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Old 27-09-2015, 16:50   #1
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Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

I see mostly white boats, maybe a darker color bottom which I know has been painted. How about above the water line and deck? I have seen blue, black, green, yellow, even saw a pink one, is this paint and the underneath base is white? Or is the fiberglass pigmented to that color? I found a boat I really liked, but it was green. Is that easy to change or would that be the forever color of that boat? If it's green and I want it white, is that a big costly job?

I know many smaller boats the fiberglass is actually colored, but don't know about these larger boats.
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Old 27-09-2015, 17:03   #2
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

Top sides and cabin tops are painted.

Decks are painted.

You can change the color to what you want.

As with any painting, going from dark to light may require more coats.
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Old 27-09-2015, 17:21   #3
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

Hey! No dumb questions allowed here! Ok, just kidding, it's not a dumb question. The surface of a fiberglass boat is a layer of resin called the gelcoat and it gets a pigment to color it, ususally white. But any gelcoat can be sanded and primed to prepare it for another color. You'll likely need a couple of coats of primer to prep it properly for the new color. In general it is easier to paint a light color on a light gelcoat, but I have seen white boats painted black and vice versa. The down side is that if you scratch your boat the original unattractive color will reappear! Oh, and yes it is a costly job if you hire someone to do it, even more costly if you do it yourself, unless you have some experience in a body shop!
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Old 27-09-2015, 17:45   #4
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

The other consideration is that in warmer climates darker hulls get much hotter in summer
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Old 28-09-2015, 04:57   #5
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

"There are only two colors to paint a boat - black or white. And only a fool would paint a boat black. ~ Nathanael Herreshoff
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Old 28-09-2015, 09:28   #6
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

A (ugly) green boat is going to cost less than a (pretty) white boat.

Dark hulls do get hotter in the sun.
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Old 28-09-2015, 09:41   #7
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

GordMay you beat me to it!
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Old 28-09-2015, 09:43   #8
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

Ya know, we have a Navy blue hull and teak decks and yet we are the only boat in Thailand without an econ system and doing just fine. So, having lived on a boat with a dark hull and teak decks in the worlds hottest places, the color REALLY isn't a thermal issue.
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Old 28-09-2015, 09:51   #9
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

Friends of mine had a boat with a dark green hull in the Florida keys. They decided to repaint, hauled the boat in the middle of summer and moved into a motel for the duration.
They had a thermometer in the cabin (no ac). One afternoon they sprayed the white primer and the next day, in the same weather, the cabin temp was 8-10 degrees cooler.
They couldn't believe it either lol.
Ymmv.
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Old 28-09-2015, 09:53   #10
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

A few things that haven't been mentioned yet....


If a boat has colored Gelcoat, it will not last more than 10 years and much less in sunny areas, like Florida. The UV causes it to fade!


Painting a boat is relatively simple and some of the paints last a long time... AwlGrip is a favorite and I think there is a new one on the market that is even better...


The down side of painting a boat is that it will cost $150 per foot (More or less) depending on the area you are in.


Having a colored hull, besides heat, is also a maintenance issue... You have to keep it cleaned and waxed in order to preserve the paint/gelcoat.


Once you scratch the hull, it will be a bitch it match the color again and you will almost always see any repairs.


A white hulled boat is easier to maintain, looks cleaner (Even if it isn't) and repairs don't stand out like colored hulls.


OK this was free advise... So take it for what it was worth :-D
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Old 28-09-2015, 10:09   #11
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Friends of mine had a boat with a dark green hull in the Florida keys. They decided to repaint, hauled the boat in the middle of summer and moved into a motel for the duration.
They had a thermometer in the cabin (no ac). One afternoon they sprayed the white primer and the next day, in the same weather, the cabin temp was 8-10 degrees cooler.
They couldn't believe it either lol.
Ymmv.


I bought a boat that was black. Lived onboard in FL. Painted it white and the difference was huge.

However we left a small stripe of the original black down the sides of the hull as a trim. Looked nice but on a sunny day that one stripe of black radiated heat like an electric space heater. You could hold your hand up inside the cabin and feel exactly where the black stripe was located.
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Old 28-09-2015, 10:25   #12
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

Most boats have the color in the Gel Coat, which is the first layer sprayed into the mold when the fiberglass work is done.
Dark colors tend to fade and look bad over time.
Painting is expensive.... thousands of dollars for just the "topsides" (the sides of the hull) Deck painting is complicated and very expensive.
A boat can be painted over the Gel Coat. Paint doesn't fade as bad as gel coat. If a dark color is sprayed over a white boat, anytime you scratch it the scratch may show thru as white and be very obvious.
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Old 28-09-2015, 10:46   #13
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

A professional paint job is exceedingly expensive. So find a boat with a color you can endure. There'll be plenty of other things on which to throw your money away.
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Old 28-09-2015, 16:06   #14
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

Same story, the navy blue boot stripe area was a lot hotter in direct sunlight. If you enjoy diy on your boat, I can't see the huge price tag but then again, I never priced a "professional" job. Most "professional" jobs I payed for did not meet my expectations anyways. I am planning to do my topside and to do it right, all deck hardware must be removed and properly reinstalled. A big job for sure but nothing that can't be done. I did it on a 25 foot Coronado with a roller and brush. Maybe just lucky but it came out sweet with no brush marks. No one could tell it was not sprayed.
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Old 28-09-2015, 16:13   #15
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Re: Probably a dumb question, about boat color, but....

So should I decide to paint it myself from the bottom of the deck down to the bottom paint, just how is that done? I would assume but probably wrong, sand, sand, sand, prime, and paint. Probably at a minimum of two and better three coats.

Any really special paint? Or any good fiberglass marine paint?
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