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Dark Colored Decks


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I currently own a 2001 Sport Nautique and I am considering moving to a VLX. I've been playing with the build a boat function and a couple of the color combinations that I like leave me with a black deck base. Does anyone here have a black deck on their boat or a boat you use? If so, what has your experience been? Does it fade? Does the deck getting hot interfere with you when in the boat or on the swim deck getting ready? It looks sharp but I'm definitely function over form. Thanks and if possible please differentiate your feedback between thoughts and direct experience (color options as a whole are very subjective).

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I currently own a 2001 Sport Nautique and I am considering moving to a VLX. I've been playing with the build a boat function and a couple of the color combinations that I like leave me with a black deck base. Does anyone here have a black deck on their boat or a boat you use? If so, what has your experience been? Does it fade? Does the deck getting hot interfere with you when in the boat or on the swim deck getting ready? It looks sharp but I'm definitely function over form. Thanks and if possible please differentiate your feedback between thoughts and direct experience (color options as a whole are very subjective).

I have some good advise for you. I am on my second built to order malibu. Let me share with you what i have learned from my expierience with this exact issue. My last boat had a black upper deck and it was painfull. When it's hot out and you are just relaxing,throw an arm back and whooo. The black gunnels will scorch the tender skin under your arms. Not only that, but black also shows every scratch,scuff,ect. Bad to have on the gunnels. I love black boats, so now on my current boat I orderd it with very light grey top deck surfaces only. The rest of the boat is black and charcoal as you can see in my avatar. One of the best improvements over my last boat.

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I currently own a 2001 Sport Nautique and I am considering moving to a VLX. I've been playing with the build a boat function and a couple of the color combinations that I like leave me with a black deck base. Does anyone here have a black deck on their boat or a boat you use? If so, what has your experience been? Does it fade? Does the deck getting hot interfere with you when in the boat or on the swim deck getting ready? It looks sharp but I'm definitely function over form. Thanks and if possible please differentiate your feedback between thoughts and direct experience (color options as a whole are very subjective).

I would stay away from it if at all possible. like the other gentleman said it will show every little scratch and in two-three years your nice Malibu won't look so nice and new. I would also stay away from doing the bottom anything but white. Over time from putting on and off the trailer it will start to show every little scratch also. I had an 05 Malibu and went with all white interior with Vapor blue piping. Didn't realize how much I liked it until I got my 07 that I put light grey accents in the interior. I hasn't even been over 85 degrees here yet and its already hot when you sit on it. Just my 2 cents. Good look with the purchase you will love your Malibu.

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I have to add a +3 for no Black. It looks good but will easily add 15-20 minutes daily in wipedown and water spot removal. That's not even counting the stress and $$$ of every single tiny scuff that shows up white on the black. It's a complete hassle and totally erodes the fun factor by adding the unnecessary work factor.

White top deck forever, I'll never go back to black, ever!!!!!!

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Well, before riding in tgaugh's all black (except for the little pink accents) VLX I would have agreed. But we were out on that boat under the hot Texas sun & it wasn't bad at all. He's got an all-white interior with pink bead & in general I think that it was cooler than our VLX with the gray accents on the seats. I never put my arm up on the gunnel, so that's something that I can't really comment on but in general the boat wasn't anywhere near as hot to ride in as you would expect. YMMV I'm sure.

As for the care, I thought that it wiped down well & I would compare it with our midnight blue in terms of look & upkeep. You definitely have to stay after it, but I'm anal enough & can see imperfections in every color that it makes very little difference to how I would approach the care of a boat. Again, YMMV.

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I have a black deck and it does show every little scratch and waterspot. I don't have a problem with high-maintenance boats and cars, so I can put up with wiping off waterspots religiously and getting regular detailing to polish the gelcoat. If you are the type of person that waxes your car once every year or two (or considers driving through the drive-thru and getting the Gold wax option at the car wash to be getting your car waxed), then black decks aren't for you.

