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Old 31-08-2012, 23:51   #1
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Refurbishing Painted Mast?

My boat has been in the water since I bought her something over three years ago. I reckon I have sailed her about 10,000 miles -- more than she sailed in all the previous 9 years of her life.

Now I'm going to let her rest for a change -- in December, she goes on the hard for three months with the mast out.

I'm going to have the rudder dropped to inspect the bearings and steering gear, prop refurbished at the factory, shaft checked for straightness and alignment, shaft seal checked.

I'm going to have the bottom soda-blasted for new primer and antifoul, and have the topsides polished out and boot stripe repainted.

While the mast is out, I will have the standing rigging refurbished as necessary. I'm getting new laminated sails for Christmas

One problem I haven't worked out is this -- my mast came white painted from Selden. My surveyor told me -- never buy a boat with a painted mast! I ignored him, and now I understand why he said that -- the paint is bubbled up in some places where I guess there has been some kind of corrosion -- usually near rivets or joints.

How do we deal with these areas? They are not large -- I guess not more than 1% of the whole area of the mast, so I can't imagine the mast needs a total repaint. Is it possible to grind off the paint in those areas and repaint? How have the rest of you dealt with this problem, that is, the rest of you who have the dreaded painted masts?
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Old 01-09-2012, 00:58   #2
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Re: Refurbishing Painted Mast?

You may want to consider this product:

Marine – Uses and Benefits :: NyalicŪ

I realize that stripping a mast of all paint would be a daunting task but you could bring it back to bare aluminum, conditioned with a 3M skotch type pad then roll on two coats of nyalic.

The stuff doesn't chip off or allow corrosion to weep under a painted surface. I like the fact that it does not "hide" anything and if there are ever places that seem questionable, it is a breeze to touch up.

I haven't been able to find much user feedback in the US but I've decided to use this finish on my new unpainted spars. I'll follow up with an additional post in a few years and report back.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:10   #3
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Re: Refurbishing Painted Mast?

Stripping the whole mast would be a horrendous job. It is a very tall three-spreader job; 75 feet tall. Besides that, other than a few spots, the mast is really in good condition. I really just want to touch up the bubbling spots, if someone knows a way to do it which is more or less effective.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:30   #4
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Re: Refurbishing Painted Mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Stripping the whole mast would be a horrendous job. It is a very tall three-spreader job; 75 feet tall. Besides that, other than a few spots, the mast is really in good condition. I really just want to touch up the bubbling spots, if someone knows a way to do it which is more or less effective.




Assuming the stick is currently painted with a quality marine LPU-

Open up the blistered areas with a scotch brite roloc disc on a pneumatic die grinder, solvent wipe and dry well. Acid etch with Alumprep 33, do chromate conversion with Alodine, apply 545 by spray 3-4 coats on each spot after prep sanding the entire area for the blend (about 6"-8" back from each blend) with 1000 wet. Sand 545 with 400 grit dry, fill and fair as necessary with WEST and 407, sand fair, reprime to cover fairing and resand 400 grit dry for prep for topcoat. Spray topcoat to match the original product. Apply a coat or two more than you normally would, ie 3-4. Spray each coat out just a little further onto the area of prep. Let cure and wet sand to blend with 2000 wet and a foamy block. Polish with a foam wheel and 3M Microfine at low RPM and low pressure followed by Finesse It II on a fresh foam pad. You might want to polish the whole stick when polishing. Finish with Fleet Wax or equivalent.
That's basically how we do it. Looks brand new with much less work than stripping.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:46   #5
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Re: Refurbishing Painted Mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Assuming the stick is currently painted with a quality marine LPU-

Open up the blistered areas with a scotch brite roloc disc on a pneumatic die grinder, solvent wipe and dry well. Acid etch with Alumprep 33, do chromate conversion with Alodine, apply 545 by spray 3-4 coats on each spot after prep sanding the entire area for the blend (about 6"-8" back from each blend) with 1000 wet. Sand 545 with 400 grit dry, fill and fair as necessary with WEST and 407, sand fair, reprime to cover fairing and resand 400 grit dry for prep for topcoat. Spray topcoat to match the original product. Apply a coat or two more than you normally would, ie 3-4. Spray each coat out just a little further onto the area of prep. Let cure and wet sand to blend with 2000 wet and a foamy block. Polish with a foam wheel and 3M Microfine at low RPM and low pressure followed by Finesse It II on a fresh foam pad. You might want to polish the whole stick when polishing. Finish with Fleet Wax or equivalent.
That's basically how we do it. Looks brand new with much less work than stripping.
Thanks; great advice. I will print out and take with me.

Yes, the stick was finished in the Selden factory, so I assume it was a quality job. It looks good, anyway, other than the bubbly spots. So I'll try your technique then polish and wax the whole mast. Can't wait to see how it looks after that

I actually really like painted masts, notwithstanding the extra trouble.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:53   #6
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Re: Refurbishing Painted Mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thanks; great advice. I will print out and take with me.

Yes, the stick was finished in the Selden factory, so I assume it was a quality job. It looks good, anyway, other than the bubbly spots. So I'll try your technique then polish and wax the whole mast. Can't wait to see how it looks after that

I actually really like painted masts, notwithstanding the extra trouble.

Anytime. Make sure to prep sand 1000 wet very thoroughly. It's tricky because by the time you've sanded off the peel and gotten an even dull surface that water sheets off of instead of beading on, there's not much paint left to blend on. You have to find a happy medium between thorough prep and leaving yourself no room to blend. If your prep is not thorough you will end up with "halo" around your repair and it will eventually fail. Fortunately a stick is usually shot fairly heavily due to it's shape. Some boats have paint so thin you can't really blend on it, but that's rare and usually only with dark colors. Good luck!
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