Q&A: Why Is Morgan’s Cloud’s Hull Painted?

Question: You call painting an aluminum hull a mug’s game yet you painted your hull?

Answer: The problem is that Morgan’s Cloud was built before computerized plate cutting and bending and like all boats of the time has a lot of fairing compound on her to cover small dips and hollows induced in the plate fitting process. To have her unpainted we would have to blast all the fairing compound off. There would be no structural problem in doing this; it’s just that the combination of Jim McCurdy’s lines and her builders’ execution are so aesthetically pleasing that we can’t bring ourselves to take this drastic step.

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Meet the Author


John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

1 comment… add one
  • Eric Thesen Jul 21, 2019, 3:41 pm

    I don’t know if this is the right place to post this question, but can anyone advise me on the issues/pitfalls of having an entirely unpainted aluminum hull. i.e. No bottom paint at all. The boat that I am imagining is a 40ft bilge keeler which would dry out at mid tide and thus spend much of it’s time completely out of the water. I envisage giving ithe hull a wipe down with a rough cloth every few weeks to remove “fuzz”, and possibly applying polish periodically?
    Any opinions would be much apreciated.
    Eric Thesen

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