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Old 05-01-2018, 12:57   #1
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Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Hereís my wood spreaders...I hate wood Iím gonna have to make up,some aluminum ones but these look like a lot of life left in them. Som Iím gonna refinish them; there was some holes for spreader wires, flag Hayward etc. Iím gonna fill them holes and put some epoxy in there. I figure Iíll over size drill the holes and epoxy, then mount the new lights to that. Does any one recognize what type of wood this is? Supposed to be Sitka spruce but I wouldnít know..looked like a little bit of cracking Iíve sanded it down took off the paint and I think itís just surface cracks. Where it attaches to the mast thereís a top plate and bottom plate that slide inside a channel on the mast with 3/8 bolts. You can see the woods a little split there but the brackets are tied into the spreader so I donít thunk itís a big deal. Iím gonna put some epoxy on the pieces and glue the chips back in...i hate wood..Iím gonna get some aluminum ones made but I think these look good enough that it can wait. Opinions? Iíve got interlux bright side polyurethane paint. This will do? I was gonna paint with epoxy then paint over that for uV protection but not sure whatís the best route to go for longevity. Hereís a few pics. I guess Iíd need custom ones made of aluminum to fit into my existing brackets, unless any one knows a source for this type of thing...
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Old 05-01-2018, 13:00   #2
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Canít seem to attach multiple pics.
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Old 05-01-2018, 13:06   #3
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Hereís the pic of the brackets that swallow the cracked end. Hmmmm
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Old 05-01-2018, 13:20   #4
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

I don't see anything wrong with your plan.

Coating with penetrating epoxy makes sense, particularly for the portion of the spreader encased by the mounting hardware. The poly paint sounds just fine. I used some gray, acrylic latex house paint on my hatch boards, and that's holding up great, too. I figure people use it on their houses, and they tend to leave those outside, so why not? Some people prefer a clear finish, as they say any rot will be more visible. Phooey...I like paint.

If it was my boat, and I had any doubts at all about the integrity of the spreaders, I'd replace them with more wood. A rot resistant variety, of course. My woodworking skills are modest, but that looks like something that can be done with a jigsaw, and either a router or some chisels for the inletting at the mounting hardware. I would expect the area encased by the hardware to be the most prone to rot but with the penetrating epoxy, it would probably outlive you, or at least the rest of the boat.

As much as I dislike exterior wood on a boat, I'd stick with wood as opposed to aluminum, to avoid having to replace the mounting hardware.
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Old 05-01-2018, 13:22   #5
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastward ho 24 View Post
Hereís the pic of the brackets that swallow the cracked end. Hmmmm
Yeah, I'd break out the jig saw and the chisels. Inexpensive project and a lot of peace of mind.
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Old 05-01-2018, 13:29   #6
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Douglas fir? Spruce?teak? I plan on extended cruising in the tropics soon so LOW maintenance is the goal. how long are wooden spreaders avg life span? The mast is down redoing all the rigging etc and hoping” to put the mast back up and leave it there till she sinks or I croak haha.
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Old 05-01-2018, 15:03   #7
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Sitka Spruce is the lightest ! If coated properly will last a long, long time ! Remember most masts, spreaders, and booms were made of this wood, for many years ! 100 plus anyway. I have a Lightning mast, and boom from 1945 Sitka Spruce, still in excellent condition, It's all about maintenance!
No fancy finishes, just spar varnish!!!!
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Old 05-01-2018, 15:31   #8
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

I think the usual recommendation is to paint the top of the spreaders white for UV protection and varnish the underside. That stuff about rot being visible is important, this is holding your mast up. It's a no-no to paint wooden ladders, for the same reason. (rot, not holding up your mast)
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:27   #9
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Had wood spreaders on my 1970 Columbia 43. I removed them in 1982, epoxied the top surface, filled all the holes with epoxy and redrilled, painted all around with Home depot house paint, and remounted. When I checked them, when selling the boat 9 years later, they looked perfectly fine.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:53   #10
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Think thatís what Iím gonna do right now got some westsystem laying around canít seem to track Don some 1 1/4 ď x 4 1/2Ē rectangle aluminium tube obviously. Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:54   #11
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

I second the paint the top and varnish the bottom. Just had the boom on our old woody snap in two from hidden internal rot
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:12   #12
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Doesnt look like spruce to me. May be teak. Spruce is super soft, easily dented with a screw driver blade to test. Looks like it is saturated or coated previously. If you use epoxy coat be sure to paint them afterwards. Epoxy only will be blistering up in big peels within a couple years. Paint lasts far longer than varnish.
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:28   #13
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Our Sitka spruce mast, boom and spreaders are 44 years old and going strong. I have to admit that they will need to be repainted when it quits raining this year and I am not looking forward to it. It is a daunting task hoisting my wife up and down over and over again for many days. But I will endure.
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:49   #14
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

I end up refinishing my Sitka spruce spreaders about every 5 years. Mainly because the varnish on the top side fails due to UV destruction. This spring they are up for a refinish yet again. I plan on using an industrial white alkyd paint (Sherwin Williams) on the top and will varnish the remainder.

I hope this buys an extra couple years.
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:36   #15
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Re: Wooden spreaders paint?epoxy? Trash?

Itís not teak itís very hard and itís sanded down to the fresh wood. I just bought the boat and I know he hasnít touched them in at min 5 yrs so I guess itís good enough to do the job since it looks really good other then the end ( most important part) started to split but I think thatís from stepping the mast and putting lateral strain on the spreaders. I dug it out and put epoxy in there Iíll sand it down once cured and should be good to good. In the mean time while the epoxy out.....I made up a compression post out of stainless box beam Iím making a ď seat ď for it the bilge where itíll rest is sloped so I have some g10 I was gonna rest it on and build it up to level the floor. How ever thereís no room to work in the bilge and my chop saw I canít make the angle big enough. I think Iíll just cut the angle out of the post. I was concerned with it digging into the g10 or possibly working loose in seas. The post will be in there right and tight. Think Iím over thinking..haha I been on here so much Iím reluctant to start yet another thread.
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