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Old 21-10-2013, 15:03   #1
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Someone painted my mast ug!

Previous owner did. Now about 30% of paint is flaking off. I'd like to not paint anymore.

Is there a good way to rid myself of the remaining paint?
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Old 21-10-2013, 15:23   #2
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

i would wonder what condition the anodizing on the alum is in (i'm assuming it's alum. mast) and how you would strip it without further damage to the anodizing.
then again i suppose you can have the whole thing shipped off and re-anodized?
sounds $$$$
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Old 21-10-2013, 15:31   #3
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

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I'm thinking of doing a hack job prime paint and forgetting about it. I wanted to strip it bare but also worried about what it would end up looking like under the paint.
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Old 21-10-2013, 15:46   #4
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

I suppose just get the mast off into a yard, put it on sawhorses and put big sheets of cardboard under to catch the stripper. Lots of paint stripper. I doubt stripper will hurt any anodizing (if it was anodized) as anodizing actually is a surface condition not a surface coating. If it was painted when new prior to the lousy paint job, beware that painted masts often arent so pretty under the paint... ripples may be filled, welds may show, even flush rivets and splices.
Also, will the stripper get it all? sanding will effect anodizing if sanded very agressively. Not that it would be the end of the world. I personally hate painted masts....
I think a lot of big boat masts are painted as there were no facilities to anodize that long a piece, and often they are spliced about half way up. So you see more nice anodized masts on smaller boats.
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Old 21-10-2013, 16:12   #5
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

I've got the mast down and on horses. I'm replacing the shrouds (she has StaLoc fittings) and rewiring (I pretty well wrecked the wiring a while ago.). Halyards are still in, but could come off.

I kinda thought that a bare mast would "self anodize" after a bit?
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Old 21-10-2013, 16:32   #6
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

Aluminum starts to build up an oxide layer hours after being exposed to air. It is self preserving to some extent. (many french boat hulls are bare unpainted aluminum.) It does tend to leave a grey residue on things (hands, sails etc) when it oxidizes for a while...
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Old 21-10-2013, 16:46   #7
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

Anodizing is an electroplating process. Anodizing is a very thin hard coat that gives a little corrosion resistance, but not a lot.

I would probably try to get the old paint off with a pressure washer. After that, I would take it to a plating shop & get their opinion of the condition of the base metal. Plating shops can remove old anodizing & replace it with new if the base metal is still sound.

The biggest problem you will probably have is finding a shop with tanks that are big enough to fit a mast. If you ask around, you will probably find that all the local shops send items of that shape & size to one particular location that specializes in that sort of thing.

There is a good chance that other local shops will want to take in your job, ship it off to the other guy with the long skinny tanks & then mark up the other guy's work, unless the job looks problem ridden. If it looks like a can of worms, then they will likely just send you straight to the other guy.

The last time I had parts anodized, I think that the lot minimum was only around 50 pounds, so that should not be a big issue.

If there are any welds that were done with 40 series wire, they will likely look like the north end of a south bound rat after plating. 5356 wire gives welds that take plating well.
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Old 21-10-2013, 17:47   #8
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

We paint aluminum sticks just like we used to paint aircraft. It's process driven, pricey but lasts for ten years or more.
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Old 21-10-2013, 17:57   #9
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

Paint it. Let the French revel in their oxidized aluminum. Especially when they ascend the mast in shorts. Ouch.
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Old 21-10-2013, 18:06   #10
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Previous owner did. Now about 30% of paint is flaking off. I'd like to not paint anymore.

Is there a good way to rid myself of the remaining paint?

painting is a lot better then anodizing, but for salt water you need to do a lot more then just painting or anodizing, check with a good rigger for what to do, I don't need to get in a argument with the hollow heads here.
btw, if painting after neutralizing, go with corlar prime and the IMRON for finish. let the pros do it also.
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Old 21-10-2013, 19:02   #11
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

First, the mast may be anodized under the paint or it may not. Most masts are not anodized and it is not a requirement for a good paint job - refer to all the painted aluminum boats out there.

You will want to pick a paint supplier and contact them about the job. Painting aluminum well requires very specific steps. If you are going to do the job yourself I would recommend PPG, a very reputable industrial paint mfg. If you are going to pay a pro to do it they will have their own preferred brand.

Typically, modern tech for painting aluminum will start with a light blasting to create a rough and clean surface, followed by 2 coats of an epoxy, followed by a 2 part polyurethane top coat.

Do not skip the blasting step if you want a long life.
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Old 22-10-2013, 09:57   #12
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

Pauls, perhaps it might be best to use the word "may" instead of "will" when talking about sandblasting. It may upset those who have been doing this work for some time to learn that abrasion with sandpaper is no longer correct or appropriate. The object is to achieve a clean and stable substrate, prior to Alodyne and primer being applied, so that the final finish coat can have longevity. Sandblasting is a messy and expensive option, useful but not critical, and may not be available in many boatyards or backyards.
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Old 22-10-2013, 10:19   #13
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

If the paint on the mast has lasted well but needs redone painting is probably the way to go. If the paint is blistering and not holding well.... especially on the lower 10 feet or so.... I would look for alternatives. I've had such a mast pro rebuilt and repainted... it lasted less than 2 years offshore. The lower 6 feet or so deteriorated fast. No idea why but probably due to the salt water and the chromed bronze winches, SS stoppers , cleats etc on the lower end of the mast. It was stripped bare, sanded, acid washed, alodined, primed and painted.
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Old 22-10-2013, 11:00   #14
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

Hi Roy,

Thanks, I know that there are lots of people who use sandpaper as a prep. And I understand that sandblasting is not available everywhere.
If I was stuck in some place that had no ability to blast I'd use rough sandpaper too. But, that said, blasting the the best surface prep. I will guarantee that if you speak to the manufacturers of the paint, the guys who actually develop and test it, that they will say that sandblasting is the best surface prep and anything else is a lower quality job. It's easy to see why - the blasted surface is rough and provides a surface for the paint to grab onto that can't be matched with anything else. A professional quality paint will come with tech instructions that will spec the surface roughness for both steel and aluminum that the blasting should produce.

Other ways absolutely do work, but they won't last as long.
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Old 22-10-2013, 11:17   #15
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Re: Someone painted my mast ug!

What, no one has ordered up a fifty foot length of shrink-wrap tubing and simply heat shrunk it around the mast? (WEG)
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