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Old 16-03-2016, 13:26   #1
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Decisions, Decisions.

So I have had my wood masts down now for two months. I have them down to bare wood and ready for repairs and re-coating. I just can't decide on the material to finish them with.

I started a thread a little while back inquiring about Awlwood and got some good advice on that and using the Awlbrite system. Although there is not much out there on the net, an inquiry to Awlgrip assured me that Awlwood is the better system over Awlbrite. Since my inquiry was between two of their products (Awlwood and Awlgrip paint) I will give that recommendation some weight. I inquired about getting 8 years or more out of which ever finish I chose. This is the quote from the Awlgrip rep.:

"Awlwood has been performing as well if not better than some other two part urethane products. 8 years is a lot to ask out of a wood coating. With care and maintenance and a proper maintenance coat schedule, you can extend the life of the coating."

"The Awlwood chemistry came out of New Zealand where they were getting 5 years plus of service before maintenance coats were needed. Awlwood is fairly new to the North American market. It has been on the market now for 3 years and in environments such as Florida, it has held up terrifically for those 3 years."


The perceived advantage of using a clear coating is that I will be able to see rot starting before it becomes a problem. How real is this advantage?

I found rot on the inside of my severely neglected mizzen mast but only after probing into some cracks . I assume that if the cracks were not allowed to develop, and water get inside, that this would not have happened. I don't think I would have been able to see this rot from the outside even if they were clear coated.

If all fittings are bedded correctly and the finish, be it paint or some type of clear coating, is maintained without a way for water to enter, is this kind of rot really and issue?

I have let the teak rails and trim go gray. If I were to go clear on the spars I would need to do the same on the rest of the wood to make it look uniform adding considerable time to the maintenance of the boat.

Awlcraft 2000 paint:
I have seen hulls painted with Awlcraft 2000 buffed out nicely after 18 years. So is the wood substrate the difference in why that the paint doesn't last as long?
Have any of you got 8 years or more out of a paint job on wood masts?
Have any of you with clear coated wood masts caught some rot early on and thought, Wow, really glad I had clear coat to see this.

If whatever I put on has to be re-coated after 5 years I might as well go with a clear coating but only if the issue of seeing rot early one is a real advantage. If it is not, I will lean toward painting. I just can't help thinking that paint will last longer.

Decisions, decisions. What would you use?
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Old 16-03-2016, 13:41   #2
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

i will not be DOing my formosas cap and taff as well as my spars, with clear coating. i leave them natural for cat toesies to be able to grip.
nonskid is important.
and yes it makes a huge difference to be able to see progression of rot in the spars.
i will be replacing much of both vertical spars and all 3 of my horizantalish ones.
my mizzen boom is already rebuilt in perota wood, aka ipe (eepay) which is what i believe i will be doing my two remaining boom and sprit. hollow box in perota weighs in at same as thai cedar. not an issue. my originals are thai cedar. painted inside and outside with epoxy then covered in a clear coating. price was 1200 pesos at 16 pesos to one usdollar. awesome. i am ready for more. and who said i cannot replace my spars for under 15000 usd.. EACH ha ha ha ha
yes i can. and am doing.
whatever you coat them with will last only as long as the prep allows.
epoxied spars keep the coatings longer than untreated spars. if you go into tropics to cruise, you will WANT clear coated spars to observe for inevitable rot.
my 40 year old originals are showing signs now of some limited rot areas, bu ti have to chip off the paint to see the bad spots. now they are semi untreated, pending rebuilding and maintenance in another locale.....
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Old 16-03-2016, 14:01   #3
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

A friend of ours has just re-varnished his masts. He took the old varnish to the bare wood then applied two part varnish (I think a Hempel).

b.
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Old 16-03-2016, 14:03   #4
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

Thanks Zee,
Do I remember correctly that the problem you had with your mizzen mast was not due to rot?
Was the mizzen boom a rot issue and were there any signs of that rot with paint?
Do you have any pictures of the damage?
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Old 16-03-2016, 14:10   #5
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
A friend of ours has just re-varnished his masts. He took the old varnish to the bare wood then applied two part varnish (I think a Hempel).

b.
I don't think there is any varnish that I could use that would get me close to the amount of time I would like between re-coats, even in San Diego where I will likely be for many more years.

edit: I missed he "two part" of that equation. I have been told the Awlspar varnish covered with Awlbrite Acrylic Urethane is a pretty good system. I don't know anything about Hemple though.
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Old 16-03-2016, 14:16   #6
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

You epoxy the timber first, to help keep out water, then do the clear finish over the cured epoxy.

