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Old 10-08-2018, 03:58 PM   #1
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Painting my mast

I'm about to take my mast off and refinish/rewire it. I'm wondering what's the best paint to use over the wood? I have Brightside polyurethane and the primer so I can roll and tip it with that? Wondering if I would be better off with epoxy paint or something else for the wood? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:20 PM   #2
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Interesting question. My boom is made from two pieces of wood that is bonded (screwed) together. I've noticed that the paint the PO put on it is separating along the bond line. I'm thinking that this might be caused by the paint he used being to brittle (hard?). My plan is to use a paint that has some flexibility to it.


Hopefully someone will come along and provide some paint knowledge for you that I'll be able to use.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:26 PM   #3
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I’d say heavy Tung oil thinned w turpentine at various ratios as a primer. I’ve done 12-14 coats. Just keep applying short of any significant build. For the first 3-4 coats I use kerosene as it’s best to drive the oil (or paint) into the wood. Then topcoat w the best quality oil based marine finish. High oil and high UV resistance.
The best color is “mast buff” as very traditional.

If you’re anti-oil based finishes many many here have had good experiences w Interlux Brightside Poly primed w Interlux Primer (grey). Almost all my cabin ect have been fininshed w Brightside and I think highly of it. Only downside is on decks. Brightside dosn’t stand up to deck “wear and tear”. But on cabin sides it’s great. We haven’t painted our cabinsides for close to 10years and it still looks good.

A finish that can be easily touched up is important on things like masts.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:22 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. CEC. I repainted our wooden mast 3 years ago with Alexseal epoxy paint. This was the same paint used to re-coat the rest of the boat. The previous coating (type of paint unknown but PROBABLY some sort of one part enamel) was degraded. Good sanding, NOT down to bare wood, epoxy primer on the bare/worn spots and 2 coats of Alexseal.



That being said, I think almost ANY good quality paint should work and since you already have the Brightside, I'd say, use it.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:38 PM   #5
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I would use the Brightside primer and paint . Just make sure clean and tack off all sanding dust before primer and paint . I think good sanding and clean before coats is the key when using Brightside paint . Brightside paint likes it’s own primer . They already know each other . Any paint will probably separate along a joint . Wood is alive always and always trying to equalize to its surroundings. . It’s gonna move no matter what , shrink and swell . That’s how raised panel doors came to life . You can’t trap wood movement ever
When it comes to painting anything to me preparation and using like materials including thinners gives me peace of mind .Its just to much work to do otherwise.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:24 AM   #6
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I used Home depot paint last time and that was 3 years ago. Needs touch up again, and I'll hit it with the same stuff in the spring.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:03 AM   #7
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Brightside it is then. I have the primer and paint already so Ill go with that. RT as for bare wood there's already some showing, and I have a feeling any sanding will expose more. Ill do a few light coats of primer then sand primer and paint a few topcoats. On my mast anyway it appears to be one solid piece of wood but I cant tell 100%. No splits or seams I can see.

Kinda wondering how heavy it will be when I take it down.. My guess is 75-100lbs? Boats a 38' C&L aft cabin. Mast is around 12' if I'm way off and I should expect it to weigh a lot more let me know. I'm taking it down for the first time this afternoon...

Thanks everyone
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:43 AM   #8
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Greetings,
Mr. CEC. "I have a feeling any sanding will expose more." Isn't that sorta what you want? Your primer will most probably stick to bare wood a bit better than existing paint. Plus, your primer should stick to sanded paint better than non sanded paint (more tooth).



Be careful dropping your mast. It may be heavier than you think. I would suggest help. A couple of extra bodies might prevent injury or damage.
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:57 AM   #9
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I have about 12' of mast above the flybridge deck, with another couple of feet down to the aft cabin deck. Mine has spreaders, lights, radar, radar reflector and halyards, but the mast itself is Aluminum (3" pipe) so is quite light per foot. I lower it myself, using a line attached to the underside of the radar mount. The weight of what I have is the limit for me to lower or raise it without more mechanical advantage or additional help. I can't imagine your 12' of wood would be any lighter. I guess the weight of your woodie at about twice the weight of my setup, so before you lower it, make sure you have more mechanical advantage or at least one strong helper.
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:16 AM   #10
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The big fishing poles on trollers in SE Alaska are seldom if ever painted at all. But they seldom if ever see the sun. And the fishermen walk through the woods extensively to find the best poles.

But fishermen use tar on decks, housepaint on hulls, concrete in plank seams and Claw anchors. Wouldn’t pass muster in our yacht club.

Just oil would be a good “finish” but applying oil frequently would be a downer.
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:54 AM   #11
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Thanks guys I had a feeling it might be heavier then it looks. Its got wire running down the center so I know there's at least a 1" hollow hole down the middle. I grab some buddies and have them lend a hand. There's two through bolts that extend through the thick ss bracket at the bottom. The mast is square at the bottom flush to the deck, so no pivoting on one bolt. Both bolts will have to come out before it can be tilted, so Ill rig something up to try and help. So much for my idea to bring it home to work on it. If its a couple hundred pounds its getting fixed up on the dock! Id sand and paint it in place if it did not need new lights and wiring. Old radar is off, new is ready to go, so its time to fix the mast up a bit while I'm at it.


