In the current economic climate the pressures on both ship builders and ship owners to minimise the cost of their operations is stronger than ever. Although paint material cost, to coat an entire vessel, only represents a very small percentage of the total for a new build vessel. For a ship builder the labour cost of applying coatings to a vessel can represent in excess of 10-15% of the total labour costs to build a vessel, in some cases as much a 30% this can be attributable to rework. For the ship owner coatings can have significant impact on the operating costs, and the availability of the vessel.

With greater emphasis being placed on sustainability and life cycle costs it is in the interest of both ship builders and the owner/operators to seek ways to minimise the cost of the coatings at both the application stage and maintenance during the service life of the vessel. This paper will present work that has been undertaken to examine the life cycle process of designing, building, operating and recycling a ship, and how the activities within the different stages effect the application of paint and the influence this has on costs.

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