Yes, paint will hide rot that your eyes can see through the clear. It will look beautiful. It IS a lot of work. A light sand and one coat each successive year should keep it protected. [The UV filters in the varnish protect the epoxy.]

However, to lighten the work load, you could seal with varnish and paint your handrails and toerails, and okay to paint them a dove grey, the color of weathered teak. Then, if you want to go back to bright on them at a later date, it's only a little work with the heat gun, and you get it all off, and can go back to varnishing them.

Some people find varnishing kind of pleasant, meditative; for others, it is drudgery. But you really want to be able to inspect your masts, and preferably not with an ice pick to find the depth of the rot.

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Old 16-03-2016, 14:54   #7
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
You epoxy the timber first, to help keep out water, then do the clear finish over the cured epoxy.

Yes, paint will hide rot that your eyes can see through the clear. It will look beautiful. It IS a lot of work. A light sand and one coat each successive year should keep it protected. [The UV filters in the varnish protect the epoxy.]

However, to lighten the work load, you could seal with varnish and paint your handrails and toerails, and okay to paint them a dove grey, the color of weathered teak. Then, if you want to go back to bright on them at a later date, it's only a little work with the heat gun, and you get it all off, and can go back to varnishing them.

Some people find varnishing kind of pleasant, meditative; for others, it is drudgery. But you really want to be able to inspect your masts, and preferably not with an ice pick to find the depth of the rot.

Ann
If I do go clear, it will likely be with one of the Awlbrite systems, although I have been told by one person in the industry with a lot of wood on his boat, that he has gotten 4 years out of his Cetol finish and it still is looking good (In San Diego). Both Awlwood and Awlbrite can be lightly sanded and re-coated.

I also asked the Awlbrite rep about the epoxy coat before the application and this is what he said:

"A coat of penetrating epoxy is not necessary with the Awlwood system. In fact, you will get better adhesion to the wood if you use the Awlwood primer on the bare wood."

I still think it would be wise to do this in and around all the penetrations of the mast.

I don't liveaboard, so the time I have is basically 52 weekends a year plus time off (best case) but more likely 1/2 of that time. I seem to do a lot more working on the boat than sailing it, but that is what I signed up for, knowing that sooner or later all the big projects will be done and just the maintenance will remain. So re-coating once every 5 years or so is acceptable to me, although 8 would be much better.
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Old 16-03-2016, 15:06   #8
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind River View Post
Thanks Zee,
Do I remember correctly that the problem you had with your mizzen mast was not due to rot?
Was the mizzen boom a rot issue and were there any signs of that rot with paint?
Do you have any pictures of the damage?
my issues with mizzenboom were rot, now i have a nice perota wood boom. beautiful and same weight.\

my mizzen MAST issues are furycame and idiocy related.
i was idiot to place a freekin wind gen on my mizzenhead--do NOT do that, and then go thru the worst strongest ever bitch of a furycame on planet--200 mph winds did nothing but twistoflex the mizzen--my neighbor said he could not stop watching it, as he thought it would land on his head. oops... hence, i have a longitudinal crack on glue line stbd side, below spreaders. damn damn damn. next time i place both on the trailing corners of the dodger i have yet to design.
once i get to mazatlan i will figger out what woods are available for making a new one.

the paint wrinkled where the rot was... the wood turned nicely rot dark, and the paint had 3 wrinkles and a barespot. i will search fro the pix i took of the mizzenboom before replacement. they seem to be in my fone, not puter.oops
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Old 16-03-2016, 15:33   #9
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

mizzen boom rot under paint...eeps
well, more than 3 wrinkles...

ps was not penetrating epoxy used on mine--was west 105 painted liberally interior and exterior
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Old 16-03-2016, 21:23   #10
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

Wow Zee, that looks like it should have been a pretty obvious problem long ago, even with the paint. No?

Or have you known of it for a while and were just waiting to be in a place to afford-ably replace it?
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Old 16-03-2016, 23:04   #11
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Re: Decisions, Decisions.

i check my booms every 6 months and when i sail. beginning summer 2015, there was a small spot by the bale. that was new.
it grew over tropical summer into the mess pictured. tropics does nasty things rapidly to wood, especially in storm season.
once i found the rot had grown i had new boom made. i found the damages when i was doing post patricia inspection of the wood.
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