November 11, 2016
United States
Colors & Effects

BASF’s functional pigments help HUGO BOSS racing yacht set sail for Vendée Globe 2016

Alex Thomson Racing’s IMOCA 60 steps up to the challenge of the nonstop 26,000-mile race that began on November 6th, 2016.

Vendée Globe, the world’s most challenging solo race, features the first entirely black sailing yacht made possible by the official partner BASF and pigments from its Colors & Effects brand.


LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY, November 9, 2016 – Following a successful Ocean Masters World Championship, skipper Alex Thomson and his IMOCA 60 racing yacht will now go for the crown beginning November 6th at the Vendée Globe nonstop solo world race. Alex Thomson has great ambitions: he wants to become the first British winner of the Vendée Globe.


Taking place every four years, the Vendée Globe is the highlight of the racing yacht scene. This legendary race is the world’s most challenging of its kind: the only nonstop solo race around the world without assistance, across the planet’s most turbulent waters. Live updates are available on


BASF black is the new black

The black yacht was made possible by painting the deck with a coating developed by BASF which is based on functional pigments from the company’s Colors & Effects brand. The pigments used are Paliogen®, which are transparent for Near Infrared Light (NIR), as well as the functional NIR-reflecting pigments from the Sicopal® range.
The unique aesthetics of the HUGO BOSS racing yacht, designed by the French company VPLP/Verdier, are thanks to Konstantin Grcic, a world-famous industrial designer. The use of pigments from BASF’s Colors & Effects brand allowed him to create a truly unique design that would have not otherwise been possible.


Keeping cool under the heat

Dark surfaces with standard black pigments intensively absorb solar energy and convert it into heat. The functional pigments made by BASF to formulate the coating ensure that the dark surfaces can remain significantly cooler on hot days by reflecting sun radiation.
“The black coating of the deck has been made possible by a coating technology based on our functional pigments,” explains Jenny Reuber, Industry Management Industrial Coatings at BASF. “Otherwise, the radiation of the sun would lead to an unbearable build-up of heat in the windowless cabin and the interior of the boat. The deck, too, would become too hot and could even affect the structural integrity of the composite materials.”


BASF official partner of Alex Thomson Racing

The partnership between BASF and Alex Thomson Racing includes a close collaboration on the development of future new design concepts.

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Solar heat management

Last Update July 4, 2019