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Some time ago, we told you about Luca Design in an article which explained what boat wrapping is. Now, always thanks to the collaboration of the company seated in Udine and headed by Luca Antonutti, we want to discover all the necessary steps to give a boat a second life. Model for this occasion is Gran Soleil 46.3 – 18.42 m long and 6 years old. Examination This is the first step, where the staff sees the boat and considers its size, category, new colour or an idea about what the customer wants, all elements necessary to elaborate an estimate. This can be also followed by a first draft if the customer has no a precise idea about the final result, especially if he wants to change the colour of his boat. This was not the case of Gran Soleil 46.3, since nothing of the original version was changed.

Luca Design wrapping nautico Grand Soleil 46.3
Dopo aver pulito la barca, inizia l’applicazione della pellicola

 Cleaning Once the boat is in the yard, it is cleaned and its hull is repaired. The film, in fact, follows what it finds on the bottom, so if this is damaged, the surface will not be perfect. Luca Design also makes some plastering and sandpapering interventions before general cleaning. Application Once the boat is cleaned, technicians apply the film, some points of which are thermo-shaped. The tape is warmed with an industrial phon, stretched out, thermo-shaped and placed in order to follow the surface.

Il wrapping nautico di Luca Design su un Grand Soleil 46.3
During the application step, the tape is heated up by an industrial phone and thermo-shaped.

Cutting Once the fill is entirely applied, wrappers cut excess material Stabilization This is the most delicate step.  The film has in fact a “memory”, that it it tends to retract and come back to its original position. In order to stabilize it on the new form, it is necessary to heat it up at a temperature between 90° and 100° with two tools: a glue gun and a digital thermometer. This operation must be repeated on each part of the film, especially in the points where the material has suffered a greater strain and along boards, where it can move. Sealing After the stabilization process, it’s the turn of a transparent invisible sealing, applied with a brush on the boards in direct contact with water or the points more subject to dirt (the separation line between the tape and the anti-fouling varnish, the saddle tank, some points on the bow..). The operation comes from aeronautics and it is now adopted on boats to make tape more resistant and long-lasting.

Luca Design restaura un Grand Soleil 46.3 con il wrapping
Excess film is cut and removed

Additional applications Once this step is finished, waterline bands and eventual plates or name are applied. Delivery The tape takes about 72 hours to complete its adherence process, but if you need to put your boat in water, you can do that immediately with no problem. Cost The work on this boat cost 4.800 euros, VAT excluded. A traditional painting work on the same boat would have cost twice. Time The work was made in two days by a single person. Generally, a boat like this requires two technicians. Material Wrappers used two reels, 15 and 25 m long respectively, so 40 linear metres in total. Each side required 15 m, while the stern 5 m. Excess metres remain available to the both the company and the customer for any eventual future repair. Ideal weather conditions Since it is an open-air work, the film fears rain, too cold and too high temperatures. The ideal range goes from 15 to 24 degrees. Film can be applied in cold winter or hot summer, too, but on the condition to prefer the most suitable hours. Of course, rain must be absent. Maintenance 3M film used by Luca Design requires no maintenance over the years, except from a normal cleaning with water and soap. If  well-maintained, the tape will preserve its properties and strength, even if it tends to loose a little of intensity over the years. Duration expectancy According to Antonutti, is we take care of our Gran Soleil 46.3 properly, the film will shall last up to 4-5 years with no problem. Of course, the film, like normal varnish, risks to get damaged in case of collisions and scratches.


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