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Old 21-08-2009, 07:44   #1
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Wooden Masts

Hi,
I'm looking for info on wooden mats, I'm looking at a boat which has painted spruce masts, but have no experience with the maintenance of them. Could anyone suggest what problems they can get (what to look out for) and what sort of maintenance is required on them.
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Old 21-08-2009, 09:45   #2
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Well, let's see. I have two spruce sticks on Oh Joy. Get a rigging survey. Rot is the issue with wood and on masts, it typically occurs at fasteners or where there are breaks in the finish. Spruce is very rot resistant but left exposed with water intrusion for long periods of time can cause issues. Look for checking (cracks) that goes all the way through. Look for delamination at the seams of box masts, hard to see when they're painted. Look for knuckling at the mast step. I like my wood sticks and keep them varnished. To be absolutely certain of the condition and longevity, you would need to wood (strip) the masts and recoat. If using varnish, you would need to apply two fresh coats yearly. Seeing as I've not had painted sticks, I can't tell ya the schedule for that maintenance.
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Old 21-08-2009, 09:53   #3
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Cheers, at least that gives me a start with what to look out for
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Old 21-08-2009, 10:42   #4
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We have had a few recent threads on this subject.

Here is one: Wooden Spars - Safe?

The search feature will help you to find more threads on this subject.
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Old 22-08-2009, 11:48   #5
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Our boat used to have wood spars that were varnished...it was twice a year two coats each time...lovely to look at, but damn what a job keeping up with.
I'd be real careful with painted spars...paint hides a lot.
Ours are now aluminum.
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Old 22-08-2009, 14:08   #6
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I just couldn't see Oh Joy with aluminum spars. Carbon faux woodgrain ones mybe but not aluminum.
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Old 22-08-2009, 16:18   #7
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Sitka spruce spars are great. Varnished masts requires you check them and varnish them frequently. If they are painted you don't have to worry so much about UV protection but still have to worry about water intrusion. So, about once a year or at each haulout or whenever you are going up to retrieve a halyard or change a light bulb just feel for soft spots. Wherever water can get in is where you should concentrate most. Plug all those spots. Check the top sides of your spreaders as they are hard to see from the deck and are flat where water might collect.
My Mariner masts were varnished so I took them down, put 5 coats of clear varnish on them and then 3 coats of good poly white paint. I left about 5 feet of clear varnish at the base of the masts so that folks could see how beautiful they were to that point.
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