Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 48 Old 02-20-2020
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Re: Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons?

White gelcoat not only reflects heat better than dark colors, it also lasts a very long time. Our sailboat in the thumbnail is now 30 years old, with the glossy, original gelcoat still looking good (photo taken about 6 months ago.)

The best Sunbrella color for longevity is Pacific Blue. That said, we are happy with Toast Sunbrella. The Bimini and dodger canvas are one year old in the photo, whereas the sail cover is 23 years old. It is reasonably cool under the Toast Sunbrella, whereas the dark brown dodger on the power boat (Behind the sailboat) is noticeably hotter.
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post #32 of 48 Old 02-20-2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwesterner View Post
As I look over boats to consider buying, I see a number of boats from my wish list, that appear to be good possibilities, and in my price range. A number of them live up north and have hulls that are painted a beautiful dark navy, and some painted black.
While I love the look of a dark navy or black hull, I am more likely to spend my time in more tropical climates like the Caribbean or the Gulf. I'm worried about comfort in hot sunny weather. I've seen a number of people comment on here, saying that dark painted hulls heat up considerably more than white, making the interior uncomfortable. The cruising life could be ruined for my wife, if I can't make her comfortable.

Some boats have been recently painted, to prepare for selling them. I'd hate to destroy a perfectly good paint job, just to change color. If I could tolerate the dark color, until the boat needed refinishing, is it more difficult and expensive to go from dark to light, or is it a simple task of painting white over dark?

I want to factor the cost of repainting, if it's necessary, into my after-purchase upgrade and maintenance costs.

Questions:
1. How serious of a problem is a dark hull in warm climates?

2. What would be the expense of changing color on a 34 to 36 foot boat?

3. Is it a more involved job, and more expensive, to go from dark to White?
My hull is black. As I upgrade/replace canvas and interior cloth, they become black too. Is the boat hotter than my last white boat? A little on the side facing the sun. Judicious application of insulation on large areas that directly connect to the salon area have helped dramatically. Good ventilation is key. If I sat at a dock a good permanent HVAC system in the 15k-18k btu would be needed to stay alive on board. However, in cold climate traveling the hull and canvas becomes a collector of heat where there is not much to find. I’ve found myself cuddled up against the sun facing topsides many a morning. A little extra to deal with but man does she look good when clean. 🤙
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Re: Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons?

A dark hull is not only hotter but can be dangerous in some light conditions.
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Re: Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons?

If your boat is white, it's easy to color match it when you need to make minor repairs to chips and cracks. Any other color will be very difficult to match.
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post #35 of 48 Old 02-21-2020
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Re: Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons?

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Originally Posted by Sailormon6 View Post
If your boat is white, it's easy to color match it when you need to make minor repairs to chips and cracks. Any other color will be very difficult to match.
For sure, a scratch or chip on a dark painted hull is much more noticeable than on a white hull. However, I'm not sure the repairs are as different. If the paint hasn't faded yet, a scratch touch up is pretty easily done with an artist's brush and a dab of touchup paint. It's not perfect, but you can't tell from 5 feet away. Larger areas indeed require a professional approach. If the paint is badly faded, then matching paint color is challenging. The trick is to keep paint maintained properly. Buffing (only on certain paints) and waxing take on greater importance, but these have some importance on gelcoat too. White gelcoat comes in many different shades and can be equally hard to match colors, especially on neglected gelcoat.

I'm not trying to talk anyone into a painted hull, they are more expensive and a life sentence. The lowest maintenance, cooler and less noticeable scratches are on unpainted hulls. The negatives, however, aren't necessarily as significant as some believe.

Fundamentally, the OP seems to want a white boat, by painting white over a color. In that case, I'd never want a painted boat. Properly maintained white gelcoat beats white paint any day.


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post #36 of 48 Old 02-21-2020
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Re: Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons?

