A honey-smooth finish for Team Brunel
DRACHTEN ~ Yacht painting is about applying the right primers and paints, in the right amounts, and sanding and sanding and sanding. Mast Jachtschilders BV masters that art giving hulls that coveted honey-smooth finish. The company specializes in working on racing yachts. Like the Team Brunel boat, the Dutch entry in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. It was built at Green Marine near Southampton (UK), which is owned by Vitters Shipyard of the Netherlands. When Mast Jachtschilders got its hands on it, last December the first thing it did was ignore the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
They are meant to give ‘normal’ boats a maximum anti-corrosion quality and, for years, a shiny finish,” says Johann Mast, director of the company that bears his name. The Team Brunel is a high-performance, one-design Volvo Ocean 65 by Farr Yacht Design. It is built at 4 European yards; Green Marine, Decision (Switzerland), Persico (Italy) and Multiplast (France).
Mast committed 4, later 5, workers to the Team Brunel. They treated the carbon hull with Awlgrip-545 (epoxy primer to seal filler primers and fairing work), Awlgrip Topcoat (a polyesterurethane-based high gloss top coat that retains color) and Awlcraft Metallics (a high gloss top coat that creates a special effect finish) No anti-fouling at all was used. The hull was scrupulously, and repeatedly, sanded and painted in a well-ventilated tent in which temperature and humidity were held constant. Mast does not paint yachts in temperatures under 18 degrees Celsius (64.4F).
For top-flight hull painters corporate logos and texts are a challenge. “Normally you paint a hull and apply stickers onto the top coat,” says Mast. “But that slows the boat down. So we painted the logos into the coat of paint, then painted the seam lines, sanded them and applied a final coat. In the end you don’t feel the seam lines anymore.”
Mast’s crew also worked on the deck _ an area where advertisers and numbers for crews compete for space. “Everything had to be done in anti-skid paint, of course,” says Mast. “But it is so coarse it is tough to tape off. So we had to first apply the logos and numbers, then spray on layers of anti-skid paint.”
The below-water hull was treated intensively. Instead of anti-fouling, Mast applied an epoxy primer that was sanded down with 3M paper, starting with a grain of P-500, then 800, 1,000, 1,500 and, finally, 3,000! After that is was polished to high gloss“ says Mast. “We left no stone unturned to achieve a super smooth underwater hull.” The keel and rudders were also treated. Little paint was used on the interior which oozes a Spartan look.