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Old 13-06-2013, 09:57   #1
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Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

Question from someone with very little knowledge of boat construction.

If I understand correctly fiberglass is simply plastic with glass fibers for additional strength (or carbon fibers instead in some cases).

So why are boat hulls always white? Is there a reason other than aesthetics? I've seen some powerboats in other colors, but I don't recall ever seeing a sailboat with a fiberglass hull other than white, although I could certainly be wrong. Still, while there may be exceptions, white is still overwhelmingly the dominant color.

Is there any reason other than preference? I would love to buy a boat in a unique color, but that doesn't seem to be possible without painting it.
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Old 13-06-2013, 10:05   #2
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

Fiberglass sailboats come in all colors of the rainbow. White is most common because it is most practical. It absorbs less heat, and scratches and scuff marks are less visible.
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Old 13-06-2013, 10:07   #3
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

UV damage and temp.
There is this old saying, there only 2 colors to paint a boat, black or white. Only a fool paints his boat black.
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Old 13-06-2013, 10:08   #4
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

I might do flames down the side of my boat. very unique!

or just paint it white. still deciding.
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Old 13-06-2013, 10:30   #5
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

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I might do flames down the side of my boat. very unique!

or just paint it white. still deciding.
A Cal 2-27 with flames. Uh huh. And maybe a roll bar?
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Old 13-06-2013, 10:42   #6
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

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A Cal 2-27 with flames. Uh huh. And maybe a roll bar?
With a row of halogen lights across the top of the roll bar.
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Old 13-06-2013, 10:48   #7
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

Roll bar is nice touch. Could also add light to really make my boat stand out in a crowd. Something like this.

I can keep my batteries topped with this. SUNFORCE
1.8 Watt Solar Battery Maintainer. Very economical at only 30 dollars to keep the batteries up. Could be enough for my toaster too.
SUNFORCE 1.8 Watt Solar Battery Maintainer at West Marine
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Old 13-06-2013, 10:55   #8
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

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UV damage and temp.
There is this old saying, there only 2 colors to paint a boat, black or white. Only a fool paints his boat black.
Topsides dont get much direct sun light so they can be any colour you want. But I notice that most sailboat owners are stunningly conservative and only want what everyone else has. Ours is a red. So was Moitessier's. Black would be good too.
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:02   #9
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

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Topsides dont get much direct sun light so they can be any colour you want. But I notice that most sailboat owners are stunningly conservative and only want what everyone else has. Ours is a red. So was Moitessier's. Black would be good too.
Ours was a beautiful dark Blue and I repainted it white. I did not notice much difference in temp.
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:22   #10
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

They are gel coat white because that is the easiest and cheapest pigment to add when making gel coat which is not paint but the outer skin on the hull. This also helps us hide from bill collectors in the snow. lol
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:28   #11
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I've seen them in many colors. Dark blue is popular, as is black and occasionally green (especially on more traditional style boats). White or an off white is by far the most popular, and I think it's as much aesthetics as any practical reason. If you have a bright red hull (I've seen one or two) it could be much harder to sell. Just like when trying to sell a house, neutral/normal colors often help it sell faster.
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:34   #12
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

There are many boats in other colors than white, but as they age they look pretty bad from the fading of the gel coat. Red seems to be the worst. Even up here in the PNW they get pretty bad....
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:43   #13
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

Quote:
A Cal 2-27 with flames. Uh huh. And maybe a roll bar?
Don't forget spoilers at the stern
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Old 13-06-2013, 12:04   #14
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

Everyone knows they are white so they don't sink.
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Old 13-06-2013, 12:05   #15
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Re: Question: why are fiberglass sailboat hulls always white?

Henry Ford had a brother who built boats.........
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