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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 09-10-2006
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Cleaning Aluminum Spars

My mast and boom are pitted with age. Can anyone recomend anything other than sanding for reconditioning them? They are not painted nor am I going to paint them.

Duke
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Old 09-10-2006
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If they're pitted, and you're not going to be painting them, there really isn't much you can do. The pitting is generally caused by the anodization failing and corrosion setting in. Most people would fill the pitting, fair the surface and paint the spars. Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2006
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Cleaning Aluminum Spars

Obviously that wasn't the answer I wanted to here, but I guess there is going to be some more sanding in my future. I just finished sanding the bottom and I'm getting tired of looking at sandpaper. At least now it should be cooler.

Now,Any input on how to get some gloss out of my painted hull?

Thanks,
Duke 7184

Last edited by Duke 7184; 09-11-2006 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 09-12-2006
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I wouldn't recommend painting your old spar. In a few years, maybe less, it's going to look like crap again. Actually probably worse than it does now. You may want to apply a wax or something to it while it's down but sanding will remove whatever anodizing you have left and while removing the corrosion may seem like a good idea, it's not. the corrosion is actually helping to protect the spar.
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Old 09-12-2006
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Removing Paint

While we are sort of on the topic, my 20 year old spar was originally painted white.
Any good recomendations for removing the paint, which I assume is a two part epoxy, other than sanding?
If I can get it to look OK I probably will not repaint it as I do not want to pay a pro to spray it.

Gary
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Old 09-12-2006
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When the anodizing is gone you have little choice other than to paint or just let it corrode. Paint is great if you use the appropriate preparation and an aluminum primer. If your spar was has been painted then it has no anodizing and should be repainted.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead
I wouldn't recommend painting your old spar. In a few years, maybe less, it's going to look like crap again. Actually probably worse than it does now. You may want to apply a wax or something to it while it's down but sanding will remove whatever anodizing you have left and while removing the corrosion may seem like a good idea, it's not. the corrosion is actually helping to protect the spar.


If the aluminum is pitting with corrosion, the corrosion isn't protecting the spar.

Paint will protect the spar from further damage. Properly prepping the spar with a good metal primer paint and then using either a two-part epoxy or polyureathane paint will last quite some time before requiring re-painting. It will last longer with a good paint job than it will without one at this point, based on the description.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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