Coloring an all black kevlar kayak?

I have an opportunity to buy a used all black gel coat kevlar KayakPro Marlin at a very good price. I would like to be a bit more visible on the water, besides putting white/red reflector tape on the boat. Any ideas how to accomplish this?

Thanks for your suggestions


Hansen brothers method
Puttin’ on the foil, coach:

Seriously, don’t paint a carbon boat - some Solas tape will help, but you’re better off getting a bright pfd with lots of reflective tape and a paddle with brightly colored blades.

Go with Yellow tape …

– Last Updated: Sep-25-12 12:58 AM EST –

Do not paint a boat like that !!!!!!!

Go with decals - but don't paint it. How about yellow racing stripes?

I made some decals for a Mako surf kayak that looked like my father's P-51 squadron markings

black does show up
I have a black boat that is more visable than a white one, which blends in with waves. I was able to spot a friend in a black skin on frame from about a half mile off. We also couldn’t find a friend who tipped over in surf with a white hulled boat. Depends on conditions. I’d go with a reflective keel strip before painting.

On the paddle
I have a black Nordkapp and have put some decals on it. But, as low in the water as it sits, I’m not relying on that, especially in heavy seas. I also use yellow reflective tape on the paddle. Combining reflection and motion at a greater height has a better chance of catching the eye from further away.


– Last Updated: Sep-25-12 6:53 PM EST –

there are two kinds of visibility:

visibility at night SOLAS tape as mentioned. Also a new product, NiteStripe, by a company called YakAttack - you can pick a black or red or yellow stripe to match or contrast w. your boat. It's visible at night when light hits it. Almost invisible by day if you go w. black tape on black boat.

Reflective deck weave is highly visible at night when light hits it. It comes in a mainly black weave w. about 1/3 white weave, so it will look good on an all black boat. I use it as full perimeter deck rigging on my otherwise totally jet black boat.

Visibility by day - brightly colored paddles, or stickers which reflect sunlight (NOT SOLAS). 3M makes it. Almost all boaters tell me they see the movement of paddles first and paddles the highest off the waterline.

Bright colored pfd and cap as mentioned.

I know a few kayakers who buy a hunter's orange mesh vest or highway safety worker's neon yellow vest and wear it over their pfds.

Don't paint the boat!

buy a hunting or running hat
From the water, a hunter-safety orange hat or dayglow running hat or bright PFD is way more visible than a boat no matter the color. The boat is basically 6" off the water at most so is hidden by even the smallest chop.