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Old 02-13-2010
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Would yellow topside paint increase safety?

I am looking at a lot of older boats that could use to have the topsides repainted. From kayaking I was under the impression that yellow is the most visible color at sea - in fact in cycling as well hi visibility yellow jerseys increase safety. If I was singlehanding and wanted to sleep by day and sail at night to avoid collisions with ships do you suppose some sort of hi visibility (might be too ugly to have a flourescent yellow sailboat) yellow might increase safety? Is there a reason most boats are white? It would seem in a field of whitecaps a white or dark hull might not stand out?
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Old 02-13-2010
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The reason most boats are white is that white hides a lot of the imperfections in a gelcoat finish and is relatively inexpensive.
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Old 02-13-2010
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it is also a cooler colour. easier on the feet when topside, easier on the sweat glands when down below. You raise a good point about visibility, though.
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Leave it white and paint a bright stripe for visibility. A lot easier than painting the entire hull and the boat still remains cool. If the top 5' or so of the mast is painted orange or red it would increase visibility as well. I wouldn't paint it exactly as below but you get the idea.
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I like the stripe idea and masthead paint for simplicity and maximum effectiveness. I'd be sort of like a fishing float.

White decks make a lot of sense. The thermal effects of the side between the anti-fouling paint and toerail would probably not be significant in yellow vs white. Perhaps yellow sides with a red USCG style stripe would be the ultimate I'm-a-sleeping-singlehander dont run me over paint job...

I recall in Maiden Voyage that when Tania asked ships if they could see her they would invariably respond no... Radar systems may have advanced significantly in the past 23 years however.

What can be done about submerged shipping containers I wonder - some sort of waterline bow crash bars like police cars have? A crushable cone like thing on the bow that could absorb the impact? Nah prolly be ineffective and just wind up with a hull slowing hideous monstrosity.
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if you were realy worried you could always go for flourescent yellow sails with reflective strips.K
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I would think reflective stripes would depend on incident light to work - a spotlight would have to be pointed at the beads for the total internal reflection to be effective. I am not sure in boating reflective materials are as effective as on the road where headlights enter the equation. For search and rescue where spotlights would be used I could see value in it. Perhaps for a storm jib an ultra visible reflective finish would make sense.

To paint a stripe what sort of paint could be used? Perhaps a reflective paint stripe? I bet the coast guard did studies before coming up with the red stripe and a red stripe seems better looking then a yellow on a white hull. Would a good cleaning of the stripe area/ sanding/ painting over the existing paint work or would I have to sand down to the gelcoat? My standards are low the stripe only need last a year or so this boat is not going to be an heirloom...

What sort of paint would work well on a corroded aluminum surface like the mast?
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Most boats would be gelcoat unless a previous owner painted the hull. Just proper preparation following the paint manufacturers instructions would be required.

I don't think the US Coast Guard did any studies - they just reversed the Canadian color scheme.
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Reversed colour scheme, hehehe, ROFL.

Some time ago on a forum maybe far away there was a guy claiming that the Chaff used to confuse radar was made of Reflexite Reflective Tape. Never got around to getting any but if that was the case, even if it gave a slight increae in radar sig I'd put a couple strips on the top of the mast. Might do it anyway.

Sure it needs a light source to work but if someone is looking I want to be seen.
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The Pardeys found that if you took tin foil and ran it up the inside of a wooden mast it produced a very strong radar signal. But that assumes they are looking at their radar.
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