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Hi, I have a 27 ft Columbia and I am going to paint the hull this spring. Question is paint color. I would really like to paint the hull above the waterline black and the area below the waterline dark Gray. The question in my mind is why are most in fact the greatest majority of sailboats that I have viewed, painted white above the waterline, mine included. If it's just color preference, then that's fine but is there some reason dark colors are not often used. I don't want to go to all the trouble of painting it black and later this summer finding out I made a big mistake. Thanks
 

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Tartan 28
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It will absorb a lot of heat and considering your boat probably isn't insulated, will equate to much warmer cabin temperature over ambient temperature. My boat is painted navy and I can really feel the heat difference waking up in the morning if I'm sleeping on the sunny side of the boat.

Black will also have a tendency to show more in the likes of waterspots, etc... just a thought.
 

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Weephee,

Dark colors attract sunlight, sunlight is hot, therefore dark paint makes it warm inside your boat.

This may not be a big issue for you in Ottawa, but if you are in tropical waters it will make a big difference in comfort.
 

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Dark Colors

Before you decide on a dark color, be mindful of the fact that sailboat hulls are NOT smooth to the point that there are no ripples 18" to 24" apart
in even the best of construction.
You can see the ripples with your temple against the hull looking length wise.
Dark colors make these imperfections stand out big time.
It is a given that if you want a dark color to look good, fairing is a must.
Dick
 

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A nice alternative to "fridgedaire white" that most boats seem to be, is a colour like Awlgrips "Whisper Gray"... light enough to be tolerant of imperfections and to be heat reflective rather than absorbing, but different enough to set you off from all the other (white) boats around.

Keep the decks light coloured for sure, not just to keep things cooler below, but also to keep things cool underfoot - try stepping barefoot on a black anodized genoa track on a hot day to see what I mean! Even the typical medium gray nonskid areas found on many boats get too warm for barefoot traffic!
 

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Mr. Wuffles hit it right on the head. White hulls show fewer imperfections than dark hulls, which is why most production boats are white. White also makes a boat look bigger. (And everyone wants a bigger boat, no?) Add to this the fact that it is easier for a race committee to spot competitors who are over early at the start if they have a distinctive color hull, and you can see why most boat nowadays are white - or close to it. Because of the heat issue, you will tend to see more northern boats in dark colors, but until you get a bit south of New England, dark hulls don't tend to be too hot in the summer.
 

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Midwest Puddle Pirate
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Since the OP lives in the Great White North, I doubt that heat will be a consideration. Getting a hull straight enough for a dark color is a big task though. Scratches and waterspots are a problem too. I happen to think the results are worth it, but most people don't.



 

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You did a lovely job, John, and a well-done dark paintjob (Blue, Green, Black - take your pick) looks great when it's done right and still in good shape... I'd go with it again if fairness wasn't such a big deal, and if I hadn't watched a friend with a beautiful dark blue hull spend each evening trying to wipe/wash salt crystals off the hull.

It takes a well faired hull and a good hand with the paint, but there's no denying that it looks amazing... temperature issues aside.

.. now... on another topic.. looks like your bottom needs a wipe!;) :eek: :)
 

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I think the dark colors can update an older sailing boat. I'd like to do it on mine, but the effort to make it happen is just too much. I have to just look and appreciate the big efforts by folks like John.
 
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