Why Boats Are White

I was eating dinner down the shore one night, and my father-in-law and I were walking along the docks.

I had a thought that might have been a silly question, but still, I didn’t know the right answer.


The question of the day, was why boats are usually white.  So we asked some boat crews the question.  There are actually a couple reasons.

  1. White boats deflect the sun’s heat more, so the boat stays cooler. (makes complete sense)
  2. White boats can be picked up easier by radars. (okay, I’ll accept that)

Pretty neat stuff for photographers who enjoy photographing boats.  White ones reflect the light so much that they cause brighter reflections in the water (as you can see in this photo).  That’s always fun, and even more fun during a sunset.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. To avoid RADAR?

    Surely not? RADAR is Radio Waves, but the colour white is white due to the VISIBLE light it reflects? (LIDAR maybe, not RADAR)

    You may well be right, but the physicist in me questions the logic!

  2. White is just too white. You’d think even with the reasons given an owner would want to be more creative and stand out from other boats. Another thing that bothers me is totally white interiors. Can’t beat a good wooden interior for that warm homey feeling. You know….old school.

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