So, a ship deployed for an extended period without yard time for repainting may start to look like a rust bucket. That is my two cents worth as working in the paint industry for over 20 years. We painted naval engines for all of that time. The EPA rules caused us to change paints a couple of times. We even had to apply for special permits to paint the AOE crane engines. Another thing on some of our Commercial customers their engineers were constantly on the lookout for any cuts or breaks in the paint. They would immediately mix and reapply paint over that area before rust would begin to appear. Sea water (even as mist) was very corrosive. Phosphate pretreatments could control the rust for a little while, but if not repainted over the rust would eventually get under the paint and the pretreatment. Then the paint would come off in big sheets. I have been retired for 12 years so I am sure the paint companies and the Navy continually strive to make improvements.
We also painted engines for luxury yachts. Many of these were painted white with chrome-plated valve, crank, and side covers. Marketing had us develop a process for using gold plating vs. the chrome plating. No customer ever asked for that option though.
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