Best colours for visibility at sea

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Leo Lazauskas, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    More atmospheric scattering/absorbsion of the green wavelengths as the sun is lower (i.e. longer path through the atmosphere). Normally both blue (water molecules) and green (biota, photoplankton) are relected in the water (and sometimes red..the "red tide" being caused by photoplankton that happen to reflect that color). Late in the day there is less green to be reflected. Depth also plays a part in the color reflected.
     
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  2. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I'd go with constrasting BIG stripes, like a bee.

    Water goes from black, to blue to bright green to olive drab to brown to yellow/copper-orange at sunset or even bright white from glare.

    I'd go with just four bands of two contrasting colors, regardless of size of boat.


    Yes, I've seen a bright mango/orange kayak seem to camouflage against sunset reflecting off water.
     
  3. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Am I to understand that there is no such thing as a long lasting florescent orange, 2 part LPU paint?

    What do they make the new ultra florescent orange "end construction" highway signs from in the USA? They are a true florescent orange.

    Please advise, since I plan to use this color on my boat when she's complete.

    EDIT: Did some quick Googling and it would appear that florescent paints are short lived anywhere you use them, even on a car you keep indoors in a garage. They just fade out in a few years. Bummer. Back to the color selection again...
     
  4. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Makes sense. Black bands for nighttime, yellow bands for daytime. Maybe that's why the Cardinal buoys are painted like that??

    Not sure about mixing aluminium with carbon. It does tend to fizz a bit!

    I think most road signs have glass beads in them to reflect light. Paint weight and glossiness aren't as important as on boats

    Bet you didn't think this thread would get this big so fast did you Leo?

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  5. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    No. But it shows what a remarkably helpful lot of people hang around on this board.

    Crew uniforms could be important: I've found what seems to fit most people's suggestions so far.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  6. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    At last! a picture of you!!

    Richard Woods
     
  7. Schoonner
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    Schoonner Senior Member

    What if uv reactive purple colored glow paint were painted over the reds, yellows, oranges, whatever colors... If you coat the paint in something that will reflect or maybe even absorb uv light you could make the colors brighter than you think. Even if it doesn't glow in the dark, your eyes will pick that color out easily because it is not what you are used to being able to see.

    EDIT:: I meant to say that reflecting the uv rays might make reflective paints last longer since the gloss coat with uv reflective paint in it will act like a shield over the fragile parts. It also might glow for a second if you shine a light on it if it is uv reactive.
     
  8. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    Sadly that fine figure of a man is not me.
    It's a photo of an Australian drone captured by the Iranians.
     
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  9. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

  10. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    There again we see the orange with black stripes.
    That seems to be a very common colour scheme.

    I see the UK is also readying its drones for dog-fights with Iran :p
     
  11. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Maybe we have an instinctive programing to look out for banded sea kraits.
     
  12. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Couple of things I learned while employed in the paint industry.

    The colour of the ocean or anything for that matter will change colour depending on the light shining on it. As the sun goes down and allows different colours to penetrate the atmosphere, objects will change colour due to the different colour light illuminating them.

    Two objects that look the same colour under one light can look different under another light.

    This is called Metamerism.

    White paint is cheaper to make because it doesn't contain any tinting pigments and white paint also contains a higher content of Titanium Dioxide (that provides the whiteness).

    Titanium Dioxide in paint also provides the coverage of a paint, or, how well it coats the substrate. So you use less white paint to coat a surface than a darker colour.

    As the sun sets the horizon becomes orange because orange has the longest wave length and so can penetrate the atmosphere. Any bright colour would be visible under ordinary conditions but under hazy conditions the orange colour will penetrate more and be more visible.

    POida
     
  13. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Poida: Could you go a step further and suggest the most dazzling, bright, brilliant orange paint one could get? Something that approximates a florescent orange, but that will last as long as white?
     
  14. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Sorry Catbuilder I can't. The colour that you see reflected from a surface is due to the frequencies that the surface will absorb.

    White light contains all of the frequencies and a white surface looks white because that surface is reflecting all of the light, with none or little absorbed. This means that very little sunlight is absorbed into the surface to deteriorate the paint as well as keeping the surface cool.

    An orange colour will absorb all of the frequencies except orange, so most of the sunlight is absorbed into the surface, the reason for it's fast deterioration.

    So, no colour will last as long as white.

    Poida
     

  15. Dirteater
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    Dirteater Senior Member

    Well, there's simply no other way to say this :D
    I thought about a fair bit, and these were my choices.
    I like to see this on a freighter :D
     

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