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Old 29-12-2014, 19:13   #1
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Painting a mast?

Hello all,

Well I've pulled the trigger on my first boat - a 1975 Westsail 32. Though I'm beside myself with excitement, I can't help but feel a little bit terrified. The learning curve will be like drinking from a fire hose.

I'm having her trucked from California to Texas, so the first orders of business upon her arrival will be mast-related. While the mast is down, I want to replace the sheaves, nav lights, and wiring. I'll of course check for any other hardware that needs to be replaced. I will likely re-rig her before the mast goes back up.

One of the things I'm getting mixed opinions on is the mast being painted. The original paint is quite patchy at best. The shipyard where she'll be on the hard for a while doesn't allow any kind of painting, so I'll either have to pay someone to do it (out of the question), or pay someone with a gooseneck trailer to haul the mast somewhere else where I can do the work myself. My buddy owns an auto paint & body shop, so I have a good place to take it.

Aside from detracting from the overall aesthetic, does having a painted mast really matter? Will the aluminum corrode over time? I honestly don't mind it not being painted. I'm not one to fuss over shiny things, as long as it functions.

Any thoughts or opinions appreciated.
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Old 29-12-2014, 23:19   #2
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Re: Painting a mast?

G'Day RB,

Surely you have that wrong?? How can they prohibit ALL painting... that would preclude doing bottom paint jobs, which are the backbone of most yards income stream.

Perhaps you mean no spray painting... that's fairly common. But if you want a painted mast, it is possible to do a good job with a roll and tip or even just brushig, for those techniques can yield a decent result.

But to answer your query, an aluminium mast does not NEED painting. If left bare, it will get spotty surface corrosion that does't look great but will not inhibit functionality. ONe can also strip the extant paint off and apply a clear finish like Tectyl which will reduce the surface corrosion and look ok.

Aesthetics are so personal... only you can decide what is acceptable, but there are a host of once painted masts around, surviving quite well in their piebald state!

Enjoy your new boat and don't stress about the cosmetics at this stage.

Jim
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Old 30-12-2014, 09:55   #3
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Re: Painting a mast?

The main cost in painting a mast is prepping it. Sanding to bright metal in all the little nooks and crannies where the old paint has lifted is a very time consuming but should be able to be done by you wherever the mast is. If you can't spray paint, a roll and tip job might work but lots of small areas on a mast that don't lend themselves to rolling. Never done it but can see there could be issues with getting a presentable finish.

Good luck with your project. Built #163 from a bare hull/deck.
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Old 30-12-2014, 10:10   #4
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Re: Painting a mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day RB,

Surely you have that wrong?? How can they prohibit ALL painting... that would preclude doing bottom paint jobs, which are the backbone of most yards income stream.

Perhaps you mean no spray painting... that's fairly common. But if you want a painted mast, it is possible to do a good job with a roll and tip or even just brushig, for those techniques can yield a decent result.

But to answer your query, an aluminium mast does not NEED painting. If left bare, it will get spotty surface corrosion that does't look great but will not inhibit functionality. ONe can also strip the extant paint off and apply a clear finish like Tectyl which will reduce the surface corrosion and look ok.

Aesthetics are so personal... only you can decide what is acceptable, but there are a host of once painted masts around, surviving quite well in their piebald state!

Enjoy your new boat and don't stress about the cosmetics at this stage.

Jim
Thanks Jim! I know the yard won't let me do my own bottom job - probably because they want the business. I haven't asked them about rolling & tipping the mast. The mast is tabernacle stepped and has mast steps all the way up, so at least I have options if I want to paint it in the future. I think I'll go with not painting it for now. I have much more to worry about at this point.
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Old 30-12-2014, 10:24   #5
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Re: Painting a mast?

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Originally Posted by rb1685 View Post
Hello all,

Well I've pulled the trigger on my first boat - a 1975 Westsail 32. Though I'm beside myself with excitement, I can't help but feel a little bit terrified. The learning curve will be like drinking from a fire hose.

I'm having her trucked from California to Texas, so the first orders of business upon her arrival will be mast-related. While the mast is down, I want to replace the sheaves, nav lights, and wiring. I'll of course check for any other hardware that needs to be replaced. I will likely re-rig her before the mast goes back up.

One of the things I'm getting mixed opinions on is the mast being painted. The original paint is quite patchy at best. The shipyard where she'll be on the hard for a while doesn't allow any kind of painting, so I'll either have to pay someone to do it (out of the question), or pay someone with a gooseneck trailer to haul the mast somewhere else where I can do the work myself. My buddy owns an auto paint & body shop, so I have a good place to take it.

Aside from detracting from the overall aesthetic, does having a painted mast really matter? Will the aluminum corrode over time? I honestly don't mind it not being painted. I'm not one to fuss over shiny things, as long as it functions.

Any thoughts or opinions appreciated.
I shipped the mast on an abbott 33 on top of my station wagon home to paint it.. that was fun, making turns, but I did not have to go far
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Old 30-12-2014, 10:29   #6
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Re: Painting a mast?

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Originally Posted by sailr69 View Post
I shipped the mast on an abbott 33 on top of my station wagon home to paint it.. that was fun, making turns, but I did not have to go far
HAHA. That's a great mental picture. I don't think my 43' mast is going to do well on top of my honda civic.
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Old 30-12-2014, 10:30   #7
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Re: Painting a mast?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
The main cost in painting a mast is prepping it. Sanding to bright metal in all the little nooks and crannies where the old paint has lifted is a very time consuming but should be able to be done by you wherever the mast is. If you can't spray paint, a roll and tip job might work but lots of small areas on a mast that don't lend themselves to rolling. Never done it but can see there could be issues with getting a presentable finish.

Good luck with your project. Built #163 from a bare hull/deck.
Thanks for the input. I used to work at the above-mentioned body shop, and sanding was about 90% of my job. I got pretty good at it. I've read that doing the prep work on painting the mast takes up the bulk of the man hours - removing all the hardware, labeling everything, then sanding.
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Old 30-12-2014, 10:45   #8
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Re: Painting a mast?

I would paint. Not if it is anodized alloy. Not if wood (varnish then).

Plain not anodized alloy turns lines black.

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