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Why Cruise Ships Are White

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When you hear the word “ship”, what color will it be in your imagination? Probably white. We’re used to seeing big white cruise ships. Is this color necessary or just fancy? Cars come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Yellow, green, purple, red – you name it. There are absolutely no problems with color choice, giving you the option to paint your car any color you like. Then why do ships still all look the same?

It turns out there are a lot of reasons for it, but not all of them are true. Some people say it’s because the white color is better for detection, both visual and on the radar too. They assume the white color reflects the radio signal much better than any other color. Which theories are true and which aren’t?

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Aren’t they all white?! 1:33
Why white has no impact on detection in the sea 3:19
Why ships are red below the waterline 4:13
What about black? 4:44
The main reason why ships are white-colored 6:25

#ships #cruiseship #brightside

Preview photo credit:
Luxure cruise liner OCEAN PRINCESS in port on July 06, 2012 in Klaipeda, Lithuania: By Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock.com, https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/klaipeda-lithuania-july-06-luxure-cruise-252598864
Animation is created by Bright Side.

- Most small boats are whatever colors their owners want them to be. So one thing we already know here is that the white color isn’t some kind of rule from a mariner’s book or something. Big cruise ships are often navy-blue or even red in color.
- If you’ve ever been in high seas that are also coincidentally called blue waters, you know that sometimes all you can see around you is blue.
- The white color could possibly be helpful here to spot a decently sized ship, but clouds and reflections of light in the waves are also white.
- Metal hulls are extremely good at reflecting radio signals, no matter what color they are. If the hull is made of fiberglass like a lot of yachts’ hulls are, then they’ll have some metal part in them to reflect the radar.
- That means that white has absolutely no impact on any kind of detection in the sea, so we can rule this reason out for good.
- If you keep in mind how aggressive saltwater is, any paint could become a concern. For metal ships, it gets even worse because they have to deal with rust.
- Tanker staff learned one trick that helps with that, and it’s definitely not white paint. It’s red paint, obviously. This is why some ships keep their hull red under the waterline.
- The black color absorbs almost all the sunlight it catches; this color has no reflective abilities. Sunlight isn’t only bright, but it also transfers energy in the form of heat. The more light gets absorbed – the more heating power it generates.
- Red can reflect more light; up to 40% of it just bounces off and doesn’t produce heat. Grey is slightly better. It can deflect half of all light, so a grey hull will heat up two times slower than a black one.
- The white-colored ships would only absorb 20% of all the sunlight, so it won’t heat up as much. This immensely reduces the stress on air conditioning systems and works wonders for energy efficiency.

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