OREANDA-NEWS. Whether the new racing yacht of the fashion house HUGO BOSS is going to be the fastest sailing boat in the world is yet to be seen. But one thing is certain: skippers and sailing fans around the world will not be able to ignore this state-of-the-art yacht. Alex Thomson Racing’s new IMOCA 60 racing yacht – also sponsored by the premium automobile brand Mercedes-Benz – is the first entirely black IMOCA 60 yacht in the world. This was made possible by painting the deck with a coating developed by BASF, which is based on the functional pigments made by the company. The yacht, skippered by leading British sailor Alex Thomson, will compete in its first Ocean Masters World Championship Race, The Transat Jacques Vabre, in October this year.

Yachts that feature black sails or a black hull are not altogether new. A deck structure that is entirely black, however, is a novelty because heavy sun exposure tends to heat up the dark surfaces enormously. This can lead to a heat build-up in the cabins below deck, which would make living conditions onboard extremely uncomfortable and can even affect the structural integrity of the composite materials. Hence, it was decided to use the functional pigments made by BASF to formulate the coating.

They ensure that surfaces that are painted in dark colors can remain significantly cooler on hot days as they reflect rather than absorb heat. The ship builders used the special pigments that are sold under the Paliogen® brand, which are transparent for Near Infrared Light (NIR), as well as functional NIR-reflecting pigments from the Sicopal® range.