As for being too hot, I find vinyl gets scalding hot before the black gelcoat ever does. But I live in the Northwest and maybe the sun just doesn't get hot enough to cook up the gelcoat temperature. I often find myself stepping on the black gunnels to avoid standing on the sundeck when it is really sunny. Dontknow.gif

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I have a black deck and it does show every little scratch and waterspot. I don't have a problem with high-maintenance boats and cars, so I can put up with wiping off waterspots religiously and getting regular detailing to polish the gelcoat. If you are the type of person that waxes your car once every year or two (or considers driving through the drive-thru and getting the Gold wax option at the car wash to be getting your car waxed), then black decks aren't for you.

As for being too hot, I find vinyl gets scalding hot before the black gelcoat ever does. But I live in the Northwest and maybe the sun just doesn't get hot enough to cook up the gelcoat temperature. I often find myself stepping on the black gunnels to avoid standing on the sundeck when it is really sunny. Dontknow.gif

Well, here's some pix of our boat HERE. Our's is black and yellow with gray on the lower hull and gray on the upper deck. The black isn't all that bad to take care of. INTChamp also has a black boat and he told us a little trick he uses - water and vinegar mix in a spray bottle - spray the boat down and wipe all the water marks off when you pull your boat out.....keeps that black boat looking GREAT! We keep our boat garaged when not in use, so that also helps to keep our boat in great condition.

As for being too hot.....in TN it doesn't matter what color the interior of your boat is...when it is hot outside, it's gonna be HOT in the boat. I can step on our sundeck or white seats and nearly burn my feet off on a hot sunny day.

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I am on my second VLX with top Deck solid coloring. More scratches showing yes. I did not notice any temp difference and I live in Texas, where it has been known to get warm. Biggrin.gif

My next VLX will have top deck coloring.

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PS: Detailing by me :)Thumbup.gif

Yeah, as for dark boat under hot sun she is surprisingly cool!

Edited by The Garslayer
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I find myself on Tide and Hottie's boat (that black with pink one) quite often.

No temp problem at all.

Except that one little patch of black accent on the deck.

It is out often with lots of riding and it still looks great.

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Not sure on the heat issue, but if you just dry above the rub rail when you come in, the spotting issue won't be too bad. If you use Babe's Boat Bright or similar every week or every few weeks, it'll be even easier to keep those spots at bay. My deck is white, but I'm Navy just above the rub rail and the spotting isn't bad at all if you just wipe it down after use. The blue on my boat isn't showing nearly any wear/scratches and it's not a whole lot lighter than the black. The only problem I have is the decals getting knocked off because of our screwy pier configurations and rollers scraping it all up.

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In the past, I always have had mostly solid black boats. Our new one has black only on the side and that's "IT" We love our colors, bottom and top white with red and black combo on the sides.

Black does require more maintaining but looks so good on just about anything.

Edited by 68Slalom
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I hated the black above the rubrail (and it wasn't the whole deck - just a substantial stripe) on my 06, and as you tell, I love black. It just shows too many scratches and waterspots when the dark color is high up (vs. being below the rubrail). I found interior color has a lot to do with heat in the boat. I loved the looks of the interior on my 06, but the darker gray color got very, very hot compared to my 05 that was all white.

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Black deck, love it. Interioir gets hotter than the gel, regardless of the color. If you buy a 50 to 80 thousand dollar boat and don't clean at the end of each day, you deserve the water spots. I will get slammed for that, but hey its the truth. Put some pride in your boat and take care of it!

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Black deck, love it. Interioir gets hotter than the gel, regardless of the color. If you buy a 50 to 80 thousand dollar boat and don't clean at the end of each day, you deserve the water spots. I will get slammed for that, but hey its the truth. Put some pride in your boat and take care of it!

Agreed. 5 minutes of drying/wiping down is much better than fighting etched-in water spots later, regardless of the color of the deck.

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