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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-02-2014 02:59 PM
Re: Mast Painting

We've done our spars three times now over the last 20 years. The first two times we used Sterling and the last time (2012) we rolled and tipped Awlgrip. I'd say the Awlgrip system is easier to use.

This is especially so given that the acid etch and alodine solutions we used to treat bare aluminum are no longer available to the public (where we live anyway). Awlgrip has a product (S6300 Aerosol Wash Primer) that can be sprayed over bare aluminum to prep it. It can then be coated with the 545 epoxy primer from 1 hour to 6 months afterwards. Painting over bare aluminum that has not been converted somehow risks early paint failure.

Our last Sterling job lasted 12 years but was blistering in many places at that point and getting chalky. Blisters were especially bad where I had not sealed out moisture well enough. This time I used 4200 or 4000UV plus UHMW gaskets under all fittings and put TefGel on all threads.

The aluminum base of our 1980 LeFiell mast did not have a standpipe to keep rain water from going down the compression post. I'd strongly recommend ordering a new base from LeFiell with the standpipe. Ours came painted white for about $50. Getting the mast bases off (SS & aluminum) involves taking down part of the headliner to get at the bolts and removing some wood at the top of the compression post in the head. If you want more details on this let me know.

Hope this is of some use.

s/v Pelagic
1980 C37 Yawl (#22)
Lying Lake Union, Seattle
02-01-2014 08:03 AM
Re: Mast Painting

The issue of having to isolate the hardware is because all your mast hardware is not aluminum. When you attach a piece of stainless steel to aluminum you your are in effect starting electrolysis. The more "noble" metal, stainless steel, in contact with the less "noble" metal, aluminum begin a process of electrolysis. This can be undetectable or can result in the flaking and corrosion of the aluminum. One way to avoid the powdery mess and flaking of your paint is to isolate one metal from the other. You can do it with various gaskets and by using tef gel on all screws you put into the hardware and mast. If you have a winch on you mast, you will definitely want to isolate it from the mast with a pad of some sorts. Your boat yard should be very familiar with this issue and if they are not, I would suggest not using them and finding another. Just MHO.
01-31-2014 08:13 PM
Re: Mast Painting

Originally Posted by Total Chaos View Post
The mast hardware will need to be electrically isolated? I'll have to look at the hardware right now.
There just needs to be something non-conductive between the aluminum mast and the bronze or stainless winches, cleats, etc. to prevent a corrosion friendly environment from setting up.
01-31-2014 06:46 PM
Total Chaos
Re: Mast Painting

The mast hardware will need to be electrically isolated? I'll have to look at the hardware right now. The masts were previously painted but could use a repaint, no pealing as of yet on the masts but the paint is still looking shabby and the masts are going to be off the boat anyway.
01-31-2014 05:57 PM
Re: Mast Painting

There is a you tube video where a guy paints his mast with awlcraft 2000, an awlgrip product. I don't think the paint is as important as the metal prep. It is very important to etch any bare aluminum before applying zinc chromate primer. If the person prepping the mast takes short cuts the paint job will bubble up and peel away. I would quiz the yard a bit to see exactly what prep they will do. In addition, when the reattach the mast hardware it will need to be electrically isolated by spacers and or tef gel. Hope this helps!
01-31-2014 03:07 AM
Total Chaos
Re: Mast Painting

I am talking to a yard right now about having my masts painted with Awl Grip any thoughts on this paint system for the masts?
01-30-2014 09:01 PM
Re: Mast Painting

It was a case of assume....I assumed that they would be painted but they arrived bare. It is going to be a bit of work but I guess, I'll add it to the list and check it off when done. I am going to stay away from repainting the whole mast. I don't think anyone can repaint the mast to the standards that le fiell.
01-29-2014 07:09 AM
Re: Mast Painting

Rich, as you know, we're repainting our mast. The new boom from LeFiell is coming from them painted. LeFiell uses Sterling. I'm very curious as to why the spreaders you got were not painted.

I expect the paint to be dinged and banged up in a fairly short time, but our overall reason for painting is not so much cosmetic, but protective. We're lucky, given the age of our spars (30 years this year), that we didn't have more deterioration and corrosion than we do - and we want to keep it that way.
01-28-2014 07:37 AM
Re: Mast Painting

That's what I'm paint job would probably be banged up within a short time.
01-27-2014 08:21 PM
Lake Superior Sailor
Re: Mast Painting

I keep retouching mine as they will always need touch up as they see a lot of wear and tear! ...Dale
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