Organic coatings are the principal means of corrosion control for the hulls and topsides of ships and for the splash zones on permanent offshore structures. This article describes the surface preparation techniques to determine the performance of organic coating systems. It contains a table that lists uses and applicable standards for various surface preparation techniques. The article provides information on organic coatings in topside coating systems and reviews the importance of primers in the protection of steel substrates. Topcoats for steel, such as alkyds, chlorinated rubber coatings, and epoxies, serve mainly to protect the primer and to add color and appearance. The article also describes the property requirements and types of immersion coatings.