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Awlgrip — Why Paint?

Finding the right finish for your boat doesn't have to be a challenge. Awlgrip has products to fit almost any finishing need.

June 15, 2016

Many people see gelcoat as the ultimate finish on any recreational boat. But there has been a quiet revolution both among current boat owners and manufacturers of new boats. Polyurethane coatings are becoming very popular.

And for good reason. They are less porous than gelcoat, more stain resistant, they resist UV damage better than gelcoat and are more easily repairable should there be a scratch or nick in the finish.

Awlgrip is the name of a series of two-part polyurethane finishes from AkzoNobel that has earned the status of a verb due to its durability, shine and ease of application. If you hang around boaters long enough, you’ll learn they don’t paint their boat, they “Awlgrip it.”


In fact, year after year, boat owners weary of buffing, waxing and buffing again choose polyurethane coatings like Awlgrip to restore the bling to their beloved family vessels.

There are three Awlgrip products and all can be easily matched to current or existing colors. They can even match an older color already on your boat, should you need to patch or refinishing just a part of it.

What makes them tougher than gelcoat is the tight cross-linking structure of the cured topcoat system that seals out dirt, oil, grime and protects from UV damage. While gelcoat polymers are a catalyzed layer that will become more porous over time, Awlgrip’s structure lays down a tight layer of cross-linking molecules of polyurethane that gives a deep shine and long lasting gloss while providing protection against water, dirt and sun penetration.


The toughest, and most recognized as the industry standard in topcoat coatings from AkzoNobel, is Awlgrip’ namesake polyester polyurethane system. It has remained the industry standard in topcoat finishes for over 40 years. It sprays, rolls or brushes easily and flows out to a smooth finish. Like all Awlgrip products, they require an epoxy primer beneath them for a smooth durable finish. Awlgrip offers many colors and the ability to match any color you already have.

Awlcraft 2000 is acrylic Polyurethane. It’s a tough, durable finish and a forgiving topcoat. Because of its quick curing, it is a great choice for imperfect painting surroundings. It’s easy to repair and can be buffed to remove minor scratches and abrasions, restoring the original shine.

The newest in the lineup, and increasing in popularity, is the Awlcraft SE (Solids and Effects) that delivers special effects. With it, the color base coat is available in an infinite amount of solid or metallic finishes and is followed with a polyurethane clear coat. Pearlescent compounds can be added to create a unique gleam and a lustrous shine.


Even boat manufacturers have selected Awlgrip for their new vessels and include the beautiful coating as an option on their most prestigious models. Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, MJM, Hinckley and Viking are just a few of the production brands that choose Awlgrip products to enhance the look and life of their new models.


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