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Old 27-08-2014, 11:03   #1
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Painting a mast?

ok so im a diy type person unless its way over my head then i go to someone who knows what they are doing lol anyway my question is is it possible to work on and paint the mast while it is still upright and attached to the boat? i know i will be doing some high wire hanging which isnt a issue to me? i have a 1975 Irwin 10-4 btw
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Old 27-08-2014, 12:30   #2
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Re: Painting a mast?

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Originally Posted by miller83 View Post
ok so im a diy type person unless its way over my head then i go to someone who knows what they are doing lol anyway my question is is it possible to work on and paint the mast while it is still upright and attached to the boat? i know i will be doing some high wire hanging which isnt a issue to me? i have a 1975 Irwin 10-4 btw
I wouldn't...Take it down, strip it properly, Strontium Chromate primer and 2+ coats of LPU paint. Use proper safety equipment.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:13   #3
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Re: Painting a mast?

CS... Was that?
I wouldn't take it down to paint... or
I wouldn't paint it up! Take it down!
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Old 01-09-2014, 14:45   #4
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Re: Painting a mast?

Can one strip, prep and paint a mast whilst it is standing? Sure you can!

Will it be a decent looking job when you are done: Not bloody likely!

To do a decent job of painting a mast, ya gotta take all the hardware off. If you take all the hardware off a standing mast, it quickly becomes a falling mast.

And FWIW, painting a mast even with it down and stripped is a difficult task unless you are a good spray painter. I know when I did it (brushing) getting runs and sags near the many holes and welded bits was all too common. This resulted in lots of remedial sanding and touching up. Big PITA.

My favorite mast finish now is to carefully sand it bare, with all the sanding in a lengthwise direction, then acid wash and coat with Tectyl, a clear polyurethane finish. Can be sprayed, brushed, rolled or even wiped on with a sponge. Looks good to me and lasts several years. Cheap, too!

good luck,

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Old 04-09-2014, 05:23   #5
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Re: Painting a mast?

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I wouldn't...Take it down, strip it properly, Strontium Chromate primer and 2+ coats of LPU paint. Use proper safety equipment.
The spec sheet for strontium chromate primer says it is not suitable for aluminium
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:52   #6
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Re: Painting a mast?

a friend of mine used to paint masts while they were standing.
they looked great.
they were wood.
aluminum needs powdercoat to last any time at all.
just leave it plain or have it powdercoated.
nothing wrong with aluminum mast as it is. .
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:04   #7
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Re: Painting a mast?

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Originally Posted by miller83 View Post
ok so im a diy type person unless its way over my head then i go to someone who knows what they are doing lol anyway my question is is it possible to work on and paint the mast while it is still upright and attached to the boat? i know i will be doing some high wire hanging which isnt a issue to me? i have a 1975 Irwin 10-4 btw
You haven't mentioned whether it is already painted or is bare aluminum. If it's bare I would suggest leaving it bare. While the oxidation layer is not necessarily attractive, it provides excellent protection for the metal beneath. Painting it will set you up for more painting in the not too distant future.

If it's already painted or you're set on painting it, I agree that the few hundred bucks it will cost to have it pulled is money well spent in terms of the speed, quality, and safety that you'll enjoy working on it horizontally.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:44   #8
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Re: Painting a mast?

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aluminum needs powdercoat to last any time at all.
just leave it plain or have it powdercoated.
nothing wrong with aluminum mast as it is. .
In hindsight I would not waste a dime on powder coating. I had our boom done and it only lasted 2 years in the tropics before it started failing. Now after 6 years it really looks like crap.
More wasted money. This cruising sailboat thing is fraught with pitfalls.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:00   #9
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Re: Painting a mast?

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In hindsight I would not waste a dime on powder coating. I had our boom done and it only lasted 2 years in the tropics before it started failing. Now after 6 years it really looks like crap.
More wasted money. This cruising sailboat thing is fraught with pitfalls.
considering the powdercoating i have seen way outlasts painting, i think one would reconsider a natural aluminum mast, should one have same.

i found tropics to be a lot less harsh an environment than s sea of cortez/golfo de california's godawfully harshest environment. desert trumps tropics for harsh weather.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:08   #10
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Re: Painting a mast?

It's done on wood masts often. But I wouldn't. Wait until you get a chance to take it down. Then strip it and don't paint it at all! It'll be one less thing to maintain!
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:55   #11
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Re: Painting a mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Can one strip, prep and paint a mast whilst it is standing? Sure you can!

Will it be a decent looking job when you are done: Not bloody likely!

To do a decent job of painting a mast, ya gotta take all the hardware off. If you take all the hardware off a standing mast, it quickly becomes a falling mast.

And FWIW, painting a mast even with it down and stripped is a difficult task unless you are a good spray painter. I know when I did it (brushing) getting runs and sags near the many holes and welded bits was all too common. This resulted in lots of remedial sanding and touching up. Big PITA.

My favorite mast finish now is to carefully sand it bare, with all the sanding in a lengthwise direction, then acid wash and coat with Tectyl, a clear polyurethane finish. Can be sprayed, brushed, rolled or even wiped on with a sponge. Looks good to me and lasts several years. Cheap, too!

good luck,

Jim

Jim.
Is that Tectyl 3217?


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Old 05-09-2014, 15:11   #12
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Re: Painting a mast?

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Originally Posted by jkindredpdx View Post
Jim.
Is that Tectyl 3217?


JimK
I'm sorry, but I don't remember! When we put a new spar on our previous boat in 1996, the sparmaker suggested Tectyl and we used it successfully. He gave us a big jar of the stuff for touchup, and I later used it on other projects... but the jar was unlabled as to which Tectyl was used.

I would imagine that a chat with a tech rep for Tectyl would reveal the proper coating for masts. Wish that I could be more helpful...

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Old 05-09-2014, 15:16   #13
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Re: Painting a mast?

Thanks for replying. I'll ask the rep... They seem have a wide range of specific products.


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Old 05-09-2014, 15:33   #14
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Re: Painting a mast?

first question: is it currently painted? If NO then absolutely leave it alone.

If it is in need, plan it at your next stretch on the hard.

Remove everything that easily comes off. We used a DA-sander and stripped only the bubbled, corroded areas. Roughed up the whole thing. Use the Chromate two part etcher & primer on the bare aluminum as soon as possible after sanding. We finished using Perfection two part urethane. Looks good. Don't worry too much about drips more than 10 feet above the deck
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Old 07-09-2014, 16:58   #15
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Re: Painting a mast?

I'm pulling the mast this week. Lowest ten feet has bubbling under the paint, which is black. Will sandblast it off. The trick appears to be to get a primer onto the clean aluminium fast, so an oxide layer can't form. From what I've read, it's the formation of this oxide layer on aluminium that causes later paint problems. We'll see how we go.
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