boating NZ : FREE TO READ March 2014
wrap on a 9m keel boat, Atom Ant. Owner Cory McLennan is preparing to compete in the 2014 Solo Trans- Tasman race starting in April. With his budget swallowed up in preparing the boat for offshore racing, he had neither the time nor budget to undergo a repaint. Instead he opted for a single-colour wrap with extra signage and images. With Atom Ant on the hard stand, Boat Coat owner Dan Nicholson gave McLennan a hand by using Scotch-brite on the topsides while McLennan tidied up the dings with a quick-set filler. The following morning Nicholson set up a special, edge-trim masking tape around the edges of the topsides. This tape has a thin braid that operates like a knife to edge-cut the vinyl once it is applied. It brought to mind images of Italian Mafia with piano wire garrottes. Atom Ant required a full width roll around the topsides but there was plenty of spare width to make the application easier. Nicholson says he can work in a range of conditions, but a temperature in the mid-teens is preferable. If it’s warmer, the film stretches too easily, and if it is too cold the film doesn’t stretch enough. Usually Nicholson does the shady topside in a morning and does the other side when the sun has moved. After masking, Nicholson and his business partner Helen Horrocks began rolling out the film. They started in the middle of the boat and laid it out using a rubber squeegee to work out any air and ensure a smooth, bubble-free finish. One of the technical features of the 3M film they use is its microscopic channels to ensure no air bubbles form. The Wrap went down to the waterline and was rolled over the gunwale to match the existing paint job. It was then lipped over the transom and rolled around the bow. Boat Coat wraps two layers of the vinyl and then a heavy duty clear film over the bow to give extra protection from knocks from the anchor, docks or even other boats. With the film fully applied, Nicholson gave the Wrap a final check and pulled the trim wire to cut around the edges. It was impressive to watch what could have been a drama turned into a simple operation. Nicholson says this tape saves hours on every boat. His final task was to edge-cut around the bow rollers and anchor drains and coat the waterline edge with a special seal glue. Nicholson and Horrocks followed a similar process for the other topside, and completed the transom the following morning. While Nicholson prefers to wrap the transom first, Atom Ant was done back to front, due to time constraints. Bold new logos and signage were applied and Atom Ant was back in the water two days after being pulled out. The glue was fully set after 24 hours. The film has a three-year warranty, with an expected full-colour life of seven years. Nicholson is reluctant to give a price guide as every boat is different, but it seems a rough estimate is around $300 per metre for extensive striping or half-width Wraps. A mid-size keelboat or launch could budget on $500 per metre for a single-colour Wrap, with larger boats around $800 per metre. Full colour or signage would be on top of this, plus hardstand and preparation costs. With many of New Zealand’s aging population of boats due for a tidy up, the advances in film technology offer an option to a new paint job. Boat Coat’s Dan Nicholson and Helen Horrocks work in tandem to apply the wrap to Atom Ant. See the final result, below right. 0314-61 Vinyl Boat Wraps & Detailing 0314-58 subscribe online at www.mags4gifts.co.nz/boating-nz 81 Feature_boat wrap_March14.indd 81 18/02/2014 2:23:51 p.m.
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