I've had several boats in the Caribbean - white hull, blue hull and beige (gold) hull. With adequate ventilation the inside temperatures in sunshine were the same in all of the boats. I think that the topsides don't have as much thermal mass and area as many expect. Sort of like comparing the residual heat after 10 minutes between an aluminum and a cast-iron pan. The former will cool down quickly while the latter will not.
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post #37 of 48 Old 02-21-2020
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Re: Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
For sure, a scratch or chip on a dark painted hull is much more noticeable than on a white hull. However, I'm not sure the repairs are as different. If the paint hasn't faded yet, a scratch touch up is pretty easily done with an artist's brush and a dab of touchup paint. It's not perfect, but you can't tell from 5 feet away. Larger areas indeed require a professional approach. If the paint is badly faded, then matching paint color is challenging. The trick is to keep paint maintained properly. Buffing (only on certain paints) and waxing take on greater importance, but these have some importance on gelcoat too. White gelcoat comes in many different shades and can be equally hard to match colors, especially on neglected gelcoat.



I'm not trying to talk anyone into a painted hull, they are more expensive and a life sentence. The lowest maintenance, cooler and less noticeable scratches are on unpainted hulls. The negatives, however, aren't necessarily as significant as some believe.



Fundamentally, the OP seems to want a white boat, by painting white over a color. In that case, I'd never want a painted boat. Properly maintained white gelcoat beats white paint any day.
My last boat had a paint job due to a couple of insurance claims. I had the boat painted with Arctic White Awlgrip and it still looks fantastic 12 years later. Sure, it takes a little more care to preserve it, but it is a very durable paint. Some people claim you can't repair Awlgrip, but that myth was dispelled when my paint job was damaged while on the hard. You can't tell where the repair was done. You just need a skilled painter.

Quality paint is a good option if the gelcoat is too far gone.

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post #38 of 48 Old 02-21-2020
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Re: Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons?

Cabin heat notwithstanding, there was a discussion here that a dark colored hull need to have appropriate lamination to avoid resin degradation due to heat distortion and glass transition temperature.
Old tale? I'll put it here for your own conclusions...

https://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-...gradation.html

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post #39 of 48 Old 02-22-2020
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Re: Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
My last boat had a paint job due to a couple of insurance claims. I had the boat painted with Arctic White Awlgrip and it still looks fantastic 12 years later. Sure, it takes a little more care to preserve it, but it is a very durable paint. Some people claim you can't repair Awlgrip, but that myth was dispelled when my paint job was damaged while on the hard. You can't tell where the repair was done. You just need a skilled painter.

Quality paint is a good option if the gelcoat is too far gone.

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White paint over a white hull will likely appear to hold up better than dark paint, as scratches, etc, are harder to notice. White also hides surface imperfections better.

Agreed that Awlgrip can be repaired by a skilled painter. However, the issue is that Awlgrip separates into two layers, as it cures. A bottom pigment and top clear layer. The top clear layer makes it shine. There is no amount of feathering that can get that back exactly. The trick is the overlapping repair, which will ultimately be clear on top of pigment on top of clear on top of pigment. But a pro seems to be able to make it work.

IMO, the best answer is the newer Alexseal. Same durable LP paint, but doesn't separate into layers, making it as repairable as a one part paint. It equally shines and is equally as durable. It was also invented by the same guy who invented Awlgrip, but had to wait for his non-compete to run out, after selling Awlgrip to AN. Initially, they even made it in the exact same factory they originally made Awlgrip in. Fun additional fact, Awlgrip is no longer it's original recipe, as some of it's original ingredients are no longer legal (environmentally, I believe).

Painting over destroyed gelcoat is a solution. However, properly maintained, gelcoat should be lifetime durable. It's porous, so needs to be cleaned and protected by wax/sealant. Too many think they see an impervious plastic boat that needs nothing, until they can't get it cleaned anymore.


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post #40 of 48 Old 02-24-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Hull Color: Dark and Light - Pros & Cons?

I've been looking at a number of boats by Bristol. There are several that look like possible prospects, many of which are in northern climes like New England area (I guess many of them didn't make it far from where they were built, in Bristol Rhode Island). It seems that one half, to more than half of the boats have black or dark blue hulls. Are these always painted, or did Bristol send some dark colored boats out of the factory. Bristol boats are on the top of my list, of what would meet my needs. I just may need to factor refinishing into the future costs of the boat.
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