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If you've seen my earlier threads, you'll know I'm pondering a re-paint. I have looked at multiple boats painted Stars and Stripes Blue. All were recent re-paints, but the color varied from what looked like powder blue to a darker grey blue. I'm wondering how the color can vary so widely. Are there any paint experts who know? Surely AzkoNoble's QC doesn't allow that much variance in the production process. 

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Their colors are dead on. Just like automobiles. If you’ve inspected boats in person and the colors are different it is due to lighting differences. 

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S&S blue changes apparent color dramatically with sunlight, shadow, and other colors on a boat. Sometimes it looks almost robin's egg blue, sometimes blue/gray.

Every marine paint company makes a similar color.

It is the primary color we have considered for a re-paint on out Wilbur 34, which is now flag blue, but the changing color conundrum is one we struggle to come to grips with.

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Go to the supplier site and look for the $5 color chart.  It has all (and there are a lot) of the colors on high quality print ink.  You probably are seeing totally different colors.  

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As others have said, several paint manufacturers have what they refer to as Stars & Stripes blue.  So named after S&S '87 (US-55), which was either gun metal blue or gunsmoke blue  depending on your reference. 

If you want the real Stars & Stripes blue, look at S&S '87, since by definition that would be the official colour.  Photo below.  Also a photo of US-55 from back in the day, plus the remnants of both US-55 and what looks to be South Australia (KA-8) post hurricane.  So sad.

But anything resembling powder blue would not be Stars & Stripes blue.

Same with what they call British Racing Green.  There is no such official colour and over the years several different hues of green were used - although the first car to sport it was painted shamrock green.

However there is an official Italian Racing red (rosso corsa)

feature-620x350.jpg

StarsStripes-posthurricane.jpg

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I've seen the J/100 in this picture in person, from a variety of angles and in different light and it looks very powder blue regardless the light or angle. 

I've also seen a trawler in person which looks very much not powder blue, as in the picture below. I spoke to the guy who painted the Trawler and he assured me it is Stars and Stripes Blue  

Both say they're Awlgrip Stars and Stripes Blue 
 

Is it likely that the sailboat in the picture below really isn't Stars and Stripes Blue?  

 

2CB14A58-D777-4E00-8861-380AEE9C320E.jpeg

47AEB3D8-212D-4FD7-877F-A22479FA9190.jpeg

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20 minutes ago, Quickstep192 said:

I've seen the J/100 in this picture in person, from a variety of angles and in different light and it looks very powder blue regardless the light or angle. 

I've also seen a trawler in person which looks very much not powder blue, as in the picture below. I spoke to the guy who painted the Trawler and he assured me it is Stars and Stripes Blue  

Both say they're Awlgrip Stars and Stripes Blue 
 

Is it likely that the sailboat in the picture below really isn't Stars and Stripes Blue?  

 

I suppose they can call it whatever shade of blue they like.  But the trawler looks closer to it than the J.  When I say "it" I mean the hull colour of the 12 mR with the sail number US-55.  Any hue different from that is not Stars & Stripes Blue - at least IMO for whatever that is worth.

Note the reason I specifically mention US-55 is because there were several other Stars & Stripes built after US-55 for DC's AC campaigns over the years and they weren't all painted in the same shade of blue.  Some were quite a bit darker - closer to a flag blue.

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If you are fussy about the color. I am. The paint chips tend to look less bold, lighter, or whatever, than the eventual reality. Especially in the whites, creams, grays. Then you have two choices:

1. Find a boat recently painted in that color. Ask a big yard to point you to a boat. Walk the docks at a huge marina. Stand back. Visualize it on your boat. 

2. Buy a small can of it. Paint it on a big section that is both shaded and sunny. Stand back.

Take your time. Revisit either a week later. It should be that important.

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As a guy who spends too much time matching white gelcoat( tougher than you think), I would suggest that the color on the J boat is more a Columbia Blue. I had to formulate that color about 20 years ago for a very important wooden boat guy with a new $300,000 28’ catboat. He wanted the color to Match the J boat Columbia. I blended the color from a blend of colors including Ice blue, arctic white, a dab of black and a small amount of platinum colored paint to make the color match. 
 

