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Ed

dark colored hulls

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looking to order a new chap 337SSX , i am considering a colored hull for the first time. I have been boating for 30 years and always owned a white hull. i have a concern for fading. Any input is appreciated, especially from older chap owners with colored hull experience.

 

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Fading might be a concern, eventually, meantime a lot of elbow grease required to keep dark colored hull in great shape. Black, blue, and red ... you have been forewarned ... :D

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I have a maroon on white. I use Collinite 870 Fleetwax. Used for aviation and boats. I have tried about 5 products 3M etc. This stuff works pretty good and brings out the oxidation quite good. 

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Call me crazy but....My experience is, with a red hull boat, right before you wrap it for the winter, completely coat the red with Aquaphor and let it sit in the sun for a while and then wrap it up.  If you are a year round boater treat it a few times a year to keep that gel coat oxidized.  My 2002 looked brand new when I let her go last year.  

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A good buffer, lots of elbow grease, and good quality boat wax (most good stuff has UV protection) helps a lot to keep fading to a minimum / in check.

I would say my '92 2550's 24 year old white / blue / grey hull doesn't look like it's new, but still looks pretty darn good with a nice shine and reflection and no hazing / chalking and absolute minimal fading. That does come at a price, but it's a "labor of love" so to speak.

I had one many years ago with a red hull it was a never ending battle to keep up with. Have heard red is the hardest to keep looking good, but have nothing to back that up except hear say.

As you'll be starting fresh with brand new gelcoat, should be pretty easy to keep up with instead of dealing with trying to revitalize older / neglected gelcoat.

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Like anything else you own, it's all about how you maintain it.  My boat is 8 years old.  The prior owner had it professionally detailed once a year, which I assume included a thorough wax job, and it was detailed in March when I bought it. It sits on a covered lift and I'll I've done since I've owned it is one quick brush down while it was on the lift. I used a boat brush and West Marine's Wash n Shine.  I think the hull looks pretty good!

Hull%20pic_zps7opmxcmb.jpg

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Everybody asks how I get my hull so clean. I tell them I don't let it get dirty. Maintaining is a lot easier than trying to bring it back from the dead. Mequires Polish #45, until it's perfect, then Mequires Marine liquid wax. Never needed to touch any of my boats with a buffer, compounds, color restorer, oxidation remover, as all these aggressive materials damage the finish. The first coat of polish removes the old wax, feeds the finish, and removes surface imperfections. The second application deep cleans and you know you are done when the surface is totally slick to the touch. One good coat of wax and you are done. Polish gets it perfect, wax keeps it that way longer. W

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I wash the boat just about every week and once a year it get pulled for a good wax. The guys at the marine tell me my boat is easy to wax because I take such good care of it, and it costs me less when they wax it. After 8 years it looks better than  when I bought it.

 

CIMG1574.jpg

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Having owned my red 220 for a few years and doing battle with the FL and now AZ sun, I invested in a custom cover that comes down below the color band. Like Wingnut said, it's easier to maintain than to fix. Once the oxidation gets running through the gel coat, I've found that if you don't get it all out then it comes back easily. I think Ive finally exorcised the oxidation demons from my gel coat and the combination of good wax and the protective cover are working well for me. I also don't use my boat nearly as much as I used to and wouldn't be excited about installing this full cover every weekend, but even if I was, it would still be easier than getting rid of the oxidation. I wouldn't be afraid of the colored hull but just realize it'll take a little more work to keep it looking as good as your white hull.

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My Signature 290 is the second boat Ive owned with black hullsides.  It looks sharp and is good for resale IMO, a real yacht look.  The sides still show well.   My last boat was a Chris Craft with black hullsides and I sold it really quickly.

My tips:

-Store indoors in the off season, or if you  shrink wrap, wrap down to the waterline over the color band.

-Dont use fenders at your home slip, use dock cushions instead.  Fenders scuff your boat, even all white boats.  Dock cushions in your home slip are also far more convenient than fender handling every time you leave and return.  Worth every penny.

-Do use fender socks at raft ups or transient slips away from home.  If they slide off,  install ties or get different ones.

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