Transforming Orla the oil-rig lifeboat into a cosy retreat with the help of Teamac Marine Paints

Transforming Orla the oil-rig lifeboat into a cosy retreat with the help of Teamac Marine Paints

Over the past year Johnny has been restoring a former oil-rig lifeboat into a floating home with the help of Teamac's Marine Paints. 

Orla is based in the seaside fishing town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, but originated from the Irish Sea where she served actively as an emergency lifeboat aboard the Irish Sea Pioneer (a jacking up platform based just outside Liverpool, UK). 

Orla initially sported a vibrant orange exterior, well-suited for her original function as a highly visible life-saving vessel at sea. However, her new role as a home in fresh water allowed for a more subdued colour scheme.

One of the first tasks on Johnny's list was to prepare and then paint the external gel coat shell of Orla. 

With a length of 8.5 meters and a width of 2.75 meters, it was a big job for one person to undertake.  

The exterior gel coat of Orla underwent mechanical sanding using 180 grit sanding pads. This process spanned two weeks and required the use of more than 50 sanding pads to achieve completion.

Wiped clean and masking tapped up, Orla was now ready to prime and paint.


Recognising the need for a lasting solution (considering the labour-intensive process of two weeks of mechanical sanding), Orla required a system that could endure both above and below the waterline while providing UV resistance. Since Orla is situated in freshwater, the need for antifouling was eliminated. Thus, opting for a comprehensive system capable of addressing various requirements emerged as the most pragmatic solution.

High-Performance Marine Primer and High-Performance Marine Gloss 


High Performance Marine Primer is a two-pack epoxy primer with versatile applications across all sections of the boat including above and below the waterline. This primer has excellent anticorrosive properties and can be applied to wood, steel, aluminium, and grp. Its notable attributes include the creation of a smooth surface for subsequent painting and serving as a reliable barrier between existing and new coatings, ensuring compatibility between layers.



High Performance Marine Gloss is a two-pack polyurethane topcoat offering exceptional durability for above and below the waterline. This paint forms a tough and resilient coating that can withstand various environmental factors, including UV exposure, chemicals, abrasion, and weathering, making it a perfect choice for Orla's exterior. 


    This system and colour has given Orla a new look, and for Johnny, it was a significant step forward. The paint's amazing transformation of the external gel coat of oral is truly impressive, reflecting Johnny's dedication, skill and effort.


    'It’s genuinely incredible stuff and looks amazing in-person. The team have also been beyond helpful and kind so if you’re looking to re-paint your boat (for either salt water or fresh) then I cannot recommend using them enough. The goats of the paint world.'

    Johnny Sturgeon, the visionary creator behind Orla Lifeboat

    The team here at Teamac can't wait to see Orla's complete transformation and send their best wishes to Johnny and Orla for success.

    You can follow Orla's journey and check out more of her  incredible transformation on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook

    Click the links to find out more.  


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