Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cape Cod
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Re: H23 Painted Hull
We're dumb enough to like dark colors and Awlgrip. It looks great, but the reason I say dumb is that the cost of repainting can be substantial. Additionally, if you hit something, it's relatively unforgiving (it doesn't hide scratches).
Good advice above, preparation is key. A nice dark color will show hull imperfections much more than white gel coat. I'd rather have white gel coat than a fun house mirror dark finish. And it's my understanding that Awlgrip was originally developed for aircraft, and is quite tough.
But after a few years in the sun, it needs to be repainted, and most boats aren't in hangars. Around here where boats are in the water 6 months or so, repainting every 7-8-9 years is common to keep a good finish. Further south, longer season, I suspect even less but do not have direct experience. Some who have taken dark hulled boats south complain about them being hotter inside.
That said, it really looks great when done right. I'd want to know who did it, what product they used, and then I'd take a close look before considering a boat like this. It's been our experience that the skill level of the painter makes a huge difference in the result. If cost matters more than beautiful topsides, buy a white gel coated boat and wax/buff it regularly. If you can stomach repainting every once and a while, an Awlgripped boat looks wonderful IMHO.