Sean and Robot think about why boats are painted and learn about the different special paints that are used.
All boats need to b painted. The most important reason is to stop it corroding – or rusting.
Most ships are made of steel because it’s pretty cheap and strong. Trouble is that salty sea water makes it corrode, which can make it weaken and if you’re unlucky – spring a leak. Special anti-corrosive paints can give steel a nice thick protective coat.
Another important job that the paint can do is to stop tiny organisms from attaching to the hull. Barnacles and seaworms like to make a home on the side of ships but they can damage the steel. That’s why slippery coatings are needed so they slide off.
If ships were to move wildlife around , that could can damage the normal underwater ecosystems.
And if too many animals get stuck on the hull, it can seriously affect the ships ability to steer too – so it’s safer to make sure they don’t hang around.
Boats in the warm Mediterranean or Caribbean often have blue or green hulls to match the water. This also gives the ships a little camouflage when fishing. Boats in very hot places are likely to be white so that they reflect the heat. It’s all a little different in more northerly waters… boats in places like Scandinavian waters are more likely have black or dark coloured hulls. Not just to conserve heat but to make it easier to see them in the wintery white landscape.
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Find out how huge, heavy container ships manage to float on the water and how submarines can go for months and months sitting at the bottom of the ocean!
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Sean’s Ships is supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.