Blue hulls in the Florida sun

Discussion in 'Sport Yachts/Yachts' started by BOB TYSON, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. BOB TYSON

    BOB TYSON Member SILVER Sponsor

    125
    Oct 5, 2017
    (tired of being) boatless.
    Cobalts 272,252,222
    Sea Ray 390 Express
    Chris Craft 21
    boatless
    Question for those of you who wet dock blue hulled boats in sunny Florida. I think the blue hulls look awesome but am very concerned about keeping them up. How often are you having them buffed out? what is a typical cost? I want to build this cost into the operational side of having the boat. Ive done my own detailing in the past on my smaller boats but no way am I going to buff out a 42-44 foot Sundancer..
    Thanks as always !
     
  2. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    I keep my boat at a large Sea Ray dealer's marina. I've been there 30 years so I've seen most combinations of color and good to poor maintenance.

    Blue is the worst color to maintain. They get oxidized in about 3 months and the older the boat the quicker they get chalkier and the harder they are to get back. The marina owner has the best blue boat I've seen in Florida. The marina handles his maintenance and they do it right. The topsides are cleaned (i.e. oxidation removed) and polished 4X a year and the hull is done 3X a year.......this is a 50DA so every hull detail also involves a haul out.

    We have had a few Pewter hulls and it seems to tke a bit longer for them to initially oxodize, but after they get chalky, the same schedule as above is about what they take.

    Black is about as bad.


    I am in Panama City Beach FL and the costs here are $17.50 /ft for above the rub rail on a Sundancer and $15/ft for below the rub rail, a haul out if the marina does the work is $8/ft; $10/ft if you do it.


    The above is just to maintain a boat. The other considerations are that the blue hulls eventually turn more purple than blue, the more you compound and polish them. Rremember, there is sand everywhere and evaporating salt water leaves salt crystals on boats, fenders, docks, etc. so just rubbing the side of a blue hull boat with a towell can leave you a case of dull spots and hairline scratches that cannot be repaired. Any damage on blue, pewter, cinnabar, or black is a real challenge to fix right because gelcoat out of the can won't match and Spectrum gelcoat patching paste doesn't match on colors that are a couple of years old.

    When the colored hulls first arrived, there was a sheet in the owners packet advising ownere to rotate their boatss in their slips every 30 days to keep the fading from side to side consistent.

    Another consideration is that the salt must be washed (not rinsed....washed) off the boat or the water spots left from sea water ends up looking like big cloudy areas.

    The only time blue hulls look really good is when they are new or right after a thorough compounding and polishing to clean up the oxidation and get the gloss back. This is your choice to make, but if you buy a blue hull boat and keep it in the water in Florida, you need to be prepared to accept the added overhead cost which is 2-3X that of a white hull Sea Ray.
     
    M Prod, Richie89 and importmonkey like this.
  3. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Newport, RI
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    I would just have it wrapped (cheap) or painted (expensive) if your heart is set on a colored hull - I have a hard time keeping up with white!
     
  4. strange weather

    strange weather Member SILVER Sponsor

    271
    Sep 4, 2010
    Lake Mead
    320 Sundancer 2005,Raymarine C80 GPS SmartCraft System w/Auto Pilot 5kw Kohler Generator
    T-VD 350 Magnum MPI Horizon
    The Vegas sun is brutal-we keep our boat in a covered slip year round-i wash every time i go to the boat [about once a month we stay about 10 days] with Spot Less Cleaning system and Orpine Soap-no drying off-great wash no water spots and I have the boat waxed once before the season March and once after in Nov-Dec- my guy charges me 400$ per wax and uses Meguiar's products-sometimes he'll use buffer and fine tune by hand- this works good for me
     
  5. Third Edition

    Third Edition Member

    140
    Apr 9, 2017
    NE Florida
    360 Sundancer 2002
    T-8.1L V-drives
    I agree with you that blue hulls do look awesome. At first. If it is blue gelcoat it will not last irrespective of what you do, unless you keep it inside. Some people around here in NE Florida who have E-W slips have canvas or sunbrella mounted between the pilings on the south and it blocks the sun. It's a partial remedy. Backing into a slip with the stern to the south would help somewhat. The winter sun, low on the horizon would still do damage to the sides of the hull. An oxidized white hull can look not too bad IMO. An oxidized blue hull just plain looks bad. We see several each time we take out our boat.
     
  6. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    If you want blue in FL - Paint it. Awl Grip works.

    Last boat I had was painted, held up well the few years I had it.

    Regarding gel coat that is blue - I agree with Frank above. In south FL you see a lot of boats that probably looked great when they were new - but not cared for properly -- the environment is brutal.

