The Katz’s Kolor Lab! Burning The Midnight Blue Oil…Paint.


IMG_6472You can not imagine the time and brains cells being used up trying to replicate the finish on the Blue Arabian. Can it be replicated, sure, but the fun is the entire process. How was it applied? What was the brand of paint or stain that was used. Was it paint, or an opaque stain? What went on first, grey or blue, was the white rubbed into the blue? Was it sprayed, brushed on? The Katz’s Marina gang has been finding old cans of paint and digging through documents, talking to Tommy Holmes and Frank Miklos and anyone that’s been down this trail is amazing. Do we have a conclusion yet. Kinda.

Katzs Kolor Lab

Test after test, and still testing

Even if it may have been done one way back in the day, the makeup of stains and paint is entirely different. Darn toxic deadly pollutants. The good news is that we have some original finish to copy.

Blue Arabian White

This is the darker color. A stunning restoration BTW – Photo from Frank Miklos and Tommy Holmes. We stripped out the color background so the blue is true.

To add to the complexity of this special preservation, is that these blue Arabians came in THREE different shades of blue. That’s right. THREE.


Courtesy of Frank Miklos – The Katzs/ Andrews Arabian is the Mid Blue

And to add to that insanity. This was a prototype. So it changed, and was tweaked and torn down and redone! In no way is this a simple follow the standards standard restoration. Everything is a deep dig into the mind set of the R & D department where this boat was built and rebuilt. It was tested up in Michigan all summer.


This is the same boat shot  serial number QX5650  for the catalog in the lighter blue.

The good news… Is that the top of the top restorers, historians and resources are on it. It has to be 100% right. There have been countless phone calls, conference calls emails and now in person visits to Katzs Marina. We have contacted original paint manufacturers and asked for samples from back in the day.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.14.46 AM

A can of Royal Gard paint on Ebay from Graham Paint Co, who is still in business, and sent the blue color chips. But it is the wrong color. The Royal Gard color was used in the 1984 restoration we showed in previous stories.

grahm paint

Royal Gard Colors

Royal Gard Color Samples 1984, Supplied by Graham Paint and Varnish Co. NOT the right color. The blue on the left page upper right

Even hunting down the Blue paint used in the article we found from 1984. Nope, not the co. Yes, that was a dig to find the original co.  Or was it Pettit? No. according to conversations with Pettit.

Boat paint


The good news is that Pettit makes an ultra clear varnish. One major issue with these Blue Arabians is the yellow tint of varnish turns them green. So other clear finishes are being explored as well.

Turns out from the best of the brains here, the supplier of the paint/ stain was Boydell Bros Paint Co. But guess what? They are gone. And try and find a color chart from 1955 for a company like that? So a custom mix is being made from color samples found behind the dash and the bow pole.

Blue flag Arabian MED

We removed the background to see the true color and it matched the Med blue . The grey is what appears as white on the boat

The good news is that the bow and stern poles are original and there is a drip of the color behind the dash! That can be the sample. And turns out the original engine, which was included with the boat, that was red like many Cadillac engines was actual white. One simple scratch and WHITE.


From the Brochure. White Engine. In the standard engine set up. QX5650 was later made as a V drive.

This particular boat was used in the original Brochure and painted the lighter blue and had the traditional engine set up. Engine WHITE. By the time the boat was ready to go to the dealer, QX5650 was changed to the med Blue, and all redone to sell. And to think, this was to just pick a color. I wonder if there is a Zipper on this boat? Ahhhhhhh Stay tuned for reports on the finish, being finished.


QX5650 was the boat used in the famous post card seen all around.

56 arabian 2 (3)

Dane Anderson even found an alternative shot from the post card of QX5650. What the heck? Finding out takes? That takes the cake.



13 replies
  1. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    I think the colors as shipped should the colors she’s restored to. But it’s a lot of fun!! Thanks for the pics & story!!

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    If this very boat was several different colors, I don’t think there is a wrong answer.
    Personally I like the “middle blue”.
    I sure do look forward to seeing her in Tavares! (I wonder if I can get a ride in her?)

  3. tommyholm
    tommyholm says:

    thanks for the update. You can see from the photos that the blue on the Arabian is the same blue as the water, so just put water on the Arabian and call it a day.

  4. Bill Anderson
    Bill Anderson says:

    Most of my boats you never know the colors so I use a auto color library and go to the cars colors of the year so I have a period correct color,I had a 56 ford Victoria this color when I was hussleing cars, just another reference, Bill

  5. GAry
    GAry says:

    The Cadillac engine painted white is correct. The serial number should predate any Cobra engines. Connell intitally used white on all their engines up until CC ordered an engine and then for some reason switched to vermillion red.

  6. Wylie
    Wylie says:

    Love the blue and gray. I appreciate all the research put into this restoration. Fascinating to me for sure. Fortunate for me I don’t have to deal with these issues on the 57 re-do.

  7. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    How come that looks like my workbench? What a great quest and window to how these things come about! Thank you!

    When I was restoring and getting ready to repaint “Thisuldu”, I went through several sources while attempting to identify the color code for Tolly Turquoise. In the end, the consensus was there was none – they used whatever the paint shop delivered on any given day… I mixed my own.

  8. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Blue and Gray is a very divisive color scheme that carries connotations of the American Civil War. I say paint her Maize and Blue.

  9. clay thompson
    clay thompson says:

    great work on the color, can’t wait to see it. by the way, a friend of mine burned just such a boat, a blue arabian. it has been quite a while ago, but he saved all hardware and parts. if anyone needs it, i have all of it. even the engine.

  10. Brian Fair
    Brian Fair says:

    Boats looking great! Can’t wait to see it finished. Frank or Tommy question, I also own a 56′ Q5690. Would either one of you have any information regarding this serial number. Boat was bought off of Lake Tahoe.
    Thank you.

  11. Kent Volmerding
    Kent Volmerding says:

    I have hull #5552. It was shipped to Wawasee Boat Company in Syrcause, IN. Owned by a gentleman from Churabusco, IN. In the mid 70 boat caught fire and was burnt prety bad. Someone attempted repair and painted Green and Yellow. Boat than sat with traansom out of cover for years. I did a complete rebuild down to engine stringers and decided to finish in brown stain color. Color on boat when I disassembled was the middle color, not the lighter color.

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