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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-19-2009
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Refinishing Bronze?

We're in the process of stripping all of the corrosion off our bronze chocks and rubrail. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to coat them with to minimize future oxidation? Obviously, wax will rub off pretty quickly in these high use areas, but I'm not sure what will stand up to abuse...?

Thanks

Chris
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Old 07-19-2009
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Chris,

Lacquer is the most common thing to use to protect it from oxidation. Spray on type allows a build up of layers while allowing the bronze to shine.
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I'm not sure that lacquer will stand up to line abrasion through the chocks though. Even if we were to put down 5-6 layers of lacquer, I would think the lines would "saw" through the layers within a few weeks if not less. One of the thoughts we had was to put a layer of epoxy over the finished bronze, but I'm not sure what that would do to the finish.
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Old 07-19-2009
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Epoxy would yellow fast as it isn't protected against uv. When using epoxy on deck items the varnish protects it from uv. I think Capnblu is right - unless like me you think green bronze looks seamanlike and it's a lot less work. It won't corrode further and lets you sail more.
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Old 07-19-2009
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a clear or translucent bronze powder coat
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Old 07-19-2009
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Clear powder coat is indeed the 'best' if the part isnt subject to abrasion.

Old fashioned Lacquer will be too porous for bronze, even many many coats are vulnerable and usually are insufficient to keep out the formation of verdigris/acetates.

I use heavy coatings of clear urethane/acrylic catalyzed co-polymer, brushed on (at least 4 coats, flat sand with 400 grit, then flow on a final coating. Lasts about 4 years, but you have to inspect weekly after the coating to insure that you got all the possible pin-holes covered.

Any coating that is subject abrasion (hawse holes, cleats, etc.) wont last very long at all.

Best way to remove the green verdigris is either soaking with lemon juice or citric acid ..... a long soak - several hours, then sand with successively finer and finer grits, then power buff with jewelers rouge. If you want 'brown' bronze, rub on a mix of olive oil, a bit of mineral lime (the stuff used for soil conditioning not the stuff you put in a 'margarita' , and beeswax. This will take a few coatings to start the verdigris to begin to turn brown, then keep it waxed with beeswax.

Last edited by RichH; 07-19-2009 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 11-16-2009
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I put spar varnish on one of my bronze cleats after sanding the verdigris off. Strictly as an experiment. It is still going strong.
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Old 11-17-2009
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At this point, I've been told by various classic yacht owners and a couple of megayacht maintenance people that, unless I want to do weekly maintenance, chrome plating is the only way to keep a good finish. Do your bronze cleats see heavy use with lines? I'm looking at our chocks, which constantly have lines going through them...
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Old 11-17-2009
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err... you can just leave it alone let it get that patina that bronze gets.. that is of course why it's left that way. just like teak. if you give it a finish you will always have to maintain it to keep nice.
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