Earlier this year, car manufacturer Nissan revealed an innovative self-cleaning paint that repels dirt. According to experts, this type of super-hydrophobic coating will be available to superyachts within two years and is already in the research and development stage at many paint companies.

Jonathan Broughton of Yacht Surface Restoration explained, “This product is still very new and will need time and development before coming into the mainstream. Still, a lot has been accomplished in a short amount of time. I expect that we will see something viable for the marine industry in the next couple of years.”

Super-hydrophobic coating creates a protective layer of air between a surface and the environment preventing water, dirt and oil from adhering to the treated surface. The coating itself is anti-corrosive, anti-icing and along with the obvious cleaning properties will also prevent marine organism growth and reduce the drag of a yacht through water, resulting in lower fuel consumption.

With many complex tenders and toys on board, this water-resistant coating could increase the longevity of expensive equipment.

Michael Henson, website and digital marketing executive at Yachting Pages, a specialist in products and services for the superyacht market said, “90% of tasks on board a yacht are cleaning jobs, so this type of resilient paint could make a huge difference to the marine sector, saving a lot of time and money.”

Yachting Pages spoke with many different professional yacht-painting companies to find out if this innovative coating will revolutionize the yachting world.

For all its benefits, there are some fundamental flaws, Nick Barber of Blue Fin explained, “The drawback with products of this nature is a yellowing and petrol-type staining for the colored finish. We decided not to recommend the use of ceramic polishes or coatings on our painted yachts for this reason. If the product was repairable and offered the anti-scratch and self-cleaning, I'm sure it would be a big hit in the marine environment.”

Dermot Joubert, Operations Director of Tribos said, “The product needs further development and proving. Based on technical articles I have read, the product adds cost and complexity and is not universally applicable. Apparently the product dries to a translucent chalky finish, which might suit a white vehicle but apparently leaves white streaks on other colored vehicles. This is counter intuitive to gloss and shine. There are also questions about the effectiveness of the product where the vehicle is static for an extended period.”

Michael Henson of Yachting Pages added, “The super-hydrophobic coating appears to have a limited life span due to its very low abrasion resistance. The constant friction that yacht hulls receive would require regular re-application to maintain a high degree of performance. However, this science is still in the early stages. With continual investment, I’m sure specialists in superyacht paint will solve these issues in the not-so-distant future.”

To read PCI’s article on the Nissan’s automotive self-cleaning coating, click here. To see a video of the Nissan paint, visit here.