Sailboat Hull, Britannia Beach, British Columbia, Canada

Green Paint

I begin with the heavy grit, which takes long, deep scratches of paint with it, gouging down through the layers of paint.

She’s a good boat, sturdy, hull fully intact. The teak’s aged and dry, but most of it will refresh after multiple oilings. There’s a bit of mildew inside, but mostly limited to the cushions, which I aim to replace immediately, along with the sail. The mast and boom, they’re fine, though the tiller needs to be replaced.

All in all, a bit of a steal. That’s because of the paint. Peeling and cracked, in many places right down to the hull. Nothing for it but to strip the entire hull and re-apply.

The sandpaper digs right in, revealing layer after layer of paints and primers. She was blue, once. Green another time. There’s red in there, but that was a layer of primer.

She might look good all gussied up in red. But my preference is green.

Every color makes for a different boat, for a different skipper. White’s for the straight up guys. The weekend warriors. The ones who want to have bigger personalities than their boats. Blue for the smooth sailors, the ones who like to move fast on light winds, who are into keeping tight rigging and taut sheets. Red? Well, no difference between cars and boats there.

I like green. Green seems to be favoured by the live-aboards. The ones who are more of the ocean than land. We don’t think of our boats as transportation, or for leisure, or a status symbol. Being on the sea is life itself, so our vessels are as fins to a dolphin for us.

I’m not much liking the green the sandpaper is revealing. I won’t be painting her that. Too limey. Too light. No, in a couple weeks when all the sanding is done, I’ll be painting her a nice, deep green. Dark and warm. Friendly, inviting.

Britannia Beach
British Columbia, Canada, 2015
This is fiction. I really don’t know anything about colours and sailing.

However, I do know something about colour and character. ; )