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5 hours ago, Quickstep192 said:

I've seen the J/100 in this picture in person, from a variety of angles and in different light and it looks very powder blue regardless the light or angle. 

I've also seen a trawler in person which looks very much not powder blue, as in the picture below. I spoke to the guy who painted the Trawler and he assured me it is Stars and Stripes Blue  

Both say they're Awlgrip Stars and Stripes Blue 
 

Is it likely that the sailboat in the picture below really isn't Stars and Stripes Blue?  

 

2CB14A58-D777-4E00-8861-380AEE9C320E.jpeg

47AEB3D8-212D-4FD7-877F-A22479FA9190.jpeg

The powerboat looks like S&S blue. (The powerboat is not a trawler, as anyone who knows anything about powerboats will tell you. It  is a variable deadrise planing hull that probably runs at 25+ kt, depending on the propulsion system). The sailboat does not look like S&S blue. It almost matches the Travelift in color.

S&S blue looks more blue/gray when it is in shadow. It looks more blue in direct sun.

It is a frustrating color to come to terms with at times.

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The boat below (which I shared the picture of earlier) looks darker. Any idea what color it could be?

The yard that's selling it says it's Stars and Stripes Blue. 
 

 

5EE48E5E-1A8D-4E65-A6BC-5C1019DCDA15.jpeg

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I think I might have a clue to this mystery. OK, pretty sure the J100 isn't Stars and Stripes Blue. 

The other boats are all Stars and Stripes Blue, but the slightly lighter ones are Awlgrip S&S blue; the darker ones are Alexseal S&S Blue. Does this sound reasonable? 
 

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6 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Why not use Alexseal? It’s a great paint for topsides 

I really don't know much about Alexseal. I've read good and bad; the painter isn't keen about using Alexseal. 

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19 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

it's almost as hard as deciding between  Ocean Grey and  Military Grey

Not to mention Haze Gray...

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21 hours ago, 12 metre said:

As others have said, several paint manufacturers have what they refer to as Stars & Stripes blue.  So named after S&S '87 (US-55), which was either gun metal blue or gunsmoke blue  depending on your reference. 

If you want the real Stars & Stripes blue, look at S&S '87, since by definition that would be the official colour.  Photo below.  Also a photo of US-55 from back in the day, plus the remnants of both US-55 and what looks to be South Australia (KA-8) post hurricane.  So sad.

But anything resembling powder blue would not be Stars & Stripes blue.

Same with what they call British Racing Green.  There is no such official colour and over the years several different hues of green were used - although the first car to sport it was painted shamrock green.

However there is an official Italian Racing red (rosso corsa)

feature-620x350.jpg

StarsStripes-posthurricane.jpg

That paint job looks more like True North than South Australia to me,  but it was a long time ago!

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I repainted with Awlcraft Stars & Stripes blue about 5 years ago.  Couldn't be happier -- it's a great color.  That J is way too light to be S&S blue.  I went with the Awlcraft, not the Awlgrip.  Similar to Alexseal.

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38 minutes ago, TUBBY said:

That paint job looks more like True North than South Australia to me,  but it was a long time ago!

Yes, sounds like it was True North, not KA-8 - but kinda similar paint jobs.  The sinking of True North and S&S 87 is mentioned in this rather good thread that even has some decent photos of Advance.  It is mentioned that TN and S&S 87 sank during a hurricane in St Maarten.  Anyways, cool to see some photos of Advance.

 

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@Quickstep192 a lot of the color difference is likely to do with the primer underneath.  Some shops may use the white 545 primer and others the gray 545...etc.  I watch a few car renovation shows and they often mention how the color underneath affects the final color and they choose the previous color based upon the finish they desire.  Probably something that the marine industry doesn't spend a whole lot of time worrying about.

My father had the signature blue stripes on his Hood(Wauquiez) 38 repainted in Stars and Stripes Blue back in the nineties.  It was a great color change and made the boat look a lot nicer.  

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We do worry about the primer color under certain finishes. For instance, you can’t paint a red finish over a white primer as it makes the finish appear pink and you can’t get any depth of image as a result. A gray primer solves that problem. 