    Mark (who now has an all white boat)
     
    Todd320 likes this.
  7. BOB TYSON

    BOB TYSON Member SILVER Sponsor

    125
    Oct 5, 2017
    (tired of being) boatless.
    Cobalts 272,252,222
    Sea Ray 390 Express
    Chris Craft 21
    boatless
    Once again I am saved a lot of money and misery by hearing from experienced boaters.
    I think Ill stick with white.
    Thanks to each of you!
    Bob
     
  8. fr8dog

    fr8dog Active Member

    249
    May 25, 2012
    Florida
    460 Sundancer 2005
    Cummins 480 CE
    Bob, The blue makes the boat look so much larger and classier. I have a 2005 460 and after two years of ownership and battling the blue gel coat I had it painted with Awlcraft 2000. Three years on it now and it looks like the day it was painted. I am very happy with my choice. I have a friend that has the same boat in white and while I would be happy with the white, the blue is in my opinion is just incredible.
     
    Todd320 likes this.
  9. BOB TYSON

    BOB TYSON Member SILVER Sponsor

    125
    Oct 5, 2017
    (tired of being) boatless.
    Cobalts 272,252,222
    Sea Ray 390 Express
    Chris Craft 21
    boatless
    Thanks fr8dog. Thats and interesting opportunity. cost?
     
  10. fr8dog

    fr8dog Active Member

    249
    May 25, 2012
    Florida
    460 Sundancer 2005
    Cummins 480 CE
    Just over 200 a foot. I've heard prices from 125 to 500 a foot. I would think the 200 would be tops. As I said, I used Awlcraft 2000. Other options would be Imron or Alexseal. I do have an Awlcraft polymer product put on twice a year but Awlcraft says it is not necessary. I am in SW Florida year around so the sun is brutal!
     
  11. Todd320

    Todd320 Active Member

    464
    Jul 21, 2016
    St. Petersburg, FL
    2007 Sea Ray 320DA
    Twin V-drive 5.7L 350 Horizon
    I’m assuming you had this done in South Fl, do you mind if I ask where? I would really like to get a quote for my boat and I was expecting it to be 500+/ft, not 200. At 200, I might pull the trigger.
    I love the dark colored hulls, the black and blues just really stand out. I’m going to see if I can find someone local to Tampa St pete, but the more information I have the better.
     
  12. Larry

    Larry Active Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    Oakland, NJ
    2004 42 Sundancer
    Hydraulic platform
    Cockpit air
    KVH M3
    450hp Cummins
    My boat was painted metallic blue with 3M Alexseal 3 years ago at the Huckins boat yard in Jacksonville FL. Holding up very well, they did the entire job for the prior owner for $8000 on our 42 Sundancer.
     
  13. fr8dog

    fr8dog Active Member

    249
    May 25, 2012
    Florida
    460 Sundancer 2005
    Cummins 480 CE
    Todd, I had mine painted at Owl Creek near Ft. Myers. I have been told that they have gone crazy with their prices since. Also the painter I used has retired. In Fort Myers Beach there is Gulf Marine Ways or Diversified Yacht. In St. Pete the Marine Max yard paints as well. I had a quote from them of 10K for my 460. Worth a few calls to compare.
     
  14. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member

    990
    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    What makes up this $200/foot price... is it the paint?... I can't see it being labor
     
  15. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    I think some of the colored hulls look great, but I like others I think paint is the only way to go with color if it is outside. My boat is white and it stays inside so not an issue for me, but I am looking a newer boats and will probably have a colored hull, but it will be stored indoors so again no issue. If I bought another boat that was stored outdoors or in the water I think I would avoid color, I am too anal about my cars and boat to fight with a faded colored boat.
     
  16. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Check with Pittman yard in Tarpon Springs. That is my "go to" yard. Don't have specific experience with that yard and painting.

    I do know they do high quality work, are honest and dependable.

    Mark
     
    Todd320 likes this.
  17. fr8dog

    fr8dog Active Member

    249
    May 25, 2012
    Florida
    460 Sundancer 2005
    Cummins 480 CE
    I think it is the labor. The prep seemed to be quite time consuming. They completely covered everything not being painted and then started sanding. Minor surface repairs were done then more sanding. Primer applied then more sanding. Finally color then clearcoat. Then remasking and the bootstripes were painted. Two colors so that required time. I'm sure the paint is pricey but I do think it is a labor intensive job.
     
    Blueone likes this.
  18. Richie89

    Richie89 Active Member

    548
    Aug 20, 2012
    Miami Beach, FL
    450 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins 480 Zeus
    I've been down in Miami for a year and a half and the colored hulls always look bad to me. So much so that when we started our search for the boat we just got last month, my wife's first comment is that it must be all white hull. Even she noticed how the colored ones always look dingy. They require a lotta extra work.
     
  19. Carpediem44DB

    Carpediem44DB Active Member

    228
    Aug 18, 2015
    Sanfransico Bay area
    2006 44 DB Sedan Bridge Raymarine E120 radar chart plotter GPS autopilot
    cummins QSC 8.3 500 HD
    9C0C3F3C-1391-4AAE-89C7-75BDCEEA84C6.jpeg I just polished mine this week, looks like a million bucks and really stands out in the marina. I always get compliments on the blue but this being my third colored hull in twenty five years it will be my last!
     
    Todd320 and Richie89 like this.
  20. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Looks great. I agree they are awesome.

    Your not in south FL though.
     

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