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Old 06-06-2011, 16:13   #1
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Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

The masts on my Cheoy Lee Ketch are in serious need of refinishing. I have been told to varnish so I am able to detect wood rot/damage. The other is to paint the masts so I will not have the up keep of varnish.

I do not mind the upkeep , but I would prefer the better solution.

Help,

Brian

P.S. She is mine transferred title today!!!
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Old 06-06-2011, 16:22   #2
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

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P.S. She is mine transferred title today!!!
Congratulations on the new boat.

Epoxy over varnish?
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Old 06-06-2011, 16:42   #3
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

It depends entirely on how much effort you are willing to go through for low maintenance and longevity. Aluminum mast are best, but...

You could strip the hardware, then the varnish, then epoxy (6 coats), or even epoxy/glass the mast. (You can't epoxy over varnish) You could also epoxy coat ALL openings/bolt holes with numerous coats of epoxy. 100% SEALED!!!

Then, either varnish (6 coats), and NEVER let it fail, OR use LP white paint for low maintenance.

IF the mast then ever got rot problems, it would likely be "inside the mast" or fastener holes, so not hidden under the white paint.

Some folks have used a light tan LP paint instead of white, which mimics a varnished mast from a distance.

Good luck with it.

Mark
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Old 06-06-2011, 16:46   #4
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

what?, you varnish over epoxy, what is this amateur hour, epoxy doesn't have a uv component, all gloss varnishes do.
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Old 06-06-2011, 17:13   #5
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

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what?, you varnish over epoxy, what is this amateur hour, epoxy doesn't have a uv component, all gloss varnishes do.

---and your point is?--
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Old 06-06-2011, 17:15   #6
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

most people and most manufactureres suggest, if you chose to in a scheme to protect a spar to first put down whatever they're selling and then varnish over it. I thought i made that clear.
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Old 06-06-2011, 17:16   #7
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

i meant epoxies, sorry
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Old 06-06-2011, 17:17   #8
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

and that is the final word. you can take it to the bank.
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Old 06-06-2011, 17:26   #9
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

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Congratulations on the new boat.

Epoxy over varnish?
oops. my bad--the right hand is typing faster than the left hand is reading.

Here's the trick: WEST SYSTEM | Application Techniques - Varnish over epoxy
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Old 06-06-2011, 17:32   #10
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

Phew!!--I'm glad we cleared that up. I was beginning to think that the Sitka Spruce mast , gaff boom, main boom, staysail club, and bowsprit that I epoxied, and then varnished in 1971, for my Friendship sloop, didn't exist.
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Old 06-06-2011, 17:36   #11
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

yep they've got it right, i saw some post in her suggesting the west epoxy people were only good for amateurs, don't believe it. The only time to use common constructon on fiberglass repair is if the boat is sinking. or you're a Pardy aficionado. Epoxy and glass, cut up and made into a burly sort of thing does wonders. Roving, matt etc, not usually necessary. I rest my case
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Old 06-06-2011, 17:40   #12
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

And I challenge any other cruiser to argue my point. I have repaired over three hundred fiberglass vessels with epoxy and a properly administered last coat with gel coat on top that have lasted.
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Old 06-06-2011, 17:41   #13
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

I'm thinking aluminum! I just love the look of the wood.
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Old 06-06-2011, 18:03   #14
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

My mast is Sitka Spruce 3-piece laminated (basically a solid mast but a little stronger). When I got the boat it was painted, I had it down last winter and decided to strip it in doing so I found the paint had cracked in places and water had gotten to the wood, no damage just some discolouration. If left painted it would gone un noticed. Maintaining a varnished mast is not really that hard (you should inspect your rigging regularly anyway) it is when you let it go you have problems, especially with box masts.
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Old 06-06-2011, 18:08   #15
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Re: Refinishing Sitka Spruce Masts

well spoken, i agree
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