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Roof colours - light or dark?

I am planning the paint scheme for a new 58 ft boat and am getting conflicting advice about roof colours. People I respect say a) that the roof must be a light colour to keep the cabin cool on hot days, or b) I mustn--t use a light colour for the roof, because on bright days, the sun will reflect and glare into the steerer--s eyes making the boat extremely unpleasant to use. I see many new boats with light coloured roofs - how does it work out in practice and is there a noticeable cooling effect?

Asked by: Gordon Lane  | 4.58pm, Saturday 10 April


WW says:

Both these statements are correct. Light roofs do tend to make the cabin cooler but they also reflect more light into your eyes.
It is very difficult to say how much cooler the cabin is because you don't know how hot it would have been on the same day with a darker colour.
Perhaps the best bet is to opt for a middling tone that will not absorb too much heat but will also not reflect too much light.
Textured roof finishes are not so prone to glare - as well as being safer to walk on. The downside is that, assuming you use the sand-in-the-wet-paint method, it has to be applied very carefully if it is not to fail in a couple of years. When this happens, half the finish comes off in sheets while the other half sticks like glue making it very difficult to remedy.
For what it's worth, the roof on my own boat is painted in a mid grey gloss paint and this seems to work quite well.

Graham Booth  | 3.36PM, Sunday 11 April


Readers say:

I have a 58' boat with a cream roof and decks painted with cream International deck paint. The cream is always cool to the touch when you can't touch the navy parts because they are so hot.

YVONNE SANDERSON  | 11.52AM, Monday 12 April

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