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Old 21-08-2006, 15:37   #1
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Yellow Hull

I read an article in This Old Boat about a sailor who painted his hull yellow. The article made it sound like painting a hull yellow is " against the sea gods" or bad luck. Does anyone what the refernce is about yellow hulls?
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Old 21-08-2006, 15:50   #2

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We have a couple of yellow hull boats in our marina. Manatees love them. It's not uncommon to see the boats bouncing around in their slips as the manatees are "having their way" with them. Yes a 2000 lb manatee can shove a 40+ footer around.

Rick in Florida
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Old 21-08-2006, 15:57   #3

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Aside from banana jokes? No, I never heard a yellow hull was against the sea gods. The classical sea gods (Greek, Roman) were said to be jealous of a blue boat, blue being Poseidon's color, and to this day some Greeks will tell you "Never go to sea in a blue boat" because of that.

But yellow??

What, like King Kong might mistake you for a giant twinkie?<G>

OTOH, Yellow and red are the two colors that fade fastest and worst in bright sunlight, so yellow could be problematic if it isn't kept waxed/polished.
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Old 21-08-2006, 16:45   #4
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I have a yellow boat. It is hard to slip away from a bank robberey in a yellow sailboat or if you are close to being over early on the startingline but I haven't had any bad luck. As HS said you need to keep up with the waxing polishing.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 21-08-2006, 18:15   #5
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I have painted yellow bottom paint on the trimaran, and intend to paint the nonskid areas of the deck yellow. Of course, if it weren't for bad luck, I would have no luck at all, so maybe I am a bad example
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Old 21-08-2006, 18:27   #6
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My boat has yellow topsides and it really suits her. I think with most colours it has to suit the boat in question. In our case, my wife chose yellow for reasons of visibility and it seems to work - people comment that they can see us from miles away. Perhaps this is the reason that most plastic kayaks are also yellow?
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Old 21-08-2006, 18:40   #7
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That is the reason I painted the bottom of my multihull yellow
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Old 21-08-2006, 21:08   #8
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Ummm.. Kai? you want you should be upside down so people can see ya?
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Old 21-08-2006, 21:17   #9
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Affirmative, on the waxing. I've had two yellow boats and they got chocky after about 6 years. And no matter how much waxing after that it comes right back soon. Dark blue is my choice of colors for hulls...................._/)
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Old 21-08-2006, 22:45   #10
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There's a picture of my boat under my profile, and OK, it doesn't show the paint condition very well, but I blew on two coats of Altex Devoe two pot polyurethane about 7 years ago and its still glossy with no sign of chalking.

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Old 22-08-2006, 09:59   #11

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Chrisc, you're not as close to the equator as, say, southern Florida, so you've got sunlight but not scorching sunlight. Even new cars (exterior and interior) bleach out in Miami's sun after five years, while a bit further north there's no similar damage.

Altex Devoe may just be great paint...but red and yellow dyes are the problem. All else being equal, they still bleach out before the rest. Might take you ten or fifteen years, but it still will happen, still faster than many other colors. Not necessarily *chalking*, but the color itself fading. If you have any decals (registration stickers, etc.) or plates covering a piece of the hull, and you remove them, you'll probably see a huge color difference. If you ever have hull damage and need a repair to match--that's when the fading becomes a real problem. (Or the quality of the paint shop.<G>)

Meanwhile...the one time I had to fill out a SAR form and it came to "Color of hull and deck" I said to myself, oh yeah, right, one more WHITE BOAT. Well, that won't help much.

Bright colors may fade, but in my book, that doesn't make them a bad idea at all.<G>
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Old 22-08-2006, 12:43   #12
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This is a complicated subject. Colours themselves and how they fade or not is dependant on what light range they reflect or absorb in the UV, NOT the visible spectrum. The darker the colour, the more UV is reflected. The more UV reflected, the greater their life tends to be. But the reverse is true in the Infra red spectrum where the darker colour asborbs most of the energy and you end up with a very hot surface.
Protection against UV comes from additives in the paint make up itself. Yellow and red can be protected just as easily as any other colour from UV. The major problem with colours degrading is seen mostly in gelcoats where UV protection additives do not exist. These rely on exterior waxes and polishes to protect them and those coatings need to be regularly applied. Far more regular than the "lasting shine" suggests.
How a paint colour stands up to UV is determined by what is added for the protection and the pigments used and basicly, is all sumed up by the price you tend to pay for the paint(usually).
Dark colours like Blue also fade and often at the same rate as any other colour of the same paint type. But it may not be as noticable in some circumstances. It is down to the light spectrum and the efficiency of our eyes in that spectrum as to what we see. Yellow for instance has a very narrow band to make up the colour. Blue tends to very wide and is one major reason why we struggle to focus in blue light.
So all the above are just some examples of the complexity. I could go on, but there is little point. It's just a little more complex than simple Yellow and Red fades faster than any other colour.

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Old 22-08-2006, 12:55   #13

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Agreed it is more complex. And part of that is the chemistry of the pigments and dyes used for various colors. From what I'd been taught in the printing industry, the agents used to make red and yellow paints and dyes are simply less stable than other colors against UV radiation. So...all things being equal, reds and yellow will fade first.

Can you protect them? Sure, you can protect anything. Which is par of what wax and polish is all about--protecting what's under them.

Ask anyone in the auto finishing industry, if there are *any* bright red paints that they can "protect" by *any* means, so that the red won't fade and change afer five years in subtropical (Texas, Florida, etc.) sunlight. Uhuh, that whole industry, with all the major paint and coatings companies, will tell you the really bright reds and yellows are just going to be a problem. If you need to do a repair, you need a good man on the paint gun to eye-match the faded color and fade in the repaired area.

Even the modern clear-coats aren't enough protection to totally stop the problem.
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