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Old 17-11-2011, 07:42   #1
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Mast Has Been in Salt Water - Cleaning Tips, Please

Have a 45' mast on a trimaran. The hurricane twisted off an AMA and the mast has been in the salt water. Have many corrosion holes, particularly around all the Stainless fittings and pulleys.
Can someone suggest a way to clean the inside of the mast?
Plan to use 3/16 x 1 1/2 flat plate on the inside of the mast to cover the holes, riveted in and then something like Alumiweld to fill the holes and weld in the holes to the inside plate.
Does anyone know if this would work? Any ideas to do the repair another way?
The extrusion is unavailable, so a sleeve extension is not an option.
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Old 17-11-2011, 07:54   #2
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Re: Mast has been in salt water , cleaning tips please

My concern would be if there was an overall thinning of the entire mast due to salt water immersion.
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Old 17-11-2011, 08:00   #3
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Re: Mast has been in salt water , cleaning tips please

Aluminum submerged in salt water for more then a few hours is saturated. Welding may not work.
First you would need to remove all the fittings.
It would need to be fully soaked in a hot acid and baked, and soaked again until the salt crystals quit forming during the bake.
Then some quality base paint for aluminum would need to go on. Then what ever you want after that.
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Old 17-11-2011, 08:07   #4
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Re: Mast has been in salt water , cleaning tips please

Lots of masts always on Ebay and most are in Fla. Here's a 45' for $3000.
Fixing your mast may be just "polishing a turd". Good Luck BOB
Heavy duty sailboat mast 45ft long | eBay
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Old 17-11-2011, 08:16   #5
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Re: Mast has been in salt water , cleaning tips please

I would be most concerned about loss of aluminum from electrolysis in areas where there is stainless steel. Corrosion like this may make the mast unusable.

Salt crystals on the inside of a dry mast are not going to further corrode the mast. I would just flush it with some fresh water.

Old aluminum must be ground out to fresh uncontaminated aluminum before it can be welded.
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