What are the pros and cons here.
I'm pretty new to all this, but it seems like EVERYTHING is a compromise. So what am I getting and what am I losing?
Compared to what??? Wooden spars, carbon fiber spars, steel spars???
Anodized spars are aluminum... conduct electricity quite well, are fairly low maintenance, have corrosion issues with stainless steel fasteners, lose most of their strength if heated too much... won't match the color scheme of your boat canvas, etc.
Annodized is fine. Paint chips and wears but is prettier when new. Not something I have ever heard anyone concerned about unless the spar is in bad shape and that can happen with painted aluminum as well as anodized.
Almost all aluminum spars are anodized in order to slow down corrosion. Almost all boats have aluminum masts, hence - you will prbably end up with an anodized mast on your boat.
Anodizing can be done in colours, but it is usually just silver on boats. You will sometimes see painted masts, (usually done by owners who have been watching a lot of Martha Stewart reruns :)), or gold or black anodizing.
It is preferable that your mast be anodized if it is aluminum.
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