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1 hour ago, Sail4beer said:

We do worry about the primer color under certain finishes. For instance, you can’t paint a red finish over a white primer as it makes the finish appear pink and you can’t get any depth of image as a result. A gray primer solves that problem. 

Good to hear and makes sense with red.  What about blue?  I would imagine the final result of S&S blue would change a little depending upon which of the two primers is used.  It would be interesting to see the difference.

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Wow! This is good to know. I’ll be sure to ask the painter about primer. 
 

I assume the darker the primer, the darker the topcoat looks; if I want a darker look, should I ask about black primer, or is that a step too far? 

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I use white primer under white Awlcraft or Awlgrip and gray and white alternating layers with a final gray coat for fairing smooth and for priming under just about every other color besides white.

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17 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

I use white primer under white Awlcraft or Awlgrip and gray and white alternating layers with a final gray coat for fairing smooth and for priming under just about every other color besides white.

^^^^^^^this

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Sorry, I’m a little slow. 
 

So, you’re saying something like three coats of primer. Coat 1 is gray, coat 2 is white, then primer coat 3 is gray again, then however many topcoats?

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Actually, I’m talking about alternating primer layers so you can see any imperfections in the surface.  As you sand the boat after priming, any high spots will stand out as a different color and can be further filled or faired before painting if needed. Primer is not exactly needed for certain surfaces, however,I always prime before painting and I generally spray 3 coats, which on a small hull means spraying the entire hull in 3 passes. Larger boats are done in sections, one side at a time.

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4 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Actually, I’m talking about alternating primer layers so you can see any imperfections in the surface.  As you sand the boat after priming, any high spots will stand out as a different color and can be further filled or faired before painting if needed. Primer is not exactly needed for certain surfaces, however,I always prime before painting and I generally spray 3 coats, which on a small hull means spraying the entire hull in 3 passes. Larger boats are done in sections, one side at a time.

This is a good technique for use all over the boat.  I did this with my keel using Interprotect 2000.  As Sail4beer said, you can track the changes and in a keel where this one happens to be iron, you don't want to sand through the final layer so when you get through the first three or four layers, you need to re-apply before you break though and expose the iron.

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I used a gray primer under AwlCraft S&S about 6 years ago on a powerboat.  Its holding up great.  The boat is in the water and used for 5 months a year.  It does fit inside over the winter which helps with fading.

I really like that it appears to be different based on sunlight angle or water clarity.  The hull is fairly flat with a sizable rubrail.  In the water it is shaded most of the time and more gray.  It probably looks best in the driveway where white clamshells reflect and really brings out the blue. 

We get compliments all the time on the color. 

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Awlcraft 2000 is a great product and I’d use it over Awlgrip any day. The fact that it is an acrylic instead of a linear polyurethane makes it easy to repair and the color blend is unnoticeable when complete.

I wish more people in our area would use crushed shells for driveways and walkways. It’s economical, weeds don’t grow, allows rainwater to soak into the ground instead of running off nitrogen from fertilizers into the Bay and it always looks clean. My ex-wife refused to do shells, now $15,000 later, she has stamped concrete. 

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19 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Awlcraft 2000 is a great product and I’d use it over Awlgrip any day. The fact that it is an acrylic instead of a linear polyurethane makes it easy to repair and the color blend is unnoticeable when complete.

I wish more people in our area would use crushed shells for driveways and walkways. It’s economical, weeds don’t grow, allows rainwater to soak into the ground instead of running off nitrogen from fertilizers into the Bay and it always looks clean. My ex-wife refused to do shells, now $15,000 later, she has stamped concrete. 

the awlcraft came highly recommended  We did the job outside with great results.  The only major scratches in 6 years were from the mooring line hooks.  Its rubbed on floating docks without fenders and you can barely see the scratches  

Id like to get a load of oyster shells the next time we need to top dress the driveway.  add a little color

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I’ll mention that to the club BOG. Now that the old junior sailing building and pad are gone, they’re going to grade and spread more shell to cover the new available parking area. The white alone is blinding on a summer day!

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