ACA Marine has just launched an exciting new facility based in La Rochelle on the west coast of France easily accessible for the whole of Europe. The brand new building has 1000 m² covered area with air treatment and heating system, an open cabin equipped with an air filtration treatment wall system (L 30 m x W 10 m x H 8 m) designed specifically to handle painting of large parts together with a large paint cabin (L 13 m x W 5 m x H 5 m) with oven curing up to 65°C.
It is designed to exacting standards to provide an attractive alternative to the usual ad hoc approach to the painting of removable parts during the refit of superyachts.
Director of ACA Marine Chris Atkinson explains “it is having the ability to produce higher quality work with the same price & reduced re-shoots. Trying to deal with the parts per yacht project means paying for tenting, lighting, heat, ventilation, floor space rental etc. Now we are able to have a dedicated crew just for parts as this represents up to 20% of a full refit, it makes sense.”
The growth of ACA Marine has tripled over the past three years and now with contract staff of over one hundred, Chris believes his hands on experience as a paint applicator combined with good project management skills is the formula to building a successful paint business. Understanding preparation methods and being aware of practical challenges when negotiating tenders has always helped Chris to determine realistic time frames and costs for projects.
The most visual element of any superyacht project will always be the paintwork and the quality of the fairing. The demand for high quality, unique paint systems has never been higher and with clients ordering everything from pearlescent to metallic silver finishes; the standards and expectations are continually being raised. To achieve these standards ACA Marine believe in keeping alive some of the more traditional techniques, such as long board sanding which many applicators neglect in favour of machines which are seen as time saving. ACA Marine’s success depends on finding the right balance between quality and speed and are well known within the industry for their experienced paint crews using hand-crafted application techniques ensuring a flawless quality finish.
ACA Marine’s list of recent projects speak for themselves:
Superyacht Tatoosh (94m),
A superyacht in excess of 90 metres sailed out of La Rochelle on time in early April 2007. A refit project of that size was a first of its kind for the French Atlantic port well known for its sailing heritage. It was the result of a successful project carried out by paint applicators, Acamarine France, in partnership with ITM Shipyards in Marseilles.The superyacht departed from the largest dry dock at La Pallice in La Rochelle having undergone, amongst many other works, a full mechanical overhaul and topside and super-structure repaint. Acamarine was instrumental in brokering the deal to take the superyacht to La Rochelle for its major refit and new paint application. All work was completed on time in less than 6 months !
Motor yacht Skat (71m),
Work was successfully completed on MY SKAT, a 71-metre Motor yacht in July 2009. 100% of the superstructures / hull were sanded, reprimed and repainted in less than 5 months at International Technic Marine in Marseille. All work was carried out in a Watershed (i.e. MY SKAT was in the water), which complicated logistics enormously.
Megaryacht Cloud 9 (60m),
Works description: Full fair works to a 60 metre new build motor yacht. Completed in June 2009 The full fair project included anticorrosion, priming, fairing and painting using INTERNATIONAL & AWLGRIP products. Paint finish : White superstructures & Dark Blue hull
Motor yacht Solemar (61m),
Work was successfully completed on MY SOLEMAR, a 61-metre Motor yacht in July 2009. 100% of the superstructures / hull were sanded, reprimed and repainted in less than 5 months at International Technic Marine in Marseille. All work was carried out in a Dry dock. All parts (doors locker doors, ceiling panels etc) were transported to ACA Marine’s new painting facilities in La Rochelle, where they were treated for corrosion and repainted in perfect conditions. Awlgrip products were used to treat the corrosion. The primer and topcoat were provided by Alexseal (Mankiewicz)
Superyacht Lionheart (63m)
Work was successfully completed on MY LIONHEART, a 63-metre Motor yacht in Apri 2010. 100% of the superstructures / hull were sanded, reprimed and repainted in less than 5 months at Monaco Marine in La Ciotat. All work was carried out in a Dry dock. All parts (doors locker doors, ceiling panels etc) were transported to ACA Marine’s new painting facilities in La Rochelle, where they were treated for corrosion and repainted in perfect conditions. All products used were provided by Awlgrip.
Megayacht Confidential (126m dark blue)
A Megayacht in excess of 126 metres sailed out of St Nazaire on the Atlantic coast in early November 2008 after a major refit. A project of that size had never before been completed so successfully in such a short time . After the 94M refit in La Rochelle in 2007, this was the second major project carried out by paint applicators Acamarine France in partnership with ITM Shipyards in Marseille. The Megayacht departed from the dry dock in St Nazaire having undergone, a major mechanic / hydraulic overhaul as well as a complete topside and super-structure repaint. All work was completed on time in 6 months !
As ACA Marine’s reputation continues to grow, they are delighted to add yet another valuable aspect to their business offering the collection and delivery of yacht parts, Chris says, “I believe the balancing act between project management and achieving excellent results is about to get even tougher due to the ever increasing pressure on delivery dates, but if applicators, surveyors and paint manufacturers can continue to raise the standards of self regulation – there will be a bright future.”
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