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Coast Guard Modeling Logo

A Page From the Cutter Paint and Color Manual

USRCS 1900 - 1912
The RCS standardized the cutter paint scheme at the turn of the century.
Hulls and superstructure were painted white.
At least one RC (Seneca) had a black hull at times.
She was commissioned in 1908 with a white hull.
She appears in 1914 with a black hull.
In 1924 she is white again.
Wooden decks were unpainted.
Metal decks were blue gray.
Working fixtures (stacks, davits, windlasses, etc) were spar.

USLHS 1789 - 1939
The LHS standardized the tender paint scheme very early on.
Hulls were black.
Superstructure was white.

USLSS 1879 - 1912
USLSS surfboats and lifeboats had white hulls and superstructure.

USCG 1912 - 1939
After the merger in 1912, very little changed in overall paint schemes.

USCG 1940 - 1945

During the war most cutters were painted gray or camoflouged.
Surfboats and motor lifeboats remained white.

All classes of cutters and boats
Superstructure was white
Fixtures were spar
"W (hull no)" on each side of bow and stern
All classes of tugs (WAT,WATF, etc) and buoy tenders: Hulls were black
All other classes of cutters and boats (including ice breakers): Hulls were white.

All tugs longer than 140': hulls repainted white.

Racing stripe added to all hulls except Eagle.
"Coast Guard" added to all hulls except Eagle forward of midships.
"W" dropped from hull number on bow and stern.

Icebreakers painted red.

Racing stripe and "Coast Guard" added to Eagle.

140' Icebreaking tugs were commissioned and initially painted white. Almost immediately repainted black.

"Coast Guard" on hulls changed to "U.S. Coast Guard"