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Old 09-15-2002
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Hull and Deck colors...

I''m scheduled to put my sailboat into the paint shop this Friday. The gelcoat is (was) a dark jade green, but its a little rough around the edges now. I''m thinking about a lighter colored Awlgrip job - some shade of white. I will be spending the next two years in the hot tropics and think this would be better than ''Flag Blue''.

It is interesting to see so many dark hull colors on boats these days. I think they look stunning, but they fade, show imperfections, and draw heat at a much greater rate. A lot of people must not hold this opinion, otherwise there wouldn''t be so many dark hulls on the market. I had a Sabre dealer tell me that he couldn''t hardly sell a 402 with a white hull, but the Flag Blue hulls were selling very well.

I will also have the awlgrip nonskid changed from tan to a very light gray (half whisper gray and half white). This should also keep the decks ''eye friendly'' in the bright sun as well as keep the insides a little cooler. I hope the lighter color does not cause me problems at resale time....

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Old 09-15-2002
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Hull and Deck colors...

Dark hulls are indeed stunning. But from experience I will tell you that my last dark hulled boat was the LAST one. Unless you sail at the artic circle, dark hulled boats are an OVEN in comparison to a light hulled boat. There are other problems especially when changing from a light color to dark color: Polyester cures for an long exponential time - meaning that most hulls continue to cure over their life time. If the matting layer is not sufficiently thick enough to protect the underlayment of roving etc. the constant thermal stress can cause the roving to ''to print through'' due to the extreme thermal stress occuring as the surface continually ''works'' each time the sun hits it. Sooooo If you like HOT boats, or if you have an older hull with a thin matt layer and like the way it eventuallly turns in a knobbly, wavy ''pimple ball'' .... leave the color alone. Walk through any boat yard and look at any older boat with a dark hull.... look along the hull with low incident light.... see the print through, see the effects of thermal stress (waves, bumps, in the surface). Got the tee shirt, ..... its dark and ''pimpled''.
But they DO look good because of the visual contrast, at least for the first few years. ;-)
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Old 09-15-2002
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Hull and Deck colors...

I have a 1970 Westerly Centaur and painted the hull black and was concerned that the boat would be unduly hot at the peak of our summer where temperatures soar into the upper 90''s and low 100''s , so we insulated the hull with a layer of foil bubble wrap and a layer of 1/4 in foam and it remained nice and cool, cooler than my cape dory with a white hull, and also warmer in the evenings and cooler days this fall. I have been extremely pleased with the results of insulating the hull as well as the cabin overhead and sides., Black and lov''n it...Rick
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Old 09-16-2002
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Hull and Deck colors...

RichH is correct. I had this very discussion with Tim Jacket of Tartan Marine a year ago at the boat show in Chicago. He confirmed that the dark colored hulls DO (not might or could) require repainting every five years or so in the mid northern latitudes where most of us sail, to look their best. I''ve read different accounts from owners with dark colored hulls and teak decks in the tropics. They have measured 10-15 degrees hotter than a white boat with a neutral color molded in non-skid. I think the big advantage of the darker colors is their ability to hide the Moustache.
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Old 09-16-2002
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Hull and Deck colors...

I recall reading somwhere that tradionally the reason a lot of builders (Typically DownEast ones) produced boats with darker hulls was to help it to be seen in fog. I guess Traditions die Hard. I have been out in heavy fog and can vouch that darker hull boats can be seen much easier in heavy fog than a white hull. I think a darker hull looks great evn if they are a few years old and a bit faded. They still look great. I just don''t know if I would want one anywhere near a location that had long hot summers.
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