Attainable Adventure Cruising
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Attainable Adventure Cruising
Hi Colin, my boat is up on the yard now and the bills are running high. My mast paint is powdery to the touch and something must be done. I couldnt believe my eyes when the bill for dismantling all the fittings on the mast, painting with Awlgrip and fitting everything back came to about US$7000 in Thailand. I read with great interest on your article on aluminium boats and wonder if I can leave my mast unpainted on a white fibreglass boat? I am not too worried about aesthetics (to a degree) and wont mind a silver looking mast. However, I am not too sure about the practicality and maintenance of an unpainted mast. Then again, if it is such a good idea, why arent many older boats having unpainted masts! Thanks,
Hi Ee Kiat,
It’s unlikely that Colin will answer see #3: https://www.morganscloud.com/2013/11/10/aac-comment-guide-lines/
Pehaps, I can help.
That’s not an unreasonable quote given the labour involved.
That said, there is to structural reason to paint an aluminium mast. (Unpainted masts are usually anodized but that’s not a requirement.)
If you do decide to leave the mast as it is, the key structural issue to check for is corrosion under fittings. Colin has a good piece on what to do about that here:https://www.morganscloud.com/2015/03/29/dont-get-stuck-tools-and-techniques-for-cruisers/
Hi John, thank you for picking this up which I am most grateful as my head was spinning with many diverse views from google! I once saw a boat that was hand painted. It doesn’t look as nice and the owner told me that it is easy to maintain and doesnt affect anything at all but the appearance and he can live with it. Yes, boat maintenance can be costly and I am trying to save as much for the equipment that really matters. I have another headache. I have to replace my stainless steel bobstay chainplate (years unknown but more than 10 years old) and the only suitable material available in Phuket (Thailand) is Stainless Steel 316. There is no one who custom makes bronze and Titanium in the boat yard. Can you direct me to your site that provide some info/comments on welded Stainless Steel chainplates (my current chainplate is a V-shape Stainless Steel plate inside the boat with a welded tongue that penetrates the hull at the waterline to attach to the bobstay). Thanks.
Sorry, I really don’t know much about welding stainless and so we don’t have an article on it. One thing I do know is that 316 is not very strong, so it’s going to be important to make sure that the fitting is beefy enough to take the load and I fear that the only way to do that is going to be consulting with an engineer.
RIghto John. Thank you.
Hi John, following on my thoughts on paint the mast and a tight budget. Will there be any structural issues or any other issues if i leave the mast with the current paint on. The current paint is powdery to the touch but other than that it doesnt bother me. There are bubbles under some parts of the mast though but not extensive. I think i can live with a powdery mast for a while and when funds permits, I will strip off the current paint work and have a bare aluminium mast. However, I am not sure how to treat the bubbles under the paint… sand and repaint it with a brush?
In my experience, paint or not, does not have a lot of affect, one way or another on marine grade aluminium longevity. As to painting under fitting, better to properly isolate them: https://www.morganscloud.com/2015/03/29/dont-get-stuck-tools-and-techniques-for-cruisers/
Thank you John.
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