Nomad If the mast were fresh wood and didn't have a bunch of old screw holes that need filling, and I could get all the old paint off I might go with a varnish or oil. In this case, its gonna remain white...
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:33 PM   #12
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CEC,
OK good
I’d do Brightside if it wasn’t wooded down. The oil would just get under the old finish that was there and lift it. And what’s better than white for a pleasure boat?
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:01 AM   #13
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Yesterday I got the mast off the boat. It was not heavy maybe 50lbs. Once off the first thing I noticed is how much more I like the boat without it, or maybe just without the cable tie downs. I need the mast for the radar and lights. I rather it be an arch off the FB though.

First thing we did when we bought the boat is take the boom off the mast. It was just in the way and we have no need for it. I'm wondering what everyone's input is on the need for the cable stays when using just the mast without the boom. The big stainless mast mounting bracket is stout, and its through bolted to the fly bridge floor. When I removed the cables it did not seem to effect the masts stability. I don't believe a lot of boat roll ext would strain the bracket with the light weight of the mast.

Are the four cables stays only needed when the boom is installed/used to lift things off the dock or deck? Is there a reason I need to use them when just the mast is up?
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:49 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr.CEC. I can't remember what boat you're on or how big/tall your mast is (if you ever mentioned it). Your mast is a lever with the mounting/base, the fulcrum. I would put the stays back on. Your mast may seem light but add the weight of the radar and unknown upcoming sea conditions....Just sayin'
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:44 AM   #15
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Boat is a 38' C&L 1979
The mast is around 10' (now that I have it off and can get a good measurement) Ill take and post some photos after I'm done painting and put it back up. I hear what your saying, so Ill stay on the safe side.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:50 AM   #16
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Painting or varnishing a wood mast that has failed glue joints will be a pita and not successful in the long run. Y'gotta' keep the wood from changing shape with water leaking into the crack or passing through the finish. I'd take it home for the winter, remove all the finish and let it dry for several months. Then I'd coat the thing as completely as possible with epoxy, then varnish or paint. I use West System 105/ and special coating hardener. The epoxy's low permeability will prevent the wood from moving, tend to rebond the crack, and provide an excellent base for paint.


I replaced our original wood mast a couple years ago due to rot. I used fiberglass components epoxied together, an epoxy-glass ferrule that I made to couple the original bronze maststep to the new aluminum (spinnaker pole) tubing. All painted with 'Heavy Duty', Home Despot's finest, white spray paint in aerosol cans. Looks fine.


I also made a laminated, curved Ash kayak davit, coated in epoxy and painted with the same stuff.


Those damn shrouds/guy wires were a head-catcher for me. I eliminated them and made a table/partner to hold the mast. It's fiberglass, bolted to the flybridge seatback, has a quick-remove section for lowering the mast.


The one-part Brightside Polyurethane works fine on properly prepared surfaces, too.



Pics are in my album on this site.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:52 AM   #17
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You need to know some of the physics involved in order to know whether the stays are required. Of critical importance is the strength of the mast itself under side loading or a bending moment.
My own mast came to me with an aluminum base (tabernacle), Aluminum pipe mast and boom, (too short) stainless shrouds, two per side. In order to eliminate the neck height shroud that interfered with access up the flybridge steps, I moved the mast step to the lower deck (top of the aft cabin) and put a fastening on the edge of the upper deck, where the original step had been located, to hold the mast in a vertical position. The relocation gave me the opportunity to add several feet of height to the mast and length to the boom.
I add temporary shrouds opposite to any load over 50 lbs if I am using the lifting boom. Otherwise, I am happy with the unstayed aluminum pipe. It carries lights, spreaders, flag halyards, radar, radar reflector, boom and all boom rigging, but no shrouds. I made the change to unstayed more than 20 years ago, so it has stood the test of time.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:06 AM   #18
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
You need to know some of the physics involved in order to know whether the stays are required. Of critical importance is the strength of the mast itself under side loading or a bending moment.
My own mast came to me with an aluminum base (tabernacle), Aluminum pipe mast and boom, (too short) stainless shrouds, two per side. In order to eliminate the neck height shroud that interfered with access up the flybridge steps, I moved the mast step to the lower deck (top of the aft cabin) and put a fastening on the edge of the upper deck, where the original step had been located, to hold the mast in a vertical position. The relocation gave me the opportunity to add several feet of height to the mast and length to the boom.
I add temporary shrouds opposite to any load over 50 lbs if I am using the lifting boom. Otherwise, I am happy with the unstayed aluminum pipe. It carries lights, spreaders, flag halyards, radar, radar reflector, boom and all boom rigging, but no shrouds. I made the change to unstayed more than 20 years ago, so it has stood the test of time.


Im going to take some pictures of what I have. What your describing is what Im thinking when I look at the current mount. The mount is U shaped and 1/4" SS with two 3/4" through bolts. Its around 10" tall on either side and is the full with of the mast's square base (around 7"). In my limited engineering experience it is extra beefy, and the stays are not doing anything. One thought is to put the stays on a bit loose for a while and have a close look while at sea. If none go tight, Ill know if they are doing anything without the boom in use.


DHeckrotte my mast is not cracked. Its solid all the way around. I have it mostly to bare wood now (pics to follow). I was considering epoxy coating it like you suggested. My worry is the epoxy might separate over time and allow moisture to get under it rotting the wood quickly is some spots. The mast from what I can tell was factory painted probably not removed in at least the past 20 years if not ever. The bottom of it was left unpainted. I assume this is to allow it to stay dry as possible on the bottom as it rests on a SS base.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:14 PM   #20
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I think DHeckrotte was responding to my post about a separation along a bond line (the mast is laminated). I hadn't considered before a potential issue of moisture working its way in an causing wood damage. I think I will be pulling the mast this winter and refinishing it.
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